Trying to be Green

My concern about the environment started when I did an assignment on recycling in 1993 during my HSC over 20 years ago. I went to the local Tip with my Dad & photographed the huge amounts of landfill. I hated it. I still hate it. It really worried me.

Nowadays I notice how everything is wrapped in plastic: there are huge amounts of packaging, everything is individual, and not all of it is recyclable. A lot of it still goes to landfill. Landfill is covered up & we try to forget / deny it is there. I don’t forget for long. When I got into a supermarket I see a heap of landfill.

It is all about convenience. Things that are for individual use are convenient but increase landfill. They also create pollution in their production.  There are so many different avenues of environmental concern. I can’t believe some people & particularly world leaders can deny there is an environmental problem. It is an inconvenient truth!

I am putting together a list of practical daily things we can try to do. I’m not saying I have it all together; there is many ways I could improve. But I try as much as I can & I want to be Green! I’ll do this in 2 parts as my list is growing. Perhaps you can add to it as well? In this part I’ll focus on Waste Reduction & what we can do in our homes & personally. Next post I’ll discuss Water Reduction, Using less petrol/ transport, shopping & Pets.

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WASTE REDUCTION
1. Cloth nappies – I use modern cloth ones majority of the time; they are shaped like a disposable. It is not as difficult as you may think. They are very attractive these days, save me money & create much less landfill. I use disposables when I go out & overnight.
2. Never litter!! Keep Australia Beautiful!
3. Shop Local! I shop at a local community garden a few hundred metres from my house, when possible – the closest place besides my own garden to get fresh produce.
4. Solar power – if you can afford it.
5. Try to cook with what’s in your garden/ pantry first & only shop for extras if needed.
6. Reduce waste. I try to always use fruit & veg first before they go bad & before I use canned goods or buy more.
7. Be mindful that everything you buy from a shop comes with wrapping, in a glass, tin or other often un-recyclable packaging. The less you buy the less landfill.
8. Buy bigger items to save packaging, e.g.: a 3 litre milk, a large napisan, 250gm butter for cooking, 2kg bag of self-raising flour. Buying in bulk is cheaper also.
9. Ensure the correct things go into your recycle bin!
10. Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your letterbox.

HOUSEHOLD

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11. Compost all household food scraps, We use our compost, chooks & 2 dogs.
12. Keep chooks – they take a lot of household scraps & provide us with eggs & fertilizer. They are also a really cool pet.
13. Grow a vegetable garden; it’s not as hard as you may think.
14. Fruit trees are the freshest source with the most vitamins. Most fruit from stores has been picked a minimum of 7 days before & the vitamin content has been breaking down for all of that time. Transport is also involved, petrol used & a great deal of waste created in the process.
15. Keep wrapping paper from gifts given to you & re-use it, I also like newspaper or my daughters art work. I also have an abundance of gift bags I’ve been given that I re-use.
16. Make scrap paper into note pads for shopping lists etc. Or keep for drawing paper for the kids. Even used envelopes can be used for shopping lists.
17. Make your own bread. We have a bread maker, we buy a bulk bag of this beautiful light rye bread mix, and it works out about $1 a loaf. No bread bags needed. It’s much better than bought bread.
18. When I have time I try to cook a meal in double size & freeze ½ for another time in a container. This is a time saver & I can also cook with bigger amounts.
19. We use lunchboxes & small plastic containers for school/ work lunches to save on wrapping.
20. Try to fix things if they break instead of just throwing them out & buying a new one.
21. Get a worm farm – I had one when I lived in a unit.
22. Use the clothes line or clothes airer. I don’t own a dryer. I have managed without one for years & years. If I did feel I need one, I’d rent one for a short time.

PERSONAL
23. Buy 2nd hand. I will look for 2nd hand first before I purchase something new.
24. Start to use a travel mug for take away coffee. In the past I’ve taken my own travel mug to coffee shops – it’s too easy to request a takeaway – but it is so wasteful. I’ve just started doing this again. When I was in Canada in 1999 this was huge, we really are very slow with something’s in Australia.
25. Eat in, Eat meals & drink coffee in a restaurant/café so you get a proper plates & cups & not takeaway containers. If you do get takeaway, wash & re-use any containers you can.
26. I haven’t dyed my hair for a few years, I’m trying not to – {whilst I have no grey} this is also better on the environment, no chemicals going down the drain & no packaging from hair dye.
Please email me or comment on Facebook if you have any ideas/ suggestions you’d like to share.  And please be assured this is not aimed at making you feel guilty, it’s aimed at sharing ideas getting you to think about what you can do to care for this beautiful world we all live in.

Be Green!

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