My dad collected glass bottles and newspapers before recycling was really even a mainstream thing, and certainly way before we had the convenience of a recycling bin in our garden. I love that this influenced me to feel motivated to be eco friendly. I upped my game last year when I decided to try to not just recycle but reduce the waste out family creates.
Like all mums, I'm pretty busy so these needed to be things that were quick and hassle free.
Here are 10 of the ways I've found easy to cut back on waste.
Soap bars instead of bottles of shower gel and hand wash. Took a while to get my husband into this but a year in and he is almost converted. I also got the kids on the side by making some easy soap at home using Aussie Soap supplies melt and pour soap. They loved picking essential oil blends.
2. Bulk buy Cleaning Cloths I bought 20 microfiber cloths and just chuck them in the wash after a day or two then reuse. So much better then the sponges I used to use that fell apart and ended up in the bin.
3. Shampoo Bar to replace bottles of shampoo. I've been using the Lush ones which last for ages if you keep them in a little box so they don't get squishy. I'm going to look into their chemical ingredients as I try to go more low tox. I tried the conditioner bars but didn't love them so they are on my 'to find' list.
4. Packed lunch box with compartments or tupperware we were using a LOT of plastic sandwich bags in lunch boxes which wasn't good. I tried buying thick ones and washing them but it was a pain to dry them. This SMASH box is the best one I've tried, it has two dividers you can remove and they are still in great condition after a year of use.
5. Big snack bags Instead of buying multi packs. I try to buy large bags of crisps, popcorn etc for the kids packed lunched to reduce the amount of packaging we have to bin. This is where the conpartment style packed lunch is great, my main tip from the kids is to add the snack in the morning as they tend to go soggy if they are in the fridge all night.
6. Water Bottles I used to buy cartons of juice for the kids but since coming to Australia we just always use double lined metal water bottles.
7. Reuse food bags if like us you have a dog, bread bags and similar work well to pick up poo. I also try to buy the dog poo bags that decompose.
8. Invest in some fruit and veg bags, I got a pack of these net ones on ebay and keep them in the car with my reusable shopping bags. Remembering them is not always my strong point!
9. `Home made cleaners so we reuse bottles. I recently bought the book " Naturally Inspired" as I am keen to reduce the amount of chemicals in our house. One of the recipes I've loved so far are cleaning fizzies. These little tablets keep your loo fresh, only use 3 natural ingredients and you can use an old yogurt pot as packaging. I'll be sharing a video of how to make them and other recipes soon.
10. Worm Farm, so this one is on my 'todo' list as my kids learned all about it in their school garden. They tell me worms a greedy wee buggers so loved food scraps and you can use their pee (Nice!) to feed your plants! Win win!