Happy New Year! Did you make some resolutions for 2015? Maybe to eat healthier, get fitter or spend more time with loved ones? How about some goals to reduce your footprint and live greener? Here are 7 tips you may like to embrace in your home and/or work life…
1. Help Containers Help You
Reusable containers aren’t just for packed lunches, try taking them on your next shopping trip to purchase food from your supermarket deli counter, and even better at your local butcher and/or deli. Remind the cashier to pop your container on the scales and tare it to zero before adding your goods. A great way to shop waste wise year round, not just during plastic-free July
Bonus Points: Grabbing take away? Easy! In your bag, desk, bike panier or car keep a container or two so you can get food-to-go (plus a set of reusable cutlery)! It will feel strange the first few times, but we promise you’ll feel a warm glow and it will make the people around your think twice about their choices!
2. Sort it Out
Make it easy to do the right thing with 3 bin system – recycling, landfill and compost/worm food. Think you’ll just put recyclables straight into the correct wheelie bin as they accumulate? Maybe (if you’re a particularly meticulous and motivated individual), but most likely they’ll go in the landfill bin in your home/office/classroom for convenience unless you have other bin options close at hand.
Bonus Points: Got this one covered? Fill a bag with all of your soft plastics to be taken to a your nearest participating supermarket near you for recycling right here in Victoria.
3. Pamper your Produce
Cloth shopping bags? Check. But what about cloth produce bags? These fine mesh bags (which add no weight at checkout) can be purchased (check out Onya Bags and Fregie Sack) or you can make your own and you’ll be amazed by the amount of soft plastics you avoid! Great for rinsing and storing your produce in too, simply thrown in the wash as needed.
Bonus Points: Want to really make your delicious produce feel valued? Write a shopping list! Checking what you have in the fridge and pantry first, and making a meal plan for your week will save you $ and avoid food waste!
4. Embrace the Mechanics of Organics
Think compost bins or worm farms are hard work and smelly? Think again! They are simple ways to halve your waste to landfill and easy to get started with these free beginners guides from FoodWise.
Bonus Points: Why not ramp things up? Learn how to use a Bokashi bin to break down your dairy, citrus and meat waste!
5. Volunteer or donate to an environmental organisation
Consider what skills you could contribute to an organisation like Gould League, even for 1-day once off (you could even ask your employer if they’d pay you the day to volunteer!) or whether you can spare to donate that jar full of coins that you’ve been collecting to a good cause. We’ve got a list of small volunteer jobs and donation requests on Good Company.
6. Treat our Resources Like Gold!
Energy, paper, water are easy to use in copious quantities – but with a little brain re-wiring usage can be significantly reduced! Use a printer? Ensure it’s default is double-sided. Dark in a room of your house? Open the blinds before turning on the lights! Sunny day? Do your laundry so it can line dry! Brushing your teeth? Turn off the tap!
Bonus Points: Hot day? Check for a breeze and open your windows, and/or run your wrists and feet under the cold tap and enjoy an ice cold drink before deciding if you need to use the Air Conditioner.
7. Mix up your commute
How do you commute each day? Does jumping in the car seem the most convenient? Why not hit a few goals at once (you’ll be leaner and greener) and challenge yourself to discover the delight of riding your bike, or using the local public transport system combined with a walk or bike to start and finish your day!
Bonus Points: Challenge your family and friends to a car free weekend and focus on enhancing and embracing your journey rather than just your destination!
Good luck and all the best for a happy and green 2015!