By PHIL OWEN*
REDUCE Reuse Recycle is the usual message when it comes to doing the right thing for the environment. Still, we should never lose sight of ‘avoid’ as the first option for our efforts to reduce waste to landfill.
Tasmanians are pretty good at recycling, and although this is a great way to keep waste out of landfill and our environment, there are many other things we can all do to be good sorts and decrease our waste.
We must try to find ways to reuse and reduce waste, or best of all, to avoid generating waste altogether.
Here are some simple ideas. Are there one, two or more things you could be doing to rethink waste?
Avoid waste – Take your travel mug for your next coffee; refill your drink bottle in place of packaged water; take your shopping bags; choose unpackaged food and products over those with excessive packaging; use containers instead of plastic wrap for storing left-overs; say no to plastic straws.
Reduce waste: Plan ahead and only buy ingredients you need for the week. Choose and maintain household items that will last or can be repaired. Borrow or hire instead of buying if you only need an item for a short time.
Reuse waste: Post unwanted items online for sale or giveaway, hold a garage sale or swap-meet; treasure hunt for pre-loved items before buying new – Council tip shops are a great resource too; cook up the next meal from left-overs; find new uses for everyday items, such sewing old clothes or fabric items into reusable bags.
Please note the main content of this article is from the Re-Think Waste Tasmania website. I encourage individuals and educators to visit this site to view its YouTube commercials promoting ‘Avoid Reduce Reuse Recycle’ ideas.
*Phil Owen is chair of Brighton Council’s Waste Management Committee