7 Essential Items for Waste Free Living

Plastic Free July is almost over but that doesn’t mean the effort to reduce and refuse plastic stops here. Great news is many people are converting to material bags for shopping. The Australia-wide ban has lead to 80% drop in plastic bag consumption. Now it’s time to step it up and move to other plastic free items when we’re out and about.

My Everyday Waste Free Living Kit

Many people have difficulty balancing their early morning activities and this can result in unnecessary stress. As busy parents, setting off to work or university multi-tasking in the mornings is often necessary. Luckily there are a few short cuts you can take to make your day plastic free without stress.

A little bit of planning and organising helps with a waste free lifestyle.

Just seven items

Plastic Free Waste Free living essenitals planet schooling

There are seven items, that if changed from disposable to reusable could save vast amount of ocean animals around the planet.  The power is in our choice, so take it personally. My seven deadly weapons to save the oceans are:

  1. Reusable Straw
  2. Reusable Coffee Cup
  3. Reusable Water Bottle
  4. Reusable Cutlery and Chop Sticks
  5. Reusable Take Away Food Container
  6. Reusable Bags
  7. Napkin/handkerchief

Now we won’t share too many scary facts.  You can find lots of good information here: The 10 R’s of sustainable living.  But I did hear recently that the plastic on the planet is enough to reach the moon and back. If you would like to know more I suggest you watch the eye opening series called War on Waste by ABC.

And what about Eco-plastics?

Many people ask me if biodegradable or eco-plastics can be composted at home. Unfortunately,  in most cases, biodegradable plastics will only degrade in industrial composting plants under specific conditions, because compostability or biodegradability does not automatically mean that a product will degrade in any environment.

Composting plastic is dependent on factors such as temperature, time, humidity and the presence of bacteria and fungi in the specific environment. These factors can be controlled in industrial composting plants. This ensures an effective composting process. Many of us do not have the time or materials to put into this type of composting.

If your solution is throwing these so called compostable items into the bin then they are just pilling up with all the other plastics, which simply doesn’t solve the problem. Organising your reusable kit will save time, money and the ocean.

Burning Plastic

Burning plastics in your backyard or farm is not a solution. When plastic is burnt it releases several chemicals into the air, which are readily absorbed into the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. These toxins have been linked to cancer, chronic fatigue and neurological damage. These toxins can travel long distances and land of food crops and water ways. Putting wildlife yourself and others around you at risk.


Short-cut solutions

The night before a busy morning is the time to make your moves. When talking about multi-tasking, Professor Hannan argues that human attention has evolved to mainly focus on one task at any given moment. He suggests that “we’re more efficient when we only focus on one task … you think you’re multitasking but attention is like a spotlight, you can really only attend to one thing at a time.”

Reusable Waste Free Living Essentials Planet schooling

So the night before,  prepare your goody bag by organising the reusable straw, coffee cup or water bottle into the bags. Organise the yummy leftovers in a reusable take away container with the napkin and cutlery ready to go.  Being prepared the night before also means that you’re more likely to prepare a nutritious meal.

The solution is sometimes really simple!  Bring your own reusable items on your day to day outings.

If your time doesn’t allow you to make goodies such as beeswax wraps, there are a couple of brands that have grabbed my attention. Their products are both useful and stylish, practical and durable. Although, some products are pricy they are made to last. So it’s more of a long term investment. I’ve always be in favour of buying quality items that will last longer, especially when they are plastic free. These brands include My Last Bag, Kappi and Seed and Sprout. Check them out!


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Laila Helena is a BHSc Naturopath who has had a lifetime of sustainable living and Permaculture. She teaches people to be self-reliant and live consciously. The possibility of a sustainable planet has inspired her to create a business that works towards this sustainable future.

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