7 Easy and Hassle Free Ways to Tackle Your Garbage Problems
The little decisions we make every day in our lives can have a massive impact on the grand scheme of things. The average Australian household generates roughly 540kg of garbage per person yearly. That’s quite staggering, considering that food waste costs the Australian economy a whopping $20 billion annually.
You can do something to take action on the waste crisis.
Explore our seven easy and hassle-free ways to deal with your garbage problems. These small changes are not only eco-friendly but can also save you money and have a lasting positive impact on our environment.
(1) Shop for, utilise, and store food wisely
On average, Australian households toss out an eye-opening 2.5 tonnes of food, some of which are perfectly good, each year. That means a shocking 30% of the food we buy is sent to landfill. The foods that are mostly thrown out include potatoes, bread, salad, milk, fruit, and vegetables.
Food waste in Australia is primarily due to inadequate planning and the fact that we purchase too much food in the first place. So, the first action you should take is to shop for food wisely. Use a portion guide to determine how much you and your household actually eat. You can purchase just enough food to prevent spoilage and wastage.
Be mindful when you buy most-wasted food items like milk, fruits, veggies, and bread. Do you really have to buy two bags of salad? Can you consume a 2-litre carton of milk before some of it goes bad? Having a whole sack of potatoes for a family of 2 is not a wise idea.
Make the good-old shopping list your best friend. You cannot go wrong with it, as it allows you to plan ahead for your food shopping and meal prep. Of course, you must stick to your shopping list. However, if, for some reason, you end up with more food than you can consume, then you have no choice but to store the excess in the freezer before it goes off.
Most families avoid freezer storage because it runs their electricity bills. You can optimise energy usage by setting the freezer at the right temperature— between -15°C and -18°C, while your fridge will keep things fresh and longer-lasting at the 3-4°C temperature range.
As a rule of thumb, you can significantly minimise food waste by planning your next meals around what needs to be consumed in the fridge or pantry. More crucially, you should check these storage nooks before you head out to shop for groceries.
Are veggies going off on you too frequently? Most can be stored in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Remove the plastic bags or wrapping from your mushrooms, herbs, and veggies. Plastic makes them ‘sweat,’ leading to unnecessary spoilage.
If you have opened cereals, rice, or pasta, there’s a trick you can use to prolong their shelf-life, taste, and flavours. Keep them and other dry ingredients in air-tight containers. Meanwhile, root vegetables like onions, garlic, and potatoes will do well in a cool, dry spot.
What about leftovers? You should keep your favourite bits in the freezer for eating later. The secret is to reheat them only once. Scrapings will make nutritious food for pets and domestic animals, especially chickens that eat almost anything. Ensure the scrapings are safe for your pets – for instance, anything that contains chocolate and onions may harm your precious dog.
(2) Shop for food online
Food waste accounts for a significant part of common garbage problems. The problem with shopping for food in person at supermarkets is that you’re likely to buy more than you intended. You’ll fall right into the jaws of impulse buying and worsen your garbage problems.
So, why not leverage the power of the web? Shopping for food items is a great way to stick to your budget and shopping list. It allows you to choose only the stuff you need and avoid the seductions of the supermarket.
(3) Embrace the ‘reusable movement.’
If there’s one thing that can solve much of our garbage problems, it’s skipping anything single-use. We’re talking about single-use spoons, cups, plates, forks, and water bottles. First, you should invest in a high-quality reusable water bottle—the market is filled with pretty decent units that look good, work well, and last long. It’ll save you lots of money and significantly reduce your waste.
The same goes for single-use plastic bags. You might already own one or two reusable grocery bags. Put them to good use and steer clear of plastic bags. To help you remember your bag when shopping, write “bags” on your shopping list.
You can also keep your reusable bag in your car for added convenience. You’ll be happy to note that some supermarkets pay a small refund if you come with your own bag.
(4) Hire appropriate skip bins
If you want to show your garbage problems to the door, it would be best if you segregate your waste. Work with the right skip bin hire company to help with waste segregation. For a small household, mini skip hire will fit the bill.
Hiring skip bins from the right provider like skipbinfinder.com.au can save you money and a huge hassle, all while saving the environment. It’s a safe way to handle waste, especially hazardous waste. The best skip bin hire companies are convenient to hire, offering a wide range of bin sizes and styles. Skip bins are also user-friendly, helping say farewell to your garbage issues.
(5) Donate/sell clothes
If you’re an eco-warrior, you shouldn’t be afraid to wear, sell, or buy second-hand clothes. And while you are at it, clothing items you no longer wear could be helpful to others. Donate them to thrift shops or consignments, plus repurpose clothes or swap them with friends.
(6) Think recycle first
Recycling is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to tackle your waste problem, only second to reusing. Find out which recycling facilities and drop-off sites are available in your neighbourhood. If unsure, get in touch with your local council, as they might collect other items for recycling, including printer cartridges, mobile phones, and computer accessories.
(7) Create a compost system
A compost system is an effective and environmentally-friendly way to deal with organic garbage from your home.
There you have it – seven easy yet effective ways to tackle your garbage problems. “Recycling, reducing, and reusing” should be your personal mantra.