Looking around at the state of the world, it’s clear that we can’t go on treating our planet and our bodies the way we have been. Our planet is sick and so are we. Brain fog, fatigue, skin issues and more are so common now. There are many things we can do about this, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. At SUSTOMi, we believe the best thing to do is just start. Take it one baby step at a time. You don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to have it all figured out. Simply begin.
Aiming to reduce your waste and the toxins you are exposed to is one of the most life-changing things you can do. And it doesn’t take much to start seeing a difference. We’ll hold your hand through this process over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here are some refreshingly easy tips from one of our team members, Victoria.
Why i try my best to leave a low-waste footprint
In Australia, rubbish leaves your house, goes in a bin, then goes ‘away’. Growing up in Thailand and Indonesia, I saw first-hand that rubbish doesn’t actually ‘go away’. The streets of Thailand and Indonesia are so full of rubbish and plastic and it is devastating to think that the gorgeous state of Tassie could end up the same in the future! Waste doesn’t go away, it just ends up somewhere else for a few hundred more years. I believe in leading by example, so by bringing my own containers to university for lunch or by using reusable bags and coffee cups in public, it spreads the word around and people ask questions and then make small changes in their life.
My top 5 easiest tips to start living low-wastE:
Cut out the excess plastic
- Find reusable bags and containers which you probably already have at home and actually use them
- Buy produce out of packaging rather than in packaging – you don’t have to splurge at the farmers market, there are plenty of vegetables and fruits at Woolworths (supermarket) that come out of packaging
Make easy switches
Things as simple as using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, using newspaper or fabric as wrapping paper, using a drink bottle and refilling it instead of buying a plastic bottle for only 500mL of water, using a keep cup and so on.
Realise not everything is recyclable…
…and that 79% of plastic waste worldwide is not actually being recycled. (National Geographic, A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled, 2018). This means you shouldn’t rely on the recycling system and wherever possible use reusables in place of just recycling plastic.
Stop buying fast fashion
Just don’t buy into it and, where possible, buy second hand clothes instead of new clothes. In Australia, six tonnes of clothing goes to landfill. Every ten minutes. Try buying from op shops or buying better quality clothes that you can wear for years from now.
Try to avoid buying clothing to wear for only one occasion, you can rent formal wear for much cheaper! My favourite site is glamcorner.com.au, they have a huge selection of clothes, fast shipping and their clothes arrive in cardboard boxes.
Tackle your food scraps
Unfortunately, food does not actually break down when it is sent to landfill, as when rubbish is piled on top of food there isn’t enough oxygen for food to properly decompose. About 40% of our weekly waste comes from food scraps, so the best solution is to invest your time into making a composting bin or worm farm, its really easy and you can use anything from old ice cream tubs to buying one from Bunnings to get you started. If you live in an apartment or a space with no room, consider a Bokashi bin or a community food – waste bin. There is also a website and app called sharewaste.com, where you can connect with others around you who would love your kitchen scraps for their compost, worm farms or chickens!
What keeps me going?
One of my friends used to chop up his apples and wrap them in cling wrap before heading to uni (apparently chopped apples taste better than whole apples). By the time lunch came around, he was always upset about his apples being brown. I decided to chop my apples up and bring them in a beeswax wrap and ever since my friend saw the miracle of the beeswax wrap keeping my chopped apples fresh until lunch he hasn’t gone back to plastic since! Seeing others making small changes around me because they were inspired by what I do, or because the waste-reducing lifestyle makes their life better, keeps me motivated to keep going, but even looking back now it seems harder to live a life with plastic than without it. My friend is also very much now enjoying his life with fresh, crisp, not-brown chopped apples.
– Vic xx