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Every New Year we seem to find ourselves thinking of things to cut back on. And it’s normally the fun stuff too, meaning the resolutions rarely last the summer holidays! But this year a growing number of everyday champions have made a more sustainable pledge to decrease the amount of waste they generate. This positive #zerowaste trend gaining popularity is not only good for the pocket and the environment, but is unleashing a creative side for many of the converted.

Want to join the revolution? Use this ten-step cheat sheet to get you on your way!

Do I really need it? Do I?

This is the best question to ask yourself every time you go to buy something. Think, can I borrow it from a friend, colleague or neighbour? Will I use it at least 30 times? Is it recyclable at its end of life?

Go soft plastic free

Plastic bags, coffee cups, plastic straws, plastic cutlery need to go. This is one of the easiest changes you can make. Invest in a quality reusable cup, a reusable bag that is small enough to be scrunched up inside your handbag, and a handbag cutlery kit – you can buy stainless steel and bamboo versions that are lightweight (and adorable).

Host a clothes swap party

Invite all your girlfriends over and tell them to bring any quality shoes, clothes, bags, jewellery they no longer wear. Lay everything out and go swapping mad! Remember every good party needs music, food and drinks!

Create an indoor jungle with old jars

Rinse off labels and use jars and tin cans as vases for dried or fresh flowers or to grow herbs or succulents.    

Shop with reusable hessian produce bags

Separating your fruits and veg into mini plastic bags just teaches them to be anti-social. Throw them into the one hessian bag and let them reminisce on their soil days! When shopping for nuts, flour, pasta opt for bulk food shops to avoid packaging and use either paper bags that can be composted or invest in cloth bags. Honey, oils and other wet products can be stored in your old jars or bottles!

Use veggie cuttings to make stock

Place all veggie ends, peels and scraps, as well as bones from chicken or meat into airtight container and freeze. This can be used to create a delicious homemade stock for soups, curries and casseroles!

Lemons from cocktails?

Make a DIY all-purpose cleaner by mixing lemon rinds, apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle. The fresh smell will get even the laziest of us motivated to clean!

Old couch still in good nick?

Rather than sending to landfill via a bulky goods collection, consider sewing a new cover or throw to freshen its look. If it is more of a downsizing issue, always consider offering for free on your local Buy Swap Sell Facebook page, gumtree, or donating to charity.

Old door, large piece of glass or wood?

Get creative and turn it into a table! There are countless DIY projects online that show you how to turn a flat surface into a coffee table, bench or dining table! Think about how many likes you’ll get on your Instagram!

Washing coffee grinds down the sink?

Save these! Whip up an indulgent body scrub by mixing with melted coconut oil or add to your garden bed or compost as an all over booster!

 

Our Living Coast is a joint project of the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen & Nambucca Councils