Sustainability | A roadmap to zero waste

GOAL: A waste audit will help you reduce the waste you generate and replace it with no-waste options, as you work towards a zero waste home.

GOAL: A waste audit will help you reduce the waste you generate and replace it with no-waste options, as you work towards a zero waste home.

We often hear about the idea of becoming waste free, but frankly we don’t often hear about how to do it. 

So what is practical for the average person living in a regional area and how do you get started?

The first thing to do is a waste audit in your home. It is not that bad and if you want to be serious about reducing your waste you have to know what waste you are producing.  In turn, the waste you produce depends on your lifestyle choices.

So how do you do a waste audit? Simple. Dump out all your rubbish out and go through it. For each item you find write it on a clipboard. For each recurring item add a tally mark. This will give you a visual roadmap on how to reduce your trash and figure out where you can make the biggest impact. 

You might want to reduce your waste to zero but the reality is a lot harder than that. There are a lot of changes that you'll be making, and it's important to avoid burn-out because it is impossible to go zero waste overnight. 

Now, you can start looking for easy zero waste swaps. Always begin with the things you throw away most, for two reasons:

  • You'll have the biggest impact.
  • You're going to make an immediate and noticeable difference. We love instant gratification. 

While every household will be different, some things may show up in higher numbers in your bin – and those are the things you should address first with alternatives. It is also worth noting that there are now other disposal options for materials such as soft plastics – remember these can be recycled at many supermarkets these days, so bundle them up and take them in when you go shopping.

Your waste probably changes week to week so keep checking your trash and recycling to see where you can easily improve. 

Obviously, there will always be some unavoidable waste. The first thing that comes to mind is medication. While we might like to see more recyclable or sustainable packaging here, safety and health come first.