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Winning The War On Waste At Home

Picture of an environmentally friendly reusable shopping bag made from natiral materials laying on its side with fruits and vegetables spilling from it

The amount of waste sent to landfill has always been a concern to me. 

The first significant change for our household was when we started recycling our food waste via the green organics bin. However, after watching the first series of the ABC TV’s War on Waste we focussed our attention on reducing, reusing and recycling plastics, in particular reducing single use plastics. We have more plastic in the world than we can deal with. Even if a plastic item can be recycled, it doesn’t mean we can use as much as we want. Energy and valuable resources went into its production and to dispose of plastic items after a single use is crazy. If it ends up in the wrong place it takes hundreds of years to breakdown, or worse, pollutes our waterways and oceans. 

Tips on winning the war on waste

  • “Waking up to waste” is an important first step in awareness. Take more notice of what you are buying, how you are buying it, and whether you are putting things in the right bin
  • Make full use of a kitchen caddy, compostable food scrap bags, and your green organics bin.  For us this has been the easiest change to make and has had the biggest impact on landfill waste. 
  • Motivate and educate yourself on why we need to avoid, reduce and reuse. 
    • Follow Ecolateral online and read the blog
    • Connect with groups like Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Radelaide and Zero Waste Adelaide on Facebook
    • If in doubt whether an item is recyclable check out the SA Government’s Which Bin search tool. Remember that recycling rules may vary from district to district but this tools provides a goodd general guide. 
    • Take a tour of your local recycling facility and landfill site. In Adelaide KESAB offers tours of Wingfield and the mountains of landfill are eye opening. 
    • I can’t recommend enough the value of watching Seasons 1 & 2 of ABC TVs War on Waste and visit their iView page to watch the Extras videos.
    • Follow someone blogging their waste journey

It is important to remember that what works for one household may not work for another. We all have different budgets, time constraints, resources, levels of energy etc. So don’t judge others or feel like you’re not doing enough yourself.



Guest blogger Karen Murphy writes about living more sustainably and reducing waste in the homeKaren Murphy is committed to winning the war on waste. She is a moderator of Adelaide’s own Facebook group Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Radelaide and regularly writes about reducing waste in the home and how to live more sustainably. She has generously shared her knowledge here as a guest writer.