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Waste Less ~ Save More

A practical guide to help you save money & the environment

With a lot of people in our community going through financial hardship due to the sudden economic downturn, the annual #PlasticFreeJuly challenge might seem out of reach to many. The reality of going plastic-free can be tough but we believe that looking after the environment doesn’t have to be a luxury, it can actually help you save money!

That’s why we put together this guide with 25 money-saving eco-aware tips from environmentally conscious Australian brands and influencers to help the community go green on a budget.

Buy Food In Bulk

Buy and refill in bulk

Buy in bulk and save on packaging and price. Generally, the more you buy of something, the less it will cost you per unit. Buying bigger packs more often than not will mean you will end up throwing less plastic packaging in the bin.

You can also save on buying single-use plastic bottles by refilling your household products in your nearest bulk store. Shopping less frequently also saves time and petrol!

Recommended by: @ceresbrunswick / www.ceres.org.au

WASTE LESS

900,000 t OF PLASTIC PACKAGING PRODUCED IN AU PER YEAR

SAVE MORE

20% PER PURCHASE ON AVERAGE

Use Beeswax Wraps

Store your food in beeswax wraps

Store your food in beeswax wraps, ditch the cling wrap! If the average family uses 24 rolls of cling wrap a year, that’s approximately $100 worth of cling wrap over the year.

Rather than contributing to the 51 million dollar industry of disposable plastic food wrap, invest in a product that you only need to buy once per year and can use over and over again. The average cost of a kitchen four-pack of beeswax wraps is $30. Or even better, make your own from fabric and beeswax pellets!

Recommended by: @brushiton + @amilliontravels / www.amilliontravels.com

WASTE LESS

24 ROLLS OF PLASTIC WRAP PER YEAR

SAVE MORE

$70 PER YEAR

Start A Compost Or Worm Farm

Start a compost pile or worm farm

Up to 60% of household waste is food scraps. The majority of this can be composted at home which saves a huge amount of landfill waste with the added benefit of nourishing your garden. Starting a compost can be simple and inexpensive, you can even reuse old plastic storage containers.

Once you start composting you will think more carefully about how much you’re buying – those piles can grow quickly if you’re not careful!

Recommended by: @weighandpaywww.weighnpay.com.au

WASTE LESS

60% OF HOUSEHOLD WASTE IN GENERAL

SAVE MORE

SAVE WATER, IMPROVE YOUR GARDEN, NEVER BUY COMPOST AGAIN

Use A Menstrual Cup

Use a menstrual cup

The average woman goes through more than 11,000 disposable menstrual products throughout the course of their life. That’s an insane amount of waste heading straight to our landfills. Plus all the plastic packaging these products come in!

Switching to menstrual cup will help you eliminate staggering 1,500 tampons or 1,800 pads from landfill over the next five years costing you between $400 – $650. In comparison, two menstrual cups will only cost you $80 and will last you up to 10 years! If menstrual cups don’t suit you or your body, reusable washable pads are also an option.

Recommended by: @happilyecoafter_ / www.happilyecoafter.com.au

WASTE LESS

300 TAMPONS OR 350 PADS/YEAR + PACKAGING

SAVE MORE

$720 – $1,220 OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS

Swap Your Plastic Toothbrush

Swap your plastic toothbrush

In Australia alone, toothbrushes amount to approximately 1,000 tonnes of landfill each year. Plastic toothbrushes aren’t biodegradable and they just keep piling up and contaminate our environment. Not to even mention their packaging!

To celebrate #PlasticFreeJuly, we’re offering $1 bamboo toothbrushes to help you reduce your plastic footprint (this offer was just for July and is now over).  Switch out your plastic toothbrush to our bamboo one and make a positive impact on the environment by simply brushing your teeth every day!

WASTE LESS

4 TOOTHBRUSHES PER YEAR + PACKAGING

SAVE MORE

$20 PER YEAR

Make Your Own Body Lotion

DIY body lotion

Making your own body lotion is easier than you might think. There are hundreds of recipes online and you can adjust the scent and ingredients to make them perfect for your body.

As a result, you will end up with a lotion that’s better for your skin and the environment. You know what you’re putting on your skin and you’re avoiding plastic packaging at the same time, it’s a win-win.

Recommended by: @2greengirls_auswww.2greengirls.com.au

WASTE LESS

120 BILLION UNITS OF COSMETIC PACKAGING PRODUCED YEARLY

SAVE MORE

$120 OR MORE PER YEAR ON AVERAGE

Keep Your Veggies Fresher

Keep veggies fresher for longer

There are many effective ways to keep your fruit and vegetables fresh and cut down on waste. One of the most common food storage mistakes is keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator. Instead, put them in a bowl that you have lined with a paper towel with the stems at the top.

Another tip is to store carrots and celery in water to keep them crisp. Did you know storing spinach in a damp cloth to keep it from wilting and the cloth also prevents them from going slimy for longer? Looking after your veggies will pay off immediately!

Recommended by: @simpleishliving

WASTE LESS

OVER 2 MILLION TONNES OF FOOD WASTE GENERATED BY AUSSIE HOUSEHOLDS EVERY YEAR

SAVE MORE

20% ON FRUIT AND VEG BILLS ON AVERAGE

Bring Your Own Lunch

Make your meals and bring snacks

Try and plan in advance and bring your own snacks everywhere! Convenience is the enemy of our earth. Take homemade lunch to work in whatever you already own and make your own dinner rather than getting takeaway.

This will be cheaper than buying food out – especially if you meal prep for the week or cook double the amount for a second meal – and reduces the waste produced by takeaway lunch and dinner. Put your meals in reused jars or whatever containers you already own.

Recommended by: @vegandiverkattwww.oceanpancake.com + @reusablenation

WASTE LESS

TAKEAWAY WASTE IS A PRIME SOURCE OF PLASTIC POLLUTION IN THE OCEAN

SAVE MORE

$2,000 PER YEAR ON AVERAGE

Zero Waste Dishwashing

Zero waste dishwashing

The biggest problems when it comes to washing dishes are wasting water, using plastic sponges, and the presence of nasty chemicals in standard dishwashing products. Switch to a biodegradable non-toxic soap bar instead of dishwashing bottle or, even better, make your own. They tend to last longer than the store-bought liquids.

Conventional soaps can contain toxic chemicals that can harm our health and marine life. Get a compostable loofah, scrubbing pad and/or dish brush for zero waste hand-washing, they last an entire year on average.

Recommended by: @2greengirls_auswww.2greengirls.com.au

WASTE LESS

20 RAZORS PER YEAR + PACKAGING

SAVE MORE

$25 PER YEAR OR MORE FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS

Recycling Programs

Join free recycling programs

TerraCycle runs free recycling programs that collect items that are not accepted in your council recycling. These include toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, contact lenses, writing instruments, coffee capsules, dishwashing packaging and LOL Surprise packaging and toys.

The postage and recycling of the items are paid for by the brands that made the products (some programs accept all brands of product, not just the brand sponsoring the program).

Recommended by: @terracycleaustralia

WASTE LESS

ABOUT 40% OF AU WASTE IS RECYCLED, 22M TONNES STILL END UP IN LANDFILL

SAVE MORE

ALL RECYCLING PROGRAMS ARE FREE

Use Natural Zero Waste Deodorant

Zero waste deodorants

Use a natural deodorant paste instead of a roll-on deodorant full of harmful toxins, packaged in plastic. Not only does natural deodorant paste actually work to STOP B.O,  it also comes in a PLASTIC FREE, reusable, recyclable container! Because the tin is so attractive, once your deodorant is finished, you can simply wash it out and use it to store your little bits and pieces in or you can simply recycle it.

A whopping 80% of the population (14+ yrs) in Australia use deodorant. The amount from person to person varies considerably, but no matter how much you go through, that’s a lot of plastic.

Recommended by: @enviro_shopwww.enviroshop.com.au + @thesuperecowww.thesupereco.com.au

WASTE LESS

10 AEROSOL CANS AND/OR PLASTIC TUBES

SAVE MORE

25% IF BOUGHT IN BULK OR DIY

Metal Razors

Switch to a reusable razor

Disposable razors cannot be recycled as they’re made of different materials, so approximately 153 million plastic razors go into Australian landfill every year.

To avoid sending an old razor to landfill every (couple of) month(s), you should definitely give it a go on a safety razor.⁠ Plus, using a disposable razor will set you back for around $20-30 p/year or more if you buy more expensive razors. A safety razor (ranging from $30-120) will last you for the rest of your life, saving you a significant cost in the long run.

Recommended by: @eatyourselfgreenwww.eatyourselfgreen.com

WASTE LESS

20 RAZORS PER YEAR + PACKAGING

SAVE MORE

$25 PER YEAR OR MORE FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS

Produce Bags

Make or buy produce bags

The average person uses a plastic bag for only 12 minutes before discarding it. Instead of collecting an abundance of single-use plastic bags that are harmful to the environment, try using reusable produce bags that are lightweight and washable.

All we have to do is remember to take them to the store. Easy to make from muslin, netting or any food-safe fabric that you can see the contents through. Make a few different sizes for everything from potatoes to garlic.

WASTE LESS

5 BILLION PLASTIC BAGS USED IN AU EVERY YEAR

SAVE MORE

ABOUT TIME SUPERMARKETS START CHARGING A FEE!

Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

Use shampoo and conditioner bars

Shampoo bars are mega concentrated and generally last longer than bottled versions. On average, a shampoo bar will outlast as many as six bottles of liquid shampoo, meaning you save money and extra trips to the store. Rather than plastic, the bars are generally packaged in a recycled cardboard box. Most shampoo bar manufacturers avoid using palm oil or sulphates, making their bars plant-based natural ingredients. It’s a win-win for your hair and the planet!

Recommended by: @littleecoshop / www.littleecoshop.com.au

WASTE LESS

6 PLASTIC BOTTLES SAVED FROM EACH BAR

SAVE MORE

$25 PER EACH SHAMPOO BAR

Make Your Own Poo Bags

Make your own dog poo bags

Use old newspapers or magazines from cafes or workplaces or junk mail to pick up your dog’s poo on walks instead of buying plastic dog poo bags.

You can fold newsletter pages into a pouch to pop your pooch’s poo in when on a walk or just pick it up with the paper, wrap and twist the top and put it straight in the bin. Find a step by step guide on Reusable Nation’s blog.

Recommended by: @reusablenation

WASTE LESS

700 PLASTIC BAGS PER YEAR

SAVE MORE

$100 PER YEAR

Reusables Kit

Carry a reusables kit with you

By keeping a kit of reusable utensils, straw, cup and bottle in your bag you can prevent just about all disposables that you might need when out and about.

Whether you’re on your holidays or just having a takeaway lunch at work, you can join the war on waste by saying NO to single-use plastic. If you are a bit creative you can even use your cup and bottle to store leftover food or drinks from places when you eat in.

Recommended by: @eco_patchwww.ecopatch.com.au

WASTE LESS

THE WORLD USES 500 BILLION PLASTIC CUPS & 500 BILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES EVERY YEAR

SAVE MORE

AUSSIES SPEND MORE THAN $500 M ON BOTTLED WATER EACH YEAR

Grow Your Own Herbs

Grow your own herbs

Avoid plastic-wrapped herb bundles by starting a little garden and growing your own. Herbs often come surrounded in plastic and in quantities that are way too big for what you need so you end up wasting a lot of produce and single-use plastic.

When you grow your own, you can cut off however much you need when cooking. You can’t get more sustainable than that, zero food miles and zero plastic! The cost of herb seedlings which will last you at least one year is as about the same as the cost of one bunch that will go off in a couple of weeks.

Recommended by: @reusablenation

WASTE LESS

50 SOFT PLASTIC BAGS PER YEAR

SAVE MORE

$130 PER YEAR ON AVERAGE

Pack Kids Lunches

Kids lunchbox ideas

Research has found the average packed lunch of a child produces three pieces of rubbish every day, amounting to approximately 30kg of waste per child each year. Invest in non-toxic durable lunch boxes and pack them with healthy snacks you buy from a bulk food store or in larger packets. You’ll not only save money by buying in bulk, but you’ll be saving so much plastic packaging at the same time!

Use a sandwich box or a reusable bag to keep their sandwiches fresh without the need for plastic wrap. Avoid pre-packaged yoghurt tubs and use a reusable container instead.

Recommended by: @unpackaged_au

WASTE LESS

30KG OF WASTE PER CHILD EACH YEAR

SAVE MORE

20% ON AVERAGE

Buy Natural Fibres

Use natural fibre clothing

Choose chemical-free, pesticide-free, biodegradable clothing. Synthetic clothes are made with polyester, rayon, nylon, which are basically plastic. The chemicals they are treated with are not only absorbed by our skin when we wear them, potentially causing cancer, but are dispersed in drains and sewers when we wash them.

Eventually, these microplastics will end up in our rivers and seas, polluting nature, the water we drink or the fish we eat. Opt for organic materials such as cotton, silk, wool, linen.

Recommended by: @amilliontravelswww.amilliontravels.com/

WASTE LESS

SINGLE CLOTHES WASH MAY RELEASE 700,000 MICROPLASTIC FIBRES

SAVE MORE

GOOD QUALITY CLOTHES WILL SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN

Grow A Veggie Garden

Start a veggie garden

It doesn’t matter how much space you have you can always grow something even in small pots on your balcony. Having your own garden not only cuts down on food miles completely,  you will also get great satisfaction from growing your own food that is 100% organic and chemical-free.

You will be able to eliminate any food packaging and food waste at the same time. Food doesn’t get any fresher than this!

Recommended by: @eco_patchwww.ecopatch.com.au

WASTE LESS

100s OF PLASTIC PUNNETS AND WRAPS

SAVE MORE

$100s, DEPENDING ON THE SCALE OF YOUR GARDEN

Shop Second Hand

Shop second hand

When people use things to the fullest extent, those items can take up to a decade before they touch a landfill. Opting for pre-loved is not only greener but it can have a huge impact on your wallet! Try local Facebook pages, Gumtree or your local charity store or market when searching for an item you need.

Pre-loved clothing is a great way of moving your clothes that you don’t wear anymore and getting new (to you) threads. Second-hand furniture, toys, homewares, bikes, dog houses, the list is endless as to what you can find for a fraction of the cost of new, in your local area.

Recommended by: @unpackaged_au

WASTE LESS

MANUFACTURING, PACKAGING, TRANSPORTATION

SAVE MORE

AT LEAST 50% OFF THE ORIGINAL PRICE

Bring Your Own Take Away Containers

BYO container for takeaway

Going plastic-free doesn’t mean that you have to give up takeaway, we all sometimes feel like eating things that don’t come out of our own kitchen.

Call ahead and see if you are able to bring your own container to reduce waste of single-use plastic containers. You’ll be surprised how many businesses love the idea. You can buy many great containers that aren’t plastic including stainless steel, recycled silicone or biodegradable rice husk!

Recommended by: @greenerliving / www.groundbloomflourish.com

WASTE LESS

6 TONS OF DISPOSABLE FOOD CONTAINERS USED DAILY IN SYDNEY CBD

SAVE MORE

ABOUT TIME THEY GAVE YOU A DISCOUNT!

Shop Local For Fruit and Veggies

Shop locally for fresh produce

Shop plastic-free, fresh and organic produce at your local farmer’s market, co-op or organic fruit & veg box scheme.

Not only are you supporting farmers and your community directly, but the produce will be fresher and last longer and will come without unnecessary packaging!

Recommended by: @waronwastesutherlandshirewww.southernsydneyfoodcollective.com

WASTE LESS

60% OF FRUITS & VEG IN SUPERMARKETS INDUSTRIALLY PRE-PACKED

SAVE MORE

FRESHER PRODUCE THAT WILL LAST YOU LONGER

Use Reusable Make Up Remover Pads

Get reusable makeup pads

Reusable makeup remover pads can save you hundreds of dollars throughout your life as they replace up to 500 single-use makeup wipes that take a hundred years to break down. Not only you’ll save money but you’ll save the resources associated with growing cotton balls while reducing your household waste at the same time.

A 10-pack of reusable makeup wipes will cost you $20 and last for about 5 years while an average person uses approximately $50 worth of wipes per year. Did you know that 20 million wipes end up in landfill every day? This makes them the third most wasteful product in the world.

Recommended by: @brushiton

WASTE LESS

1,000 WIPES PER YEAR + PACKAGING

SAVE MORE

$230 OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS

Freeze Leftovers in Jars

Freeze leftovers in glass jars

Recycle your glass jars to freeze your leftovers rather than buying plastic bags. Be sure to leave room in the jar for expansion of the food as it freezes.

Also, when you have too much basil growing in your garden, blend it up with some olive oil and pine nuts and make pesto out of it. Freeze in ice cube tray then transfer to jars for storage, when you need a quick meal just cook some penne pasta up and heat the pesto in a pan and stir through. Perfect, quick homemade meal 🙂

Recommended by: @fodder_forage / www.fodderandforage.com.au

WASTE LESS

1 IN 5 SHOPPING BAGS END UP IN THE BIN

SAVE MORE

AUSTRALIANS WASTE AROUND $3,800 IN FOOD PER HOUSEHOLD ANNUALLY

Personal Care That Fights For Our World

 

Ditch plastic with our zero-waste goodies!

Brush It On was created to fight plastic pollution by helping you make conscious choices without sacrificing your lifestyle.

We take the war on plastic seriously and that’s why 100% of our profits go directly to organisations that protect the world’s oceans, forests, and wildlife.