It might seem you can’t avoid it, waste is everywhere. But there are many simple things that can be done to reduce waste. Being prepared helps with the challenge. Making lists when you shop can prevent impulse buying and over purchasing. Bring your own reusable shopping bags, produce bags and containers for food shopping and a reusable coffee cup, drink bottle and cutlery for takeaway food and beverages.
What we buy is also important. You can help reduce the impact of what you buy and consume by considering the following:
- Prior to purchasing anything, ask yourself the question ‘Do I need it?’ If the answer is ‘no’, don’t buy it. If the answer is ‘yes’ move on to step 2.
- Can you alleviate this need by repairing an existing item?
- Can you borrow/loan the item or buy it second hand?
- Is there a package free option?
- If you can’t get it package free, can and would you reuse the packaging?
- If you can’t get it package free, is the packaging minimal and made from recycled materials?
- Can you recycle the packaging or compost it at home at the end of its life?
- Is the product sourced ethically?
- Is there a local option available?
There are some great resources out there to help you on your waste free shopping journey. Here are some links to help you shop ethically and package free:
Plastic Free and Zero Waste Food Shopping
- The Rogue Ginger – Melbourne Directory
- Gippsland Unwrapped – Gippsland Directory
- Yarra City Council – Yarra’s Zero Waste Map
Fresh fruit and veggies
- Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association – List of farmers markets (accredited)
Rescued /donated food
- The Inconvenience Store (Lentil as Anything) – Thornbury grocery store stocked with rescued/ donated food
- Bring Me Home app – App to buy and pick up discounted surplus food from nearby cafes, restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores / supermarkets
BYO container for food and beverages
- BYO Containers
- BYO Container friendly butchers, delicatessens, fishmongers & poulterers
- Business information (including what the law says about accepting a customer’s reusable container, tips on safety)
- Tips for customers
- Trashless Takeaway – BYO container friendly cafes and restaurants
- Responsible Cafes – Cafes that encourage BYO coffee cup (and offer a discount)
Pre-loved/ second hand goods
- Online forums to find second hand items
- Buy Swap Sell (Facebook)
- Ziilch (free stuff)
- org – Op Shop store locator
Perhaps there’s a better way than buying the latest gismo? Here are some links to places that will help you repair items or loan them so that you don’t have to buy at all: