The average Australian uses an average of 130kg of plastic each year. Everything from food packaging to beauty products, it seems like almost everything is wrapped in plastic these days. Less than 12% of all plastic is recycled, that is a LOT of plastic ending up in landfill and waterways each year.
“A simple step you can take to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch from plastic packaging to glass, aluminum and naked packaging” says beauty supplier Lotus Beauty, “There are a ton of makeup and skincare options that come in glass and metal options that are way more eco-friendly and can even be repurposed once they’re empty”.
Visiting stores that allow you to bring your own containers for loose foods or buying refillable and reusable cleaning products will reduce the amount of plastic you throw away each year.
“You may be surprised to learn that coffee cups aren’t recyclable!” explains Baulkham Hills’ Arthur Street Cafe, “Even though they’re cardboard, the plastic coating on them means they need to be put in the landfill”.
You’d be hard pressed to find an Aussie who doesn’t have a coffee every morning in a takeaway cup so you can only imagine the environmental impact all those cups are having. By simply bringing a keep cup to the cafe to get your morning cuppa you can reduce your landfill impact dramatically.
Next to Americans, Australians consume the second-highest amount of textiles per person each year. Per annum, Aussies dispose of 23 kilograms of clothes accounting for 93 per cent of the textile waste we produce. Next time you are thinking of throwing away your old clothes consider selling or donating them to reduce your environmental impact.
Also try switching from fast fashion to second-hand. The fast fashion industry is extremely detrimental to the environment and buying second hand clothes is a great way to recycle pieces that would otherwise end up in landfills. You can also find some super cool, cheap and unique stuff second hand that no one else has.
When we think of emissions and food we often think of the meat industry. And while the greenhouse gasses produced by meat production are significant, around 65% of Australia’s total food footprint, there are other unsuspecting culprits that could be increasing your carbon footprint.
Imported fruits and vegetables have super high emissions because they are often shipped or flown to Australia on vessels and planes that emit high levels of carbon. Switching to local produce and reducing the amount of red meat and dairy you eat can help make your diet more sustainable.
Going paperless is definitely the future. Now most stores offer an e-receipt option, assignments are increasingly being submitted online and tons of apps make it easier than ever to do everything online. Paper often becomes a burden in our homes, it piles up and oftentimes we never even need it in the end. Switching to paperless practices will not only be good for the environment, but it will also be good for organisation.
“More and more businesses are using software to do their bookkeeping and accounting which is absolutely fantastic” says bookkeeping service Guardian Angels at Home, “Not only does electronic documents make finding things easier at tax time, it also is so much better for the environment and saves you money on paper and ink!”.