The past year has been a big one for sustainability in New Zealand. The tide is turning on plastic with things like the plastic bag ban and straw-less cafes and restaurants.
Here are a few easy things that you can put on your list of new year resolutions heading in to 2019 to reduce your impact on the environment.
Set a rule of ‘No keep cup, no coffee’
The best way to make sure you stick to your reusable cup goals is to not allow yourself a drink out without it. You will quickly find you will be in the habit of having it on you all the time!
Scrap food waste
Food waste accounts for 1 third of landfill waste in NZ. You can have a major impact on this by putting your food scraps in a home compost, Bokashi bin or worm farm. If you have a Council run organics collection, check what they can take – often they take all cooked and uncooked food as well as pizza boxes and serviettes.
Learn to let your fridge be empty
We tend to not like white space in our refrigerators – this means we pack them full so that we feel like there is always food on hand, but the reality is that we lose track of perishable food. The way to change this is to only buy new perishable food once you have almost finished everything in your fridge. This way you wont lose track of anything, will plan meals around what you have before you buy more and reduce your household’s food waste.
Take your own lunch
By taking a packed lunch to work you instantly avoid that tricky guilt moment when you are hangry (hungry/angry) and there are only wasteful takeaway options available. Unwrap your sandwich wrap and be happy!
Take your own container
We understand how hectic life can get and how you often can’t avoid takeaway options. This is where having a container in your car or bag can be handy – grab your sushi on the run and you won’t have to stop and think about all that single use packaging.
Simplify your cleaning
Switch your all-purpose sprays to white vinegar and you will be surprised how much plastic (and money) you will save. Usually white vinegar is all you need to keep the place germ free but if you need harsher stuff you can make your own citrus infused white vinegar or baking soda/washing soda scrub.
Bags in bags
With the plastic bag ban coming in to effect in 2019 and the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme on hold, now is as good a time as any to get into the habit of having your reusable shopping bags in the car for your groceries. If you’re going to have a shopping bag, might as well fill it with reusable produce bags!!
Skip the straw
When ordering a drink at a café or bar, ask for no straw. This not only reduces your waste but also shows the café that their customers care about the environment, which in turn may lead them to start reducing their business’s waste.