On 19 August 2020, Sustainable Seas Trust held their second Masterclass live webcast, Tips For Achieving Zero-Waste Living. The webcast was presented by Sustainable Seas Trust’s very own Executive Director, Stacey Webb.
Stacey, a passionate scientist and mother of two, shares her 5 tips on how she embraces zero-waste living in her own home.
Watch the webcast, or read the tips below. Also, be sure to view or download our helpful guides to recycling and living with less single-use plastic.
Tip 1: Shop Smart
Stacey tells us that the first step in reducing your waste is to start making better choices when you are shopping in the store. Polymer codes are symbols that tell you what each product is made out of, and whether it’s recyclable. “You as a consumer have the power to “vote with your wallet” and help promote changes to more sustainable or recyclable packaging,” says Stacey.
Tip 2: Eliminate Single-Use Items
“There are some single-use items we can easily live without; it just takes being conscious of the problem and a little forward planning,” says Stacey. Consider swapping out single-use items for reusable alternatives, for example, use a reusable shopping bag instead of a single-use plastic bag.
Stacey also discusses a single-use item that is a major contributor to landfills: disposable diapers. From birth to potty training, one child uses 4140 disposable diapers and 952kg of disposable waste!
Stacey encourages her listeners to use cloth nappies as a reusable alternative. “The production of one disposable nappy uses more water than using and washing one cloth nappy. So, by using cloth nappies you are conserving water. You reduce waste going to landfill, and you also save money because the use of cloth diapers including what it costs to wash them is less than the cost of purchasing disposable diapers for your child. An added benefit – they’re cute!”
Tip 3: Separate at Source
“Separating your waste at home for recycling can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. The goal of course, after reducing the amount of plastic and single-use items you are buying, is then to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill,” says Stacey.
Our Recycling and Waste Locations Map is populated with recycling and waste drop-off points that can assist you in finding your nearest drop-off point.
Alternatively, you can also contact a company to collect your recyclables.
Tip 4: Use Your Organic Waste
For the listeners and readers who do not have a lot of space in their garden to do composting, Stacey recommends the Bokashi composting system. The Bokashi system turns food waste into “Bokashi Tea” through a fermentation process.
“Place ALL your food waste in the bucket (including cooked and uncooked meat, sea food, small bones, dairy, onions, etc). Add a handful of the Earth Bokashi microbe mix on top of the food waste. Close the lid and wait for it to ferment. Each time you have food waste to add, use a masher to squash the previous layers down, then add the new layer of food waste and microbe mix,” says Stacey.
You can add the tea to your soil and pot plants, or to your compost heap as an activator. You can even feed it to your worm farm.
Tip 5: Be Prepared
Sometimes, a person forgets their reusable shopping bag at home, and they resort to using a single-use plastic bag. Always have your reusable items ready for when you need them. “I have a boot sorter in my car with everything I need; alternatively, you could have this near your front door ready to grab as you leave home. Or there are foldable options available that can be carried with you in your bag,” says Stacey.
Stacey finishes her webcast with one last piece of advice for all of us: “Don’t feel overwhelmed… do one small thing to start with!”
Watch the video for more information, and keep an eye out on our events page for the next webcast in our Masterclass Series.