Liv­ing a zero waste life

Anita Vandyke shares tips on cut­ting waste while main­tain­ing your life­style

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - Words Jen­nifer Veerhuis A Zero Waste Life In Thirty Days by Anita Vandyke, Penguin RRan­dom House, $19.99, ppen­guin.com.au In­sta­gram rock­et_­science

“A lot of it may be take­away con­tain­ers and plas­tic wrap­ping but a lot of it could also be food waste.”

What­ever you find, Anita says it will re­veal what you most com­monly throw out — and where you can make changes.

“You can start by re­plac­ing those dis­pos­ables with reusables, learn­ing to com­post and liv­ing a more eco-friendly life,” Anita says.

Not so fan­tas­tic plas­tic

She says plas­tic pack­ag­ing is a big con­trib­u­tor to land­fill from Aus­tralian homes, while other con­trib­u­tors are food waste and “stuff” in gen­eral.

In her book, Anita ex­plains how to make more sus­tain­able choices when shop­ping, eat­ing and trav­el­ling and she in­cludes recipes for mak­ing your own house­hold clean­ing prod­ucts, tooth­paste and de­odor­ant.

She also ad­vo­cates a mind­ful ap­proach to decluttering, where items you no longer need are do­nated, rather than thrown away.

“There’s a ten­dency to just put ev­ery­thing in bags and throw it into land­fill,” she says.

“By clear­ing all that clut­ter, clear­ing all the stuff, we can make room for things that re­ally mat­ter such as fam­ily, be­ing of ser­vice, do­ing work that is mean­ing­ful.

“I make sug­ges­tions about where you can do­nate these items, give them to homes that need them more than you do.”

She sug­gests do­nat­ing things you no longer need to women’s shel­ters, friends and fam­ily, schools and child­care cen­tres, or your lo­cal char­ity.

“There are lots of homes we can send our stuff to rather than just send­ing it to land­fill.”

Buyer beware

Once you’ve fin­ished the clear-out, it’s easy to be tempted to buy items that are not on your shop­ping list when you’re out, but Anita also has a sim­ple tac­tic to stop im­pulse pur­chases.

“Put your­self on a spend­ing ban,” she says. “Just try it for one week or a fort­night, first of all.

“I put my­self on a monthly spend­ing ban once a year where I buy noth­ing but the essentials — that’s food — along with some ex­pe­ri­ences like cof­fee with friends, or a movie. But I don’t al­low my­self to buy ‘stuff’ — no beauty, fash­ion or non essentials.

“By do­ing that you can write down all your pur­chases for that month and note where t the money is go­ing.

“You can add that u up at the end of a year and maybe even say, ‘Hey, that could be a de­posit on a h home’.”

Anita Vandyke says you can re­duce waste and live com­fort­ably by wear­ing sec­ond-hand cloth­ing and buy­ing sec­ond-hand fur­ni­ture (right).

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