Living a zero waste life
Anita Vandyke shares tips on cutting waste while maintaining your lifestyle
“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.”
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).