Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND -

Could you re­duce your waste by 80 per cent qual­i­fied in 30 rocket days? sci­en­tist Anita Vandyke, (Bach­e­lor a of En­gi­neer­ing – Aero­nau­ti­cal Space) and waste war­rior be­hind a suc­cess­ful In­sta­gram feed (@rock­et_­science) says you can. She wrote a book, A Zero Waste Life, to show you how.


“Of­ten, we don’t need a plas­tic bag for items which we can put in our hand­bag, store in a re­us­able shop­ping bag or even just hold with our hands,” Anita says. “The maths doesn’t add up – the av­er­age use for a sin­gle-use plas­tic bag is 15 min­utes, but it takes hun­dreds of years for this bag to break down.”


“Go home and do a bin au­dit to­day,” Anita says. “Put on some re­us­able gloves and see what you’re ac­tu­ally throw­ing away and send­ing to land­fill. This al­lows you to see what the ‘fre­quent flyers’ are in your home – is it food waste? Is it dis­pos­able cof­fee cups? What­ever, it is, this is a great re­al­ity check to start mak­ing sen­si­ble switches.”


Next up, put yourself on a spend­ing ban. “Do this for one week or one month. By stop­ping your shop­ping, you can stop bring­ing ex­plains. buy­ing be­fore clut­ter “Go through you into buy your the some­thing home,” hi­er­ar­chy Anita new of – ask yourself the ques­tion, do I re­ally need it? Can I make do with some­thing I al­ready have? Can I bor­row it?” Then re­move the ex­cess. “Over the past three years I’ve got­ten rid of over 70 per cent of my items. This has

helped me save so much time, money and en­ergy.”


“Did you know that most com­mer­cial body and face scrubs con­tain mi­crobeads? Mi­crobeads are tiny balls of plas­tic used in body scrubs that act as the ex­fo­liant. Mi­crobeads are then eaten by marine life and end up back in our food chain. They are highly toxic to the en­vi­ron­ment and com­pletely un­nec­es­sary. I’ve cho­sen to re­place all my ex­fo­liants with a DIY sugar scrub that costs less than $1 to make and works a treat.” To make this, sim­ply com­bine 1⁄3 cup brown sugar (the finer the bet­ter) with 1 tbsp of melted co­conut oil, 1⁄3 cup of olive oil and a few drops of your favourite es­sen­tial oils (op­tional).


“In our deaths, we want to be re­mem­bered for our char­ac­ter, the ex­pe­ri­ences we had and the love we shared, so why do we fo­cus so much on ‘stuff ’ in our ev­ery­day lives? I now care less about the brands I wear, whether I live in the ‘right’ sub­urb and the sort of car I drive. But I care more about pur­pose-driven work, the love of my hus­band and the joy of my fam­ily and friends. In other words, I care more about what will be said in my eu­logy, and less about what’s in my re­sume.”

A Zero Waste Life by Anita Vandyke (Pen­guin Ran­dom House, RRP 19.99) is avail­able now.

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