Kristie realised how much of a natural thing daily recycling has become for her Blakeview family when they unexpectedly spent several weeks in remote WA during COVID-19 – they had been visiting during one of her husband’s FIFO stints and elected to stay put.
There were limited waste collections to the area and Kristie found it uncomfortable throwing everything into a single bin. “At home,” Kristie says “the red bin goes out almost empty every week, while the yellow and green bins are almost full when we put them on the kerb.” Kristie and family are achieving something we’d encourage everyone to work towards!
The key to household recycling is to have a system to make it as easy as possible, and then be consistent...
Under the sink Kristie has a general waste bin, a cardboard box for recyclables, and a plastic bag to gather soft plastics (which go to the REDcycle bin at Coles or Woolies whenever they do a shop.)
For food waste, she recommends keeping an easily accessible bowl or caddy on the counter, with a piece of paper towel in the bottom to stop food sticking. Kristie says to keep bugs and smells at bay “empty it every day as you clean up after dinner, then rinse it out, and pop in another piece of paper towel for tomorrow.” She also recommends dropping your caddy or container into the dishwasher once a week to give it a thorough clean.
Cans and bottles go into a tub in the garage – when it’s full, it goes to the depot for refund and recycling. (Nothing wrong with being rewarded for recycling!) Kristie suggests that you make it the kids job to empty bins, “That way, they learn early which things go into which bins.”
Household recycling is about a little bit of organising and then following through. And know that whatever effort you put in to recycling in Playford, will make a real difference.
Here are some other great tips from Kristie for the festive season and for every day:
- Avoid gift wrapping paper, try Christmas fabric and re-usable ribbon to wrap gifts, or use gift bags you’ve been given before.
- Give experiences; gift cards for movies, or adventures that can be enjoyed with family or friends rather than buying another ‘thing’ which will eventually need to be discarded.
- Cut festive food waste: have everyone bring a dish for Christmas meal, then divide up the leftovers and send it home with your family to eat over the next few days.
- Spring clean in January; when the tree comes down, go through the house and clean, and get rid of unwanted toys and household goods – have the kids help so they’re invested in this process. Donate anything still useful to the Salvos, and book a hard waste collection for anything that isn’t salvageable.
- Make a meal plan for your week around your planned activities, and shop to that plan. Take re-usable bags, and mesh bags for fruit and veg (try to buy things which are not pre-packaged.)
- Eat the fridge; whatever foods remain in the fridge on the night before shopping, create a pot luck meal out of it and start with an empty fridge ready to refill after your shopping.
- Re-love; hand kids clothes down to children you may know to get extra wear out of them.
- Go against the fast fashion trend; scour op shops and Savers for some great economical clothes.
- Mend it; if you have the space, permanently set up the sewing machine to mend, rather than discard, instead of buying new.
- Fix it: buy second-hand and refurbish – the kids cubby house was purchased on Marketplace and carpeted and repainted by Kristie – it’s as good as new!
- If it grows it goes – even pet hair from Freya’s regular brushes can go into the green bin, along with pet poo.
- Choose where to use bin liners;
- in the bathroom, a small bin with a plastic liner will lift straight to the red bin;
- in the bedroom, a small bin with no liner to collect tissues, hair, nail clippings – all can empty straight to the green lid bin.
Thanks for all of your amazing tips Kristie. :)