We all win when we avoid waste

Avoiding creating waste sits proudly at the top of the waste hierarchy as the ultimate goal for our community and the good news is, it’s very easy to do.

There are many benefits to actively avoiding waste:

You can save money, protect the environment by reducing landfill (leading to reduced carbon emissions), and by limiting the amount of resources you use, you’re also reducing your consumption of energy, water and manufacturing materials.

World Environment Day (Saturday 5 June) provides an opportunity to think about the impact we’re having on our natural environment, including the amount of waste we create. By considering the environmental, social and financial costs of the things we buy, before we buy them, we can make more sustainable choices.

Hawthorn resident, Nick Reynolds, is passionate about making sure his household lives a more sustainable lifestyle by making a conscious decision to avoid waste.

“We’ve noticed even the simplest changes to your day-to- day activities can make a big difference in how much waste your household produces,” Nick said. “We also practice ‘smart or mindful shopping’ to help us avoid producing waste in the first place.”

A man wearing an orange jacket stands in a zero waste supermarket and smiles at the camera

Nick's top tips to avoid waste

Write a list

We do a weekly meal plan and write a shopping list. We try new recipes and get creative using what we already have at home to avoid buying lots of single-use ingredients that will just take up space and expire.

Say no to single-use plastics

We try to avoid single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging, so we love shopping at markets and bulk food stores. We can buy loose food items and in the specific quantity we need, while using our own bags and containers.

Use reusable containers

We love coffee and takeaway, so we take our reusable containers and cups to local cafes, restaurants, and bakeries. Most accept these now, so you can still get takeaway but without the packaging.

Keep it fresh and local

We are a big fan of local farmers’ markets. The food is always so fresh and tasty, and it is mostly packaging free. And of course, we always take our own reusable bags and containers.

Home gardening

We set up a home veggie and herb garden for the ingredients we regularly use. It’s available as we need it, reduces wasting money on purchasing produce, and is packaging free too.