See, when I lived in a house that had lots of outdoor space, I had a huge compost bin, a worm farm, and two veggie gardens all of which really helped with food waste.
Alongside this, the local council provided each household with four bins, yes FOUR! A general waste, a plastics recycling bin, a glass recycling bin, and a green waste bin.
So, as someone who is trying to live less wasteful and more sustainable lifestyle, I decided living in an apartment shouldn’t mean I have to compromise my environmental values.
Since living in this apartment I’ve learned a thing or two about trying to live low waste so here are my tips.
SET A HOUSEHOLD GOAL (and have fun with it!)
The key to any kind of lifestyle change is to have something you’re working towards.
Are you wanting to reduce your household’s single-use waste plastic? Grow your own veggies? Reduce food waste? Use less energy? Think about what is important to you and why you want to make these changes, this “why?” will help you through the more difficult times.
Try not to focus too much on a specific end goal, this can leave you feeling overwhelmed and like you have failed should you ever slip up – which you will! Don’t worry!
And, as I said – have fun with it!
Last year my partner and I joined the Target 155 water efficiency program. This was set up to encourage Melburnians to limit water consumption to 155 liters per person per day.
Now, we actually look forward to seeing how much under the 155 liters we can get when we check our monthly water usage. If we happen to go over, then we deduct that from the next month.
START SMALL (even if it’s a tiny change!)
Small changes create big impacts.
The topic of sustainability and zero waste can often leave us feeling overwhelmed, right? Like, if you can’t do it 100% then maybe we shouldn’t do it at all. This isn’t a productive way to see real change happen.
Start with the small things around you that you find yourself throwing into the waste or recycling bin each day, week, or month.
For me, this was food waste and containers. Now each time I do a food shop, I start by making a shopping list and noting down which items I can purchase from a fresh food market or bulk food store. That way I minimise the amount of single-use plastic I am bringing into my home. Yes, it means being a little more organised, but will bring you so many benefits in the long run both environmentally and financially.
Small changes like this helped me simplify and get into a mindset which I can now apply to other areas.
For example, I changed from standard laundry detergent to a more environmentally friendly, subscription detergent. For beauty products such as shampoo and conditioner, where possible I bulk buy using refillable containers or buy bars of soap rather than bottled body wash.