It’s all about following the waste hierarchy! An easy way to remember is through the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. While recycling is important, reducing how much and what you consume (we’re looking at you non-recyclable single-use plastics!) is the most effective thing you can do to create less waste, generally followed by reuse and then recycling.
- 78% of Australians believe the most helpful action for the environment out of a list of options is to regularly recycle. Other actions included: reuse items where possible rather than buying new items (61%); buy products made with recycled materials (51%), and decrease my meat consumption (19%).1
- Recycling is a great place to start learning about living more sustainably and it does have major benefits like saving resources, energy and water as opposed to using virgin materials but it won’t solve our waste or climate issues on its own.
- Data from the Global Footprint Network shows Australia also has one of the biggest ecological footprints per capita (4th).
- Back in 2011, Time Magazine named collaborative consumption, also known as the sharing economy, as one of the top ten ideas that would change the world. It’s one way to help combat the impacts of overconsumption and waste. And with Australia’s sharing economy worth around $15.1 billion2 through the rise of tool libraries, toy libraries, clothing rental, car sharing, bike sharing, and adventure gear sharing, it looks like Time Magazine could be right!
- GOOD NEWS! Many of us are already climbing the waste hierarchy and reducing our ecological footprint.
1Planet Ark commissioned research by Pollinate 2019
2Australian Ethical (2019) The Sharing Economy