Lower Impact Living

Every time you shop, you buy waste as well. Ideally waste should be biodegradable, compostable or recyclable. Unfortunately this is not always the case for many products, particularly those made out of plastic.

There are many reasons why you may choose to reduce the amount of plastic you buy. These include environmental, health and ethical concerns.

Although plastic has become a very common product, particularly for packaging, reducing the amount of plastic you purchase does not need to be as difficult as it sounds.

Here are a few simple steps to get you started:

Buy in bulk and choose products with little or no packaging

Look for places where you can buy fruit, vegetables and other products in bulk, such as farmers markets or some supermarket products.

Many staples such as rice, flour and pasta can be sourced straight from bulk bins – remember to take your own reusable bags or use paper bags if available!

In times when it is impossible to avoid packaging, look for products that are packaged in recycled or recyclable material.

For more information about farmers markets in Perth check out the EMRC Community Market Guide or the Australian Farmers' Markets Association.

Organic, Loose Produce and Bulk Food Shops in the Eastern Region

Alec's quality meats

241 Lesmurdie Rd, Lesmurdie WA 6076

Ph 9291 6638

Alive Organics.

7/515 Walter Road East

Morley WA 6062

Ph 9377 3880

Big Bubble

18 Elliott St,

Midvale WA 6056

Ph 9274 1992

Biobean Coffee

4365 Helena Valley Rd, Helena Valley WA 6056

9294 3863

Boy & Bear Pet Supplies

43b Raymond Ave, Bayswater WA 6053

 

Crafty Meats

108 Kooyong Rd, Rivervale WA 6103

Ph 0432 018 106

 

Cutting Edge Butchers

51/206 The Promenade, Ellenbrook WA 6069

Ph 6296 7048

 

Environment House

125 King William St, Bayswater WA 6053

Ph 9271 4488

 

Fodder & Forage

10a/34 Eighth Ave, Maylands WA 6051

Ph 6460 5655

 

FUNK Cider & Friends

55 Benara Rd, Caversham WA 6055

Ph 9377 4884

 

Healthy Valley Organics.

28 Drynan Street

Bayswater 6053

Ph 9377 3880

 

Little Bird Bridal

145 Carmel Rd,

Carmel WA 6076

Ph 0430 270 941

 

Mondo Butchers

824 Beaufort St, Inglewood WA 6052

Ph 9371 6350

 

Paddock&farm

1008 Beaufort St, Bedford WA 6052

Ph 0414 129 396

 

Pinelli Estate - The Cellar Door

30 Bennett St, Caversham WA 6055

Ph 9279 6818

Replenish

Shop 12/12 Barber St, Kalamunda WA 6076

Ph 9293 4579

 

Saltbush Eco Store.

Shop 52 Ellenbrook Central 11 Main St

Ellenbrook WA 6069

Ph 9297 2766

Sebastian Butchers

41 Haynes St, Kalamunda WA 6076

Ph 9293 1224

The Naked Butcher. 5/7145 Great Eastern Hwy, Mundaring WA 6073

Ph 9295 1067

The People's Market Perth

55 Benara Rd, Caversham WA 6055

Ph 0412 121 312

 

Vino Italia Winery

81 Campersic Rd, Middle Swan WA 6056

+61 8 9296 4336

 

Wasteless Pantry Bassendean.

Shop 15, Hawaiian’s Bassendean Shopping Centre, 2 West Rd, Bassendean WA 6054

PH 08 6468 7757

Wasteless Pantry Mundaring.

17/7295 Great Eastern Hwy, Mundaring WA 6073

PH 9295 6440

Willowbrook Butchery

64 Morrison Rd, Midland WA 6056

Ph 9274 0087

Green cleaning

Natural cleaning or 'green cleaning' is a way to clean your home using fewer and safer products. There are many guides online that can provide tips and recipes to clean every room in your home. Commonly used products include baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar and essential oils which can be purchased at bulk (re)fill stores, further reducing or eliminating packaging. 

Further reading:

The Green Cleaner by Shannon Lush; 

Stepping Lightly on the Earth-Green Living No. 2 (Greenpeace 1993) - a home hints guide produced by Greenpeace.

The Joy of Green Cleaning by Leslie Reichart

It’s so Natural by Alan Hayes

Carry reusable items

Reusable bags now come in many shapes, colours and sizes as more people are refusing plastic bags when shopping. While there are many types of reusable bags for purchase, you could also chose to join your local Boomerang Bag group, which in addition to making bags, is about diverting waste, starting conversations, connecting with each other, fostering sustainable behaviour and having fun!

Keep a few in your car, handbag, backpack or briefcase. Similarly, if you’re going to be getting takeaway and eating it on the go, pack a set of reusable cutlery to take with you. It doesn’t have to be a special set – just a regular knife and fork from your home wrapped in a cloth, pouch, or container will work. You can also get lightweight bamboo cutlery or a spork (knife/fork/spoon all in one) designed specifically for taking with you.

Many restaurants and cafes allow people to bring their own containers and reusable bottles/mugs from home. If you have a favourite go-to for takeaway, it’s worth finding out if they’ll let you bring a reusable alternative. 

View the 2 minute video Story of a Spoon to understanding the impact of single-use items.

Did you know...

  • It takes about 250ml of oil to make one litre of bottled water.
  • 90% of the cost of a plastic water bottle is in the  manufacture of the bottle, lid and label.

Do the maths:

  • Tap water costs around one cent per litre
  • Bottled water costs around $2.53 per litre

Australians have clean potable drinking water on tap. There is no evidence that bottled water is more "pure" than tap water.

When you are on the go, carry a refillable stainless steel bottle or travel mug.

If water quality is a concern for you, invest in a home water filtration system.

For further information view the five minute 'The Story of Bottled Water' clip here.

By choosing to refuse single-use cutlery and takeaway containers, you can help set a precedent for sustainable alternatives and show how easy it can be.

Compost or worm farm organic food waste

Home composting and worm farming your food scraps is a fantastic way to reduce the amount of waste you produce on a daily basis while returning the energy that went into preparing your food to the earth. Further, composting has several environmental benefits, including reducing organics going to landfill, greenhouse gas reduction and soil enrichment.

Try wrapping your waste in newspaper

Rather than using plastic bin liners, newspaper placed in the bottom of your bin is a great, biodegradable alternative. As organics decompose, newspaper is very effective at absorbing liquids and associated odours. Meaning your bin may actually smell better than it does with plastic liners, plus you won’t be sending plastic to landfill!

Reduce and reuse

When we reduce the amount  of plastics we use, we also reduce the demand for products that are made of plastic. Further, buying products that are of a higher quality and that last longer reduces the need for replacement. Lastly, when you can’t refuse plastic, learn to reuse! Shopping bags, food containers and bottles can be put to many alternative uses.  And some companies will recycle a range of plastics.

Why not get involved in Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is an opportunity to make a commitment to live plastic free for a day, a week or a month in July.

For more information and to sign up to the challenge click here.