November 27, 2014

Sustainable solutions to reducing waste in the New Year

What better way to begin 2014 than by kicking things off with a clean slate. “Clean slate” can mean a lot of things to different people; but today, we’re going to focus on our homes. Are you the kind of person whose home is littered with stuff that you don’t actually need?

By chucking unwanted items that are not recycled or reused in your rubbish bins, they inevitably end up in landfills which are strained by increasing volumes of waste. The waste that rots in our landfills can impact air, water and land quality as well as contribute to global warming due to the release of methane gas that is produced when organic waste decomposes. To lessen the pressure on our landfills, why not consider these sustainable solutions to reducing clutter in your home for 2014.

Method #1: Make some money

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you find yourself with functional household items or collectibles that are just taking up space and that you no longer need, why not try and sell them online? For example, if you’ve recently received a new television as a Christmas gift you could recoup some of the money that you spent on your old TV. The internet has a wealth of resources to connect buyers and sellers. Online listings sites such as Quicksales allow buyers to list their items for free and provide a hassle free Australian platform to sell a large variety of items online. If you prefer a more traditional way of making money off your unwanted belongings, a garage sale would be an excellent alternative, allowing you to interact with potential buyers and display your wares from the comfort of your own home.

Method #2: Donate and help the needy

De-cluttering your home can also be a opportunity to help the needy and reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfills. Household items that are still usable and in good condition such as furniture, pre-loved apparel or homewares  are just some of the things that organizations such as Vinnies or the Australian Red Cross accept and resell to raise funds to support various programs to help the less fortunate. When donating to such organizations, do remember to ensure that they are in good condition, unsoiled and still functioning.

Method #3: Reuse, repurpose, and recycle!

Do you have any old pieces of furniture that have seen better days? Instead of getting rid of it, you may want to consider repurposing or refurbishing it. There are many guides on how you can breathe new life into old furniture with minimal effort. This can also be a great family activity to get your children involved with work around the house and a great opportunity to teach them the merits of reducing waste by finding creative solutions to reducing the amount of rubbish we throw away.

While we’re on the topic of recycling, I’ve written lengthily about composting, an effective method of reducing the amount of organic waste generated in your home. Recycling organic waste is not only great for the environment but is an obvious money saver especially if you’re into gardening.

Will you kick off 2014 by lessening the amount of waste you send to the landfills?

This post was made in collaboration with Quicksales

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Comments

  1. Selling things is a great idea to reuse and recycle. Personally I purchase most of my clothing second hand to keep things sustainable. Another thing you can do is look at using biodegradable products throughout the home. Most people think of laundry liquids and cleaners when it comes to biodegradability, but what about the larger household items? Many of these products forget the importance of biodegradability. Plastic free packaging is something everyone should be looking out for. Like these bamboo sheets that have bamboo bags instead of the usual plastic covering. Not only can they be reused as a regular bag, but bamboo fabric breaks down easily in landfill should the covering be thrown away.

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