Everyday Enviro with Elise - Small changes with big impact - RNY News

Everyday Enviro with Elise - Small changes with big impact

July 4, 2018

Elise Catterall

Elise with some tips on reducing kitchen waste as part of her Plastic Free July journey.

Elise with some tips on reducing kitchen waste as part of her Plastic Free July journey.

Like so many around Australia, we have made a commitment to reduce our use of plastic and reduce waste as part of Plastic Free July. These are some of the main changes we have made that will not only help us be plastic free this July, but far beyond.  This list has a food/kitchen theme, but that is where the majority of our waste came from and where we had the biggest changes to make.


  1. Market shopping for fruit and veg. It’s sad to admit, but I definitely tended to do ad hoc, last minute supermarket shops that resulted in lots of packaging. Now, with the mindfulness and forethought brought on by a commitment to Plastic Free July, our shops are planned and deliberate.  We are buying our fruit and veg at markets or local green grocers where the fruit and veg are loose and not prepacked on foam trays and shrink-wrapped.
  2. Meal planning. We are now elevated, mindful beings who decide what we will eat for our weekly meals long before that meal time comes around.  It is like magic – shopping is easier, cooking is easier, and there is none of the stress that comes with a 5 or 6pm panicked rummage through the pantry. The other upside? Less waste due to our conscious shopping choices.
  3. Embracing home cooking. As a result, we are whipping up many delicacies in our kitchen – even beyond the major meals – that, due to time poorness, we were sometimes buying – mayonnaise, hummus, salad dressing, etc. It also allows us to buy certain ingredients in bulk, which further keeps packaging to a minimum.
  4. Using a waste-free kit. Many waste free advocates talk about the value of having a portable waste-free kit containing a reusable water bottle, stainless steel straw, coffee cup, napkin and fork or spork. Adopt this has been so simple yet so effective.  We already had all these items, it just took a little awareness to bundle them up and carry them with us always.
  5. Recycling, reusing, repurposing. We are on a journey to being plastic/waste free and we aren’t perfect yet.  As a result, we are also focusing on disposing of the plastic we do have in the best way.   One of the new ways we have been doing this is by collecting all our plastic lids – all those small pieces of hard plastic that can’t go into the recycling bin (from milk bottles, juice bottles, sauce bottles, etc.) – and taking them down to Reverse Garbage in Marrickville, where they accept them with open arms for ‘creative reuse’.


None of these changes have been particularly difficult – in fact, most of them have been so easy that we are kicking ourselves that we didn’t do them sooner.  And, happily, most have brought rewards far beyond reducing waste – which you’ll hear all about in a future piece!  How many of these things do you do already – and how many could you adopt?

See you next week! - Elise

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

Elise Catterall

Elise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.