Despite its efforts and pro-recycling campaigns, Australia still sends 21.7 tonnes of waste to landfills.
Indeed everyone could do a little bit more to ensure less waste and, in turn, a cleaner, better environment.
To do this, the best approach is taking on the challenge at an individual level, as well as striving to raise environment-conscious kids, who will then grow up implementing the same principles.
Here are some simple recycling tips to try out at home, school, and at the workplace.
1. Buy separate Bins
Besides buying recycling bins, you can also use cardboard boxes for this. Have your paper, plastic and metallic waste separated in the different waste bins within your home before you empty them out.
Doing this makes it easier to do the separation making the work of recyclers easy.
2. Install a Refuse App
Many people are unsure about what they can recycle. To solve this problem, many refuse centres have apps installable on smartphones.
When starting out, this would be a useful tool to have to check what is recyclable and what is not. If, for example, you want to dispose of an old mattress, a quick check can inform you of whether there are available mattress recyclers in Adelaide or not.
With time, these decisions will come much more quickly to you.
3. Teach Recycling
About 80% of school waste is recyclable.
Recycling is just as important as everything else taught in schools. In this regard, educators should consider teaching recycling in schools from as early as elementary schools to instil these principles early on.
Aside from teaching, walking the talk will go a long way in cementing environmental consciousness.
Simple things such as having a composting program in the school cafeteria allow students to practice and learn the practicability of learnt principles.
4. Go paperless
This change can be instituted in both schools and workplaces.
Teachers can find ways to focus more on electronic learning than having to print out coursework and handouts for students.
The same can be instituted at work, alongside a rule to print on both sides of the paper for internal documents.
For both scenarios, ensure to provide used paper collection points where the little paper used can be collected and sent to a recycler.
5. Think Green Commute
While this is something most people don’t think about, that daily commute to work stacks up your annual carbon emissions.
Consider alternatives such as walking if you live near work, cycling, or carpooling. If these options are not possible, consider buying a smaller, energy-efficient car.
6. Recycle Kitchen Waste
Recycling food is known as composting. Composting ensures your food remnants create value as opposed to ending up in landfills-which are already bursting with waste food products.
To do this, you only need to buy a bin specifically made for indoor and outdoor composting, or you can use a makeshift, airtight container or a bag.
If you have animal products, it will be advisable to place the waste bag outside as these emit a strong smell.
If you have a large amount of waste, or your neighbours can join your effort, enquire from the city if they can do curbside collections.
If you have a kitchen garden or grow herbs and spices, you can use the composted matter as fertilizer.
Consistency is Key
The key to making an impact, however small- to your environment is by learning how to live sustainably and practising it every day.
Because every individual effort counts, try and get as many people on board as you possibly can as well.