Connecting our community to a more sustainable way of living.

Winter Tips for a Busy Family Life

I’ve just arrived back in the office after a few days away with girlfriends.

After months of planning to coordinate the calendars of five busy working Mums (a near impossible process), we had a few days in the beautiful, chilly Blue Mountains. Huddled around the fire we shared stories and wine, comparing parenting adventures as we start to embrace the teenage years with kids, and encouraging each other as we spoke about our evolving lives.

Old friends are so precious, and after a few days, I feel completely reset, relaxed and ready to take on the world.

My life as it has evolved as a mum and business owner is certainly what Pete and I have designed, however in truth, it’s currently far busier than we would choose. Pete has been spending most winter weeks living away from home in Melbourne as we assist councils to kick off their FOGO programs. It’s really rewarding to see our composting programs for food waste expand across Australia. I would encourage you to contact your local council to discuss if a program is not yet in place.

Back in our Newcastle office our little team have been busy as more and more people and organisations make the switch from plastic bags to compostable bags, often prompted by the changing state legislation. I strongly believe the answer to our single use plastic challenges is not thicker plastic bags! Instead, we all need to make the switch to more sustainable options. As FOGO Programs expand, Australian Certified Compostable Bags are an even more compelling solution, with Singlet Bags and Produce Bags able to be re-used for food scraps before they are thrown out for composting.

At home, life with two kids often independently has its own set of challenges, however there are three tips that are keeping us all on track, our Sunday food prep, building in slow moments, and ensuring we accept letting some things go.

         

  • I actually enjoy our Sunday Cook Up, and it means that even after the busiest school afternoons, we always finished the day with a lovey homemade meal, which in reality is simply a quick reheat. Winter cooking is perfect for prepping and freezing with soups and curries, however one of our current favourites is a lamb ragu which basically cooks itself. You can find the recipe here

 

  • Building a few slow moments in the busiest of days is also important. This season we had an abundance of lemons on our trees, which we dehydrated to preserve. I’ve been simply dropping a few of these in warm water each morning to kick start the day. It’s a comforting ritual as I start to wake up and plan the day, and I would like to think the vitamin C is boosting my immunity through the colder months.

     

 

  • Letting some things go… While, the kids do need consistent feeding and love, I do have to confess that my vegie garden is not looking its usual vibrant self. Every time we plant, the rain is so excessive that our little seedlings flood, which is disheartening, especially for the kids. We have temporarily let it go, although I do have a stash of leafy greens which we have grown in terracotta pots. These pots are quite inexpensive, drain really well, and can be moved, so are a little more versatile for the current crazy weather. The increasing prices of fresh greens when purchased is also a motivating factor. You can read our tips for growing leafy greens here. We source all our seeds from Greenpatch Organic Seeds & Plants who are passionate about preserving heritage / heirloom varieties and organic farming. The resulting produce is as tasty as what I remember being harvested from my grandfather’s vegie garden!

And with those thoughts, I’m feeling a little more motivated and may plan to get stuck into the vegie garden again this weekend… that is if any sunshine manages to sneak through the rain clouds.

Enjoy winter

Mel

Lamb Ragu

Every Sunday afternoon in winter, you will usually find me standing by the stove with my wooden spoon, large cast iron pots, and often a wine, engrossed in cooking. It’s a routine I really enjoy.

This year winter has been really busy for our family, and so our Sunday Cook Ups have been more important than usual. Being so prepared to kick off the week means even on the busiest of school nights, we can finish the day with a home cooked meal, even when it’s essentially just a re-heat! Luckily, winter cooking with soups and curries is perfect for cooking in bulk and freezing.

One of our favorite recipes at present, which the kids have been negotiating into our cook up nearly every week is my Lamb Ragu. It’s even more popular than spaghetti Bolognaise, and the best part, it basically cooks itself!

Ingredients

  • 120ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Organic Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Carrots, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 500g Boneless Lamb Shoulder, Trimmed and Cut into cubes
  • 2 400g Tined Tomato
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Garden Herbs, chopped finely (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano)
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese to garnish
  • Shallots to garnish (optional)

Ragu Recipe

  • Heat the Olive Oil in a large pan over Medium Heat, and then add the Garlic, Carrots, Celery, Onion and Bay Leaves. Sauté for about 5 minutes until every thing softens. Remove this from the pan.
  • Turn up the heat and brown the Lamb. Then remove this from the pan as well.
  • Add a little water (Or juice from the Tinned Tomato) and boil.  This will deglaze the pan and release the flavours. 
  • Add everything back into the pot, including the Tomato’s and Herbs. Season, mix and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Stir regularly for approximately 2.5 hours.

I’m terrible with timing so I simply check it each time I stir. You need to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom, and that it remains moist, so you may need to add a little water if it has evaporated and looks likely to stick, or take off the lid if you think it’s too runny. It’s ready when the meat is really tender and easily falls apart. Definitely taste – test! 

Storage Tips

If you are freezing, make sure your Ragu is quite moist. Once cooled, simply place in some glass containers and freeze.

Ragu ‘Reheat’ Dinner

  • Cook pasta to the packet directions. Drain and then stir into the hot Ragu.
  • Serve with Grated Cheese and a sprinkle of Herbs and Shallots.

On our busiest school nights, I get the Ragu out in the morning if frozen, and let it defrost during the day. Then simply reheat in a pan while cooking the pasta in another pan. Then simply combine, add your garnish, and dinner is ready faster than ordering in! 

 

 

 

Vented Kitchen Kaddy

Autumn Update

Autumn is my favourite time of year.

Afternoons are still warm and long, yet there is a refreshing breeze. It’s the time of year when we tend to take our dinner and eat on the deck enjoying the gorgeous fresh air and late sunsets.

Our current family favourite is Pesto Pasta, inspired by our basil which has thrived with the consistent rain. My gorgeous daughter and I attempted to make a batch the old-fashioned way with a mortar and pestle. It was certainly a nicer texture, however we moved quite quickly to the less traditional food processor, which makes the process fast enough for quick school night dinners.

 

It has been such a lovely summer season in our vegie garden with rocket, carrots and lettuce fighting for room. I should admit that I do have a bad habit of planting as if I live on a farm, rather Autumn Gardeningthan being conscious of the reality of my few raised garden beds squashed in the backyard. As a result, we have decided to go up! We have cherry tomatoes, climbing cucumber and beans all being woven between our new mesh grid panels. It’s a great way to expand the garden when space is limited.

Our autumn planting has added spinach, which is a favourite, and as the temperature starts to drop, we are adding our Coriander and Dill seeds. These herbs are my favourites, even though they seem to dislike me, refusing to flourish as I imagine! Hopefully, this will be the year we become friends! I’m also aiming to add a few fruit trees to our garden this season, although I do have some research to do to select the right trees, given our space is limited and so precious. I’d love to hear any suggestions.

 

We have also been busy refreshing a few of our products at Compost-A-Pak. All our larger Bin Liners will soon be available in rolls, rather than folds. We work with numerous businesses, councilsVented Caddy and schools who are focused on reducing their use of single-use plastics, and we hope this new approach to packaging will make our commercial rolls even more convenient to use.

This month we are also launching a new Vented Caddy. The idea of storing food scraps in a caddy with holes can seem counter-intuitive… my mind rushes to the idea of spills on my new kitchen benchtop 😊However, research shows that if you let food waste breathe for the 2-3 days it is on your kitchen bench, moisture evaporates and so any smells are actually reduced. Given Compost-A-Pak bags are completely organic, they also breathe, assisting this process. As usual we have worked to make this product as sustainable as possible. The unit is proudly manufactured with almost 80% Post-Consumer Recycled content, so it’s made of discarded drink bottles and food packaging.

As we continue to work with local councils to roll out Food Organic Recycling, this Vented Caddy will be another option, particularly in the warmer regions of our beautiful country.

 

FOGO Liner Delivery

 

Speaking of working with councils, the Federal Government has committed to making FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics) collection available to all  households over the next few years.

Providing FOGO facilities so all families can compost their food waste is a really powerful change. Through such initiatives, if we can lift our national food and garden composting rate from the current trends of around half, to an average of 80%, it would be equivalent to planting 314,006 trees or taking 486,021 cars off the road each year.

With Australia already experiencing such volatile weather, let’s hope climate change initiatives like these continue to be a priority for government. We need real change! In the meantime, like so many other families, we continue to make the changes we can, to ensure we live as sustainably as possible.

Enjoy my favourite season.

Mel


 

Garden Pesto

Garden Fresh Pesto

Garden PestoOur early Autumn Harvest this year has included an abundance of gorgeous shiny green basil. Inspired, we have tackled Pesto, and it has quickly become a favourite for family dinners. It’s the perfect meal for this time of year, when an early dinner means we can eat on the deck and enjoy the last of the warm afternoon sunsets.

It also means our abundance of Fresh Basil can be preserved and enjoyed throughout the next season.

Ingredients

  • 50 Basil Leaves. The newer small ones have the best flavour! 
  • 1 Large Organic Garlic Clove
  • Sea Salt
  • Tablespoon Pine Nuts (Roasted)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Freshly Grated Cheese -either all Parmesan, or if available 1 Tablespoon of Mild Pecorino and 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pesto RecipeFresh Pesto

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread Pine Nuts over a baking tray and bake for a few minutes until lightly toasted. Once lightly toasted, remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 or so minutes. Toasting the Pine Nuts enhances their nutty flavour, however you can skip this to save time and simply add them fresh.
  • Gently wash and dry the Basil Leaves
  • Pound Garlic and Salt in the Mortar and Pestle using a circular motion
  • Add the Basil Leaves and continue pounding
  • Add the Pine Nuts, Cheese and a Tablespoon of Olive oil and continue pounding until everything is mixed and a nice creamy consistency. You made need to add another Tablespoon of Oil at this stage to get the right consistency.

Making Pesto in a Mortar and Pestle crushes the leaves of the basil and garlic cloves releasing the flavoursome oil. It also creates a lovely organic texture….. However, if you are making a large batch, or are pressed for time…I had an Easter Hat to finish for the parade… simply use a hand blender, following the steps in the order above. The results are similar.

Storage Tips

Place the Pesto into small glass containers and flatten the top, then add the additional Olive Oil. This acts as a seal, keeping the trapped pesto fresh.Food Storage Tips

We use recycled glass bottles such as caper bottles. Having the Pesto in a small jar which is essentially a family dinner serve keeps it fresher for each meal. The Pesto will stay fresh for up to a month in a fridge.

Pesto Dinner

  • Cook desired pasta as per the instructions on the packet.
  • Mix the pesto through the pasta once cooked and gently stir until combined. There is no need to add extra heat at this stage.
  • Serve with salt, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and lots of freshly grated parmesan.

 

 

Fresh Produce

Reusable Gift Wrapping

Celebrating 2021 With Our Team

2021 Christmas Time

Our work tree is up, and just like that 2021 is nearly over… I’m not sure how we actually made it to the end of what turned out to be such a challenging, and often chaotic year. It did however also hide some surprising blessings, like more quieter moments with immediate family.

Reflecting back, there were many highlights for our team. Most notably our graduating trainees were both recognised externally. (We already knew they were amazing!)2021 Awards of the year

Emily was selected amongst thousands of trainees, as a finalist for the Trainee of the Year (NSW Group Training Awards), with your family business also winning the Small Business Employer of the Year category…such a proud moment!

Then more recently Indy was selected to participate in the ‘Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders’ program, a professional development program run by National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN). Early next year, he will be off to Canberra for a week of immersive leadership training, meeting inspiring Australian leaders including the Governor General, and learning more about how to shape his career to realise his full potential.

After finishing their traineeships, both Emily and Indy have accepted direct roles with our team, Emily in her service role and Indy as our Warehouse Manager in Newcastle. It’s been so rewarding to see these individuals grow in their ‘first real job’, as Indy describes it. They both brought such energy and determination to their roles, and even though they were often well outside their comfort zone, they worked through challenges with a consistently positive, open manner. As a direct result of their efforts, they both thrived, and they have genuinely inspired me. As someone on the other side of their career, I’ll be thinking about their achievements as I spend a few quiet moments over the break ensuring my goals for 2022 are ambitious enough to have me out of my own comfort zone, achieving personal growth.Christmas Tree

Being December, our family is also busy with our holiday traditions. The Christmas tree is up, although we are back to our old tree, after I planted our gorgeous native from last year. The tree is loaded with sparkling crystals this year, after we repurposed a few wall chandeliers that were thrown out when our extended family renovated. We have started making presents, including my favourite Chilli Jam and Pickled Cucumber, although this year we have experimented with Carrots as well, which are so far tasting great. We had an overabundance of carrots in the garden after the seed planting occurred with limited supervision… imagine carrot seeds everywhere! The priority for our vegie garden in summer is greens, and with so much rain, we have peppery rocket and lettuce in abundance. It’s so easy and really rewarding to see the little seeds flourish.Carrot Gardening

Our kids have also been making Christmas tags out of recycled paper with Kierra, one of our creative team members. Taking our scrap paper at work, they have transformed it into amazing textured paper. It complements our gorgeous reusable wrapping paper and is a great way to teach kids about a circular economy, where we recreate rather than simply throw away and repurchase.

Earth Friendly Wrapping Paper

Wishing everyone a lovely holiday period. I’m mindful that not everyone celebrates Christmas, however I do hope, given the year that has passed, that everyone gets a chance to use this time to catch up with people they love.

Let’s hope for a healthy and open 2022. We have some exciting new changes and projects at Compost-A-Pak, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you next season!

Mel

 

Cost Effective laundry powder

Homemade Laundry Liquid

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As a family, we are always looking for more sustainable ways of doing things and often when we make changes, we find they are in fact simpler and more cost effective.

That’s certainly the case with laundry liquid! It’s a space I have struggled with since having kids, and not just because of the amount of washing! Often, we have found our kids sensitive skin has reacted to the chemicals and fragrances in popular brands.

This recipe is amazing. I know exactly what’s in it, which I love, and it’s really easy to make.

We originally tried this recipe after it was recommended by one of our lovely customers Jane, who has an amazing passion for being waste free and loves to share her tips. As Jane wrote, the sustainable changes she has made ‘become a routine and … it makes life simpler, certainly less wasteful and healthier for our lives and the planet.”

With Jane’s encouragement, we have shared her recipe below and would encourage you to give it a go as well. The ingredients can be easily purchased at your local supermarket. In Jane’s experience, this amount will last a year. We are still working through our first batch a few months later, although we are almost ready for a second batch, as I can’t help giving it away as samples!

Homemade Laundry Liquid

  • 1 bar of a soap of your choice (Check the ingredients and try to choose one with minimal additives and fragrances. Jane recommended Dr Bronner’s for anyone wanting a vegan recipe)
  • 1 cup of Lectric Washing Soda
  • 30ml of an Essential Oil of your choice (Whilst Lavender is a popular option, Jane recommended eucalyptus, which I love. Our clothes smell really fresh and amazing!)
  • Hot water

Method

  1. Grate your bar of soap into a large cooking pot.
  2. Cover with water and allow this to simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously, until all the soap has melted.
  3. Pour this into a large bucket, at least 20-25L in size.
  4. Then add in your Lectric Washing soda to the mix and top it off with hot water filling it to the top (an inch or two from the top). I find it easiest to do this one hot water jug at a time, stirring after each addition.
  5. Stir this mixture often as it starts cooling down with a long spoon or stick.
  6. Allow this to gel overnight, and still give it an occasional stir as it starts to thicken. You can adjust the consistency by adding more hot water if required.
  7. Once it has cooled and gelled, pour into a container for use. A previously used laundry liquid container works perfectly. I then use large glass jars to store the extra.

For top loader washing machines use one cup per load, and for front loading machines use half a cup per load. It doesn’t get as bubbly as usual without the detergent, however the results will speak for themselves!

Let us know what you think if you do make this!

Please also continue to touch base and share with us any other sustainability tips that our family and the wider community need to embrace!

 

Winter Gardening

Winter Gardening – Three (well four) tips for Leafy Greens

Running a small business with a young family can be challenging; add in a major renovation and it’s chaos. As a result, months after the building dust has settled, it’s only now we have found time to establish our family vegie garden…. Yes, just in time for winter unfortunately!

My priority for our family vegie garden is always leafy greens. Lettuce and spinaches are a favourite to smuggle into sandwiches and meals. You can really taste the difference between fresh and store bought, which is probably linked to the fact that fresh produce such as spinach can lose up to half of its nutrients within a week of being picked. I also think the ‘modified atmosphere’ bagged greens use to keep items fresh sounds terrifying 😊

My top three tips for Winter Leafy Greens

  • Mature compost, or worm tea is the secret ingredient, particular for a winter garden. This year having only just established the garden, we are still working to improve our soil, without the usual help from mature compost. I can really notice the difference with our young garden void of compost, compared to our previous patch, particularly in terms of soil nutrients and water retention. We eat a lot of fresh food, and so generate a lot of food waste. Composting is such an easy process and it means our food waste isn’t wasted as the nutrients all go back to nourish the soil for new crops. I usually add mature compost when the plants have approx. 4 leaves.

 

  • Spacing is really important. Planting seeds, particularly with kids, is a chaotic random process. Once the seeds have sprouted and have at least two small leaves I spread them out in our beds, to approx. 12 cm apart if possible. If they are overcrowded, you will end up with a smaller harvest overall, so if you have too many seedling, share with friends.

 

  • Mulching helps retain warmth and moisture in the soil and it also great at suppressing weeds. This is important as spinach in particular tends to have sensitive roots, so it often doesn’t like the soil being disturbed as weeds are pulled out nearby.

 

  • Actually one more tip!  When harvesting leafy greens, cut the outside leaves first right to ground level to get the most out of your season-long harvest.

 

This year’s harvest for us is not going to be a bumper crop, given we are still working on our soil quality. Even our carrots look quite…. unique, having being planted during flooding rain which compressed the newly filled planter beds.

Regardless, of the harvest, the benefits of getting into the dirt with the kids is significant. In fact, scientists have even discovered that the mycobacterium found in soil can improve brain function while boosting moods. Gardening with the kids, and enjoying our fresh food certainly makes me happy!

 

 

 

 

Winter Gardening Tips

Our Kitchen Caddy is now made of Recycled Bottles and Food packaging

Placing items such as milk bottles and food packaging into the recycling bin is something nearly all households now do in Australia, however I wonder how many people consider where their items will go next…

It is an important question, and one that our team, and family, are passionate about. The idea of treating our ‘waste’ as a ‘resource’ seems quite logical, particularly when you consider the impact sourcing virgin materials has on our environment. Purchasing mindfully, reusing and recycling is critical.

After significant investment, trials (and errors) and hours of research, we are really excited to announce that we are now contributing towards Australia’s Circular Economy, by making our Kitchen Caddies from our old milk bottles and food packaging.

Our new caddy is now made in Melbourne from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled content.

We have always used a proportion of recycled material, however like many businesses, the material often came from commercial sources and was mixed with virgin material. The traditional thinking was that this mix was required to ensure quality.

With deliberate sourcing through council MRFs (Material Recovery Facilities), we are now diverting items such as milk bottles and food packaging which are collected in roadside yellow bins in Melbourne, processing the material, and then using this material to manufacture new Kitchen Caddies. Saved from an endless life in Landfill, these products now have a second life helping people divert their food waste to compost, as FOGO (Food Organics + Garden Organics) rolls out across Australia.

After thousands of production runs for council FOGO programs, we are excited to say that the quality of our products is as fabulous as usual, and the only disadvantage is that depending on the batch, we can’t always achieve the bright white finish. With a gorgeous new Woodland Grey Caddy now available that hardly seems a concern. Let’s hope more businesses make the switch to Post Consumer recycled content, allowing Australia’s circular economy to continue to expand.

You can purchase the new Woodland Grey Compost-A-Pak Caddy on this link.

Compostable Fruit and Vegie Bags

Historic ban triggers awareness on what’s really ‘green’

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Compostable Postal SatchelsThis week South Australia’s historic ban on single use plastic products starts, with items such as straws, stirrers and cutlery now banned, however that’s just the start. Next year the ban will expand to polystyrene containers, and … drum roll please … oxo-degradable plastic products. We are really excited to see oxo-degradable plastics being banned, and hopefully it will raise awareness of their risks and trigger further bans across Australia.

To our horror our Compost-A-Pak products are often compared to oxo-degradable products, mainly due to the success of marketing strategies which make Oxo-degradable seem ‘green’, however this is far from the truth.

For nearly 15 years we have been campaigning for more transparent ‘honest’ labelling, and encouraging our customers to research and better understand what they are buying. Below we have broken down some popular marketing terms including Oxo-degradable and provide our take on what’s really green, and what to look for when you are purchasing.

Australian Certified Home Compostable AS5810  – RECOMMENDED

  • Products with this certification, like Compost-A-Pak® are proven to breakdown in a home compost with no harmful residue. They are plastic free!
  • The Australian Certification (AS5810) is one of the strictest certifications in the world, and so to be accredited, products need to pass an additional toxicity test. As such you can be confident bags with this certification will breakdown as nature intended, with no harmful residue or micro plastics.
  • Given we compost our bags and use the resulting compost for our family vegie patch, we always look for the AS5810 or AS4736 certification before purchasing any compostable products.

Australian Commercial Composting Standard  AS4736  – RECOMMENDED

  • An Australian Certification confirming that the products are suitable for Commercial Composting Facilities such as those used by councils as part of FOGO programs. You can be confident products with this certification, like Compost-A-Pak® are made of plant based materials and are plastic free.
  • To be accredited to this standard, compostable products must biodegrade at least 90% within 90 days in a commercial composting facility. Despite being so durable, the Compost-A-Pak® products were shown to biodegrade 99% in half the time!

Oxo-Degradable – SOON TO BE BANNED, THIS IS ONE TO AVIOD.

  • These materials are usually plastic based with added chemicals to speed up the time in which the plastic breaks down with heat, oxygen and UV light.
  • Whilst the material may disappear from sight, it breaks down into microplastics. In contrast, compostable products breakdown at the molecular or polymer level.
  • Microplastics are considered by many to be more dangerous to the environment than larger pieces of plastic, as they so easily spread into the environment as pollution, and can enter our food chain. Their effect on human health is still being studied by scientists, who estimate we may be ingesting up to a credit card of plastic every week! Definately one to avoid!

Degradable

  • For a product to degrade, it simply means it will breakdown into smaller components.
  • Usually plastic based, often this degrading will occur faster because the plastic has been treated with chemicals to speed up the process.
  • Alternatively, these products can also be a combination of plant based and plastic made material.
  • In both these cases the resulting material is micro plastics, which should be avoided given the pollution risks.

Landfill Degradable

  • Similarly, these bags are usually a plastic based material which breaks down more quickly given chemicals or plant based additives.
  • Interesting, when placed in Australian Landfills, often the materials are compressed with other wastes to reduce the oxygen content, and so slow down the rate at which all materials breakdown given this process actually adds to carbon dioxide emissions and the leeching of pollutants including microplastics.
  • Whilst a clever marketing term which sounds environmental, we believe this is one to avoid.

Biodegradable

  • A biodegradable product relies on organisms rather then chemicals to break down the product into smaller components. Often however, material promoted as bio-degradable contains a combination of plastics and plant based products. As such, whilst the bags do breakdown faster than they normally would, they may breakdown into microplastics.
  • If products do not have Compostable Certification, it’s best to assume they are not completely organic and so contain either toxins or a proportion of plastics.

Flushable

  • Usually made from a polyvinyl alcohol, these solutions are being presented as a water soluble bag which provides a way to save plastics and dog waste from Landfill. Unfortunately the bags are proving less water soluble than promised, and so are causing significant issues in our sewer system. When trapped, they are then removed at enormous expense, and placed into landfill.
  • Despite some recent rebranding of a key brand following a War On Waste Report, these bags are still suggesting they can be flushed. This is another one to avoid!

What ‘eco’ marketing terms have you questioned? We would love to hear your feedback and experiences.

dog pick up bags

How our family minimise waste at home

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We often get asked about our waste routines at home, and as you can probably guess, we are obsessed with recycling!

At home we have four bins all set up for unique streams, which makes it really easy for the kids, and even visitors to recycle correctly. We built our kitchen around a convenient pull-out drawer system, to which we added Source Separation Systems’ Slide and Sort lids for Recycling and Organics. These convenient lids are perfect for visitors, ensuring we don’t end up with contamination in our streams. Everyone always stops to read the label and instructions before using.

We line both these bins with Compost-A-Pak 60 litre liners, and when emptied, the liner goes in with the food waste either into our Home Compost, or Council FOGO bin. The Recyclables are tipped out of the liner, which is reused a few times, then composted.

We then complement this with two smaller under sink MURFE units, one for Soft Plastics, which we collect weekly and take to Redcycle, and one for any remaining Landfill, which is normally the odd visitor’s coffee cup, and small things like meat tray satchels, band aids and broken drinking glasses.

 

However, whilst it is great to be in an effective recycling routine, we passionately believe the most important part of living sustainably is consistently reviewing what we are purchasing and bringing into our home. You can read more about how we minimise waste when out of the house here.