There is a lot of community interest and concern about sustainability, waste and litter, particularly in recent years as people witness huge volumes of waste going to landfill and the threat that litter poses to marine wildlife. With catalysts such as the ABC program ‘War on Waste’ and restrictions on recyclables that could previously be sent to Asia, people at home, at work and at school are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint.
We can make a lot of personal choices at home to reduce waste:
- buy items with minimal packaging carefully monitor our food to reduce food waste
- re-use things
- donate our pre-loved, good quality items to tip shops, to charity or give them away on Freecycle
- take broken items to the local Repair Café to learn how to repair them
- hire items rather than buy them
- organise and/or participate in a clothing swap or toy swap
- recycle at the kerbside
- say no to plastic shopping bags and take our own instead
- bring our own cutlery and crockery to events, to reduce the use of problematic single use plastics
- compost our food scraps or put them in the FOGO bin.
There are so many ways to optimise our resources. To find residential recyclers in your area, see your local council or Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You.
For householders who want to reduce waste, try Rethink Waste. Follow Eat Well Tasmania for ideas on how to reduce food waste at home.
At work there are also many ways to reduce waste:
- ensure that we carefully
- purchasing items that are durable and we have taken environmental considerations into account.
- ensure that paper has recycled content, then that we recycle that paper
- collect mobile phones and batteries for recycling.
- look at what wastes are being produced by our industrial processes and potentially reduce them or put them back through the system
- give away clean, inert materials to Tips Shops for use as craft materials
- minimise food waste and/or donate food to food rescue organisations.
If we are conducting an event, we can look at Sustainable Event Guidelines. To find commercial recyclers in your area, see Planet Ark’s Business Recycling Near You.
The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association are active in promoting waste reduction in industry in Tasmania. As are Rethink Waste.
Sustainability is now a cross curriculum priority in the Australian Curriculum.
There are many ways to reduce wastes at school, such as:
- printing double-sided
- recycling in classrooms
- bringing minimal packaging to school
- investigating the possibility for canteens to go waste-free
- altering lunch time to encourage kids to eat all of their lunch.
NRE Tas supports waste and sustainability education in schools and can provide advice and guidance for teachers on waste issues.
Primary school teaching resources are now available on general waste issues for Kinder to Grade 1, as well as litter, paper, plastic and food waste for Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 students respectively.
They are aligned with various areas of the Australian Curriculum including Science, Maths, English and the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability.
WASTE A Teaching Manual Kinder - Grade 1 (PDF 30Mb)
WASTE A Teaching Manual Grade 2 - Litter (PDF 1Mb)
WASTE A Teaching Manual Grade 3 - Paper (PDF 2Mb)
WASTE A Teaching Manual - Grade 4 Plastic (PDF 2Mb)
WASTE A Teaching Manual Grade 5 - Food Waste (PDF 3Mb)
School Food Matters promotes healthy eating and waste reduction in Tasmanian schools.
Out and About
When we are away from home or at a concert or festival, we can still recycle. If we are in the City of Hobart or another place where compostable containers are used, we could take them home to our FOGO bin for hot composting.
Several organisations around Tasmania promote avoiding, reducing, re-using and recycling. These include Rethink Waste and individual councils such as Kingborough, with their waste ambassador Mamma Rosa.
The State Government provides funding to Rethink Waste and Keep Australia Beautiful Tasmania to encourage people to live sustainably and avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle in various aspects of their lives.