Waste Avoidance Tips

Are you beginning your waste free journey? Or just looking to educate yourself on how you can waste less?

To make it easy, we have compiled a list of waste free tips for you below that you can implement relatively quickly.

Reusable items

Having some reusable items on hand creates less plastic waste!

  • Where possible, use a reusable razor. All you have to do is just replace the blades! It’s not only cost effective, but an environmentally friendlier option too! (P.S. Did you know an estimated 2 billion disposable razors are thrown away each year?!)
  • Reuse wrapping paper, ribbons and cards from birthday’s and Christmas’s for future gift giving!
  • Rip up old clothes and use them for cleaning rags around the house – this means less paper towels!

  • Create your own zero waste kit, by filling a reusable shopping bag with reusable items like these: a mesh produce bag for your fruit and veg, a refillable water bottle, a coffee keep cup, a portable set of cutlery or utensils including a reusable straw, a handkerchief and/or a cloth napkin.

  • For those using feminine hygiene products, non-disposable options are available too. You can find these in form of a menstrual cup, reusable fabric pads (or a low waste option is a pad made from cotton!) or menstrual underwear.

  • When it comes to nappies, reusable cloth nappies are more environmentally friendly and a lot cheaper to use in the long run!

  • Consider purchasing reusable food storage bags such as silicone storage bags or silicone sandwich pockets. They take up far less space in the fridge and freezer than containers and they are more versatile than plastic. With proper care, these items often last a lifetime.

  • Instead of using single-use plastic straws, consider purchasing reusable bamboo, glass, stainless steel and coloured metal or silicone options. Most of these are dishwasher safe.


Sick of buying beauty products covered in layers of plastic packaging? Us too. Why don’t you create your own beauty products at home?!

  • Make a lip scrub from either one teaspoon of honey or coconut oil and two teaspoons of sugar. Then just massage the mixture into your lips.
  • At home hair masks can be made from olive oil and brown sugar, or honey, avocado and coconut oil, or lemon and egg.

  • For hydration, make yourself a choccy facemask from avocado, honey and cocoa powder. For glowing skin, try mashed banana, orange juice and honey.

  • You can make your own at home natural deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder. Feel free to add any essential oils too for that extra fragrance!

  • Swap out your bottled shampoo, conditioner and body wash containers and opt for buying low waste options such as shampoo, conditioner or body wash soap bars! It’s a great way to cut down on pesky plastic waste! 

Food and drink

Filling your kitchen caddy faster than you can say, ‘what the scrap?!’

  • When cooking, try and use all of the vegetable. For example, chop and cook broccoli stalks as well as the broccoli head or wash your veggies and keep the skins on to avoid vegetable peel scraps.
  • Store your leafy greens or anything that tends to go limp in the fridge in a loosely wrapped damp (but not soaking wet) tea towel. This keeps them fresh and crisp and saves on plastic packaging!
  • To store food in the fridge, place a plate over a bowl or a bowl over a plate of leftovers or prepared produce. It won’t be completely airtight, but it’ll be close and help reduce moisture loss.

  • Try your best to avoid buying bottled water. Carry around a reusable drink bottle instead.

  • Where possible, grow your own fruit, veggies or herb gardens. They don’t have to be big. Featuring some small herb pots in your kitchen, will not only save you money but the plastic grocery store packaging too!

  • Drink loose leaf tea, this cuts down on tea bag waste.

  • Cooking at home instead of eating out reduces plastic take away packaging waste.

  • Trashlesstakeaway.com.au is great website to use for places like local cafés, restaurants or butchers that allow you to BYO containers when making purchases.

  • Participate in ‘Meat Free Mondays’ or explore eating more plant based, chowing down on those loose fruit and veg instead.

  • Instead of using cling wrap, check out other options like reusable silicon food covers or beeswax food wraps.


Wanting to cut down on waste at home? We’ve got you covered.

  • If you no longer need junk mail delivered, remember to pop a ‘no junk mail’ note on your letterbox.

  • If you are subscribed to a magazine or newspaper, request for them to be sent digitally via email.

  • Try alternatives to plastic bin liners. Instead, line your bin with a few sheets of newspaper or try using a ‘naked bin’ with no liner at all and simply hosing and washing it out as needed.

  • Instead of throwing your left overs out or filling up your green bin, start your own compost bin or worm farm. For those with pets, there are even composts bins available designed especially for pet poo.  

  • On the topic of pet waste… instead of using multiple plastic bags to pick up pet poo, try using a pooper scooper, shovel, paper bags or newspaper.

  • If you’ve run out of household cleaner, make your own! Use items such as white vinegar, water, tea tree oil, baking soda and the like.

  • A fun alternative to using single-use wooden skewers is using rosemary sprigs. Just remove the leaves and use the central stem or opt for reusable metal skewers which have the advantage of reducing cooking time as the hot metal cooks the inside of the food.

  • Consider thoroughly greasing baking tins when baking muffins or cupcakes, instead of using single-use muffin cases.
  •  Aluminium foil can be washed and reused several times before it’s scrunched into a 10cm diameter ball and recycled.
  • Instead of throwing ziplock bags out after one use, consider washing and reusing them a few times before disposing of them. You can also purchase reusable silicone storage bags which are much sturdier and long lasting. The best kind are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe!

  • Baking paper can also be wiped down or washed and reused a number of times before disposing of it. In some instances, baking paper can be composted in your home compost systems.

  • Instead of paper towels or kitchen rolls consider using a dishcloth for wiping spills, or using old tea towels to absorb excess liquids and then washing before reusing. You can even buy purpose-made “unpaper towel” which is a reusable fabric cut to size, often attached to form a roll.


Want to know the trick to shop AND save?

  • Instead of buying books, purchase e-books or borrow them at your local library.

  • Borrow electronics, tools or other items from friends, family and neighbours instead of purchasing brand new items.

  • If you’re the crafty type, mend holes in clothes instead of throwing them out.

  • Don’t shop at all and use ‘Buy Nothing’ or ‘Freecycle’ websites and Facebook groups.

  • Shop locally and buy local produce where possible.

  • If you’re up for a challenge, put yourself on a spending ban and make do with what you have. You can even try a waste free shop with your reusable shopping bags that consists of no plastic purchasing.

  • Be a mindful shopper. If you BYO container and shop at a deli, you may be able to get a wedge of butter and cheese – plastic wrapper free! Same for some of your local bakeries or butchers.

  • Bulk shop! There are many local bulk shops that are still open for business & stock items such as bulk dishwashing liquid, hand wash, laundry powders, shampoos and the like. Shop local, support local and waste less!

  • When you bulk shop, look out for cooking oils, nuts and flours. These items can easily fit in reusable jars or containers you bring along in your zero waste shop.