G'day mates! I'm Terrence the sea turtle and I've been around for a loooong time- 100 million years to be exact (well not me personally, but my species). We even survived the dinosaurs! I like to hang out in tropical areas, on beaches or in warm turquoise waters - who doesn't, hey?! But crikey, have you seen all the rubbish floating around my terrain lately? Every day I'm faced with plastic bags that look exactly like jellyfish - my favourite food. I'm tempted to eat them but I've seen my friends do this and it doesn't end well for them. Plastic straws can also be a problem for us as they end up getting stuck in our noses - ouchie! So listen up mates, we really need your help.
Please think about the impact that your waste has on the environment and all living beings on this planet! The 7Rs below, are guiding principles which everyone can use to reduce and better manage their individual and household waste. Let's all do our very best to get this planet cleaned up and healthy again!
Rethink our habits around creating and managing waste. Ask ourselves questions such as: Do I really need this? Will I be able to use it more than once? Can I reuse or repurpose something I already have instead? How can I minimise the packaging I create through my purchases?
Refuse or say "no thank you" to things you are offered but don't need to accept e.g. plastic carrier bags, fruit/vegetables wrapped in plastic (if other options are available), plastic straws and samples or freebies in all forms e.g. snacks, cosmetics, plastic bottled drinks.
Reduce (sell, donate, swap) the possessions you no longer use or need to remove the burden of accumulating too much stuff! Especially clothing, books, kitchen utensils, decorative items, memorabilia. See the Minimalism section for more tips and suggested resources to help reduce consumption.
Reuse your zero waste essentials such as a water bottle, a coffee/tea cup, a food container/ lunchbox, shopping bags, fruit & vegetable bags. Get more use out of things you already have by repairing them if they are damaged. Check to see where the nearest repair cafés are in your area.
Repurpose/ upcycle items that would otherwise have been thrown away and give them a new purpose in life. Get creative and put your (or someone elses') DIY skills to the test.
Recycle any waste that you cannot refuse, reduce, reuse or repurpose! Make your life easier by separating the most common types of household waste already at home (e.g. paper, cardboard, glass, metals, plastics, batteries, electronics) and taking them to the appropriate recycling station/centre regularly.
Composting is one of the best ways to tackle organic food waste (other than eating it all) so that it recycles back into nature to make beautiful compost. A compost bin is also a great way of teaching kids about the cycles of nature!