From laundry to groceries: 13 easy household hacks for living more sustainably.

When it comes to living sustainably, it can be hard to know where to start. 

Plastic packaging covers supermarket shelves like a heat rash, recycling is harder than a game of go fish, and don’t even get me started on fast fashion.

But it doesn't have to be hard.

Watch: 7 eco-friendly habits that aren't so green... Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Here are some back-to-basics tips that will help the planet, and won't break the bank.

1. Plastic-free periods.

Before you keep scrolling, hear me out. 

It takes on average 400 years for a pad or tampon to break down in landfill, many often ending up in our oceans. Yikes. 

Just like no two periods are the same, everyone tackles a plastic-free period differently. From moon cups to period undies, there are so many options now that there's really no excuse. (Check out what the Mamamia team had to say about period undies here.)

2. Get your compost on.

Looking to be sustainable in one swoop? Composting is the way to do it. 

40 per cent of the average household bin is made up of organic matter that could be composted. 

If you don’t have any space (or don’t want your own backyard compost bin) download the ShareWaste app. It connects you with your neighbours who have a bin or worm farm and are hungry for scraps.


3. Channel a nonna.

Who’s the most sustainable of them all? Chances are your Nan is - from eating leftovers to chopping up old clothes for rags to reusing a yoghurt container as a biscuit tin.

Nonnas are the epitome of using what you have before buying new, so before you throw something away, try and put it to use again.

4. Recycle right.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, recycling is confusing. 

The RecycleMate app has you covered. Simply scan the barcode on an item you’re iffy about and it will tell you which bin it goes in depending on your council area. Genius.

For more handy tips, read my article on 7 surprising things you're doing wrong when you're recycling.

5. Grow your own.

What if I told you that you never had to buy spring onions again? All you have to do is place the white rooty tips in water in a jar on your windowsill and watch them grow.

Snip what you need and they’re the gift that just keeps on giving.


6. Plant trees every time you search.

Switch your default search engine to Ecosia

They use the advertising revenue from your searches to plant trees. To date, they’ve planted over 130 million - and it doesn’t cost you a thing.

7. Single out bananas.

Bananas are one of the most wasted foods on supermarket shelves. 

Did you know that all of the singles that are left behind at the end of the day are often thrown straight in the dumpster? 

So rather than grabbing a perfect bunch of five, grab five singles next time you’re at the supermarket #supportthesingleladies.


8. Stop spinning.

According to the University of Plymouth, the average washing load releases 137,000 tiny pieces of plastic into our waterways. 

Mind. Blown.

Next time you put a load of washing on, reduce your spin cycle and the temperature at which you wash to between 30-40 degrees to stop as many pieces breaking off.

9. Prioritise your produce.

The average Australian household wastes 1 in 5 shopping bags of groceries!

Not only is this a giant hole in your pocket, but food waste in landfill leads to toxic greenhouse gas emissions. 

Have a section or tray in your fridge reserved for your older produce and next time you go to cook, try and use as many items from there as possible.

10. Get cosy with BRAD Pitt

You read that right, Banish has a recycling program called BRAD which helps keep your recycling from going to the wrong pitt… get it?

They make it easy by recycling everything from blister packs to coffee pods to bread tags and your old empty makeup. 

11. Switch to bamboo.

Every single plastic toothbrush that you or I have ever used still exists somewhere on this planet, and it is estimated that it will stick around for the next 300-400 years. 

Start using a bamboo toothbrush and once you’re done, snip off the bristles and bury the rest in your garden or compost bin.

12. Stick it.

Did you know that most fruit stickers in Australia are made from plastic? 

If you’re a composter or have a council FOGO bin, it’s crucial that you remove them before throwing your scraps away. To recycle your stickers simply stick them onto a large piece of plastic and soft plastic recycle them. 


PSA: Keep stickers out of your compost 🐛 #compost #composting #softplastic #recycling #recycle #sustainability #fyp

♬ original sound - Lottie Dalziel

13. Swap bottles for bars.

Ditch plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and make the switch to a shampoo bar. Just one bar is the equivalent of six plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner.


Lottie Dalziel is the founder of Banish, with a mission to help Australians reduce their waste with the right products and information. Follow Banish on Instagram for more great tips.

Feature Image: Instagram / @banish.au

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