THE WAR ON WASTE
Mia Swainson is passionate about the environment, and it shows. The environmental engineer and mother of three set herself a target early this year to drastically reduce the amount of waste she generated in her home. She was inspired by a story about how a young woman from Canberra had managed to reduce the amount of waste she produced in a year to just a cupful after recycling.
Mia and her family were already recycling their waste via their established chicken coop and worm farm, so their food waste problem was more or less already sorted out. The big challenge was soft plastics which couldn’t be recycled at home and sometimes end up in the wrong place. She solved the problem by dropping soft plastic waste into REDcycle collection bins located at various participating supermarkets.
Ryan Lungu, the Executive Director of Canberra Environment Centre, advises people who want to reduce plastic waste to reduce their use of packaging material. He encourages them to try out interventions like bringing their lunch to work rather than buying packaged food. He also encourages people to use bees’ wax wraps instead of cling wrap to cover their food.
Mia’s experience with managing waste has taught her to be prudent about what she buys as a way of cutting down on waste. She admits that she’s now learnt to be more selective about the clothes and shoes she buys, as well as trying to use them up as much as possible before throwing them away.