Reduce Your Waste

Have a good look at what goes into your bins each week and work out where your waste is coming from.   Make a plan to reduce the waste, tackling one waste type at a time. Allow one small change to become a habit before tackling the next one. Over time you’ll achieve a big, sustainable change.

Reduce Packaging

One of the simplest ways to reduce your waste is to choose products with the least amount of packaging.

Food packaging can be a big contributor to household bins. Here are some tips for reducing food packaging:

  • Buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables.
  • Let your local retailer know that you want to purchase unpackaged food and ask them what they can offer you. Some may allow you to bring your own containers.
  • Farmers Markets are a good source of unpackaged, locally grown food. Contact your local council to find your local market or visit Local Harvest or South West Victoria markets Facebook page.
  • Bulk buying groups and community food co-ops are also a great source of food with low or no packaging. Visit Local Harvest to find a group near you.

Reduce Food Waste

How much food waste does your household produce?

A 2018 audit across the Barwon South West region found that on average, 32% (by weight) of what people put in their household rubbish bin is food. 

Sustainability Victoria’s Love Food Hate Waste program has lots of handy tips, recipes and resources to help you minimise food waste.

Reduce Textiles Waste

Large quantities of clothes, shoes and household textiles such as bed linen and soft furnishings are sent to landfill every day.

You can reduce textile waste by:

  • Purchasing fewer items of higher quality that won’t date as quickly as this season’s fashion trend.
  • Looking for natural fibres like wool, cotton, hemp, linen and silk. At the end of their useful life, all of these organic fibres can be composted and returned to the earth.
  • Buying clothes and soft furnishings that are high-quality so that they last longer. Make sure zips run smoothly, stitching is even, and a strong thread has been used.

Grow Your Own Food

Community gardens and garden clubs are wonderful places to make friends while learning about growing food and making compost.

There are several community gardens across the Barwon South West region.  Visit Local Harvest, Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network, or contact your local council to find a garden near you.

Tune in to Gardening Australia on ABC television for weekly tips and garden inspiration or download their Vegetable Gardening factsheets

Check out Gardenate for useful tips on seasonal gardening.

Say no to single use plastic

There is a growing list of alternative products to help reduce single-use items. Here’s a short list to get you started:

Plastic Bags

When you head to the shops, remember to bring your own bag.

Water Bottles

Replace single-use water bottles with a good quality reusable bottle. Download the Choose Tap app or visit Choose Tap for help finding a public tap to refill your bottle.


There’s now a wide range of reusable cups to replace single-use cups. Visit Responsible Cafes to check out the most environmentally friendly options and find a café near you that will happily serve your next coffee in your own reusable cup.


If you really need to use a straw, consider purchasing a plastic-free one. Paper, bamboo, stainless steel, glass and silicon options are available through a quick online search.

Visit Plastic Free July for more ideas