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Recycling Tips

One thing that really gets my goat is waste. Food waste. Wasting time and money. The list goes on. There are plenty of ways to minimise waste, with composting and recycling being two popular ones. Here’s a quick list of tricks and tips, to help minimise your household waste while you stack some cash.

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There’s a lot of water leaving homes and that water is also washing away money. The leaky taps and showers in the bathroom may sound and look like a slow drip, but over time these can be very costly.
Do this: 
Fix leaks, drips and cracked pipes as soon as you recognise a problem.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a swimming pool in the backyard, invest in pool covers and rollers. Most people think that covers are only good for covering a pool when not in use. But think about the amount of water that can evaporate off the surface on a steaming hot day. Now imagine your money floating off the top of that pool in that heat.
Do this: 
Cover your pool – always.
Kids turn lights on and forget to turn them off. Adults walk out of rooms to do something in a rush and forget to turn lights off. Would you like your money to walk out of a room on you? Well, that’s effectively what you are doing if you don’t manage your light-switching on-and-off habits.
Do this: 
Get into the habit of turning off lights and invest in LED and lower watt bulbs to reduce consumption.

Unsplash / Pixabay


Wherever you can, reuse what you have.
Do this: 

  • Buy and take reusable shopping bags to the supermarket
  • Refill a water bottle from the tap
  • Send lunches off in lunch boxes to avoid using cling wrap
  • Consider installing solar panels to reuse the sun’s awesomeness

Tip: Click here to learn more about solar energy and the benefits. Powering the home with mostly solar energy is a smart and efficient way to save money.

jarmoluk / Pixabay


Do these – all small actions have a big effect: 
If you are a parent, nappies are the one thing you don’t want to have to think about but you must manage. The number of disposables that end up in landfill is crazy.  Why not swap to cloth versions? There are awesome snap-and-go nappies now that are cute and functional.
Recycle office paper by giving it to kids to colour in. Use as notepaper in the office instead of buying new notebooks.  Also give the kids old envelopes to draw on. These can also be used to store small items neatly in a drawer or box.
Gift Bags:
Gift bags and wrapping paper can also be reused if opened carefully. You’ll also save yourself a trip to the shops where you might be tempted to buy something else or overspend.

castleguard / Pixabay

There are many ways to reduce household waste. Build on the basic concepts above over time. Save money and get eco-friendly.
Get some great karma too! The Earth always gives back.

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Remember the three RRRs

Wrap and old floral shirt or skirt around a canvas for instant art!

Here are some more quick suggestions, many of which you are probably already doing, to help further reduce your impact on the planet and the impact on your wallet!


Go loose, go raw, go natural, go in its skin. 

Go recyclable packaging, buy in bulk, go reusable storage containers and recycle your containers. 

Go canvas eco bags.

Go stretching out your week’s grocery list (try to make it two weeks). 

Consume less and halve your intake

Cull, clean out your cupboards and donate. 

Shave your expenses and keep shaving them to reduce your debt. 

Go cloth napkins over paper. 

Fill up existing jars and bottles with homemade products.  

Downsize your car.


Refill water bottles with tap water. 

Go reusable and rechargeable instead of disposable. 

Re-use containers to store nuts, bolts, pins, paperclips and pens. The list goes on! 

Save cereal boxes and make them into gift boxes for Christmas. 

Stick an eco card on them explaining what you’ve done. 

Give the gift of an eco lesson. 

Wrap an old floral shirt or skirt around a canvas. Instant art! 

Buy second-hand. 

Make Paper Mache sculptures out of old newspapers. 

Go for long-lasting products and quality products.


Aluminium cans, jars, bottles and plastic (with number 1 at the bottom). Call the council for info. 

Start a compost heap. 

Recycle your clothes. 

Make cushions out of old clothes. 

Take batteries to collection points. 

Recycle green waste (if your council collects) or drop to a collection point. 

Wrap kitchen waste in newspaper instead of plastic. (Thanks, Bev, for this great tip!)
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Earth-Happy Choices

by Penina

Eating for Earth

Go organic or substitute

  • Try organic red meat or chicken
  • Try Kangaroo instead of red meat
  • Buy organic or free-range eggs
  • Try dairy or dairy substitutes
  • Buy organic beer and wine

Go Earth-happy packaging

  • Buy beer and wine in the cardboard cartons
  • Buy Earthy-happy toilet paper and washing powder
  • Buy Earth-happy dishwashing liquid
  • Take it home in a recyclable box or bag
  • Use a fold-out trolley to shop at the markets

Go vegetarian

  • Try vegetarian meals instead of meat and poultry
  • Try vegetarian subsitutes, for example, vegetarian sausages

Go raw or in its natural state

  • Try raw instead of cooked vegetables, for example, mushrooms
  • Buy fresh instead of canned, for example, pineapple
  • Bake a sliced potato instead of buying a bag of chips (MYO)
  • Avoid excess packaging, for example, around a lettuce

Go making your own

  • Make your own sauces (See MYO Sauces)
  • Make your own dressings (See MYO Dressings)

Go local and fairly traded

  • Shop at local traders
  • Shop at farmers or community markets and gardens
  • Shop at the farm gate
  • Look for fairly traded products
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Plastic is a pest. Every week Australians around the country throw out plastic milk bottles. I know in my home we go through two 3L bottles each week. Our kids love milk and drink a lot of it, as well as putting it in cereal most mornings.
But the facts about plastic production are staggering. Plastic production in the world is over a staggering 80 million tonnes a year. Australia produces 1.5 million tonnes of that. But we are only recycling around 20% of that figure. Sadder is the fact that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of our oceans. (Source: Halve Waste )
I actually cried at a beach in Tokyo once. As I am from NZ originally where beaches are clean, respected and loved, I was horrified to see a beach in Tokyo. The litter and pollution at the beach was one of the saddest sights I had ever seen. After that I made it my mission to make my book Table Tucker as eco-friendly as possible to try to help the world be better somehow. I had taken for granted the beauty I had grown up in and the respect for nature we have here Down Under.
But there is always more that can be done. Actually, if you want to get started checkout this website: Do Something
They are a great cause!
As part of my mission to help my kids live in a better world in the long term, I’ve put together this little cheat sheet on ways you can start recycling those large plastic milk bottles that get thrown out in homes across Australia. The idea is that you find ways to repurpose the milk bottle, rather than going out and buying more plastic for everyday storage solutions.
There are many ways you can remodel a milk bottle to repurpose it. Some ideas include cutting a hole opposite the handle and making a laundry powder pourer, a peg holder, a Piggy Bank for the kids, a scoop or sand or a watering can.
If you are going to throw out a plastic milk bottle or other form of plastic take a look at this Fact Sheet about what you can do to help the environment:
Fact Sheet | Clean Up Australia
Save money on home decor by recycling your plastic milk bottles. Discover over 100 cunning ways to reuse a milk bottle and reduce the rubbish that goes into your recycle bin.

Plastic | 100 cunning uses for a plastic milk bottle

Cut a hole opposite the handle of the plastic milk bottle

  • Laundry powder pourer
  • Peg holder
  • Piggy bank – create a slit for coins
  • Scoop for sand
  • Watering can

Cut the bottom off and use the top of the milk bottle

  • Ball catcher for the kids
  • Boat water scoop
  • Cool megaphone
  • Dustpan – Use top
  • Funnel
  • Kitty litter scoop
  • Plastic bag dispenser – use upside down
  • Poop scooper

Use the whole bottle and save plastic!

  • Bowling pin – use empty or half full
  • Budget blender
  • Camping shower – fill and add drain holes
  • Chilled water container
  • Cold water jugs at a party
  • Cooking oil collection  -Fill and discard
  • Desk pen organiser
  • Drink container
  • Emergency water – fill with water
  • Fill for large paperweight
  • Freeze for the Esky – freeze water inside
  • Freeze sauces
  • Freeze soup
  • Freeze vegetable stock
  • Freeze water – fill freezer gaps
  • Frozen water for Esky
  • Hand weights for exercise – fill with water
  • Hold down a tarp – fill with sand or water
  • Hold down tarps – fill with sand, close
  • Juice container
  • Maracas for the kids – add pasta, close
  • Oil holder for car
  • Rattle for a baby – add pasta, close
  • Remake milk powder
  • Store beans
  • Store cous cous
  • Store oats
  • Store popcorn
  • Store rice
  • Toilet water-saver – add filled in cistern
  • Water floaties – Empty and close
  • Water for engine
  • Water for long trips
  • Water catcher

Cut the top off and use the bottom of the plastic bottle

  • Artist brush holder – insert toilet rolls for dividers
  • Artist paint holder
  • Baby brush holder – make a shallow tray
  • Baby car kit E.g. Dividers for nappies
  • Baby drawer dividers
  • Belt holder
  • Birdseed holder
  • Bra storage in drawers
  • Bucket for sand – attach wire handle
  • Bucket for water – attach wire handle
  • Candles   – add sand and tea light candles
  • Carrying soapy water
  • Cat food bowl
  • Cheap vase
  • Cheap water ashtray – add water
  • Collect rainwater
  • Cover tent spikes
  • Dog bowl
  • Earring holder – create holes to hang
  • Emergency kit dividers
  • Fridge organisers
  • Gift ribbon holder
  • Holder for razors in drawer
  • Holder for small gift cards
  • Makeup pencil holder – insert toilet rolls for dividers
  • Large bulldog clip holder
  • Make jelly
  • Office rubbish bin
  • Open laundry power holder
  • Organise sanitary items
  • Organise small spray cans
  • Organise tubes
  • Paint holder – small jobs
  • Penholder
  • Plant saucers
  • Plant starter
  • Remote control holder
  • Roll and up store belts
  • Roll up and store silk scarves
  • Organise Lego in a drawer
  • Sewing dividers
  • Sink knife and fork drainer – Add drain holes
  • Soap holder – Add drain holes
  • Sock storage in drawers
  • Sponge holder under the sink
  • Sticky tape holder
  • Store brushes
  • Store cotton reels
  • Store dishwasher tablets
  • Store DL envelopes
  • Store DL letters
  • Store DL takeaway brochures
  • Store golf balls
  • Store hardware
  • Store makeup brushes
  • Store rubber bands
  • Toilet brush holder
  • Tomato plant covers – use upside down
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Travel dividers – great for baby, socks etc.
  • Underwear storage
  • Utensil holder

Miscellaneous uses for a plastic milk bottle

  • Homemade decorations – cut into shapes
  • Plant labels
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