5 tips for being more sustainable at home

Sep 13, 2021

Live a more environmentally sustainable life within your apartment with these handy tips that you can feel good about.

Small steps can lead to big change when it comes to sustainable living.

According to Clean Up Australia, the average Australian produces 520kg of waste annually. The good news is that as individuals, we’re able to reduce our personal ‘waste rate’ and environmental impact by elevating our sustainability habits at home.

Here are five simple ways that you make a positive change to feel good about.

1. Know what you can and can't recycle

Waste that generally can’t be recycled includes food, plastic wrap, takeaway coffee cups, waxed cardboard, plastic bags, coffee pods, polystyrene, foam and other general waste.

When it comes to plastic, there are 7 different types that can usually be recycled – when in doubt, check your local council website for recycling guidelines.

Avoid putting soft and scrunchable plastic (such as confectionery or chip wrappers) in your recycling bin chute, even if they are marked with a recycling identification code. Soft plastics can become trapped in recycling machinery and disrupt processing. To recycle these safely, your best bet is to search your local area for a soft plastics drop off. You can find locations near you using REDCycle - often your local supermarket will have a drop off point.

2. Minimise single use packaging where you can

When shopping for groceries, it’s worth making a conscious effort to steer clear of single use items where you can.

The less packaging you bring into your home, the less you need to dispose of.  Choosing to shop independent is a great way to make this change – your neighbourhood greengrocer or farmers market means quality, in-season produce that’s locally sourced, comes with less unnecessary packaging and allows you to support small businesses too.

If packaging is unavoidable, check that it can be recycled and opt for glass or unwaxed paper and cardboard over plastic.

3. Minimise food waste

Meal plan for the week ahead and only buy what you need when you shop. If there are leftovers, consider your lunches sorted or freeze for a later date. Aim to have your fridge almost empty by the end of the week, rather than half-filled with wilted vegetables or sad looking herbs.

You could also consider utilising your food scraps with a well-managed compost bin or compact worm farm specifically designed for use in apartments. It can be a fun, hands-on way to teach your kids about the importance of recycling, too.

4. Give Meatless Monday a go

Meatless Monday is a global movement that encourages people to reduce meat in their diet for their health and the health of the planet. Plant-based nutrition contributes to sustainable food practices – according to the movement, skipping one serving of beef every Monday for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 560 kilometres in a car.

Get creative with your Monday menu with a whole year’s worth of Meatless Monday recipes, courtesy of taste.com.au.

5. Opt for sustainable modes of transport

In 2018, Plan Melbourne launched the 20 Minute Neighbourhoods program, designed to foster the development of vibrant and inclusive neighbourhoods. The idea was that residents could meet their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, bike ride or public transport journey of their home.

It’s also a concept that we embody at Caydon, we call it our 10|20 living model. Each of our development locations have been selected to ensure you’re never further than 10 kilometres from the CBD and have access to everyday essentials within 20 minutes from home. That means residents have access to great local cafes and restaurants, shopping, transport, education, and medical resources.

Central locations also mean you can opt to walk or hop on nearby public transport while keeping your car secure in your basement parking space. Alternatively, you could ditch the car altogether and consider a bicycle as your primary mode of transport.

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