Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hint + Tips - Helping the Environment Everyday

1. One coffee cup at a time
Bring your own coffee cup or travel mug when going to the coffee shop for a take-away coffee. Some may even offer a discount for doing so. A friend of mine who has been working at markets was telling me the other day that him and his partner do this, and over the last year they’ve prevented a minimum of 100 take away cups becoming landfill. To think also that most of these cups are made of polystyrene.
You can even apply this to take away foods, bring your own container and cutlery that you can wash and re-use.

2. Keep your kitty in doors at night
At night keep your cat indoors, put a cute little bell on their collar and have them desexed. At night most of Australia’s native animals do their feeding and can be easy prey for cats. By desexing your cat you’ll also prevent having a pile of little kittens. As cute as they maybe, many are born away from home and become feral cats who cause havoc to native wildlife.

3. Can I have less packaging with that?
Did you know that one third of domestic waste that Australians produce is made up of packaging materials? Yikes, that’s a lot! We are bombarded with what to think about when buying a product; Australian made, tested on animals, organic, price, brand, quality, and now packaging.
It can be quite easy though, if your are buying a lipstick for instance, is it just wrapped in a light plastic film or is it in a box with a plastic wrap around it? Go for the first one. If the brand you are buying is not offering a lower amount of packaging try a different brand as it’s more than likely you as the consumer are paying for that extra packaging and not the product it self.
If you do have to buy something with additional packaging, is it
recyclable or can you re-use it? I buy coffee in sealed jars that I re-use for mixing paints and keeping odds and ends in.

4. Do you drive a car?
If your like me and there is no real alternative to getting from point A to point B here are some ways to reduce your environmental impact and save some money at the same time:
• take out all the junk in your car that you don’t need (this is also good for if your car gets stolen at least it’s less things they take with them) and remove roof racks when not required
• drive smoothly instead of braking at high speed
• ensure your tyres are filled to the maximum recommended air pressure
• have your car serviced regularly
• give yourself a car free day or think before you get in the car, can I walk or ride to the local shops?

5. Save paper
Can the document be saved onto a computer. If it needs to be distributed can it be done by e-mail or via the internet instead of being printed. Editing can be done using the word processor or through programs such as Abode Acrobat (PDF) on the screen.
Should you need to print or copy use quality recycled paper, where possible print both sides.
If you no longer need the paper recycle it. Some animal shelters need clean office paper for bedding too.

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