‘Go Wasteless’ Starter Guide

It’s a New Year and another opportunity to get cracking on reducing your waste. I love the enthusiasm that is generated from the calendar ticking over to January 1st, and all the new habits and resolutions that are inspired!

Step 1: Bin Audit

Starting with some ideas about what goes into your bin is the best first step. So as gross as it sounds, you are going to need to pay attention to what is going into your bin. If it’s a shared bin then it gets trickier and so picking a not too hot day/week to pull it all out on a tarp or the lawn is a confronting and informative way to find out exactly what has been hiding in there.

Group all the bits and bobs into as many categories as is useful to you:

Landfill – stuff that has no other place to go like disposable nappies and random little bits of plastic.

Compostable – think food waste, tissues, paper towels, hair from your hairbrush and dust out of the vacuum.

Recyclable – all the things that go in your yellow top bin.

Specialist recyclable – things like batteries, ink cartridges, toothbrushes, globes, spectacles, razors, mobile phones, e-waste and paint.

Step 2: Collection Bins

Now that you have figured out what you are dealing with, it’s time to make sure that you have all your collection bins sorted. Maybe you have only had a landfill bin in the house and so that is where everything has been going. Or maybe you figured out that you don’t actually know what goes in your yellow top recycling bin. Perhaps, your compost bin wasn’t cutting it as it was too big or too small and so nobody wanted to use it. Whatever you learnt, what is your solution?

In our house, we have a landfill bin, compost bucket and recycling bin in the Kitchen, Bathroom and Study/Office. We have a little battery collection bin in the draw with the new batteries. I pop bread tags, ink cartridges, used pens and toothbrushes into the shopping bag I take to Wasteless Pantry so that I can remember to drop them off each week. I put globes in my car for dropping off at the Sports Centre I go to. We have a box in the shed to collect any e-waste as that only gets dropped off about once a year.

Make it easy to collect your specialist recycling!

Think about putting all the information about what goes in each Collection Bin on it so that everyone can make good choices. And make sure to let the whole household know where they all are!

Step 3: Use What You Have

At this point, you might be rearing to go get all the cool zero waste gear so that you can tick the box of feeling wasteless. Hold your horses!

We would love you to instead use up all the products and food you have first before you think about getting anything new. With the exception of expired products and food which needs to be disposed of, it is usually best to just swap things out as you finish them up. Good reasons for this are that:

  • Saves money
  • Prevents waste
  • Reduces clutter
  • More gradual change is usually easier to keep up long term

So instead of going out and getting new containers, reuse jars and takeaway containers. Instead of getting shampoo bars, use up the last of all you shampoo samples and leftovers first. Instead of buying a fancy BYO coffee cup, take one from home. And yes, we want you to use up all the food in packets in your pantry, fridge and freezer too.

Anything that has passed it’s used by date could be a risk to your safety, but anything past it’s best before you can use your common sense as most likely it is just not quite as flavoursome and delicious as it was before.

Step 4: Gently Make a Change

Find one thing at a time to change.

Pick one area you’d like to wasteless and just start there.

When that is easy and hard for you not to do, then do the next thing.

Slow and steady, you’ll get there!


3 Ingredient Puffed Cereal Bars

* Gluten-Free, vegan, delicious!

All ingredients available from WP:

1/2 cup of Peanut butter

1/4 cup of maple syrup

2 cups of puffed millet (or puffed rice)

Mix the peanut butter and maple syrup in a bowl. Add the millet and mix until combined. Spread mixture evenly in a lined baking tray and refrigerate until hard and then cut into bars. 💚 ENJOY 💚


Brownies

These brownies are: ✔️ dairy-free ✔️ gluten-free (optional) ✔️ grain-free ✔️ nut-free

Ingredients from WP:

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup banana flour

1 tsp bicarb soda

Ingredients from elsewhere:

2 cups of grated sweet potato

4 eggs

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 16cm x 26cm tray with a reusable baking sheet Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spoon mixture into the lined baking tray and spread evenly. Bake for 30 mins. Cover over the top of the brownies with a plate or another baking tray then bake for another 10 mins. Let cool on a wire rack.

To make it extra yummy add ganache on top!!


Beetroot and Cashew Dip

This dip is delicious, super easy and great for entertaining. So no need for the plastic tub variety 😋

Ingredients from WP:

– 1 cup of unsalted cashews, soaked overnight

– 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight

– 2.5 tbs balsamic vinegar

– A pinch of salt

– 3 tbs of olive oil

Ingredients from elsewhere:

– 3-4 small beetroots, cooked/roasted

Method

* you can use a food processor or a stick blender

– Blend up beetroots for about 1 min

– Add in cashews, sunflower seeds, vinegar and salt, blend until the desired consistency

– Add 2 tbs of olive oil and mix

– Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with remaining olive oil, some extra sunflower seeds and maybe some parsley

Enjoy with our Nordic crackers or crusty chunks of bread!


Food Bank: Making the best of Food Waste

Last week, Jeannie was given the opportunity to tour Foodbank for a behind-the-scenes peek at the amazing facilities and the team hard at work. She even got to enjoy a lunch prepared in the kitchens from rescued food.

That’s Jeannie on the far right!

Most of us know that we have a big problem with food waste in Australia. But did you know that over 300,000 people in WA live below the poverty line and struggle to access regular nutritious food? And thanks to Covid19, many people are now experiencing food insecurity for the first time.

Such a mammoth effort being made every day

Foodbank is an organisation that tackles both these issues, rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, often on a huge scale and turning it into delicious, nutritious meals for those who need it most. And on top of all that, they now package the meals in compostable packaging!!

In the 25 years since its inception, the organisation has saved 50 million kilograms of food from landfill and provided 100 million meals.

You can read more about it here https://www.foodbank.org.au/?state=wa

Maybe you’d like to consider making a less fortunate persons Christmas a little bit brighter this year, with a donation to Foodbank’s Uncancel Christmas appeal?https://www.foodbank.org.au/WA/uncancel-christmas/?state=wa


Secret Santa Hints

Jeannie’s family loves Christmas. LOVES it. They are close and love the chance to spend time together, laugh, sing and eat (we love that too). But Christmas these days looks vastly different to 5 years ago.

Back then, the aftermath of the Christmas morning unwrap was epic. Piles of wrapping paper, cards, envelopes, packaging, and in amongst the quality gifts, plenty of junk, stuff that was well-intended but never to be used. Things for that “so hard to buy for” person, destined for a dark cupboard, the op shop, or worse still, landfill. Her family was never going to give up gift-giving altogether, but they have made huge changes.

A few years ago, they agreed on a family “Secret Santa”. They use a Gift Exchange platform called Draw Names https://www.drawnames.com.au which allows them to secretly pick a name, and on their own profile, they can make a Wishlist of experiences and needed items. They decided to make the upper limit generous (as they are only buying one gift now) and all this means they can buy a quality gift that will be valued, and the “surprise” of the day is finding out who has whom!

Once they had that bit nutted, Jeannie’s sister got her seamstress on and made simple, large calico bags, one for each family member with their names embroidered on. Now part of the ritual is grabbing the bag that belongs to your person and placing their gifts inside. No more gift wrapping!

Christmas morning looks, different now, but it honestly feels better, more fulfilling, and is free from the guilt of overspending, overconsuming, and creating so much waste!


Smoothie Bowl

This delicious breakfast bowl is perfect for summer and super-duper delicious!!

Ingredients

– 1 mango

– 1 Banana

– 1 dragon fruit, pink or white

– 1/4 cup of coconut milk (go waste-free with our vegan coconut milk powder)

– 1/4 cup of granola (I used the WP paleo granola)

Method

– Cut all the fruit up into chunks and freeze overnight.

– Put the frozen fruit into a blender or a bowl with a stick blender, add coconut milk and blend until smooth

– Serve with cut-up fruit and granola on top

Enjoy!


Gingerbread Biscuits

Great as gifts or just as a tasty treat, these gingerbread biscuits are a hit!

Ingredients

125g butter

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of castor sugar

1/4 cup of golden syrup

1 egg lightly beaten

2 cups of plain flour

1/4 cup of SR flour

1 tbs ground ginger

1 tsp bicarb soda

Method

1. In a mixer beat butter, sugar, syrup until light and creamy. Beat in egg gradually.

2. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Knead on a well-floured surface for 1-2 mins.

3. Roll out the dough (about 5mm thick) and refrigerate for 15 mins until it is firm enough to cut. Cut out your desired shapes and transfer to a lined baking tray.

4. Bake 180C for 10 mins or until golden brown. Allow to cool before decorating!

*Tip, you can wash out and reuse piping bags!


Coffee Body Scrub

Coffee body scrub is a great way to use coffee grounds and look after your skin at the same time!

Ingredients ☕️

– 1/2 cup of brown sugar

– 1/2 cup of coconut oil

– 1/2 cup of coffee grounds

– 1 tbs vanilla extract

* you can also add some honey to shea butter for extra hydration.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container. Easy!