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5 ways to recycle like a pro in Hobart

image by Alfonso Navarro from Unsplash

If you're from Hobart, I bet you're an ace recycler. The Hobart City Council says that only 2-3% of materials collected in their recycling bins have been unsuitably recycled. Although you're pretty good at it already, we thought we'd give you a few tips on how to level up your recycling strategy and reduce your waste.

Here are 4 ways to recycle like a pro in Hobart:

 

1. Recycle furniture, building materials and household goods

 

image by Ben Neale from Unsplash

Got some leftover materials from a building project or just updated your furniture? Lucky for you the Resource Work Cooperative provides a FREE reusable goods collection service for households and businesses in then greater Hobart area. You don't even need to leave your house to recycle your old furniture, doors, windows, clothing, timber, tools and other household goods. Head to their website for more information. 

 

2. Compost food scraps

A couple of weeks ago we talked about composting clothing, but composting your food scraps is also a great way to recycle your waste, feed your garden and divert food scraps out of landfill. The Hobart City Council teamed with Good Life Permaculture have put together some great tips on how to compost at home. Check it out.

 

3. Recycle soft plastics with REDcycle

We've talked about recycling soft plastics before, but we couldn't write about recycling without talking about REDcycle, a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic. RED have partnered with major supermarkets and other outlets to make it easy to recycle plastic bags and soft plastics like food wrappers. Head to their website to suss out your closest drop-off point.

 

4. Recycle old paint with Paintback

Do you have some unused paint sitting in your garage? Paintback are the first company in the world that divert unwanted paint and packaging from ending up in landfill and waterways. With collection points around Australia and one conveniently located at McRobies Gully Waste Management Centre (South Hobart Tip), Paintback is an independent, not-for-profit organisation funded by a 15 cents plus GST per litre levy on eligible products.

 

5. Recycle the tricky things

To help you recycle the tricky things, Hobart City Council have placed a recycling unit located within the Hobart City Council foyer. This unit is equipped to recycle small household batteries, pens, mail satchels, small electronics, mobile phones and accessories, flourescent tubes and old light globes, x-rays, DVDs and CDs, cosmetic containers, toothbrush tubes and brushes. That's a lot of recycling potential!

 

Before you go

Every city council has a different set of recycling guideline, which can make it tricky when it comes to knowing what can and cannot be recycled. Do check with your local council to make sure you're recycling the right things and let them know if they can make recycling better for your area. 

A new chapter for ecoHaven

Goodbye Kirstan

We’ve got some big news. After 8 years of amazing work, our boss Kirstan has decided that it’s time to leave ecoHaven. Kirstan has done an incredible job juggling a young family and running a small business. She’s also the one who has spent 8 years taking after-hours phone calls when we have trival questions, organising the roster to fit all of our various needs, coming in extra hours to cover our shifts when we’re sick, dealing with tech malfunctions and even a natural disaster!

We’re sad to see her go but excited to see what she dreams up next and can’t thank her enough for her hard work, friendship, and for creating a true haven for us at work. Thanks Kirstan! (the hot one in the middle!)

 

 

 

A new chapter for EcoHaven

On the 23rd of August we’ll be welcoming our new owners Cheryl and Kim to ecoHaven. Cheryl and Kim have extensive experience managing in the retail industry and own the Salamanca Wool Shop. We love that their current store has a similar ethos to ecoHaven and we’re looking forward to this new direction.

My last week of Plastic Free July

The home stretch! The last week (and a bit) hasn't been without it's difficulties but I'm glad stuck it out. An unplanned plastic item snuck it's way into my life but all in all, I'd call the home run a success.

 

Day 22

Another sick day, which meant that I couldn’t get to the farmer’s market for milk. Nooooo! My partner was a trooper and opted to decrease his coffee intake for the week, forgoing his usual second coffee at home and just going to the cafe once a day. 

 

Day 23

My sweet mum left us with some leftovers, which gave me another day to rest before getting groceries. 

 

Day 24

I picked up the groceries from Salamanca Fresh, plus some cardboard-packaged pasta from Coles because life’s too short not to eat pasta. I’d love to be one of those wonderfully resourceful zero-wasters who makes their own pasta, but I’m afraid I’m not there just yet, although I did make my own romesco sauce this week so there’s still hope.  

 

 

Day 25, 26 and 27

I had a few no spend, plastic-free days.

 

Day 28

Another plastic day 😢. I was forced to introduce a new plastic debit card into my life thanks to a Guatemalan data hacker (which sounds far more exciting than discovering that someone’s using my card number to buy 85 quetzal worth of “educational supplies”), but that’s another story.

 

Day 29

A friend picked up some milk for me from Farm Gate Market, which was so nice! I treated myself to a hot drink and snacks at Hamlet. I love it there and get a kick out of supporting such a whole-hearted, community minded place that does it's part to reduce waste and plastic consumption. 

 

Day 30

I did my weekly grocery run at Salamanca Fresh.

 

 

 

Day 31

I went a bit bonkers at Eumarrah and came back with bulk food in, well, bulk. This week I filled up some unused cotton dust bags from home which happen to work a treat as bulk food bags. Score! 

 

 

Highlights and Musings  

Over the past 31 days I’ve managed to stay almost plastic free, introducing a second hand rain coat, a debit card and a 2L carton of milk into my life (although I didn’t buy this one, it did appear in the house so I’m only taking partial credit). I'm proud of my efforts and hope that I can keep this momentum going.

Moving forward, I will try to be as mindful as possible about the plastic I introduce into my life, but I understand that this is not enough. To see real change, we need to change the system. Government must continue to implement legislation and regulation. I also believe that industry must accept responsibility for plastic waste and pollution. There is some really exciting plastic free alternatives and plastic reduction methods being theorised, tested and produced at the moment, but for the sake of our future, we need to be getting the best scientific minds excited about this problem. 

 

One last little call to action before I get off my plastic-free throne:

Be the squeaky wheel

In the past I've shied away from being 'that' annoying enviro-warrior person, but in the spirit of Plastic Free July, I have decided to take action. I also run a small business and rely on a few key online suppliers for things that simply don't exist in Tasmania, so this week I have contacted an online supplier to voice my concern and to consider plastic free or reduced-plastic options when packaging their goods. I haven't heard back yet, but hopefully if more people make some noise, we'll see results.

 

My third week of Plastic Free July 2018

Here's how I've fared over the past week sans plastic:

Day 15

I went to Farm Gate Market and stocked up veggies, apples, bread and bought some Elgaar milk and yoghurt. 

Day 16

Today I challenged myself to get the rest of my ingredients from the supermarket. Coles has a self serve bulk food section, but supplies it with plastic zip lock bags (why?), so I just filled up my reusable onya bags instead. Truth be told they weren’t as delicious as the produce from Eumurrah but given my busy week, it saved me so much time and effort to get the rest of the groceries on foot on my walk home rather than driving in to the city during business hours. Below is a picture of my weekly haul, minus the Farmer's market veggies I'd already cooked with.

 

 

Other things I’ve managed to get from the supermarket sans plastic include canned goods, pasta, bi carb, pickles, vinegars, condiments, oils, flour, fruit and vegetables. 

 

Day 17

I broke the rules today. I bought a rain jacket from Recycle Boutique, which (you guessed it) is made from plastic. I justified this purchase to myself because I need one and I’ve been looking for a raincoat for months. From the dorky peaked cap to it's impressive pack-down size, it's exactly what I’ve been looking for and being second hand, no new plastic is coming into the world. I know it’s a bit naughty but at the moment I can’t find a plastic free alternative that fits all of my requirements.

 

Day 18

I resisted the 1/2 price dark chocolate tim tams (such a guilty pleasure) and bought a block of chocolate wrapped in al foil and paper instead. It was delicious and by the time I got home I'd forgotten all about the tim tams, it was only when I was prompted to blog about it that I remembered again. Is this the start of a change of habit?

 

Day 19, 20 and 21

No new purchases and no new plastic in my life. Fingers crossed I can keep this up for the rest of the month.

 

 

Week 3 highlights and musings

I’ve been very anti plastic in these posts, but there are many benefits that have come from the creation of plastic. Plastics have helped advance medical sciences and play an important role in our modern health care system. Not that I think there isn’t room for hospitals and medical specialists to move towards reducing plastic usage and waste, but from specialised medical equipment to keeping a sterile environment, plastic plays a part. Plastic has become a very handy material for the construction of camping (hello perfect rain coat!) and safety gear, aeroplanes and cars. Plastic has also made the tech revolution possible, for which I am very grateful.

Maybe one day humanity will develop a plastic free alternative that is kinder to the environment but for now, I don’t think we’ll be able to completely eliminate plastic usage in the near future. The problem is that the majority of plastics made today are for packaging (Geyer, Jambeck and Lavender Law, 2017), which doesn't seem right to me. Don't you think plastic packaging (for the most part) could be avoided with some simple swaps and a bit of a mindset change? What do you think? 

 

 

Reference

Geyer, R., Jambeck J. R., Lavender Law, K. (2017).  Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances, [online] Volume 3(7), e 1700782. Available at: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

My second week of Plastic Free July 2018

This week started pretty shaky, ended with lots of delicious food and contained a bit of plastic-themed disappointment.

Day 8

Oh how much difference a day makes! Instead of going to the farmer’s market, I stayed in bed until 3pm, too sick and tired to do anything else. This really threw me out of my weekly routine.

 

Day 9

On the back foot with absolutely no vegetable matter left in the house, I got some (paper bagged, no plastic fish soy sauce) sushi for lunch in town when I was at work, feeling pretty smug about bringing a little jar of tamari with me from home.

Home from work, I noticed there was a plastic bottle of milk in the fridge 🤷🏻‍♀️. My partner relies on milk being in the fridge (still can’t convert him to home made almond milk) like I rely on water coming out of the tap, so I couldn’t get too cranky, it was a tough weekend for both of us. 

I got some groceries from Salamanca Fresh in the evening and managed to get away without any plastic. Success!

 

Day 10

 A no spend, no plastic day.

 

Day 11

I snuck away to Eumarrah and stocked up on nuts, oats and cocoa powder. I use my Onya produce bags there, but rely on their paper bags for flours, spices and powders. I’ve been trying to recycle my accumulated stock of paper bags but have been thinking making some cloth bags to fill that purpose.

 

 

Day 12

Another no spend, no plastic day.

 

Day 13

I met some friends at Rektango but forgot to bring a reusable cup, which meant that I missed out on some hot gin punch. Oh well. We then went out for Indian food, which was great but as usual, I ordered way too much. I’d usually take leftovers home but PLASTIC, so I had to say goodbye to half an eggplant curry. Nooooo!

 

Day 14

 Another no spending, no plastic day.

 

Week 2 highlights and musings

This week reminded me that plastic-free isn’t easy, especially when you’re sick or rely on a limited window of time to get plastic free supplies. As demand for plastic-free alternatives increases, hopefully things like milk in glass makes it’s way back to grocers soon.

I found it interesting to see how my own perception of waste is changing. A few years ago I was accumulating plastic bags to ‘reuse’, now I’m doing the same with paper bags and am starting to rethink how I can rely less on this resource. 

Also, I think I need some guidance on this one: is it stingy to bring a reusable container to a restaurant for the sole purpose of collecting leftovers? It somehow feels cheap even though I would have “doggy-bagged” my curry. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’m curious!

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