The average Australian family produces enough waste to fill a three-bedroom house each year. The amount of waste we churn out has grown six times faster than the population.
We’ve long been a nation that loves to recycle but in recent years we’ve seen a growing interest in reuse. Reuse is simply the act of using again. Charity and opportunity shops have long enabled the reuse of pre-loved clothing and household items at prices accessible to all.
Online marketplaces like eBay have further fuelled community interest in reuse by enabling Australians to buy and sell all things pre-loved from childhood favourites, to kids wear, phones and everything in between.
Australians use about a billion disposable coffee cups each year, and most of them end up in landfill. We can all make a contribution to address this issue by purchasing a reusable coffee cup, which are widely welcomed at cafés.
Another problem area is single use batteries which leach all sorts of toxic matter like lead and mercury into the earth if thrown in the bin. Replace them with rechargeables that reduce waste, and the effort required to recycle responsibly.
Conscious consumption is another way we can all reduce our waste footprint. Think about the lifespan of an item before you buy it. Rather than purchase an outfit for a special occasion, could you can rent through an online sharing community or perhaps borrow from a friend? It is these small actions that collectively result in big impact.
Throwing pre-loved items in the bin destined for landfill should be the last option. Instead consider the alternatives – selling it, repairing it, giving it away or donating it.
Passing on what you don’t want to someone who does, is a fantastic form of sustainability and there are a multitude of ways to sell your stuff both online and offline and make a few dollars in the process. Garage sales are a great example and one in which Australians have been long engaged.
Garage Sale Trail is Australia’s biggest garage sale and presents a great opportunity to join 350,000 others across the country in a weekend-long reuse festival. Last year, there were two million items listed for sale and the average household made $379, community groups $650 and schools $1500. In addition, the average participant made 44 new community connections via the day.
This year’s Garage Sale Trail is on Saturday, October 21, and Sunday, October 22.
Put your sale on the Trail or see what’s on offer today at: www.garagesaletrail.com.au. Registration is free and easy.