Why I Don’t Need a Red Bin Anymore: Here’s How I Completely Reduced My Trash, and How You Can Too
- Belinda Chellingworth hasn’t used her red bin in six years
- He shared his tips on how to reduce waste.
A professional rubbish expert who hasn’t used her red lid bin in years shared her top tips on how Australians can reduce their waste.
Belinda Chellingworth stopped using her general dumpster six years ago because she wanted to limit the amount of trash she generates.
“It varies, but at the moment I throw out just under a kilo of rubbish every few months,” Ms Chellingworth told Daily Mail Australia.
“It’s been gradual and it’s taken a long time to get to this point, it didn’t happen overnight.”
Ms Chellingworth, from western Sydney, explained that working in a deli and pub in the early 2000s exposed her to the massive amounts of waste that consumers generate.
That encouraged her to start taking small steps toward change.
Belinda Chellingworth stopped using her red-top bin six years ago, and she’s not looking back
Other tips to reduce how often you use your red top bin include composting, recycling or donating items you no longer use, and going to ‘zero waste’ stores.
“I worked at a deli at night while I was in college and I saw all the barbecue chicken they were throwing out,” he said.
‘I also worked in a pub, we printed all the game horse sheets and there was no recycling for them. So I would take them home and write my notes from college on them.
Ms. Chellingworth’s biggest piece of advice for those looking to reduce their trash is to change just one thing at a time.
For her, one of the first things she did was change the plastic shopping bags for reusable ones.
“The key is to pick just one thing,” he said.
‘Don’t try to change five or fifteen things at once because it’s too much to do it all at once.
“You pick one thing, you eliminate it, and it becomes like an addiction or a little game.
‘It’s tangible, you can see the change in your own trash can. Some people keep a photo journal of their bins to remind them of the things they no longer throw away.’
However, Ms Chellingworth said she knows there is no one-size-fits-all solution and instead encouraged people to think about what would be an easy first step for them.
“It has to be right for your lifestyle, it’s a very personal thing,” he said.
‘My advice to anyone starting out would be to try to reduce food waste and the best way to do this is by creating a meal plan at the start of the week.
‘You only buy what you need and that also reduces your packaging, it’s a flow effect. You will also end up saving some money.
Another way to reduce household waste is for a person to look at their clothing options.
Ms. Chellingworth recommended starting small when looking for ways to reduce waste, like swapping out plastic water bottles (above) for reusable bottles.
“I love outfits and clothes as much as anyone, so what really helped me was finding colors and clothes that fit me, so I’m happier with the things I already have,” said Ms. Chellingworth.
“Now there are great services where if you’re going to a fancy event where you need a dress that’s $300 and you only wear it once, you can hire that kind of thing.
Belinda Chellingworth (above) stopped using her red-top bin six years ago and generates just a kilo of rubbish every few months
There are also many clothing exchanges. Otherwise, before you hit the stores, have a list instead of buying what you see.
Hundreds of different recycling and donation programs across the country are designed to help Australians limit their waste. Ms. Chellingworth recommended looking into what is available locally.
For example, toy and tool libraries are a great way to rent items that would otherwise only be used a few times and thrown away.
Local stores are also a great place to donate materials, like bubble wrap to a framing shop or plastic plant pots to a nursery.
Overall, Ms. Chellingworth emphasized that the most important thing is to take the time to figure out what works best for you and to avoid getting overwhelmed by small mistakes.
“If you feel like everything is too difficult and you can’t do anything, anyone can pick up a bit of trash,” he said.
“If you want to feel good about waste, that’s always my advice.”
EASY CHANGES TO REDUCE HOUSEHOLD WASTE
Facial wipes – facial cleansers
Cotton pads – reusable facial pads
Cling wrap – beeswax wraps and containers with lids
Sparkling water and soft drinks: home machines like Soda Stream
Paper towels – tea towel
Frozen fruits and vegetables: prepare and freeze them yourself
Bottled water – reusable water bottle
Individually Wrapped Tea Bags – Loose Leaf Tea
Baking paper – reusable silicone mat
Individually packaged dishwashing tablets – powder or liquid detergent
Coffee Mugs – Reusable Mug
Menstrual Products – Reusable Alternatives
Fountain: Belinda Chellingworth