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Published 28 August 2018

With two small children, a partner and two dogs, Alison Onody’s family was creating its fair share of waste. Here’s how this Modbury North family more than halved the amount of waste it creates.

Three years ago Alison’s family set an audacious goal for waste reduction.

“We decided as a family to reduce our red bin waste by 75%,” said Alison.

And when they reached their target, they set a new goal of zero waste, which is still a work in progress. 

Alison, a university student, says education was a key to her family’s waste-reduction drive. She set about learning what they could recycle and reuse, and what exactly they could put in their green organics bin.

“It was so easy. Just by sorting waste correctly, our rubbish levels started to go down,” said Alison.

With a long-term interest in environmental sustainability and permaculture, Alison and her partner Jo Robbertsen were also prepared to go the extra mile to reduce waste.

They used cloth nappies for their children, bake their own bread and use homemade cleaning products, although they still buy dishwashing and clothes detergent.

They even have a dog poo composter –  dog poo can also go in your green organics bin. 

Eventually, they would like to keep chickens in their backyard.

Some quick-and-easy waste reduction tips from Alison

  • Put food waste into your green organics bin
  • Avoid buying soft plastics. Drop any you do have at Woolworths or Coles recycling collection sites 
  • Pack nude lunches (no plastic wrap) 
  • Buy in bulk to avoid plastic wrapping
  • Store food in resealable glass containers or use silicone wraps
  • Use biodegradable kitty litter so it can be composted

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