Many of the changes we make to create a more sustainable household start with a change in mindset.
Often this mindset change is sparked by us asking the simple question…
“Do I Really Need This Item?”
This is generally followed with “What Can I Do Instead?” when we realize that we really don’t need the item in question.
Those of us embarking on an eco-living journey may then start to question habits that we inherited from our parents. Things that we’ve always done a certain way, because, well, that’s just how things are done.
Take the humble kitchen rubbish bin for example…..
I bet yours has a bin liner inside it, or if it doesn’t now, it did at some stage.
Sure, bin liners have a purpose…to keep our rubbish enclosed in a bag and to keep the bin as clean as possible.
But (and here’s the big question)…
Do we really need this item?
Do we really need bin liners?
Can we get away with not using a bin liner, or at least, not using a single-use bin liner?
It turns out that we can!
Here’s three alternatives to single-use bin liners.
If you’re already composting food waste, recycling soft plastics and diverting recyclables to your kerbside recycling scheme, it’s likely that your household generates very little waste. In this instance it may be viable for you to reuse satchels from parcels you receive in the mail.
While still technically a plastic bin liner, this action eliminates the need for you to purchase new bin liners and re-purposes a plastic bag that’s already in circulation.
If you’re a newspaper-reading household you can repurpose the paper to line your bin.
Simply place the sheets along the base and sides of your bin. When the bin is almost full roll the paper over the top to create a parcel and place in your wheelie bin.
Of course, if you read the news online (like I do) this option may not suit your household. Perhaps then, you’re ready to try the next option.
Similar to option 1, if you’ve taken many steps to reduce your household’s waste you may find that you can get away without a bin liner at all, or (gasp!) not even having a bin!
A nude bin is particularly achievable if your bin is relatively clean thanks to diverting your food scraps to compost or backyard chickens, using reusable menstrual products and cloth nappies and wipes (if there’s a baby in household).
In this instance it may make perfect sense to have a nude bin.
On the occasional weeks when you need to empty your bin simply carry the bin outside and empty the contents directly into your wheelie bin.
Yes there is!
If a nude bin isn't for you, you don't use newspapers and you don't have a ready supply of postage satchels to re-use, compostable bin liners might be for you!
Made from sustainably sourced plant starch they compost in a well-functioning composting environment, just like any other plant will.
Sustainahome stocks both the BioBag and If You Care Range of compostable bin liners.
Like many of the steps required to create a zero-waste household, eliminating the purchase of single-use bin liners is achievable with a simple change in mindset.
Whether it’s reusing plastic bags you have on hand, lining your bin with newspaper, going without a bin liner altogether, or switching to a compostable bin liner, breaking up with single-use plastic bin liners is one simple way you can live lighter today without harming tomorrow.
To kick-start your plastic free life, click HERE to join our 5-day Plastic Free Challenge (it's FREE!).
About the Author:
Laura Trotta is an experienced environmental engineer, award-winning sustainable living educator and the founder of Sustainahome. She’s dedicated over two decades of her life to the sustainability cause and her personal mission in life is to make green mainstream.
A passionate believer in addressing the small things to achieve big change, and protecting the planet in practical ways, Laura lives with her husband and two sons in Adelaide, South Australia.
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