Wheelie Bin Challenge

Worried about waste?

Starting in Jan 2023
Join us on an epic adventure of plastic reduction, waste management and letting your wheelie bin get dusty from neglect.
What can and can’t be recycled is in constant flux and local landfill is a big pain the council’s arse. It is becoming clearer and clearer that when we want to throw things away, there is actually no such magical place as ‘away’… there is just ‘over there’.
We live on a beautiful, regenerative planet. We just need to get with that circular, cyclical, infinitely inventive program.

So what is it actually?

Quick Version:

Challenge yourself to reduce your waste and measure this by how many times you put out your kerbside bin. If you normally put it out every week see if you can put it out once a month. If you put it out once a month, see if you can put it out every three or six months. Join us to swap notes, resources and tips and ideas.

Story Version:

I have been talking to a friend of mine who’s been doing this for the last year. It was a stepping stone to zero waste, which can just seem impossible. She has two kids and lives a busy life. So she decided that she would attempt to reduce her household’s waste to the point where she only needed to put her bin out once a year. (Which is still a HUGE goal)

It ended up being twice in a year. So she put it out at the six month mark and now she’s sort of teetering towards the end of the year and hoping that she can hold off and only put it out one more time.

Speaking to her about it over the last year got me intrigued. We’ve had lots of conversations about it and I kept checking in to see how she was going.

So what I want to do next year is the same thing. We all know that the soft plastic recycling thing has crashed in the last couple of weeks here in Victoria. We can’t drop our soft plastics off to Coles or Woolies anymore, and that leaves us with more rubbish in our rubbish bins until some alternative appears. It was not a perfect solution to plastic waste, but at least it was something.

I mean, the answer has always been don’t lean on recycling, as if that’s a completely clean answer. And you know that old saying, there’s no such place as away. When we throw things away, it’s going to landfill. It’s not some mysterious place where everything’s magically tidy. Suddenly it goes to landfill and there’s lots of problems with that.

So the ultimate answer is to actually reduce our consumption.
But, I wanna emphasise the whole way through that our individual consumption is not something that I want us to feel ashamed or guilty about.
The problem of human waste is, much bigger than any individual household or any individual person. It’s a much more difficult to not have waste than it is difficult to have waste, and that’s how our society’s set up.
So it’s not about feeling guilty or berating ourselves for not achieving it. It’s actually thinking about ourselves as a consumer and the power that we have to choose what we buy and how that impacts businesses and corporations. They are the ones who choose how to package things.
No blame and no shame, but it doesn’t mean we can’t try and change our habits.

That’s what the Wheely Bin Challenge is all about. So I’m inviting other people to join me. I’ll be documenting my own journey through Season 5 of Saltgrass. My challenge to myself will initially be putting the wheelie bin out once in three months. Then I will attempt six months.

I invite people to set what feels like a realistic challenge for yourself. So if you put out a full bin every week, you might want to just try and put it out every fortnight or once a month, and that could be your Wheely Bin Challenge. Or, you might wanna do it every three months or every six months.

Anything that can be recycled doesn’t count. So you recycle bin you can put out every fortnight.

But really the challenge is at the consumption level. It’s at the shops.

It’s what we choose to purchase and how that thing is wrapped. That’s where the challenge really is.

So you can follow along as I do it myself. I’ll be joined by my friend who is going to do it again next year. And we’ll have a couple of episodes along the way discussing that.

If you wanna join us in that conversation and that challenge I think it’s worth thinking about it now. It might take some time to think about what the alternatives are to the things you normally buy.

We’ll launch in 2023.

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