Small acts make a big impact

Last updated: 26 October 2022
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Choose your small act today

Even the smallest change can make a big impact when it comes to creating a sustainable future. It might be improving how you recycle, avoiding single-use plastics or reducing food going to waste. Discover 5 simple things that you could do to make a difference. Then choose the one small act that is right for you and start doing it today!

Check what goes into your bins on your council website

Waste and recycling services can change and are sometimes different between councils. That’s why it’s important to regularly check your council’s waste and recycling website, so you know what can and cannot go into your bins.

By making sure that the right item goes in the right bin, you can help us recover and reuse more valuable resources so less ends up in landfill. This means that more of your recycling can be turned into new things like park benches and roads.

Tips:

  • Don’t know which council manages your area, or what waste and recycling services your council offers? Find out by visiting council waste and recycling services.
  • The contents from each of your bins are collected by a different truck and taken to a different place for processing. Find out what happens after your recycling is collected by visiting where your recycling goes.

Remember to take your reusable water bottle when you leave home

Australians buy billions of plastic bottles each year and a lot of energy and resources such as water and oil are needed to make and transport them. Sadly, many of these plastic bottles end up in landfill where they can take hundreds of years to break down. They also end up as litter in our waterways where they cause considerable damage to wildlife, the environment and our health.

You can help reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in the environment. Simply take your reusable water bottle when you head out and refill it instead of buying bottled water. This will save valuable resources and can save you money!

Tips:

  • Make it easier to remember your reusable bottle by keeping it somewhere convenient after you wash it out, like in your bag or next to where you keep your keys. That way it’s ready to go.
  • Refill your reusable bottle for free when you’re out at one of the many water refill stations. Find your nearest tap water location by using the tap finder.

Plan weekday dinners

Each year, the average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food. Much of it ends up in landfill where it can create greenhouse gases, including methane, which are damaging to the environment and bad for our health. When we waste food, we also waste the resources and energy used to grow, process, package and transport it.

By planning your dinners, you can save money on your weekly shopping bill, reduce the amount of food you waste at home, and save natural resources.

Tips:

  • One of the best ways to avoid wasting food is to plan your meals around the food you already have at home, and that needs using up.
  • Check your family calendar so you know who’s going to be home for dinner that week, and plan meals accordingly.

Take used batteries to a drop-off point for recycling

Batteries cannot go in any of your household bins because they can cause fires in the bin or trucks that collect your waste. They also contain toxic substances that are harmful to you, your family and the environment. That’s why you should never put any type of battery in your kerbside bins. Take them to a drop-off point for recycling instead.

By taking your used batteries to a drop-off point, you keep harmful materials out of your bins and the environment. It also means that valuable resources can be recovered and used to make new things like metal tools, computer parts or new batteries.

Tips:

  • To find your nearest drop-off point visit B-cycle or check with your local council.
  • To reduce the risk of fire, put a piece of non-conductive tape (such as duct tape, clear sticky tape or electrical tape) over battery terminals so they don’t spark with other batteries when stored at home or in the drop-off bin. Find out more about how to safely store and drop off your used batteries.

Remove food and liquids from your recycling

Any food or liquid left inside a recyclable container can spill over the other recyclable items in the bin, in the truck, and at the recycling facility. This can reduce the quality of the materials and cause problems in the recycling process. It can even lead to an entire load of recycling going to landfill.

Scrape out food and liquids from your containers, before putting them into your recycling bin. This will help keep the whole load clean. That way we can turn more of our recycling into new things like park benches and even roads.

Tips:

  • Your recyclables don’t have to be spotless. Simply scrape out any food or pour out any excess liquid or give them a quick rinse.
  • To save water, try rinsing your recyclables in your dishwashing or cooking water.

Ready to choose your small act?

Small acts like these are all it takes to make a big impact. Whether you take your used batteries to a recycling drop-off point or plan your weekday dinners, you'll be helping recycle more, save natural resources, and reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill.

Choose your small act and start making a big impact on Victoria’s sustainable future today.

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