We can all take action to reduce our impact on the environment by minimising the waste we create and throw away, and increasing the amount of items we reuse or recycle.
There are lots of ways you can make a difference.
Avoid creating waste in the first place
It’s possible to completely eliminate certain types of waste by making a few simple changes to the way you do things.
Say no to junk mail, catalogues and phone books, and go online instead. Compost your kitchen and garden waste instead of binning it, and recycle everything that can be recycled.
It doesn’t take much effort, but the benefits are significant.
Free "no junk mail" stickers
To stop unsolicited advertising mail being delivered to your house, the Distribution Standards Board (DSB) will provide a free reflective 'No Advertising Material' sticker to put on your letterbox. Just send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
Suite 6, 151 Barkly Avenue
Richmond Victoria 3121
The DSB is the self-regulatory arm of the Australian Catalogue Association and maintains a database of all known addresses that display a restrictive sign on their letterbox. They also provide a hotline to report illegal or irresponsible distribution practices. It is 1800 676 136.
View catalogues online
If you want to avoid junk mail but are still interested in viewing the catalogues outlining specials at some of your favourite stores, you can view all junk mail online or sign up for catalogues to be sent directly to your email inbox.
Stop receiving phone directories
Sensis is Telstra's information and advertising arm responsible for the production and distribution of directories and local search services such as Yellow Pages® and White Pages® across Australia.
These printed directories are automatically delivered to each property annually but if you don't want to receive them, you can cancel book deliveries by contacting Sensis.
Reduce the waste from items you can’t do without
There are plenty of times when it’s hard not to create waste. Almost everything we buy has some form of packaging, but it is possible to make better buying choices.
Look for products with minimal packaging, buy in bulk, or buy items loose, including fresh food. Does your bunch of bananas really need its own plastic bag inside your shopping trolley and then your shopping bag?
Reuse where you can
Many of us have got into the habit of throwing away rather than reusing. Lots of items can be reused, from plastic bags and food containers to clothes and furniture, and even parts from gadgets that have broken.
Even if you can’t reuse something, there’s probably someone who can. Buy items that are designed for reuse instead of their disposable equivalent, and offer items you don’t want to others who do.
Gold Coast Freecycle Network™
The Freecycle Network™ is a worldwide network made up of more than eight (8) million members across the world. It's a grassroots, not-for-profit movement giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.
This keeps these items out of landfill. Membership to the Gold Coast Freecycle group is free, and everything posted must be completely free, legal and appropriate for all ages.
To view items being given away or sought on the Gold Coast, you must be a member of the local group and can join here.
Local charitable organisations
Local charities' op shops sell second-hand clothes and other items to the public to raise funds for their charity. Many accept clean, good quality items suitable for resale or distribution to people in need.
They are also a great place to pick up a bargain and do your bit to help close the recycling loop.
Recycle rather than throw away
If all else fails, and the only option left is to throw something away, throw it in the recycle bin wherever possible. It only requires slightly more thought than dropping something into the general waste bin, but you’ll be helping to reduce landfill and save resources and energy.
You’ll also do this by buying items made from recycled materials.
City of Gold Coast is committed to supporting the community by encouraging waste minimisation and recycling, and by providing services to enable the community to make better choices about our waste.
Visit our Recycling waste pages for more comprehensive information, advice and resources on how you can minimise your waste, and recycle or reuse whenever you can.