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How to cut down plastic use around the home and office

There has been much in the news about the issues surrounding single use plastic.  Lately, some air time has been given to the problems we are having with being able to process recyclable plastics at the rate we are recycling them.  Most recently, it has emerged that in Victoria and NSW, there are even major issues with the volumes of glass being recycled.  The processing plants are unable to find a market for most of the glass and it is just sitting in storage, which isn’t really helping anyone.

While smarter folk than I figure out what to do about those issues, I focus my attention on what I can do to prevent it happpening in the first place, at least in my own space.  There are several small changes I have made, that I have mentioned previously, to avoid single use plastic as much as I can.  These include using Onya Mesh bags for loose grocery items, not buying any fresh produce that is pre-bagged or wrapped, always remembering my green shopping bags, using beeswax cloth wraps instead of glad wrap and carrying metal straws in my handbag for the kids.

It occurred to me the other day that there is something else I do which I don’t think I have mentioned.  Whenever I can, I buy BULK.  This can apply to nearly everything we consume and the definition of bulk can be different for every household, depending on the number being catered for.

By way of example, I currently have an enormous whole watermelon on my kitchen bench.  I know it will get eaten within a week and I can chop it up into edible size pieces and keep it in containers in the fridge.  I buy baking flour in 10kg bulk because I know we will use it and I have a big pantry so we have the storage space.  Half my family have a dairy fetish so I buy milk in 3L bottles.  I would buy bigger if it were available.

I also get my (Tri Nature, obviously) cleaning, laundry and kitchen products in bulk. This saves me quite a bit of money as well as reducing the amount of plastic and packaging we recycle.  Below, I have broken down a couple of examples of the bulk size I use of Laundry Liquid and how it benefits the environment and me.

I tend to use the Laundry liquid more than the powder.  This is largely because I am efficient with my time (read: lazy) and it’s easier to pump liquid into the machine than fiddle around with the bucket and scoop.  I have a 5L laundry liquid on my laundry bench.  By buying the 5L ($74.95) I save over 17% when compared with buying the 2L bottles ($34.95 * 2.5 = $87.38). It takes me 8-12 months to use the full 5L but there’s a 2 year shelf life so I am still well within that.  This not only saves money but it saves 1.5 extra empty bottles of packaging.

For argument’s sake, let’s say I used 5L in less than 6 months.  I could buy the 20L ($222.90).  All Tri Nature 20L quantities actually come as 4 * 5L (this is for OH&S purposes so no one is lifting a 20kg or more bottle).  While this doesn’t save on packaging compared with the 5L on it’s own, it does save multiple shippings so it’s still a greener option.  Plus, most 20L prices are heavily discounted so now I am only paying $55.75 for a 5L bottle, which is 36% lower than the 2L price.  Of course I buy the 20L because I sell what i don’t use myself, but there’s no reason why 20L can’t be shared between 4 households, businesses or departments.

Most of the Tri Nature products come in bulk sizes such as 5L, 20L and 10kg.  The biggest sellers include:

  • 5L and 20L of Multipurpose Cleaner
  • 5L and 20L of Disinfectant (especially popular in businesses such as cafes, child care centres and commercial kitchens)
  • 5L and 20L of Floor Cleaner
  • 5L and 20L of Dishwashing Liquid
  • 5L and 20L of Moisturising Handwash (used in mining and other industries as a body wash)
  • 10kg Laundry Powder
  • 10kg Dishwasher Powder

Next time you are ready to reorder, have a think about whether bulk could benefit you and the earth.

If you are not sure what size Tri Nature product you may need, write the date on the next bottle you open and see how long it lasts you.  If the bulk size will be used up in under 2 years, then it will be a worthwhile investment.

If you’re not sure if the product you need comes in bulk, get in touch with me and I can help.  Don’t be shy, it’s what I am here for.

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