Small changes to make your home more eco-friendly

Eco friendly cups sitting on kitchen bench top with fruits

A Zest for Life’s Steph Batho shares four simple swaps to reduce your environmental footprint at home.

According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian is responsible for just over 2,000kgs of waste each year. And the highest wasters are those with young families.

We are all responsible for doing our bit for the environment, and fortunately, there are lots of simple ways you make changes for the greater good, starting in your own home.

Steph Batho, the Perth-based wellness coach behind the eco-friendly shopping platform A Zest for Life, said the amount of information and products available can be overwhelming, but that starting with everyday practices can make a big difference.

“We’re all about making small changes that add up to a bigger change over time,” she said. “I suggest letting your products run out at home, think about whether it’s a product that you use all the time and look at making a more sustainable choice.”

Simple ways to reduce your environmental impact at home

Steph’s number one recommendation for reducing waste at home is replacing baking paper with silicone baking mats when lining oven trays. They are reusable and can be less costly in the long-term.

“That has been a huge game changer for us,” she said. “After you’ve baked with them you can actually pop them into your dishwasher.”

With Australia’s beautiful warm weather, we’re fortunate to be able to air dry clothes most of the year, which is a great energy saver. But plastic pegs can be problematic for the environment. Steph points to stainless steel clothes pegs as a great long-lasting alternative.

“Plastic pegs weather with time in the sun and the wooden pegs separate really easily.

Stainless steel pegs are pretty reasonably priced and The Dirt Company pegs come in this bag made from recycled water bottles, so you don’t even need to buy a peg basket.”

Similarly, stainless steel lunch boxes are a great replacement for plastic boxes.

“I think most parents get in this cycle of replacing plastic lunch boxes at the start of every school year. This is the third year that my girls are at school and we’ve never needed to replace the lunch boxes. They still look brand new because you invest that little bit more and they are really great quality.”

When it comes to on-the-move coffee cups, Steph’s failsafe product, particularly for new parents, is insulated tumblers, which keep beverages hot for up to four hours and cold drinks chilled for up to eight hours. 

“You can put a stainless steel straw in, they’re very user friendly, and if you drop it, it doesn’t break. We’ve never needed to replace ours and we’ve had them for over four years.”

Food waste is also a big problem in Australia with around $600 worth of food wasted by each household annually. Steph combats this by planning every meal, shopping for only what she needs and using refillable containers to store wholefoods bought in bulk food stores.

“We cook what we eat, and we eat what we cook, so we’re not wasting food. We’re also buying some things in bulk so that we can do that big bulk cook up.”

If you would like to lessen your impact on the environment by introducing everyday reusable items to your home, humm can help.

Check out A Zest for Life’s range on humm.