The tail end of 2020 was over in a blink of an eye and Reframe Waste is back not to school you, but to provide some hot tips, highlight some projects we’ve been up to and events to look out for 2021.

Summer days are winding down and the holiday season is at it’s end, it’s that all too familiar time to dust off the cobwebs and find the black laced shoes to don on the walk back to school. So, here are our top five tips to compliment and move towards reducing your waste footprint, that can even be translated from the school yard to the return back to workplace this year.

1. Keep an eye out for recycled stationery options

Stationery has been getting a revamp over the past couple of years, with more and more products that have been created from recycled materials like:

  • Pencils made from recycled paper;
  • Erasers made from recycled rubber;
  • Pens made from recycled paper, biodegradable cornstarch, recycled plastic, sustainable bamboo or FSC-certified wood.
  • Rulers made from sustainable bamboo or FSC-certified wood, recycled plastic or biodegradable cornstarch

The list goes on and on! Check out WonderMamas blog for a handy collated list of supplies from eco-scissors to crayons!

2. Stock up on some upcycled craft supplies

A community recycler like Reverse Garbage or tip shop can provide a variety of materials rescued from landfill. These items have a great potential to make all sorts of arts and crafts. Alternatively, you could even have a rummage in your recycling bin!

Not sure where to start? Here’s some fantastic creations with instructions that were made from entirely re-purposed items!

3. Pack your own lunches and ditch the takeaway packaging!

The benefits of packing your own lunches to take to work or school are numerous, from being conscious to what’s fuelling your body, cutting down on your use of single-use plastic packaging and cutlery and saving a few bucks in the process.

At the start of the year, there are many content creators on social media platforms that have handy meal-prep videos that are budget friendly, fast and suit a variety of dietary preferences.

Here’s an example of a bento box one by blogger and YouTuber Lisa Bryan of Downshiftology.

4. Invest in a portable lunch system

Be prepared! Realistically, there’s going to be days when you’re short on time and a takeaway lunch, smoothie or coffee is going to be practical and handy. By investing ahead of time in a portable lunch system, with a solid container, portable cutlery, a keep-cup and a re-usable drink container, you can instantly reduce the amount of single-use products that you will be exposed to over the year.

However, this option may not always be available due to impacts from covid, keep an eye out for businesses that are utilising biodegradable or compostable packaging alternatives, as these can have a smaller impact than traditional plastic packaging when disposed of correctly!

Check out Independent for a full lunchbox review!

5. Assess and repair or source secondhand toys and sporting equipment

Take a look at any toys, gadgets or sporting equipment that you’re looking at replacing from the adventures of summer. It may be the case that some items may be able to be repaired. To avoid damaged goods being destined for hard rubbish, there are community groups like tool sheds and bike repair cafes offering classes and workshops if you’d like to up-skill.

In addition, Gumtree and Facebook marketplace provide a handy space for finding items secondhand online. With in-person locations like local op-shops and garage sales providing a chance to find a bargain.

Learn to maintain your bike for free with Brisbane City Council’s workshops

Share with us!

Today’s feature image is of a Sprout pencil – once you’ve finished using your pencil, you can plant a seed, quite literally!

Let us know which of these back to school/work tips you’d like to take on board with you for 2021!

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