Setting goals in any aspect of life is always met with struggle, deciding about how ambitious you want to be and what kind of time frame you’d like to see these changes happen. One of the biggest issues with resolutions is that sometimes they’re not broken down into more manageable sub-goals and that there’s no way to really measure your progress towards a big change.

Today’s post is going to enable you to make an action plan for your lifestyle that will help you to reduce your waste footprint!

Step 1 – What’s achievable?

Remember that toolkit from last week? Well, we’re going to take a look back at all of that information that we collated and use that to help us understand where to begin.

I’m going to apply the following steps to my two shifts that I want to make are reducing my plastic output in my kitchen from pantry staples and minimising the impact from my most common activity of baking!

ItemQualitiesChange required?AlternativesObstacles
TofuProduct that I purchase which has plastic packaging.Yes. This is something that is important to me.Can recycle products that come in soft plastic at Redcycle bin hubs; look into delis that let you BYO containers; making my own at home.Still have ongoing plastic production impacts; not aware of any in local area; time, knowledge and cost of specialist equipment.
Baking linersProduct that I purchase that ends up going into my general waste binYes. I use this regularly and can see that it makes up a big part of my kitchen waste stream.Compostable liners, silicon pans, silpat matsHidden water and energy impacts; cost.

What’s the easiest obstacle to overcome?

Make your first step this one, it’s more likely to happen in the short-term as there’s less to resolve to get there.

So for each of mine I can readily:

  • Recycling my soft plastic from my tofu packaging and do some research on how to DIY.
  • Continue using compostable baking liners as I gradually switch to silicon alternatives.

Step 2 – Quantify it!

How quickly can you make this change? Write it down first thing in the morning, close your book. Go about your day. Come back to after dinner. Is this the right amount of time really? It’s okay if there’s a transition period – be realistic! Sometimes you might get lucky and the changes that you want to make can be pretty quick!

In the case of my packaging and cooking conundrums, these initial solutions are quickly implemented:

  • Soft plastic recycling is available at Coles stores via Redcycle, before Covid, I was incidentally taking it with me for the day when I was heading into the middle of West End. At the moment, I’ve just been stockpiling it in a large box in the garage.
  • Compostable baking liners are a lot more common and can be found in most Coles and Woolworths supermarkets – these are advertised as industrial composting only (70°C), but I’ve found them to degrade in our apartment compost bin; for less robost composting set-ups I’d suggest checking out the range at Biome for home composting (50°C).

Step 3 – Ideal world…?

Where would you like to be ideally? This is the pie in the sky, long term idea that you’d like to get to, this is good to have in mind as it will remind you why you’re doing this and you can see the additional energy and steps that you’ll need to expend to get there.

For my ideal situation, I can call on the help of friends and family to start supplementing my bakeware collection with silicon options as presents. As for the tofu, well I’ve started to experiment, I’ve had some fails using soy milk from the fridge section at the shops, but I think after a little bit of reading, I have a method that I’d like to try with dried soybeans!

Step 4 – Rinse, repeat!

Put all of your answers together for each of the steps above into a handy short-form table. It’s clear, accountable and gives you a framework to work your own pathway towards your goals.

ItemMini goalTimelineIdeal scenario?Next steps
TofuRecycle my soft plasticThis weekMake my own!Try out a recipe;
do some reading;
Baking linersUse compostable optionThis weekHave a silicon bake-ware collectionReplace when I can gradually; ask for presents.

These handy little steps can be repeated for all of the items in your rubbish bin that you wanted to make changes towards from Post 2! After achieving some of the preliminary steps in your bigger goals, you will revisit this exercise, again and again!

Share with us!

Today’s feature image is of the beeswax wrap collection that I created last year. I had been wanting to reduce my plastic wrap consumption in 2019 and found that doing this activity in a group made it cost-effective and motivating! Maybe something you’re wanting to do could be facilitated by a skills exchange kind of day? Let us know how you’re going!

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