Avoiding being wasteful can have great social benefits, help protect the environment and stop valuable land from being turned into landfill.

Tips to reduce your household waste


Rethink before you buy or dispose. Buy only what you need. Aim for investing on items that waste less, used longer, degrade organically or be able to reprocess. Using cloth nappies can stop about 2 billion disposable nappies going to landfill every year in Australia. Consider how you dispose of rubbish while you are out of the house. The best sorted and collected rubbish has the maximum chance for getting recycled/reprocessed. Littering and mingled waste disposal gets the least opportunity to get recycled.


Buy second hand items. Use re-usable water bottles and coffee mugs instead of the throw-away alternatives. Switch Your Thinking’s Rewards for Residents program offers a 10% discount on Keep Cups purchased through Environment House.


Refuse using single use non degradable items. Refusing to use or avoiding a product is a great way to reduce its production and thus encouraging the development of better sustainable alternatives. When disposable items such as plastic bags, straws and other such items are banned, several alternatives with natural material have come to the market. 

For example- In Australia, 8.2 billion articles of junk mail are produced every year. If you’re not reading it- Refuse it. Put a Switch Your Thinking ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on your letter box (available to Perth residents only).


Use primary recycling options such as op-shops or sites like garagesaleit, marketplace,  Gumtree and Freecycle to re-home unwanted household items from clothes, collectables, to plants and garden products. This method requires no extra input and used for the same purpose as the originally used.


There are several items if sorted and collected appropriately can be recycled to the same product or reprocessed.  Some items that come under the hazardous waste category such as the batteries, mobile phones, fluorescent lights and old appliances require disposing into the correct recycling stream. Most City councils, libraries, mobile phone stores and other centres have collection facilities for those items  Visit Recycling Near You or contact your local Council to find out how. 

Did you know?

Australians produce 76 million tonnes of waste, and spend around $17 billion for servicing municipal solid waste (MSW), Construction and Industrial (C&I), Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste?


Anything that has grown from the soil uses nutrients from the soil for its growth. It is important to return those nutrients back to the soil. Lawn clippings, tree pruning, leftover from your vegetable or general garden should go back to the soil to replenish the soil after processing through mulching or composting.  Get a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin at home to treat your food waste or find someone in your area who can accept your food waste through Sharewaste. You’ll be saving loads of greenhouse gas emissions and you’ll get back nutrients that you can use on your garden. Switch your thinking’s Rewards for Residents program provides discounts on compost bins, bokashi buckets and worm farms through select suppliers.


Reduce packaging waste and long distance transport – make your own products at home. Cleaning liquid, soaps, pickles, jams and several of those items can be prepared at home and totally eliminating the hard plastic packaging. Besides you will be using less chemicals in your household and personal product when you make your own natural cleaners. Check Switch your thinking – Cleaning with Chemistry brochure for some ideas.


Try repairing electrical goods, furniture etc rather than replacing.


Think of ways to use it before throwing them away.  Old clothes, and linen make great dusting rags, chipped coffee cups make great indoor plant pots and an old suitcase can even be repurposed as a dog bed, bottles can be used to store items and so on.

Other Ways to Switch

Learn about more ways you can switch your thinking and live a more sustainable lifestyle.