This is the most common question I receive. It was also the exact question that I asked, when I was at the beginning of my journey. Below is a semi chronological list of how to's, resources and tips for anyone starting their own journey. Let's begin...
My number 1 tip for zero waste and plastic-free living. Read why I think this is important for starting any type of lifestyle change.
Let's work on reducing these five single use plastic items. I'm talking stuff like the plastic bags, straws and take away coffee cups. Changing habits can be hard, and I shared the simple and effective tips that assisted me when I was trying to learn to remember my reusable bag at the beginning. Remember, changing habits is going to be one of the harder steps, not buying a reusable shopping bag.
If you are wanting to purchase items, like reuseable shopping bags or even a water bottle, I have made a list of the essentials plastic swaps.
Of course, buying new items is not necessary, but some people like to feel equiped. Buying new things is a bit of myth associated with switching to plastic-free living. You can read about the other myths that I busted here too.
You could try sewing or making your own swaps too. I shared a tutorial on sewing a cutlery wrap. They are handy for all types of situations. The internet is full of sewing tutorials for cloth bags too.
If the thought of saying no to plastic every day sounds like too much, try out Plastic Free Tuesday. It's a great way to ease it out of your life. Once you have mastered a couple of Tuesdays, add Wedneaday to the mix, then Thursday and so on. Another way is to take on Plastic Free July. Or you could give yourself fortnightly challenges, pretending plastic bags don't exist for two weeks.
Get composting! Did you know house hold bins in Australia are made up of 40-50% food scraps. Imagine how much our landfills would decrease in size if we all composted. Plus, we wouldn't need to take our bins to the curb so often if the smelly food waste was removed. You can build your own or read nine different ways to compost in any home, including small spaces and apartments.
Need an inspiring documentary to keep you motivated? There are quite a few out there, and I have listed some of my favourites.
Learn about what bulk food shopping is and use the bulk store finder to find a shop near you. I have also compiled a list of bulk stores here in in Melbourne.
Don't live close to a bulk store? Read about rural bulk food co-ops and how to get one started.
Have you tried using your own container at a store, only to be told no? Click here to learn what the law says bout reusing containers.
Want to find likeminded people, in your area? Australia has many growing zero waste and plastic-free communities all around the country, full of people that are like you. I suggest joining a zero waste online community group. Read my list of Australian based groups here.
The above list is a great place to start, and refer back to as you move along on your journey to reducing plastic and rubbish in your life.