Containers and bread in a bag

Waste is forever. Find ways for things to have another life.

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“Rubbish is pretty much forever. We should act like it. It doesn’t disappear once you put it in the bin.”

That’s how Hayley, a Community Facilitator artist and playground designer views waste management. She wants not only to build playgrounds out of recycled materials, but is “looking for the free waste-material solution to fill a need rather than a bin.”

She says “individual selfishness is what got us to here. Too many people say one more won’t hurt. It all hurts.” She advocates reusage of items. “Try to find other ways for things to have a second life. If you don’t buy it, you don’t chuck it.” She advises to “start small”, to “think of it like evolving.”

She gets meat from her butcher in glass containers, bread from the baker in a cloth bag, and carries a wooden box for shopping. “When it’s full I leave the supermarket.” She buys shampoo bars and has chickens for scraps, compost and low carbon protein. Plus, to help carbon emissions, she bikes places. 

“It gets too much sometimes. I can’t always do it. But it’s more pleasant. I shop local and that has surprising positive outcomes in belonging and community care. Sometimes because they know you, they can take care of you. Biking takes 11 more minutes than driving but I arrive relaxed.” 

Hayley gets her ideas from “what’s achievable with what is in front of me.” Ideally she’d like “more bike lanes and less plastic forms. A tax on making bad packaging. Better local recycling. A jar shop where you can drop off and swap glass jars depending on what size you want.” But her advice for those starting the waste management journey is to “just do one thing better and stick with it.”

Hayley’s tips to help your journey:

Tip 1: Take glass containers to the butcher to put meat in

Tip 2: Put bread from the baker into your own cloth bag

Tip 3: Keep a wooden box in the car for shopping

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