Here at Wunderthings, we believe we should all do what we can to protect the earth and reduce waste. Our ethos is the more people actively minimising wastage, the less that is wasted (can't argue with that).

Our period underwear are made from regenerated nylon, which helps clean the oceans, reduces the use of virgin materials, and saves tonnes of crude oil. Plus, as an alternative to tampons and pads, period undies reduce the use of up to 10,000 single-use products over the lifetime of a single person! You can learn more about our fabric here, or read more about sustainable fashion here

But enough about us. Let's talk about other contributors to household waste and the steps you can take to reduce your part…

Minimising what ends up in landfill

There are more ways than many of us might realise to dispose of other common materials sustainably. Here are some simple changes you can make to your household waste management:


Look into your council's system for hard plastics, cardboard and glass. Typically, these things need to be free from too much oil or food remains (so sometimes the greasy half of your pizza box goes in the bin, and you can tear off the top half for recycling). 

There's a numbered recycling system – look for the number between one to seven within the three arrows that make up the recycling triangle symbol. Depending on how your local shire manages waste, where you put certain numbers will change. In many Australian shires, numbers 1, 2 and 5 are recyclable in your standard household recycling bin, but double check where you live. 

Soft plastics

The rule of thumb for soft plastics is if you scrunch it in your hand and it springs back out, it's soft plastic. Many supermarkets offer soft plastic recycling – collect your soft plastics in a soft plastic bag and drop it off when you do your shopping! 

Other materials

Some resources fall outside the typical recycling bin or soft plastics – things like bread clips and bottle caps, for example. Some programs throughout Australia collect these items and turn them into amazing things like wheelchairs. Collect these kinds of waste and drop them off at a collection point, like the public drop-off spots through Terracycle.

Walk or carpool when you can

Minimise greenhouse gas emissions by reducing your time in the car. If you can carpool somewhere, great. If you need to drive somewhere, consider parking further away and walking a portion of the way – better for you and the environment.

A few other rapid-fire waste-reducing tips:

  • Try wearing an extra layer before turning the heater on
  • Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
  • Reduce how much meat you buy
  • Invest in slow fashion or shop at op shops
  • Switch to period undies and use without pads or tampons (when it's comfortable for you to do so)
  • Avoid purchasing items in single-use packaging
  • Take a water bottle and reusable coffee cup out with you – avoid buying bottled water or takeaway coffee cups
  • Buy in bulk where you can to minimise shipping and packaging 
  • Shop local
  • Switch to corn or bamboo toothbrushes 

Reducing food waste

First, some quick food for thought:

The National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study outlines that in Australia, the majority of yearly food waste (2.46 million tonnes) occurs in households. 312kg of edible food is thrown away per person per year – about one out of every five bags of groceries wasted.

Let's say you weigh 70kg (which is less than the Aussie average); that means the equivalent of 4.5 'yous' of food is wasted each year. Now picture that much food piled up times each person in Aus. 

Now, of course, there is plenty of waste that occurs outside of your control. Lots of food is lost between production and making it to the supermarket, and lots of edible food doesn't make it onto shelves because it's misshapen or 'ugly'. 

You changing your habits probably won't solve world hunger in your lifetime. But changing your habits for just one year will make that pile of human-shaped wasted food smaller. Have we taken this visual analogy too far? Maybe. But has it helped you realise that if each person commits to reducing their wastage, then the almost 2.5 million tonnes of wasted food in our country per year will grow smaller and smaller? Hopefully!

Here's what you can do to reduce food wastage in your household:

  • Plan your meals before you grocery shop to only buy what you need.
  • Pick the 'ugly' misshapen fruits and veggies – they're more likely to get overlooked and thrown away, but they're completely fine to eat.
  • Use. Your. Leftovers. Throw those almost-bad veggies in a pan and see what happens. Save your take-out night for when the fridge is basically empty. Eat the same thing three nights in a row, even if you're maybe a little bit sick of it. 
  • Invest in quality food storage: reusable freezer bags, beeswax wraps, and air-tight containers.
  • Compost your food scraps. You can probably dispose of compost in your green waste bin but double-check your local council's system.
  • Shop at local produce places when you can.

Reducing waste is an attitude and a commitment. 

Leading a more environmentally conscious lifestyle involves having a sustainability-focused attitude. It's time we all drop the 'I'm just one person, how much difference can I really make' excuse. You CAN make a difference. 

If you stop wasting food altogether, that's 312kg of food saved a year. If you stop using pads and tampons, that's about 250 single-use items saved from landfill a year. If you have shorter showers, that's litres and litres of water saved each year. A little bit can go a long way. All this, thanks to you. So in advance – thank you!

September 26, 2022 — Lucy Wright