Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

Updated: Jan 21

Our business is to care about bodies, to relieve pain and keep our clients moving. But we also need to put this focus on to our plant - there is a lot we can do to help relieve the pain our planet is currently experiencing.

ethique shampoo, conditioner and soap bars

Our business is to care about bodies, helping to relieve pain and assisting to improve muscle performance. We do this on a daily basis with our clients, but on a bigger scale we believe this philosophy is one to ensure we follow for our planet as well.

As individuals and businesses we need to care more for our planet, assist in relieving and removing the pain we are causing and improve our planets performance through better use of resources.

There are so many ways we can make small differences in our lives, that will in turn make bigger differences to the planet and our environment. We know we can always do more, but we thought we’d share what the Muscle Medicine team is doing to create a smaller footprint.

Recycling, Reusing & Reducing

Recycling is a great place to start, unfortunately Australia’s recycling record is not great. Recycling isn’t easy, we need to think about it - but when was anything that was easy, good? We need to commit to ourselves and our planet that we will continue to improve our efforts. Recycling is not just about plastics either, there are a number of materials that should be recycled and we need to ensure we aren’t losing sight of cans, tins, glass and paper recycling either.

Reusing is a great way to reduce waste. Consider how you can reuse an item, repurpose it to avoid sending it to landfill. We reuse many of the glass jars from our grocery shopping in the pantry. It’s so much nicer than having plastics and a great way to allow you to purchase from bulk stores such as Naked Foods or The Source Foods

Straight out Reducing is critical for us to cutting the amount of virgin plastic that is produced into our environment. Think twice about what you buy - is there an alternative to the plastic wrapped item you are buying?

Plastics

Plastics are the hot topic right now, especially the issues they are causing our marine life. Without intervention we will have more plastic in our oceans than marine life by 2050 1.

Plastic Bags

New South Wales is the only state that has not yet banned single use plastic bags 2. We need to make sure we are heard and start acting with our dollars. Boycott the places that are still giving away single use bags. While on the topic - how about a boycott on Coles until they stand up and reduce the amount of plastic they are providing by charging for reusable bags. We all need to be accountable for this and many people won’t be if there is no consequence. government should be ashamed that they have not made a stance on banning single use plastic bags and

We have been using hession and canvas bags for a number of years and enjoy shopping at stores that offer cardboard boxes from their stock to be reused; Aldi, Harris Farm and even Bunnings. Though we still need to be conscious of what we are putting in our hessian bags and refuse to buy pre-packed vegetables, don’t use the plastic produce bags - keep an eye out for the mushroom paper bags and use those!

If you haven’t already, get onboard and stop using single-use plastic bags. If you forget your bags it’s not the government's fault, the stores fault or the environments fault so purchase a reusable bag, grab a box or carry the three items you purchased!

“So what do I do with my garbage”, firstly let’s aim for reduced garbage through recycling, reusing and even composting. Laura uses a worm farm to recycle all her food scraps, encourage your building to create a compost in the garden if you are in an apartment. Basically, think outside the bag for how you are going to dispose of your waste.

5+ plastic bags a week gone

Straws and Juice Cups

Straws are a massive problem in our oceans, their size makes them a huge hazard for marine animals.

If you’re getting a juice or a smoothie think about your options; have it in the cafe, without a straw or insist on your cafe uses metal, glass or if they have to use disposable ones, ensure they are paper or even pasta straws are becoming popular! Laura popped along to Vida in Bondi for a juice the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see them using reusable straws! Danni uses metal straws that she carries with her just in case, as well as a reusable juice cup - just like a keepcup for juices.

1+ straws and juice cups a week gone

Plastic Bottles

We all know this one! We’ve been hearing it for years, why are spending so much money on bottled water when we actually have great quality water in Australia? Not only could we be saving money, but we could definitely be reducing the amount of plastic produced if we stopped purchasing bottled water. If you aren’t sure about the quality of our water check out this video from ABC’s War on Waste. So pick up a reusable bottle to refill throughout the day.

Soap is so underrated, these days we have so many wonderfully made soaps that are good for our skin and don’t come in plastic bottles. When did we become obsessed with pump soap and body washes? Not only are they harsh on the planet they are also harsh on our bodies containing many chemicals. Grab a natural bar, cheaper and safer! See the body range at ethique.com.nz - trust us the Spearmint & pumice soap is amazingly refreshing!

Shampoo bars are sprouting up everywhere, they are made from natural ingredients, good for you and good for your hair, they also don’t come in a plastic bottle, so there is no excuse! They lather and provide great detanglers, just like the bottled version. Basically, they have removed the harsh chemicals and additional water required to make the products ‘liquid’ and suitable for use in a bottle. It’s a no brainer!

Laura uses bars from Sophia Body Works in Alice Springs. There is a variety for men and women including;

  • Tart - with Shea butter, avocado oil, and glycerine to nourish and moisturise your hair

  • Rose and Mary - full of antioxidants that can help prevent premature greying and it has antifungal and antimicrobial qualities good for combating dandruff and stimulating hair growth

  • Merman - A gentle bar with a blend of essential oils that are helpful for a dry & flaking scalp, rosemary to help stimulate hair growth and seaweed to prevent hair loss hair.

Danni is using Ethique Bars their range includes;

  • Frizz Wrangler - with Samoan Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter to help hair that gets a bit of abuse from the old curling or straightening iron.

  • The Heali Kiwi - for those who suffer from scalp problems, with kiwifruit oil, coconut oil, neem oil, oatmeal and karanja oil.

They even do moisturisers and cleansers - so many options to reduce or give up the bottle

Multiple plastic bottles gone!!

We love Bee Wrappy, Beeswax Wraps, made by a couple in the Blue Mountains. They use Cotton prints infused in bees wax and oils to keep food fresh and plastic out. They have the added benefit of reducing the toxic from plastics that could potentially infiltrating your food and making you healthier as well as greener. They keep food fresher for longer - another great benefit. Alternatively you could use silicone food covers like those at Biome.com.au

Cling wrap be gone

Making your lunch at home and taking it to work has a host of benefits, you save money, generally eat healthier and reduce waste.

The worst thing about buying lunch is the guilt about the packaging and plastic cutlery it comes with. Although places are getting much better with packaging alternatives they offer, we still have a long way to go.

5 x plastic food containers & accessories a week gone

Considering what you purchase from the supermarket is essential in cutting our plastic packaging. There’s the over packaged fruit & vegetables - choose loose produce to avoid the ridiculous amounts of non-essential plastic. You can also consider purchasing your meat & fish directly from the butcher and fishmonger, where you can avoid the plastic trays and additional plastic in the supermarket products. There are rumours the supermarkets are investigating the options of allow us to take our own containers for fresh foods. With the time it took for single use bags to be banned, we think this will be a while off, but let’s keep pushing for change.

5 x plastic food wrapping a week gone

By now we all know that takeaway coffee cups are the enemy. You can’t recycle them, or you can but no-one does as they are so expensive to recycle. You can purchase a keepcup from anywhere, or try a collapsible version with cupy if you are short on space. Laura even has a triathlete friend who carries his keepcup with him - in his lyrca cycling suit, even on 300km cycles, no problem. No excuses now!

Or be like Coby - stop and chat to the locals, have your coffee with the barista and connect with your community!

Laura is on the warpath with this one, if she sees you with a takeaway coffee cup, she will be judging you.

7x Coffee cups a week gone

At the end of the cycle is our own personal waste disposal - did you know most toilet paper is often made with ​​virgin trees? although you can purchase some brands who recycle. Our favourite gives back as well,

Who Gives a Crap is a company doing good. It’s toilet paper that is leading a movement (pardon the pun). Not only is it made from 100% recycled materials but they also give 50% of profits to help build toilets for those in need, providing healthier options, better quality of life and a bit of dignity to their lives. If you local cafe isn’t using it - recommend it! It’s easy to tell, the wrappers are all a bit fun too!

Lots of trees saved

Did you know you can get compost bins and worm farms from some local councils for not very much. Laura lives in a small studio and bought a worm farm from Waverley Council for under $30 with worms and compost included, delivered. Alternatively Bunnings sell do-it-yourself kits too. Laura adds her food waste into the farm and she’s pretty proud of her worms. This is a great way to avoid wrapping organic material in plastic that won’t break down.

Which brings us to another backward step we’ve made in our world - organic dog waste into plastic bags. As we all want clean walkways, how about using biodegradable doggie waste bags like these from iherb.

So choose one of the above a week to adopt if you are not already. Within a month the difference you will be making to our environment is amazing. If you slip and forget a bag, or need water and buy a bottle simply remind yourself for next time.

Help us help the planet.

1. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf

2. https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2018/07/02/plastic-bag-ban-nsw/

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