How to reduce your waste on a budget

Did you partake in Plastic free July recently? Reducing waste is becoming more widely embrace. People are starting to really SEE the mess and be proactive to reduce waste. It truly warms my heart.  

But with popularity comes nice, shiny ‘zero waste’ objects popping up in your advertisements. Don’t get me wrong – there are some fantastic products on the market and I own a few favourite items myself. BUT – there is absolutely no need to spend money on stuff in order to swap to lower waste options!  

Look closely at what is in your home and recycling bin. There are so many ways to reuse before you go and buy. 

In my Tiny House on Wheels space is at a premium. Most of the time items are multifunctional. 

jars - low waste on a budget

 One large jar is my most used one and it has held a Christmas gift of granola, leftovers, water kefir and strawberry switchel amongst so many other things. Other jars have been vases, snack boxes, coffee cups, drinking glasses, measuring cups, dressing shakers, milk bottles and more. I keep also an empty jar in my bag with silicon bands on it for takeaway coffee or for bringing home leftover food even. 

Other things you might have around your house that you could use might be free cloth ‘showbags’ or water bottles from events, spare cutlery you could throw in your backpack for eating out, icecream or yogurt containers that could become your scrap bucket or even empty food packets that you could use to store bits in your freezer!  

– why not grab a small package (think bread bag sort of size) and stuff all the other clean soft plastics in there to take to soft plastic recycling! 

While fancy lunchboxes, water bottles, ZW shopping bags and travel cutlery are all pretty cool the reality is most of us have items around our house that could serve the same purpose without having to spend money or claim new resources for manufacturing. 

Learning to be intentional, minimalist and eco friendly doesn’t mean getting rid of everything and starting with for purpose buys. It starts with looking around you and what you have – identifying what holds value and what you can use smartly x 

P.S. I don’t mean become a clutter bug and keep everything single thing because it might have use! Be intentional about what your needs are and what you can realistically reuse for those needs. The Decluttering and Minimalism module of Talking Tiny delves into the flip side of this concept – how to declutter and deal with ‘waste guilt’.

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Low Waste Road Trip – WITH KIDS!

If you follow my social media and/or my emails you would have seen that we recently went on a bit of a road trip! With 2 small kids sitting in the car for a number of days I knew I wanted to find things to keep them entertained without creating too much waste, mess or clutter!  

So here are my top ideas for a family roadtrip!  

  • Secondhand Books! I found a local secondhand store that sold 5 kids books for $2! Honestly they looked brand new. The 2 sticker books didn’t even have any missing stickers (despite a name in the front cover). So I grabbed 10 books with enough variety for both kids. At the end we can donate any books we don’t need/want 

Cost – $4 

  • Audio! I’m a big fan of audiobooks and podcasts! Absolutely no affiliation here – I’ll just link my favourites!  

Cost – Free! (Or $12 if you include the Spotify membership to download offline)  

  • The Musical Story of Peter Pan (Note – My mum listened to this on record as a toddler and its ALWAYS been a family favourite!)  
  • ABC Listen App! (This has great options for grooving at home and for listening in the car) 
  • Audible (There is SO much to choose from! My girls love the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Playschool and Winnie the Pooh among others) 
Low Waste Road Trip – WITH KIDS!
  • Music – whatever you all fancy! If you are a Spotify family the Toddler Tunes playlist and the Disney Movie Soundtracks are a hit here!)  
  • Mini Craft Kits! I pulled together a selection of bits from home and from the office supplies place that were car friendly. I got them each a blank notebook from the clearance shelf, a roll of washi tape, a glue stick and some crayons to share. From home I grabbed 2 little pencil cases and some scraps of tissue paper for them to stick. It wasn’t completely zero waste – but it was low waste and fun! Cost – $14 
  • Finger entertainment! I gathered some felt finger puppets I had made previously for the 2 year old to play with and turned a small mind tin in to a mini ‘dolls house’ for some little peg dolls to live in! I even used some old magazine images to put wallpaper in the house. All items were things I had around the house already but are fast projects to make if you plan ahead. The finger puppets I made ahead of a flight 3 years ago and are still a favourite for in my bag or travel!  
  • Snacks! Ever the hero with cranky kids! We took some time to get to our bulkfoods shop and buy some travel-friendly snacks. Dried fruit and some chickpea puffs were on the girls’ list. We also grabbed a box of glutenfree cocoa puffs which is always a special treat and they love it dry! The day before we left I roasted up 2 trays of sweet potato and made some biscuits. Again – low waste not totally zero waste and easy to adapt as needed.  
Low Waste Road Trip – WITH KIDS!

Cost – Approx $15 plus ingredients from the pantry  

All up, we were on the road for 4 days plus a day (and 2 nights) at the campsite. I packed all entertainment and snacks into a box and just got out a few things each day!

This meant on the last day of the road trip I still had a few aces up my sleeve 😉  

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Alice Springs Road Trip! – A Travel Blog

What a week we have had!  

Getting to Alice Springs was far more eventful than we had planned! Here is how it played out..  
 
In the lead up to our trip I spent a lot of time looking into low waste camp foods that nourished my family AND were quarantine friendly as we traveled through 2 borders! I’ll hopefully write some blogs on this soon as well as low waste and low-cost car activities for kids! Stay tuned for the next blog post! 
 
On Friday night (the night before we were destined to leave) Jeremy took the car out to grab some pizza. Unfortunately, the wheel nuts hadn’t been tightened correctly and one of the big 4WD mud tyres flew off the car and hurled towards a group of pedestrians before bouncing off the bus stop sign and landing ON another car.

Alice Springs Road Trip

The crazy thing is that it made NO SENSE for the 4WD to be driven that night. We had not yet finished packing and a cheaper run around car was parked right beside it. But it Jeremy had not taken the 4WD you can guarantee the tyre would have caused problems the next day with the trailer hitched up and us all in the car traveling highway speeds. I don’t know where you stand – but to me, that’s a God moment. We are so lucky! 
 
Saturday morning (after checking out all mechanics to make sure it was safe!) we loaded up, headed to ballet and then made it to Clare Valley region SA to stay with lovely friends who just happened to comment on a post recently that they would love to have us! Talk about perfect timing! It was a slow trip there after a loose clip on the alternator but there was tasty food waiting for us, comfy beds, good company and a promise of patting lots of cuddly critters the next morning! The girls even got to help feed a bottle-fed lamb before we left! So thankful for great friends scattered all over the country! 
 
Sunday we intended to get to Alpana Station in the Flinders Ranges. It looks amazing and we really hope to get there one day! However, our trip was much slower than we had planned due to that loose clip on the alternator and we ended up staying at Mt Remarkable instead which is about half way between Pt Augusta and Port Pirie. It is a really nice quiet spot with big flat campsites and a firepit for every site. It’s got running water, toilets and shower facilities with lots of bushwalks around. We ended up staying here 2 nights! 
 
Our next drama was actually on the Sunday night while setting up the camper trailer that we borrowed from my parents! Jeremy tripped and took a nice chunk of flesh off his shin.

Alice Springs Road Trip

We had everything we needed to get it all bandaged up, but unfortunately, Jeremy has had issues over the trip ended up on an IV drip of antibiotics when we got to Alice Springs and some tissue cut out. 

On Tuesday we left Mt Remarkable and headed to Woomera for lunch. I have memories of the Woomera Arboretum as a child being full of birds and averies! It was a little eerie to see all the empty cages but the well cared for grass ovel, picnic tables, BBQs and playground make it a really great place to stop if you are ever traveling through! 
 
We ended up staying at the Coober Pedy Comfort Inn on Tuesday night and Lydia thought we could definitely build an underground house! It was a cool experience to tick off and walk around the underground hotel. 

Alice Springs Road Trip

Wednesday we made it to Alice Springs and we will spend the next 6 weeks in the area housesitting. It’s been pretty cool sitting back and watching things just pop up! I’m excited to learn more about animal care, spend time with friends and family, go on explorations and start actioning some cool stuff I’ve had sitting in the background! 
 
Stay tuned for the camp/travel pieces for handy tips! 

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