You told us about the ‘small choices’ you’re making at home…


Fairy dust might seem like an unlikely and unscientific solution to the war on waste, but it’s been a motivating step in the right direction for one family.

It’s one of a long list of tweaks Becca Chapman and her family have made to reduce their waste footprint. 

“[They’re] small choices. I was like well ‘glitter is the microplastic that I don’t want to sprinkle all over my furniture and it’s not environmentally [friendly].”

So when the tooth fairy was due for a visit, Becca devised her own recipe for an eco-alternative, made from pink salt, food colouring, flowers from the garden, and essential oils.

A small statue of a fairy next to a glass jar full of DIY pink fairy dust which is also spread out on the table infront

Becca’s homemade fairy dust uses items you probably already have in the pantry and garden.(Supplied: Becca Chapman)

Over the last decade or so, Becca and her family have been trying to reduce their waste in whatever small but meaningful ways they can, but she’s the first to admit that with full-time work and a busy family life, changes take commitment and time.

“I don’t think anyone could be perfect, I would be the biggest hypocrite … I’m sitting here wearing synthetic fabrics and then the little microplastics will be going through my washing cycle,” she says.

“[But] I have a thing in my head where I go ‘OK, if something’s not right you either get used to it, or you get busy to do something about it’.

“So instead of getting overwhelmed about pollution and climate change, I think ‘OK, how about one thing and we do that until it becomes a habit or until it becomes easier?”

A young girl with glasses and a pink shirt standing behind a table with a fairy statue and fairy dust on the bench

Becca Chapman’s daughter with her homemade fairy dust(Supplied)

Becca isn’t alone in trying to do her part in reducing waste. We heard from more than 1,000 of you who shared the little, and big, things you do to reduce your environmental impact.

Many of you have adopted trusted tips like shopping with your recycled bags, avoiding plastic packaging where possible, buying second hand, planning out your meals and using your food scraps for composting.

But there were plenty of novel ideas for reusing and recycling that you might not have thought of, so let’s share the brains trust.

To start with, there were some common themes:

1. Know your pantry

Rachel in Newcastle, and many others, reminded us of the value of a good old meal plan and accompanying shopping list to reduce unnecessary purchases at the supermarket.

But have you considered a pantry list, where you keep a running list of the items you already have at home?

Sandra in Bathurst jots down the food she has in her pantry or fridge, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables.

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