10 Ways to Live More Sustainably

If you’re keeping an eye out for new and interesting products to help you live more sustainably, then you’ll love the range at Shop Neutral, our environmentally friendly store in the Harvest Hall food market.

We caught up with the team at Shop Neutral to find out their top 10 ways to live more sustainably every day, so you can do your bit to help the planet and save money while you’re at it! 

1. Bring your own shopping bags or ask for a box

This is one of the easiest swaps to make as there are reusable bags available at the Market.  I have some really great bags, however; I am absolutely no stranger to forgetting them at home. So, when I do, I always ask my local grocers for a cardboard box as they always have plenty lying around.

2. Carry your own drink bottle

Not only does this reduce waste from plastic bottles but it also saves you money. There’s no need to buy water when you are thirsty and if you run out you can always ask one of the cafés to fill up your bottle for you.

3. BYO reusable cup or mug

And once you’re at the café why not treat yourself to a coffee? Of course, sitting in and enjoying your drink is the best option but if you are in a rush, it’s always a great idea to have a reusable cup or even a good old office mug with you.

4. Pack reusable cutlery

It’s always a great idea to carry a cutlery set in your bag. There are now many different varieties, bamboo, foldable, in a bag, in a case etc. Alternatively, if you rarely eat on the go (but you know you’re going to that day), you can simply pack a fork or spoon from your own kitchen, instead.

5. Use cotton produce bags

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen one of those flimsy little plastic produce bags floating around on a windy day, so why not give cotton mesh bags a go. There are so many on the market now, but organic cotton is our favourite, as they’re strong and you can compost them at the end of their life!

6. Refill your existing containers at bulk stores

Whether it’s cleaning products or produce, bulk stores let you bring your old bottles and jars and refill them with what you need. It saves you from buying new plastic packaging and a lot of the time it works out to be much cheaper.  

7. Composting

Perhaps one of my favorite ways to get rid of waste! It’s great if you have a garden but don’t worry if you don’t, as you can still join in on the fun. You can reach out to your local community farms or look up “waste share” and see if there are any compost collection points near you. *Note: you can order food and green waste bins from Stonnington Council, which are collected fortnightly. Stonnington also offer free kitchen caddies and compostable liners to help you collect kitchen scraps for your food and green waste bin.

8. Ditch the cling wrap!

Use beeswax wraps, vegan wraps, silicone covers or even reusable containers in replacement of cling wrap. And if you’re feeling crafty why not make the wax wraps yourself from cotton you already have at home?

9. Recycling programs

There are some really great companies out there such as Terra Cycle who have created recycling programs for things that would usually end up in landfill. For instance, here at Shop Neutral we have their Oral waste bin, Hair Care waste bin and Shaving Razor waste bin. So before your next Market visit, be sure to collect your empties and visit us to dispose of them into their respective bins.

10. Grow your own food

Even if you don’t have a garden you can still grow your own herbs in a pot on the windowsill. In fact, we’ve noticed it’s usually the herbs that come prepackaged in plastic wrapping and never get fully used before they end up in the compost pile!

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to be perfect at everything – start small. Create habits one at a time and combine and build on those habits when you’re ready. For example; if you already bring your reusable bags with you when you go shopping, why not throw in some cotton produce bags in there, or perhaps a container for your food at the deli? Slow and steady wins the race, we say!


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