by Pixie Stardust
NLS9 is aiming to be a low waste, plastic-free event as much as possible. We can’t achieve this without support from our wonderful attendees (that’s you!)
Here are some suggestions for things you can bring with you to help make your NLS experience convenient, easy and environmentally friendly:
- Reusable water bottle – drinking water will be available throughout the venue. We will not be supplying bottled water.
- Reusable coffee cup – we will have some baristas making hot drinks to order as well as refreshment stations where you can make your own tea or help yourself to cold brew, juice or kombucha. You can also use your cup to buy drinks before/after the symposium – many venues in Adelaide give you a discount for bringing your own cup.
- Reusable straw – if you must have a straw with your beverages, consider bringing a silicone, glass or metal reusable along. Straws will not be available at the event. Many venues in Adelaide do not supply plastic straws either (some places have paper, metal or pasta straws).
- Cutlery kit and napkin – you can buy all kinds of little kits for travel cutlery but it’s just as easy to wrap a set from home in a cloth napkin. All the conference food can be eaten with your hands as well to make things easy.
- Reusable produce bag and tote bag – if you are planning to explore the Central Markets or do some other shopping while in Adelaide consider bringing some reusable bags with you. All attendees will have the option of receiving their own Boomerang Bag for the event which can be reused for shopping, library books and everyday carrying.
- Tablet / Phablet / Chromebook / Laptop / Smartphone – consider using your device for note taking to save on paper and pens, or bring your own notebook and pen if you like to do things old school. We won’t be supplying pens as everyone has enough pens in their life and these are usually a wasteful addition to conferences.
When you are at NLS9 make sure you are putting your rubbish / recycling / food scraps in the right bin. If you are not sure, ask one of our friendly committee members or volunteers. We will have bins for compost/food waste (including tissues, teabags & pizza boxes), 10c recycling (kombucha bottles mainly), soft plastics recycling, other recycling (paper, cardboard, tins) and rubbish (hopefully this will be very minimal!).
The Waste Hierarchy
We have been considering all elements of NLS9 in relation to the Waste Hierarchy. The elements of the waste hierarchy remind us of the strategies to use when dealing with waste in our lives.
Refuse – the first part of the waste hierarchy, this is about refusing things you don’t need or want. It’s about stopping to ask yourself whether you really need to take the thing even if it is free, rather than just automatically accepting it. If there is anything in your Boomerang Bag, even the bag itself that you don’t want please hand it in at the registration desk and we can manage it for you.
Reduce – this is about using and consuming less to reduce the amount of waste you are creating. This might be reducing the amount of bottled or packaged items you buy, reducing the purchasing of new items and being a conscious consumer. It’s also about reducing your food waste by sensible shopping, meal planning, preserving, and using leftovers.
Reuse – reusing what you have rather than buying a new thing. This includes using reusable options instead of disposables whenever possible e.g. water bottles, coffee cups, straws, napkins, cutlery, shopping bags, produce bags, takeaway containers.
Rehome – if you don’t need something anymore consider who might be able to use it. Can you donate it to an opshop or community group? There are lots of swap, free & buy nothing communities on social media you can also get involved with to share and trade items you no longer want or need. These are also a great place to start when you need something.
Repair – if something is broken or damaged can it be repaired rather than discarded? Some cities have repair cafes where you can take items in to be repaired by friendly handy types.
Recycle – recycling should not be the first resort. Many people think recycling is the first thing to consider when there are several actions you should consider before you get to recycling. Recycling items is better than putting them in the rubbish but it still has a high resource cost and is less desirable than the previous options in the hierarchy. More info about that here. With recycling, it is also important that you are recycling the right thing at the right place. Check out the Recycle Right search if you are in SA, or your local council or Waste management provider in your city for more information.
Rot – Compost your food waste (which ideally you have reduced to a very small amount!) and other compostable items such as tissues, paper towel, pizza boxes, hair, teabags (plastic-free ones) and much more. Check out this list of 100 things you can compost.
Plastic Free July – NLS is on the first weekend of Plastic Free July – what can you do to reduce your plastic consumption? Easy switches can be made for the following household items; shopping bags, produce bags, toothbrushes & floss, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, deodorant, shavers, sanitary products, face wash, moisturiser, plastic wrap, baking paper.
Treading my own path – Zero waste
Zero waste home – tips
13 easy zero waste resolutions
10 waste free changes that don’t cost any money
10 plastic free kitchen ideas you might not have thought of
Creating a zero waste shopping kit
Treading my own path – Plastic Free