What does it mean to be an Eco-Champ?


December 1, 2017


How can you, as an eco-champion, take your passion for sustainability and channel it towards the greater good? Cleanaway believes that each one of us can make a difference – as individuals and as a collective. Here’s how.

Sustainability is about choice

  • Choose aluminium cans over glass. When out and about, choose aluminium cans over glass bottles. Aluminium can be recycled many times without compromising quality and is considered a valuable commodity in the recycling market. While glass is 100% recyclable, it is harder to find viable markets for recycled glass and it is often crushed to be recycled for construction or road base materials.
  • Choose to refuse single use plastics. Eliminating single use plastics is potentially the most impact we can make as individuals, and the easiest change we can encourage in others. Refuse plastic straws. Use and reuse cups and water bottles. Bring your own reusable mugs to your favourite coffee place, and bring along Tupperware or recycled containers for take-away food. Learn more about the Plastic Free July initiative that began with one simple call-to-action in Perth, and has now spread nationwide.
  • Choose brands/organisations/projects that promote sustainability. Put your money where your mouth is by buying products from companies that hold similar values to you. Maybe they use recyclable materials, build sustainability into their supply chain, or ensure that what they produce can be recycled.

Get others involved

  • Start recycling young. A little education on the basics of recycling goes a long way. The earlier we get our kids involved in recycling and sustainability education, the more they can make a difference later. Often, waste reduction and recycling is simply a habit – when formed early, it can become second nature. Find out more about Cleanaway’s many recycling education programs for preschool, primary and secondary school children.

Cleanaway’s interactive stall was bustling with primary students who wanted to learn more about recycling at the Youth Eco Summit 2017, held at Sydney Olympic Park on the 16th and 17th of November. 

  • Recycle at work. If your office doesn’t have a recycling program, take the lead and start one. Get in touch with like-minded colleagues to pool ideas and recruit ambassadors for change. Get the support of management and show them how thinking green is a benefit for the whole company. For instance, Cleanaway’s Waste Education Officer Elli Webb started by bringing her own hand towels to the office to avoid using paper towels, which in turn inspired her colleagues to do the same. Follow her MAD (Make A Difference) journey towards zero waste here.
  • To find out the difference increased recycling can make to your business, organise a waste audit from Cleanaway.

Stay up to date. New recycling practices and technologies are being developed all over the world, and we can look abroad for further inspiration. Sign up for the latest recycling news, updates and events in our Sustainable Future e-newsletter.