Three hacks to become a Waste Warrior

Published August 29, 2023

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Michael “Mick” Stapleton is a driven and passionate Environmental Engineer, specialising in sustainable waste management processes. Mick is currently undergoing his PhD, with a focus on plastic recycling. When he’s not in the laboratory or combing for plastics on the beach, Mick shares enthusiasm for waste reduction via posting quirky and educational content on his Instagram @wastemanmick.

“My whole life I have loved doing activities that have involved nature, whether that be surfing, camping, snowboarding or even just walking the dog. I love the way nature makes me feel and I want to keep that feeling going for many years to come, so I do my part in trying to keep nature pristine.”

– Michael Stapleton on why nurturing nature is important to him.

For Mick, nurturing nature means keeping plastic out of the environment, and making sure that he does his part in keeping our natural habitats clean.

“My passion is waste minimisation so that is what I have tended to incorporate into my home life to help nurture nature. Through my PhD studies I have seen the impact that waste and litter have on our environment, so to help nature, I have tried to reduce my waste footprint and make sure I manage my end-of-life waste correctly. Simple things like recycling and not putting food organics into landfill can go a long way,” said Mick.

On top of his usual waste collection that’s done when he’s out doing field research, Mick says one transformative habit that has helped him do his part in keeping his community clean is to set out a goal for how much rubbish he plans to pick up on a regular basis. For Mick this looks like collecting one doggie bag of litter when he’s out walking his pup.

To kick start your waste journey, follow Mick’s quick tips below:

  1. Even if you don’t have a dog to walk, try and get outside for a walk once a day. Even this process alone will help you appreciate nature and kick start you on your journey to actively want to nurture nature. Once out in nature, appreciate how beautiful it is and recognise how out of place litter looks in the pristine environment.
  2. Properly dispose of your waste by getting familiar with your council’s waste rules. This means sorting out your rubbish and ensuring that plastic items that are eligible for recycling are disposed of properly.
  3. Start making goals, I collect one bag each day, but yours might be less, it might only just be picking up one piece of rubbish a day. But even this will make a huge difference in the long term.

We believe that nature looks after us, so we must look after nature.

That’s why we’re asking Australians to make their very own nature pledge to nurture nature. We’re aiming to show Australian’s how easy it is to nurture the nature around them by being more sustainable in their daily lives. Read all about the Small Habits, Big Changes campaign here.

Learn about which Nature's Own product may be appropriate for you.

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