Living an unwrapped lifestyle in Gippsland

Recycle: Gippsland Unwrapped blogger Tammy Logan uses produce bags made from netting when buying her weekly fruit and vegetables.
Recycle: Gippsland Unwrapped blogger Tammy Logan uses produce bags made from netting when buying her weekly fruit and vegetables.

Instead of wheeling the rubbish bin to the kerb, Tammy Logan can hold her household waste in the palm of her hand.

The Gippsland blogger from Poowong is close to creating 'zero waste' - a lifestyle that favours no packaged food, beeswax dipped cloth instead of plastic wrap and even bread wrapped in cloth bags.

"I grew up feeling really isolated in my views and (was) called a 'greenie' like it was a big negative, and in the end I stopped saying how I really felt to people," Tammy said.

"Over time I realised I was doing myself no favours and I was starting to feel untrue to myself. I thought, 'why am I not doing anything about this anymore?' I know I can do better."

Gippsland Unwrapped blogger Tammy Logan uses cloth bags when buying bread. 
photograph farrah plummer

Gippsland Unwrapped blogger Tammy Logan uses cloth bags when buying bread. photograph farrah plummer

Last year Tammy found the 'Plastic Free July Challenge', refusing all single-use plastic for a month and changing what her family bought and ate.

She conceded the challenge became an "obsession" and in hindsight advises anyone to consult their family before making changes.

"It was not good initially because I didn't take the time to discuss it with my husband. It was too much change too fast, so I say to people now, change things at your own pace because it's not a competition," Tammy said.

Options: A whole cheese wheel wrapped in wax is used to avoid single-use plastic

Options: A whole cheese wheel wrapped in wax is used to avoid single-use plastic

Her lifestyle principle is based on the four 'R's - refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and sometimes the 'C' word - compost.

Tammy refuses supermarkets full of disposable packaging in favour of bulk stores where she can restock on items such as flour, nuts, dried fruits, vinegar and honey using her reusable containers.

Fruit and vegetables are grown in the garden or purchased from farmers' markets and green grocers using reusable bags.

If the item cannot be purchased 'waste free' it is made at home, including yoghurt, muesli bars, granola, fruit straps and tortillas.

Tammy said her clothes were also second-hand, bar underwear, and she tried to purchase a minimal amount of items.

Reuse: Cold meats are purchased using reusable plastic containers to avoid single-use plastic and paper packaging at a grocer in Warragul. photographs farrah plummer

Reuse: Cold meats are purchased using reusable plastic containers to avoid single-use plastic and paper packaging at a grocer in Warragul. photographs farrah plummer

"I like the idea of being thrifty, making do with what you've got and not having to worry about buying things besides food," Tammy said.

"It's also a decision to spend more time living and doing things, having experiences instead of stuff."

She said other benefits included a smaller food budget, sourcing local food and supporting her community.

"It opened my eyes to (the fact) that I have choices and there are ways around it. I can make more of my own stuff. I thought that it would be really time consuming and difficult to learn, but it's easy," Tammy said.

To learn about her mission for 'zero waste', follow her blog: gippslandunwrapped.com

Easy tips for reducing waste:

  • Use reusable bags instead of plastic shopping bags
  • Make produce bags for your fruit and vegetables
  • Make a reusable cutlery pouch to keep in your handbag or backpack. This includes a fork, knife, spoon, steel straw and handkerchief
  • Use a 'Keep Cup' or reusable coffee mug when buying takeaway coffees
  • Bring a reusable plastic container when getting takeaway or lunch at work
  • Write a shopping list to reduce food waste

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