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Zero Waste At Home

Be mindful of your consumption, your relationship with 'things' and your relationship with the earth. There are so many things that you can do that will help us to become a zero waste island:
1. REFUSE: Don't consume what you don't need.
  • Say NO to plastic, rethink your shopping habits, choose products that have less packaging, and take your own bags when shopping. See our 'Go Plastic-Free section below for more ideas.
  • Refill your water bottles rather than using single use bottles.
  • Buying coffee? Take a break and sit down and enjoy it out of a cup.
  • Refuse plastic and foam (nicely) with your take-away, and ask for cardboard or a friendlier biodegradeable alternative.
  • Join our MI Veggie Box group and save on plastic packaging while you get fresh goodies straight from the farm/supplier!
2. REDUCE: Reduce consumption of energy and materials.
  • Think before you buy! Do you really need that new 'thing'?
  • If you can, use renewable energy, and use your electricity during the day when generation is high.
  • Use timers on appliances to take advantage of your generated power and energy efficient appliances.
  • Be water wise! See our garden section below.
  • Don't put your food waste, coffee grounds etc. in the bin. If you don't compost or feed worms contact us, we will take them!
  • Use second hand and recycled building materials. See our building section below.
3. RECOVER: Energy and materials recovery. And upcycle!
  • Sort your waste at home:
        ◦    Take out the recyclables (check our list), place them in your yellow bin or earn 10c per container!
        ◦    Remove food waste and compost or give it to us! Check out our garden section.
        ◦    Paper can be composted!
  • Visit the Magnetic Island Tip Shop at the Transfer Station on West Point Road.
  • Keep an eye out for the bi-annual Council kerbside clean ups. You're sure to find something interesting for your next project.
  • See our 'Building' section below for more ideas.
4. RECYCLE: Close the loop and remake.
Visit our 'What & Where To Recycle' page for a guide to the latest recycling that is happening on Magnetic Island.
If you're heading into Townsville (or you know someone who is) you can also recycle those old computers, mobile phones and a bundle of other items. See our 'Heading to Townsville?' section below for more information.
5. RE-USE: Share with others, find new uses for old objects.
  • Buy second hand. Op shops and second hand dealers have many hidden treasures!
  • Keep an eye out for garage sales to pick up some bargains and help reduce landfill waste.
  • Before you send it to landfill, see our list of Magnetic Island Facebook pages below  (under the 'Building' section) where you can either sell your items or give them away for FREE!
  • Drop items into the Magnetic Island Transfer Station Tip Shop near Cockle Bay. The Transfer Station (tip) will also recycle TV's, fridges etc. Just ask them at the gate for more information.
  • Start your own worm farm or compost to recycle those veggie scraps AND boost your garden. If you're not sure how to get started, just contact us.
  • Visit our 'Get Creative' and Earn Cash pages for ideas on how to recycle all manner of items, or join our 'Threads' Facebook page.
  • Join one of our Crafternoons to upcycle clothing items and meet new friends.
  • Drop off clothing and other small items to the Vinnies bins in Cook Street, Arcadia or to recycle clothes check out
6. REPAIR: Fix or upgrade your objects rather than throwing them away.
Have you tried to get that broken appliance repaired? Sewing machines, refrigerators, wooden and metal items, TV's and computers. Magnetic Island has a bundle of talented people who are happy to repair items for you (some may charge, others will be happy to do it for free).
If you're not sure who you should contact, try the Zero Waste Magnetic Island Facebook page, or the Magnetic Island Facebook page for more information.
7. RE-GIFT: Share, and be a part of the gift economy.
It’s ok to re-gift. You’d be surprised at how many of your friends and family appreciate not being given expensive brand new gifts.
Be open about it. Announce to your friends and family that, “This Christmas the only presents I will be giving away will be second hand.” When work decides to do a 'Secret Santa', suggest that the theme be second-hand. For more re-gifting etiquette visit:
You can also list items for free on Magnetic Island Freecycle!

Grannie's Zero Waste Tricks!

Long before the age of disposable products, our incredible grandmothers were living a much greener lifestyle - and you can't beat the classics:

  • Stop using 'disposables' - that goes for napkins too!
  • Blow your nose on 'greener' hankerchiefs (not tissues).
  • Close your curtains to avoid fading furniture and needing replacements, AND to regulate the temperature - less air con in summer, less heating in winter!
  • White vinegar is your friend, and a very eco-friendly cleaner.
  • Hand-powered vs electric.
  • You guessed it - composting! Including your coffee grounds.
  • Grown your own herbs and veggies.
  • Dump the plastic storage - use glass instead.
  • Check out your library or online before you buy that next book.
  • Make do before you buy new.
  • Put the vacuum cleaner away and grab a broom.
  • Use the cold water cycle for your washing machine (and skip the dryer).
For the full article visit Readers Digest

Zero Waste Garden

Much of what we throw away can be used in the garden. All it comes down to is a little imagination (and maybe an online search for inspiration). There are also some easy, everyday zero waste ideas that you can use:
  • Remember to compost all your veggie scraps and coffee grounds. If you're not sure how, or need help, contact us!
  • Use old newspapers under mulch to stop weeds.
Veggie Box.jpg

MI Veggie Box

We are neigbours helping our Island community get fresh, quality produce, delivered affordably to the Island. Most of the produce is also plastic-free. Come and join the MI Veggie Box community!

Go Plastic-Free

There are easy (and better) ways!

Every item you purchase that is either in a plastic container, plastic wrapped or made from plastic adds to the production and waste of plastic. Why not try some alternatives?:
  • Buy food items in glass instead of plastic.
  • Avoid products that are overly packaged (especially in plastic) and look for other alternatives.
  • Take your own shopping bag and containers to the supermarket.
  • Refill your water bottle rather than buying single serve water.
  • Buy wooden toys. They last longer!
  • Use second hand cardboard or crunched paper for packaging postal items.
  • If you have to have plastic bags, wash and dry them and store them for multiple use.
  • See the 22 Tips For Going Plastic-Free


Why not use recycled

Magnetic Islanders are great recyclers! All you need to do is to put the word out in a couple of places, or look at some of your options in Townsville.
First try asking on these Magnetic Island Facebook pages:
You might also find smaller items at the Magnetic Island Tip Shop.
If you're heading to Townsville, visit Townsville Demolitions and second hand shops. You're sure to find something truly unique for your project.

Heading to Townsville?

If you're heading to Townsville from Magnetic Island, here are some other handy ideas on how you can recycle, and purchase quality second hand goods:
  • Take your plastic milk bottle tops to Shed 3 at 15 Oonoonba Rd, Idalia. They will be shredded, melted and molded to make bowls, pot plant holders, outdoor furniture and all sorts of other useful items.
  • Recycle everything from old print cartridges, batteries, pens and markers, to eWaste (computers, laptops, keyboards, cables, chargers and mobile phones etc.) at Officeworks in Charters Towers Road.
  • Reef Recycling (Currajong TSV) recycle all drink containers approved under the QLD Containers for Change Scheme.
  • Townsville Demolitions:
    Their popular recycle yard has become a thriving marketplace for builders, renovators, home owners, gardeners, designers and artists. Renovate and build on a budget or find vintage pieces that aren’t available on the market.
  • Townsville has a bunch of second hand furniture, antique shops and markets and Facebook pages such as Townsville Buy, Swap, Sell,  Townsville Vintage Obsession - Share & Sell and Townsville Vintage Buy, Swap & Sell.


We respect this land and the magnificent and complex environment it supports. So lets act in ways to show respect. Here are some good examples:

  1. Always cut milk container and plastic rings when disposing of plastic so they can never get caught around an animal’s neck.

  2. When visiting the beach, pick up rubbish brought in by the tide (leave the shells where they belong).

  3. When bush walking, always bring a bag and take your rubbish home with you.

  4. Notify Townsville City Council if you find rubbish that has been dumped.

  5. Never dump unwanted animals in the bush. Not only is it cruel, but domestic animals can have a significant impact on wildlife. 

  6. Never dump garden waste into bush areas or vacant lots. It often includes weeds or seeds. This material can usually be composted or binned.

  7. Don't speed. Speeding endangers wildlife, disturbs the serenity of the bush environment, lessens the likelihood of seeing wildlife and damages the road's surface. Road repair often includes the expensive importation of bulk fill from the mainland. Much better to ride a bike, (electric or human powered) walk, or drive conservatively.

  8. Remove road kill. Road kill attracts carrion eaters like whistling kites. If it's safe to do so, check to make sure the dead (marsupial) animals are not carrying a living joey. If they are, call MI Fauna Care on 0457 634 732. Otherwise remove the carcass well away from the road so that carrion eaters are not unduly put at risk. 

  9. Plant local native trees and shrubs! Shading the western sun will reduce the need for air-conditioners and save energy. Living shade is much more effective than shade cloth. Most local native plants require less watering and they become homes for all sorts of native wildlife too.

  10. Dead trees are surprisingly special! They are likely to contain hollows which are vital homes for animals, birds, lizards, possums, frogs, bats and insects including native bees. Hollows are disappearing rapidly as trees are felled and cleared.

    Few people know that hollows take a very long time to form and trees with good sized hollows can be hundreds of years old. Even relatively small trees may be very old so please consider their significance if you are planning to remove one.

  11. Get to know your weeds. Rather than using expensive and toxic herbicides try some zero-waste methods like smothering weeds with cardboard and mulch. Read the Magnetic Island Weeds Guide or visit for more information.

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