International Compost Awareness Week Australia

International Compost Awareness Week Australia (ICAW), is a week of activities, events and publicity to improve awareness of the importance of compost, a valuable organic resource and to promote compost use, knowledge and products.

We can compost to help scrap carbon pollution by avoiding landfilling organic materials and helping to build healthier soils.

Check out the website to learn more about the benefits of compost and the Compost Awareness Week activities.

Home composting in Hobart and across Tasmania

Want to turn your food and garden waste into nutrient rich compost to improve your soil?

This fabulous guide from City of Hobart and Good Life Permaculture was written for Tasmanians living in cool temperate climates and covers:

  • small compost bins
  • tumblers
  • different types of worm farms
  • bokashi bins
  • big compost bays, and
  • good old backyard chooks.

Enjoy!

Illustrations and design: Rachel Tribout (c) 2018

Understanding best-before and use-by dates to reduce food waste

Food use by dates, best before dates, sell by, and manufacturing dates on labels can be confusing and lead to good food being binned before it is necessary.

The use-by date is the most important date to look for and pay attention to. This date appears on the most perishable of food types such as meat and fish. If food is past its use-by date, that is when it can be dangerous to eat. Food past its use-by date can not be legally sold in Australia.

The best-before and sell-by dates are simply a guide to when the food is at its freshest or highest quality. If these dates have passed, the food can still be okay to eat.

Foods that have a shelf life of two years or longer, e.g. some canned foods, do not need to be labelled with a best before date because they may keep at a good quality for many years and are likely to be eaten well before they spoil.

Here are some tips for food that is often thrown away when it still could have been safely used:

Eggs – if you’re unsure how fresh your eggs are, pop them into a container of cold water while still in their shells. If they float, it’s a sign that they are no longer good to eat. Fresh eggs will lie flat on the bottom or will tilt slightly up towards the surface.

Fruit and vegetables – mouldy produce should be composted or discarded, but otherwise, super ripe fruit or floppy, limp or wrinkly vegetables can still be used in many ways, either raw, pickled or preserved, or in cooking. You can also freeze vegetables and fruit that are past their prime to make stocks and smoothies later. Try turning limp carrots and celery crisp again by soaking them in cold water in the fridge.

Milk and other dairy products – your nose is your best guide here, if it smells okay, it’s likely to be okay to eat or drink. Take a small taste first and remember that you can also choose to use it in smoothies or baking.

For more advice on storing foods so that they last longer, check out Love Food Hate Waste Victoria.

To learn more about food labelling in Australia, check out the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

verticaldividerRethink Waste aims to improve our efforts at reducing, reusing and
recycling in order to decrease the amount of waste that ends up as landfill.
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