March 29, 2018

5 ways you can help the environment

There are little things you can do every day to help preserve our environment so we can continue living in for many years to come!  Here are RUM’s top 5 tips:

Return your medicine

Disposing your unwanted medicines in the household garbage or down the drain or toilet can be extremely damaging to the environment, as there are potential risks from medications that end up in surface and drinking water. This is because sewerage systems are not equipped to remove medicines and their metabolites (biproducts) effectively. The correct way to dispose of your medicine is to take it out of the packaging and returning it to the pharmacy, where it can be disposed of in the RUM bin.

Get a reusable coffee cup

When you buy a disposable coffee cup in a café, it may contain a plastic lining on the inside making majority of the cups not eligible to be recycled. That means that every disposable coffee cup is ending up in landfill, and it is estimated that Australians use a billion of these disposable cups a year. A simple way to save a lot of landfill is to buy a reusable coffee cup. These can be bought from almost anywhere, and will make you feel much better about not throwing out your cup every time you have a coffee!


Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials. These create substantial air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. By simply sorting out your garbage at home and work, you could save lots in landfill and contribute towards developing new materials from your recycled ones. If you are unsure what you can recycle, visit your local council website for more information.


There’s many benefits to composting- including that it enriches the soil and reduces methane emissions from landfill and lowers your carbon footprint. It can also mean you can put your compost in your backyard and grow your own food! Instead of throwing your food scraps in landfill, put them in a compost and let them breakdown naturally.

Buy reusable bags

Plastic bags can very easily find their ways into waterways and out onto the streets once they are disposed of which could lead to animals ingesting them. Most of them are also non-biodegradable and if burned can have toxic fumes. Instead of using plastic bags in your shop every week, opt for a reusable tote bag that will help reduce waste.

Want to take the first step in helping the environment? Return your medicine! The RUM initiative is a free and convenient way to dispose of your medicines. Find out how here.

The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.

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