Imagine 15 grocery bags filled with plastic trash piled up on every beautiful shoreline in the globe. That may soon be the result of how our modern lifestyle demands us to consume for the sake of consuming.
And yet, there is an increasing number of people who are being empowered by the zero-waste movement. Embracing this modern minimalist lifestyle not only helps save you money and time but also enriches your life in ways that you could have never expected.
A zero-waste life is not something you can achieve overnight and it takes diligence to make significant changes in your lifestyle. But don’t be disheartened! Everyone must start somewhere.
Read on to find out some useful tips on how to go forward with a zero-waste life!
Plastic or Planet? That is the question
The plastic invasion of our planet is a reality that is turning into a nightmare. Every year, there are about 300 million tonnes of plastic produced worldwide which is causing all kinds of environmental problems, most famously perhaps, the 1.6-million-kilometer plastic waste island floating in the Pacific Ocean right now. That is why, when it comes to a zero-waste lifestyle, reducing plastic consumption is always the first change that needs to be made.
To embark on your zero-plastic journey, take the following steps:
Take a Reusable Bag to the Supermarket
We all have to head to the supermarket to fill up our refrigerators at least once or twice a week and so it is easy to see how so many plastic shopping bags end up in our trash. Every time you visit the supermarket, or any other store, bring a reusable bag to carry your purchases.
Replace Unstylish Plastic Items
You can start by replacing your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush and plastic straws with bamboo or glass straws. Additionally, every time you get a takeaway, say no to disposable cutlery and try to order from places that use minimal packaging.
Be Mindful of Your Fashion Choices
From micro-plastic free lipsticks to natural fabrics, the fashion and beauty markets today offer a variety of alternatives to plastic-based products. Make eco-friendly fashion choices and you can significantly reduce your impact on the environment.
Zero-Waste Pantry 101
Your pantry probably needs ‘detoxing’ more than anything else in your life. There is a lot of information online about creating a zero-waste pantry and you can visit this site to learn how to reduce the environmental footprint of your groceries. Whether your pantry is filled with single-use plastics or has been switched to more sustainable options, make sure you can tick all these boxes:
Assemble Your Equipment
Glass and stainless-steel containers work well for your pantry (and fridge). You don’t need to buy all new jars but instead, repurpose some packaging such as spice or spaghetti sauce jars, glass juice bottles, etc. Remove the old sticky labels and make your own with a label maker.
Stop Using Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is not always the best option, as you can use reusable covers, beeswax or even your plates instead.
Minimize Food Waste
There are many ways for you to reduce the amount of food you toss, including writing down a fridge waste list, planning your meals, reviving leftovers, and repurposing veggie or fruit scraps into jams and sauces.
Buy in Bulk
Buying the largest size available or stocking up on bulk purchases can significantly reduce the amount of plastic packaging you use. You can easily store extra food in eco-friendly containers for later use. Plus, grocery shopping like this will also keep your wallet happier.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
However you approach your new lifestyle, remember the ultimate purpose is zero waste, so don’t just start throwing your old items in the trash now and running out to buy new alternatives. Purchase zero-waste alternatives when the old ones are finished as throwing away unused items is also wasteful.
Reuse and give whatever you can a new purpose. Where possible, donate items that you are no longer using or give them to a friend. Whenever you do need to get rid of something, go on the internet and research how to properly recycle old items.
People have found a way to recycle just about anything. This can be a very cool indoor project to do with your kid(s) to teach them about the environment.
Remember it’s a process and it might take years to truly achieve a zero-waste life if that’s what you are aiming for. It won’t happen overnight but it has to start somewhere, and the fact that you even want to make this change and commit to it is already a great start.
Everyone’s zero-waste journey is different, but we all need to take that first step.
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