Living a zero-waste lifestyle is a concept that’s been around for quite some time, but it has gained popularity lately, with more people becoming aware of the effects that pollutants have on our planet. People are striving to save the planet by changing their wasteful habits and limiting their carbon footprint. If this is your first time hearing about this lifestyle, and you want to give it a shot for the sake of the planet, the following check out our guide on how to get started.
What is Zero Waste Living?
Before you start your own zero waste journey, you need to know what it entails. An individual who adopts this lifestyle aims to reduce the amount of waste that they produce in their daily life. While people often assume that plastic straws are not the be-all and end-all, millions of plastic straws are produced and used every day and the sad part is, they won’t decompose for thousands of years to come.
This is not even counting all the plastic packaging and other wastes that humans are bound to leave behind from different products used, including shampoo bottles, water bottles, food containers, and others. There are simple habits that you can adopt that will ensure you are doing your part in making the environment a greener place.
Avoid Products With a Lot of Packaging
The first thing that you can do to ensure you are on your way to a life with zero waste is avoiding products with a lot of plastic wrapping. Sometimes companies place their products in multiple packaging in an attempt to keep them safe during the shipping process. And while it can be effective, it can also result in a lot of waste. You can avoid this by simply looking for products that have minimal packaging.
Chances are these products are also going to be locally sourced, so you will also be helping your community thrive as well. When shopping, ask yourself a simple question. How much waste is this going to result in? This is going to help you determine whether you should buy a product or look for an alternative.
Eliminate Single-use Paper from Your Life
Single-use paper, as the name suggests, is any type of paper that you dispose of after using only once. This includes paper towels, printed paper, tissues, and even paper plates. Instead of purchasing of these products that contribute to mass deforestation, you can replace them with reusable items. So for instance, if you want to cut down on toilet paper, there are fabrics that you can buy and wash. Similarly, if you have a document that you want to peruse, try to do so using your phone or computer to avoid printing.
Look for Zero or Minimal Waste Self-Care Products
Some of the most common plastic waste comes from self-care products such as deodorants, shampoo bottles, tampons, and soap packaging. People go through a lot of self-care products throughout their lifetime. By looking for minimal waste or zero waste self-care products you will significantly lower the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. The environmental specialists at trvst.world state that the best thing about getting such products is they are more often than not chemical-free, so they are better for you and last longer than other products that come in plastic containers and bottles.
Do Not Throw Away Food
This is another simple tip that you might think does not cause much difference, but you’d be surprised. A lot of people throw away food. You can start having a zero waste life by trying to limit throwing away leftover food and instead revamp it into another meal for yourself or donate it to others in need. You can also donate used oil to companies that create biofuel instead of throwing it down the drain. If you do not want to eat leftovers or cannot find a place to donate food, then try to calculate exactly how much food you need instead of buying excess and throwing it away.
Compost Organic Waste
Speaking of food that is thrown away, if you have any kind of organic waste for example waste that comes from vegetables or fruits, you can make compost with it and use it to fertilize your garden. One aspect of sustainable living is trying to make your own products instead of buying them. You can avoid buying fertilizers that are chock-full of chemicals that can be very harmful, by making your compost at home. It is quite easy to start because all you need is a compost bin with a lid if it is going to be inside that does not allow the odor out.
Invest in Sturdy Reusable Shopping Bags
Plastic bags are quite wasteful, and like plastic straws, last ages without decomposing. To avoid this unnecessary waste, you can invest in some reusable shopping bags. Having a simple fabric tote can be enough to avoid hundreds of plastic bags ending up in landfills or the ocean. If you want something more sturdy to carry your groceries in, you can find multiple options that are cheap and sometimes even recycled from previous objects.
Use Metal or Glass Water Bottles
More than 8 million plastic water bottles end up in the ocean each year. This is a pretty mind-boggling number, but it is quite believable because of how much water a person drinks water during a year. To limit the use of plastic water bottles, you can get yourself a metal or glass water bottle that you can easily refill infinitely. Many countries all over the world are adopting initiatives to encourage people to use reusable water bottles by offering free drinkable water in all their establishments.
Get a Travel Mug for Beverages
If you are the type of person who cannot survive without coffee or enjoy drinking hot beverages, you can limit your use of disposable cups by getting a travel mug that you can use. Many coffee shops are more than happy to accommodate you if you ask them to make you a beverage in your cup. However, you need to make sure that your cup can handle hot beverages because some companies do not allow their employees to make their customers hot beverages in plastic cups to avoid any liability.
Using these simple tips, you can easily start your journey of a waste-free lifestyle. These little things may seem inconsequential but in reality, you will be making a difference, if not in the entire world, then in your community. You can also spread awareness by showing people around you how this is possible. Remember that something as simple as avoiding using a straw can affect the world if enough people do it.