Zero waste – it is a process! I’m very much in the early stages myself, I still buy packaged goods, but I’m definitely thinking more about the products that I buy…..where it comes from, how it got to the shelf, where it goes when I am finished with it…These things are important to consider to shift your mindset from automatically buying what is convenient. At some stage you meet in the middle though, because you can only purchase within your means, but hey at least you’re trying!
So here’s my top 5 ways to get you started on your zero waste journey:
1. Start small
Choose one or a few areas where you’d like to change…..just don’t overwhelm yourself. Like I said it’s a process….Rome wasn’t built in a day! It needs to be sustainable for you as well 🙂
You could start by looking at your trash, what waste do you produce? You probably won’t be able to make all the changes at once but at least it’ll get you thinking and planning about how you can start to do things differently.
Think about alternative solutions that could minimise your waste:
- Could you make it at home? (e.g. milk or cleaning products or even your own organic skincare)
- Can you buy your fruit and veg loose instead of wrapped in plastic?
- Could you swap from bottled to bar shampoo?
The list goes on….just think outside the box.
2. Look into recycling and composting
If you can manage complete zero waste then that’s fantastic! But not everyone has access to bulk markets or has the money and time to do do everything that is the ideal. So we do the best we can with what we have. Look into what you can do with your waste before sending it to the landfills.
- What recycling programs are available? Terracycle has a program for pretty much anything and you can earn points when you send in your goods. Some supermarkets have a recycling bin for plastic packaging also…keep an eye out for them!
- Is there compost collection available in your area?
- Is there a local compost drop off point or store?
- Do you have the space for a wormery, electronic compost bin or bokashi bin? (wormeries can be purchased from some councils for as little as £5 and can be kept in your apartment!)
Buy what you need. That goes for groceries, clothes, furniture…etc do you really NEED it? Think about what you want, how will it make a difference to your life? Is it to keep up with the trend? Or is it serving a functional purpose?
Hey I get it though, sometimes you just want what you want. Though it wouldn’t hurt to be mindful of what you buy and what it means you’re supporting. Would you consider second hand purchases? There’s heaps of stuff out there already, check out facebook market, gumtree, Ebay, your local vintage store or flea market…you’re bound to find what you’re after!
4. Prepare and be mindful
Prepare yourself when you’re on the go! Whether it’s bringing a zero waste kit with you or preparing your meals to minimise eating out – this will save you cash too! It’s when we’re on the road that we’re most likely going to produce the most form of waste.
But let’s face it, sometimes we all like the spontaneous purchases – I’m guilty of buying an on the go beverage, pastry or a packet of crisps here and there! Sometimes we have our trusty jars or napkins….and sometimes we don’t… So just be mindful, could you carry that empty cup or bottle until you reach a recycling bin? Or save that crisp packet for the recycling programs? It’s a bit of effort, but at least you’re not mindlessly dumping waste that could have another life elsewhere.
5. Talk about it
Spread the word – some people may not have even thought about their impact on the environment, some have no idea where to start, some might not care…let’s be real, we all have those people in our lives, but we don’t need to force anything on anyone…we can only inform to the best of our knowledge and hope it somewhat makes a difference.
Talk to like minded people, celebrate the successes, express your concerns and talk through challenges…
Share your ideas and learn from others
The majority of these communities are so accepting and welcoming it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, you will feel like everything you do is absolutely worth it!
So there you have it!
Thanks for sticking it through and being somewhat interested in the idea of making this change! It’s not an easy thing…We live in a world where it’s more easy to do and purchase what is convenient. But it’s definitely worth it to take some form of action! Honestly, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You don’t need to label yourself a ‘zero waster’, ‘eco warrior’ or ‘environmentalist’. Just do what you can 🙂 because….
“What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
So I hope I’ve managed to trigger some thoughts on the matter! If you have something to share or have any questions, please leave your comment below. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂