What is zero waste living?
“Zero–waste living means aiming to reduce landfill-bound trash to the bare minimum.”
Going zero waste… where do we begin?
There are many individuals out there who believe that what they can contribute is so small, that it’s not even worth the effort. But this is SO not true! Your efforts, small or big, is SOMETHING! It WILL have a positive impact. It’ just as simple as making better choices in our day to day living. That alone can create the change that we so desperately need.
I’m going to share with you 6 tips/suggestions that I think can help you begin your journey towards zero waste living!
- Stop using ‘one use’ items
So I had a serious obsession with Lysol wipes. I used them ALL. THE. TIME. Any other clean freaks out there? This is such an easy one to incorporate in your house hold: stop using ‘one use’ items! This creates so much unnecessary waste. We all opt to living in a clean space, but lean towards a cleaner and a cloth VS paper towel/lysol wipes. One use items create so much waste, for no reason whatsoever. Opt away from this: break the habit!
2. Use reusable bags
This is such an easy one y’all. If there is one thing you want to change right now, this is it.
“Plastic bags tend to disrupt the environment in a serious way. They get into soil and slowly release toxic chemicals. (WHAT?) They eventually break down into the soil, with the unfortunate result being that animals eat them and often choke and die.”
Opt for reusable shopping bags! Not only is it better for the environment: but they are so much more sturdy to lug your groceries in, especially you college students out there! Who wants to carry a heavy plastic bag up the stairs and have it rip on you halfway? Right? AND most stores have begun to charge for plastic bags anyway. If the fact that it’s better for the planet doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about the fact that you have to PAY for these plastic bags now? Don’t do it. Don’t pay that 5 cents! Buy a reusable shopping bag, save your money AND save the planet. All of that can be the outcome if you eliminate plastic shopping bags from your everyday life!
3. ELIMINATE THE PLASTIC IN YOUR LIFE
This goes hand in hand with the first point and having one use items. Plastic straws, plastic water bottles, plastic bags for produce… These are all ONE USE ITEMS and are all PLASTIC!
Instead of using plastic straws: buy a reusable stainless steel straw. I actually enjoy the taste of my beverages MORE in a stainless steel straw, so that’s an added bonus.
Instead of using plastic water bottles: opt for a reusable water bottle! It not only saves you money because you can reuse it indefinitely, but it better for our planet.
Instead of using plastic bags for produce: You can purchase reusable bags to put your produce in. If there are any LuLu Lemon lovers out there; I actually use the small reusable bag you can get from the company. It’s the perfect size for all produce! Something that you will notice when you begin to eliminate these products from your home, is that you have many one use items that you really do not need. Once you change your mindset and begin to eliminate items, it will really open your eyes. And it actually saves you money in the long run! Let’s be honest: saving money is something that appeals to us ALL!
Another way to reduce waste is to bring a reusable coffee mug/cup when out and about. I bring my reusable coffee mug when I go to Tim Horton’s and there is never any issues! Reducing zero waste, and having my insulated coffee mug that keeps my coffee warm for hours? A total WIN!
4. Upcycle Items
Do you have things in your home that you are not using anymore? Maybe decorations that you’ve out grown, or just things that you have no purpose for now? Do not throw out these items! Just because you are struggling to find a use for it, does not mean that it is GARBAGE. Donate items to a local shelter, thrift store, value village, etc. Where I live there are donation bins on every other corner, making it THAT much easier for us all to donate.
Example: My friend was going to throw out this mirrored tray because she had no purpose for it. Instead I took it home and gave it some love, and now it’s the perfect tray for my living room table! It’s THAT easy you guys.
5. Support your public library!
I feel so strongly about utilizing your public library! It’s at no cost to you, and you have so much literature at your disposal. What you may not realize is how beneficial supporting your public library is for the environment! Any books that you have at home that are collecting dust? Donate them! They can be loved by another owner, and so on. Rather than buying another book, and then having no purpose for it and potentially throwing it out. Utilize the services of your public library, this will help reduce waste in our landfills as well.
6. Glass containers VS plastic
Rather than using plastic reusable containers, opt for metal/glass. Have you ever left spaghetti in a plastic Tupperware container? Have you ever noticed that after a couple of hours the plastic is tinged red where the sauce has managed to leak into the walls? The reverse happens as well! When you store food in plastic, this plastic wall can and WILL leak into your food. I’m not suggesting you throw out all your plastic Tupperware, because that complete defeats the purpose of ZERO waste. But rather than purchasing new plastic Tupperware containers, purchase a glass container or metal! It’s beneficial for your health and our environment. Killing two birds with one stone here.
The goal of the zero waste movement is to eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of trash we send to landfills. You do not have to implement all these items listed above IMMEDIATELY, I understand that that would be an unreasonable goal. But by saying “Ok. I am going to start with THIS”, you are helping our planet. You are making a difference! It may seem so small, but it has such a HUGE impact! The garbage we create is increasing pollution in the oceans, all around the world. This is causing serious problems for our wildlife and our food chain. Be the change y’all. Let’s make a difference and create a world our children/grandchildren can grow up in. ♥
Talk again soon xo