Many people are responding to our global plastic waste crisis by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle. While it is possible, and ideal, getting to this point is a journey of perseverance. Trying to tackle all facets of your life at once may be too overwhelming and discouraging.
So, start where you can, and build up from there with this list as your guide to getting started.
Local markets wrap their foods in less plastic than chain stores. It may seem like a sacrifice at first, but once you get used to shopping at your farmer’s market or green grocer’s, you’ll wonder why you ever went to the supermarket in the first place. The food is often fresher and you can ask more questions about what you’re purchasing. Not only is this a great way to support your local economy, but you’ll likely feel an unbeatable sense of community while doing so. Make sure you plan what you need in advance so you get just what you need.
Also Read: 10 Tips to Go Green at Your Workplace
Get a reusable water bottle
Similar to reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottles can make a big impact in reducing your personal waste. Now that there are insulated water bottles that keep your drink hot or cold, why would you want to use a plastic water bottle anyway? And, in addition to helping preserve our Earth, you’re also avoiding the harmful chemicals that plastic bottles often carry. It’s a win-win.
Forget about straws
When you really think about it, straws are pointless. They’re just the middleman between you and your drink. Some people are even convinced they give you wrinkles around your mouth. So, whether it’s for beauty sake or for the turtles, ditch the straws.
Switch to loose leaf tea
Most people aren’t privy to the fact that teabags have plastic in them. Switching to loose leaf tea can save a lot of waste, especially if you drink multiple cups a day. This also makes it easy to experiment with combining different flavors to create your own special blend to suit whatever mood you’re in.
There are always new phones, tablets, and fashion trends that society is pressured to keep up with. Not only does this cost a lot of money, but it produces a lot of waste. If something works, there’s no reason to buy the newer version of whatever is taking up the headlines that week. Remember- the excitement of fads wears off fast. Don’t feel like you have to replace what you already own just to “keep up.”
Repair, don’t discard
Things can be fixed. We know -this is mind-blowing. Holes can be sewn, paint can be touched-up, and a few flaws here and there don’t mean your item doesn’t do its job anymore. You can also find many DIY projects online that shed light on what you can do with old items around the house.
Cancel useless mail
If you still receive junk mail you probably throw it in the trash without second thought. Save yourself the trouble by opting-out of receiving unwanted mail and trust us, you won’t miss it. If you want to take it a step further, sign up for electronic delivery on your essential mail and go entirely paperless.
Invest in a lunchbox
It’s endearing to scribble heartwarming messages on single-use brown paper lunch bags, but those notes of love come at a price. Instead, get your family members reusable lunchboxes and double up on the hugs and kisses.
This introductory list will help you get started on your journey to reducing your personal waste footprint. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly the first time around. It’s a process to discover how these changes fit into your lifestyle, so find what works for you and stick to it. Even if your efforts don’t look like someone else’s, the ultimate impact of your actions is just as meaningful.