January 24, 2021
A zero waste lifestyle is really more of an aspiration. Those who partake in the movement usually accept that the world we live in isn’t conducive to producing literally no waste. Personally, I prefer the less daunting idea of a low impact lifestyle. The aim is largely the same – produce as little waste as possible, particularly single-use plastic. Here are some tips to get you started!
Start meal planning
Meal planning is a must for anyone looking to reduce their waste. Planning ahead means that you can use up what you already have and avoid buying things that you don’t need. It can also save your money and your time as you’ll no longer have the daily “what shall we do for dinner?” conversation or go food shopping every single day. I will usually cook double the amount so we can freeze a portion which means that we never have to resort to plastic ready meals or convenience food when we’re in a hurry.
Use your local library
We are so lucky to have the use of libraries. My local library has an app which allows you to search for a book and reserve it. If they don’t have what you’re looking for they can order it in from one of the other libraries in the region. I almost never buy books anymore and I must have saved so much money.
Reuse glass jars
Glass is one of the most sustainable materials on earth. It is 100% recyclable and can be re-melted endlessly without ever reducing its quality. That being said, glass jars are so versatile and reusing them might mean that you don’t have to purchase something else. You can fill them with flowers or use them to store food. The wide-mouthed glass jars are perfect for using as drinking glasses. If you’re creative you could also use them to make your own candles.
Lend and borrow
How many of us have things in our sheds or cupboards that we rarely use? DIY equipment such as drills and wallpaper strippers are probably the main culprits but don’t forget small kitchen appliances and sports gear. If you need something that you know you won’t get much use out of, find out if your friends and family can help. Chances are that they will be keen for you to return the favour at some point!
Opt for second hand
If you really do need to buy something, always try to get it second hand. Facebook Marketplace is great for toys and general non-clothing items. For clothes, eBay and Depop are brilliant. I can usually find the specific thing that I’m looking for in great condition and at a much lower price than it would have been brand new.
Swap disposables for reusables
I’ve decided to end with this point as the zero waste movement is all about consuming less so I want to make it clear I’m an advocate of using what you already have. However, there are some reusable products which you may want to invest in at some point. Some examples are reusable razors, water bottles, cutlery and lunch boxes. Carrying these around in your bag mean that you’ll never get caught short and have to use single-use plastic.
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