People are growing increasingly aware of the impact humans are having on the health of the planet. Many individuals and companies have already, or are beginning to, take action to reduce their carbon footprints. Some are willing to take things even further, by adopting zero-waste lifestyles. A zero-waste lifestyle might not be as difficult as you think, and you may even find it immensely rewarding to do so. If you’re up for the challenge, here is what you need to know.
What is Zero Waste?
As the name implies, zero waste means getting to the point that you are not producing any trash in your home or by your lifestyle choices. People decide to adopt this way of life for many reasons such as their health or concerns over the planet and saving it for future generations.
Whatever the reason, transitioning to a zero-waste way of life may take some changes and adaptations, at least in the beginning. Once you get started, though, you will find that this type of lifestyle sustains itself in time and becomes second nature.
It may be tempting to go out and buy all manner of new things to organize your space into the "ideal" zero waste environment, but the truth is that it is more in keeping with the zero waste philosophy to use the things you already have in your home. The key is to learn to transition them to the new lifestyle. That might mean repairing items, patching clothing, or finding other ways to reuse things so that they last longer and creates less waste over time. Then, follow these steps to become more deeply ingrained in the zero waste movement.
- Give old things new life.Instead of shopping for new items , consider looking through online ads or using apps to buy things that others are discarding. Many of them are as good as new at a fraction of the costs, and your actions will help keep them out of landfills. Some examples are: ThredUp.com. Poshmark App, Facebook Marketplace, Your local transfer station, or BuyNothingProject.org
- Learn to make your things when possible. From knitting to canning vegetables and even building your furniture. You are likely to find the quality is superior to many store-purchased items and that you enjoy the process almost as much as the finished product.
- Buy fewer things. You do not have to lead a minimalist lifestyle per se when you adopt a zero-waste way of living, but you will find that reducing the clutter in your home and your life also helps to clear your perspective.
- Switch to reusable bags. Then, keep them clean. Reusing your bags eliminates the waste of plastic bags that are so pervasive in society. It is a small move that can start you on the path to more meaningful zero waste choices in time.
It is not hard to get started. The challenge is keeping up with your small steps and then transforming them into more significant actions.
Simple Tips to Getting to Zero Waste
These simple tips will help you bring your plans for a zero-waste life to fruition. Use them well and see what a difference they make in your life and your outlook on the world around you.
- Plant a garden. You do not have to have a lot of ground space. You can even start a tiny container garden. It helps to eliminate food packaging, plastic bags, and wasted food purchased from supermarkets.
- Plan your meals. A weekly meal plan, one you stick to, can save a lot of time and money and keep you on track for avoiding fast food or take-out that comes with a ton of wasteful packaging.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. These philosophies are cornerstones for the zero waste way of living. Recite the mantra every time you make a purchasing decision, decide to get rid of things, or make plans for the future.
Getting started will be the most difficult part, but once you begin the zero-waste way of life it becomes easier as you keep going. You also don’t have to buy a lot of things to get started. Look around and see what you already have that can be reused or repurposed first, then move on from there.