If you want to make this Earth a better place to live, it is high time to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle. Many of us are already involving ourselves in a lifestyle where we are generating the lowest waste as possible. People have become conscious of their surroundings and doing their bit in saving the environment by embracing low-waste living.
In this article, we will give you some practical tips on how to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle in all aspects of life.
Why is a zero-waste lifestyle important?
Many people live lifestyles, where they ensure that their habits generate minimal waste. They believe in the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle (the 3 Rs) where they try to reduce their consumption, reusing their minimal consumption, and the so-called waste that many people throw in bins without even considering putting it to better use. By recycling, we mean creating new things out of the waste that is easily thrown out.
A zero-waste lifestyle is important as people do not understand that it is our responsibility to protect nature. Daily, tonnes of waste is generated due to our plastics and non-biodegradable items, which result in mixing together and forming a harmful complex, which is very difficult to differentiate from biodegradable waste. The waste, then, is eaten by the animals, which might choke them to death and thus ruin the ecosystem at a larger level.
By adopting a low-waste living model, we can:
- Reduce unnecessary costs by avoiding plastic or non-biodegradable items
- Contribute less waste to the rising landfills
- Save natural resources so they can be used when needed
- Lower plastic pollution and less harm to fauna
- Lower carbon emissions caused in the process of producing, reusing or disposing of waste material
- Be a part of conscious global evolution and a world-changing mission
Now that we are aware of the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle, let us know some tips for adopting low-waste living:
Practical Tips for Adopting a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
The tips revolve around the 3 R’s, which have to be kept in mind while following the zero-waste lifestyle. The sooner you realize the significance of the R’s, the sooner you will be able to sort your habits in a manner that you choose those which create as minimal as waste possible.
Now let’s dive in.
Fashion is NOT just a trend for you
You need to understand that not everything trendy is essential for you. The latest and trendy of today is probably the waste of tomorrow. The more items you are stuffing into the closet, the more you are generating the waste. Try to be very efficient in selecting clothes for different purposes. This does not mean that you don’t need clothes at all, but you need to have a good screening process before buying anything from the market.
DIY clothes at home
One of the most important steps is to reuse already existing in a manner that you feel there is something new that you are using. For example, you can convert your old jeans into a handbag for which the DIY tutorials are available all over the internet. At the same time, you can transform your old t-shirt into a tank top, which supports the trend. This will give you a feeling that you have just bought new clothes and encourage low-waste living.
Think before you buy
Whenever you go to the supermarket, be mindful of whether you actually need the item that you are buying or not. If not, you could utilize the money to buy something which you really need. This definitely reduces waste. It has been said that a major portion of the waste occurs because people mindlessly throw away the items after the first use.
When your take-out order, carry your own bag which can be reused
A major portion of the waste contains single-use bags, whether paper or plastic. Y by using something which is more durable and, at the same time, helps in cutting off various costs of maintaining paper bags. With this, you will cut out a major part of the waste and, thus, embrace the zero-waste lifestyle.
Buy second-hand electronics
The electronics that you order online contain a huge packaging system that generates a bunch of waste. You can substitute the same by buying second-hand fully functioning electronic items so that not only the packaging waste is reduced, but also the electronics waste is reduced. This is an essential tip to keep in mind.
Do not order cutlery
When you order food online, do tell the packaging company that you don’t need any cutlery. This will reduce the plastic use and the waste generated at your home. Even if you get the plastic cutlery, save it as it could be used at some other part of the meal or for parties. During parties, you can use the stored cutlery. This reduces the single-use plastic waste and encourages low-waste living.
Don’t throw, Donate
You need to understand what all items are essential for you and what you need to get rid of. The basic logic is to declutter your closet, your stationery, and everything at your home and workplace. Before throwing everything out, have a second thought on what you can donate to some charity that might reuse the item. This way, you are doing something good to help someone, and at the same time, you are reducing your waste generation.
Use soap bars instead of the soap bottles
The soap liquid is useful, but the bottle is not. For this, it is recommended to use the soap bars instead of the bottles as the waste generated is reduced, and the containers do not stack up in your storage. The same goes for shampoo bottles – replace them with a shampoo bar that lasts long and gives you the same results as shampoo. Brands like Ethique make plant-based, eco-friendly shampoo bars that promote zero-waste.
Refill your hand-wash bottles
Instead of buying the new handwash liquid bottles from the market, you can always buy a big hand wash bottle and fill it with DIY hand wash (you can google handwash recipes). This method is cost-efficient and natural. You will only adopt low-waste living but also ensure that you have a regular supply of handwash.
Eat at home as much as possible
Order less and try to eat at home. This will ensure less garbage at your home, and also you will carry less left out food with yourself on your home back from the place that you ate. The more you buy the chips, wafers, and candies from outside, the more garbage generates. Eating home-cooked food will ensure that you are eating healthy and, at the same time, will help you embrace the zero-waste lifestyle.
Be honest to your pantry
Do not buy unnecessary food items that rot quickly. If you have fruits, vegetables, or meat stored, ensure that you use them soon so that the garbage generated is reduced. For this, buy only what you have to cook in a day or two. If you are inviting a get-together, you need to be more calculative for the same. Try and utilize your resources efficiently.
Try and print less. If you have to send a document to someone, you can email them. The less paper you use today, the less waste you are generating for the future. This has to be kept in mind because every year, more and more trees are cut as people use paper often. At the same time, if you have to use some rough work, you can use the thrown our paper or write it on the back of any paper you have. Quit reading the newspaper and download an app on your mobile for news updates.
Reuse Ziploc bags
Try to use the Ziploc bags you use to store the objects for storing some other objects. Since the Ziplocs are made of plastic, disposing of the bags can be a tedious task. First of all, you should always try to avoid using the same, but even if you use them, you should always try to reuse them for low-waste living.
Write down what you are throwing
Keep a list regarding the items you are throwing out so that you know where you are lagging. Once you do that, you will know your daily garbage produce, and then you can cut off the same. Try to reduce them on a monthly or weekly basis. It can be difficult at first, but you can catch up anytime you want.
Set weekly garbage goals
Once you have a planner, you can look onto it and see if there is some space for improvement and cutting the garbage production. You should try to at least keep up with your low-waste living goals. You can make a planner for the same, and you can put a mark on the weeks which have produced the largest or the lowest of the trash. You can try to minimize your activity during those weeks of the month in the future.
Store the brown packets
The brown packets that you collect from the lunch of your children can be used for the children to draw or to do the necessary craft for school projects. It is an effortless way of utilizing the garbage and giving it a whole new form. The children learn many things from the same, and at the same time, the trash is utilized. Also, it is a creative way of teaching children about the motive of waste management.
Save wrapping paper
When you receive any present wrapped into beautiful packing paper, you must store it. The stored wrapping paper can be used for many purposes like for children’s projects and for wrapping the gifts for someone else. The wrapping paper can be displayed in the cupboards so that it gives the cupboards a look for a change.
Fix instead of throwing away
Not all the items which are broken can not be fixed. For low-waste living, before throwing out the item or the broken equipment, try to show it to an expert to see if there is a scope of fixing it. If not, then you must use the same.
Do not throw away the tea leaves
After you make the tea, do not simply throw away the tea leaves in the garbage, you can use it as a manure for the plants. The garbage contains a major part as the minimal tea leaves waste. You can avoid the same easily, and at the same time, you can enrich your plants’ lives. This will ensure that you embrace your zero-waste lifestyle. These tips might sound a little bit over the edge, but prove to be very efficient.
Not only at home, but you should also ensure the zero-waste management technique at your workplace as well. By simply throwing the used pages, or buying more than required stationery, or using excessively the stationery when the same thing could be done over a laptop, you make a lot of garbage every day. You should avoid it.
Enjoy the zero-waste lifestyle
You should always remember to enjoy the zero-waste life. You should be proud of the same as you are doing something great, and this hard work is paying off. You should always consider to aware of your friends and family about the same. At first, the task seems to be tedious. But in the end, you will simply enjoy the ride.
The above low-waste living tips are just to make you awake about the alarming effects of poor waste management. You must, at all points, have to be aware of your actions and habits.
In today’s time, it is necessary to manage the waste properly. This is because we have been at the edge of the Earth’s destruction, and now is the time that we start taking care of these things.
Many people have been living the most comfortable lives. This has to change at all costs. With more privilege, people tend to generate more waste. The lack of awareness of waste management and the minimum knowledge of sorting the waste increases the problem of managing the waste at a larger scale. This is why incorporating low-waste living is essential.