It’s no secret that there’s a climate crisis happening right now. We all know more about the environment than any previous generation, which should mean that we’re educated enough to live more sustainably. But with so many cheap and easily-accessible products, we can easily be tempted into making less environmentally responsible choices. Fast food is inexpensive and easy to order, single-use plastic is readily available, and unfortunately, the cheaper and more accessible options are usually the most environmentally damaging.
If you’re committed to making a difference, then you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about the zero-waste products and lifestyle tips you need to know.
What is a zero-waste lifestyle?
The zero-waste movement is one of the most sustainable ways to live and aims to reduce how much we consume once and throw away. It’s not about never throwing things away; it’s just about making sure that the things you do throw out won’t harm the environment in the long term. A zero-waste lifestyle can reduce the number of materials that end up in landfills, prevent resource extraction and eliminate products that generate pollution when produced, transported or disposed of.
A zero-waste lifestyle may seem intimidating and unachievable, but it can be a great way to save money and live more sustainably. It’s just a case of getting into the habit of being prepared.
How to Work Towards A Zero-Waste Home
When it comes to changing our global carbon footprint and reducing waste, the most effective practice is for every individual to take small steps and build up. Here are some easy, simple and cheap ways to begin your journey towards a zero-waste home:
- Bring reusable coffee cups to cafés. A huge amount of waste comes from single-use coffee cups that we can’t recycle, as they’re lined with plastic. Some coffee shop franchises even offer a discount on your order if you bring your coffee cup!
- Buy a tote bag and use it instead of plastic supermarket bags. They’re so easy to fold up and reuse and provide an opportunity to express a little unique creativity and style! Win-win!
- Avoid plastic plates and cutlery. Tempting as it may be to buy a big pack of plastic plates for easy disposal after a party, but environmentally, it’s not worth it. You can now buy biodegradable “plastic” alternatives, so seek those out instead.
- Purchase your toiletries from environmentally-friendly companies. There are many options now, and many of them are small businesses that need your support.
- Buy loose fruit and vegetables when you go grocery shopping. So much fresh produce is unnecessarily packaged, so where possible, opt for the plastic-free choice.
- Go for plastic-free menstrual products. If you’re someone who experiences the monthly joy of periods, you’ll be familiar with all the heavily-packaged options. A lot of mainstream sanitary towels and tampons are made with bleached rayon and even plastic. A less harmful option for your body and the planet can include a menstrual cup or period undies, which you can wash and reuse as needed.
- Use eco-friendly kitchen towel. Most you find in the store aren’t and come in plastic packaging. Do a little research and find an eco-friendly brand you like, or opt for cotton towels.
- Choose zero-waste fashion. You may not want to buy your clothes secondhand (though that is an ideal thing to do if you can), but if not, make sure you choose natural materials and brands that choose sustainable fabrics. Cheap fast fashion is often made from plastic and pollutes local waterways when it’s made. Natural materials like cotton and rayon will break down over time and likely last longer than plastic alternatives. If you need a piece that’s not 100% environmentally friendly, such as a waterproof jacket, make sure you invest in something long-lasting. It will be better for your wallet as well as the planet!
What Gifts are Zero-Waste?
There are plenty of options if you want to give an eco-conscious gift that will last forever. Here are some options for zero-waste presents:
- For comprehensive shopping guides on zero waste, visit the Zero Wasted website.
- A gift card to a zero-waste store or brand
- Zero-waste soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and more
- Zero-waste coffee-making kit
- Jewellery: companies like Luna & Rose make gorgeous jewellery from 99% recycled sterling silver, organic cotton and plant-dyed accessories.
- Zero-waste vitamins: give the gift of health for your loved one, as well as the planet! Our range of vitamins is zero-waste and use all-natural ingredients.
- Plants! Plants are great for the planet, the inhabitants of the home they inhabit, and obviously will break down over time. Pots last a long time, but it can be a good idea to upcycle old pots to make them more appealing or purchase from a company that does.