Zero Waste Living
3 Impactful Tips for a Zero Waste Life
Living a zero waste (or at least a low waste) life has been the end goal for many of us who have been chasing sustainability for a while. But before we dive into the tried and tested tips to inch closer to that goal, let’s talk about what zero waste living really is.
What Is Zero Waste Living?
While both zero living and sustainable living are tied to the same end goal, they are slightly different lifestyles.
While sustainable living focuses on reducing the environmental tax of day-to-day actions and activities, it does not put a heavy focus on waste management.
On the other hand, a zero waste lifestyle’s main focus is reducing waste – not just recycling it, but eliminating it in its entirety. Simply put, you think about waste reduction before every purchase you make.
For example, living a zero waste lifestyle means choosing food that has zero packaging, while a sustainable lifestyle is one where you might buy food wrapped in plastic if the food’s origin is organic and local.
Living without waste doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of your favourite items. Now that we know the difference between sustainable and zero waste, here are our 5 top tips to leading a trash-free life:
1- Say goodbye to food waste
One of the first things you’ll hear when looking into reducing your waste has nothing to do with packaging at all, but with the food itself. In fact, 33-50% of all food produced worldwide is actually never eaten! That means that all the countless resources that went into producing that food – from land, water and energy to labour, packaging, and machinery – all went to waste.
To reduce your food waste, reconsider the amount of food you purchase. Do you find yourself throwing away rotten vegetables and bad cheese every week? Maybe you need to buy less food. Do you often find forgotten food items in the back of your cupboard and back of your fridge shelf? Try writing down a detailed meal plan for the week, including snacks and treats, and buy exactly what you need at your next grocery shop. Meal prepping is also a great way to combat food waste!
2- Step away from Styrofoam
Did you know that styrofoam takes over 500 years to decompose? Not only that, but in that duration, it released toxic chemicals that harm soil, animals, and the environment as a whole. In fact, it’s so harmful that cities like California, Toronto, Paris, and Manila have completely banned the use of Styrofoam.
So the next time you order a curry from Deliveroo, make sure you choose the establishments that don’t use styrofoam packaging. Or better yet, ditch the delivery and make your own curry at home!
3- No more plastic
Plastic is inherently a single-use material. That means its eventual destiny will always be landfill, where it would join the other 8.3 billion tons of plastic waste in landfills around the world right now.
Instead, when shopping for products, always opt for items packaged in biodegradable packaging, or better yet, in glass packaging. That’s because glass can be cleaned and reused infinitely, never having to see a landfill.
And, of course, when avoidable, ditch the plastic packaging completely. Buy your produce at markets instead of buying it unnecessarily prepackaged in supermarkets. Drink filtered tap water, or invest in a bottleless water dispenser, instead of buying water bottles in bulk. Buy homemade desserts instead of picking up a stale box of cookies from the shop (or better yet, bake your own!)
We hope this zero waste article helps you on your trashless journey. Good luck – and stay sustainable!