Have you ever thought about how many trash and waste you produce in a day? Your participation in green efforts is significantly important. In conjunction with the Earth day today, we’ve listed 8 tips on how can we embrace a zero waste lifestyle. Let us not only practice these habits on Earth day only, but everyday.
1. Focus on small yet meaningful changes
Start with simple actions such as carrying your own water bottle or reusable coffee mug to the cafe to avoid disposable cups. Refusing plastic straws or don’t even use a straw is also another small achievement.
2. Start to BYOB and BYOC
You should start practicing to pack lunch or takeaway your food by using stainless steel or glass containers (bring your own container, BYOC). Rather than storing items in plastic containers, you can reuse the metal or glass jars for food and kitchen ingredients storage. BYOB, bring your own bags when you go shopping too. If you need to get your regular cup of joe daily, you can always takeaway with a reusable coffee cup as well. A life-changing step to take when going zero waste is to switch from disposable to reusable.
3. Repurpose, reuse and repair
A little repair for small appliances, electronics and even garments and ceramics can go a long way towards preventing unnecessary waste. Repurpose your old clothings to use as cleaning cloths and handkerchiefs to cut down the buying of tissues, wipes or paper towel.
4. Borrow or exchange
You can actually ask your friends, family, neighbours or even colleagues if they are willing to lend you the things that you need, for example, a prom dress, a drill and so on. Besides, books, movies, games and tools can all be borrowed from the libraries or exchange with your friends and family. Borrow or exchange instead of buying, is way to reduce unnecessary waste.
Food composting is simple that everyone can do it. Use containers with charcoal filters to eliminate smell and these bins are stored on your countertop. Add in food scraps, eggshells, vegetables and even paper products to the compost. When the container has filled up, move to the outdoor and mixed with leaves, grass or even wood shavings. Your compost needs oxygen and moisture, and with the right mixture, your compost should smell like earthy dirt. Composting not only reduces trash but also a rich fertiliser to your garden.
6. Bulk buying
There are many stores that offer the option of bulk buying especially natural groceries and health food items. You could bring simple mesh bags to hold rice, nuts and oats; bring jars for items like flour, cheese, meats and other items. Shopping this way creates zero trash and often save your money because bulk buys are typically cheaper.
Recycling is the final resort to manage broken and irreparable items. Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects to prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials. Clean bottles, cans, paper and cardboard are all recyclable items. You can also donate your clothes to NGOs or some clothing stores that run the recycling program such as Uniqlo, H&M, Zara and more.
8. Be realistic
You can’t expect yourself to go completely zero waste at the very beginning. Most of us would need to take steps over time to cut down on trash and waste. Most importantly, stay realistic and get yourself in the right mindset to make a zero waste lifestyle work.
Small actions, big impact. Regardless of how menial and small one’s contribution may be, it will still contribute to the society’s collective effort and eventually generate a difference.