We all need to do our bit to help our planet and living the zero waste way is something that is becoming more and more popular.
When you think about it, do we really know where our waste goes? It is so easy to throw something in the bin and wait for the bin men to come and take it away, but it is what goes on after our little cycle, that is what’s important and what we need to help change. It does seem incredibly daunting to begin with, I mean, how are you meant to live and create absolutely no waste, at the same time? It does seem impossible. But whether you’re doing this completely or if you just want to reduce your waste by a large amount, I’m going to share some tips and tricks that’ll help get you started.
The first one, and it sounds so simple but most of us don’t do it enough, is to use what you have! It’s 2020, and I know how easy it is to go out (or stay in – it is so easy to make purchases from the comfort of your own home) and buy new things; we can Apple Pay our way to a new wardrobe, a nice meal out, new household items, the list goes on. But do we really need to do that? Look around the house. Re vamp some of your old clothes, eat the food in your fridge and cupboards, and use the empty candle jar for storing dry foods or pens or something? Get creative! But most importantly, think before you throw something away. Does that old shirt that could be made into a reusable bag, belong in the general waste bin?
This next one is something that I am
trying super hard to do this year, and it is to buy second hand first. Charity shops might just have what you’re looking for, and probably for a cheaper price too. Not to mention that you’ll be keeping a perfectly good item out of a landfill. I am aware that thrift shop purchases can be a bit hit and miss, but try to be positive and what harm is it going to do by simply going inside and having a look first?
I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet, but with this, I really have made the effort and succeeded (I think so anyway) with this goal that I set myself. Before you go and buy something, it is important to reaallly think about whether you need it. If I see something I like, whether it be a new top, a candle, a new brand of cereal, anything… I don’t automatically buy it. I used to be awful at this, and every time I saw something that I liked, I bought it, and my bank account hated me. But now, I always give myself a few days to think about whether I really want it or not and 9 times out of 10, I’ve forgotten about it and never end up going back to buy it. This really helps prevent over consumption and I think everyone needs to realise that there is a price to pay for uncontrolled consumption.
It seems daunting, but as I said, everyone can start somewhere. Try to reduce or simply eliminate single use items (especially plastic) first! Plastic straws, paper cups, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, plastic water bottles, cling film, wet wipes… the list goes on. These items are used for minutes, but have such a harmful impact on our environment. We are really lucky that now, we do have many sustainable alternatives and using these can make such a big difference.
The last thing I’m going to mention is to find your local zero waste shop. I know that some counties/towns/cities have a lot more than others, but it is so important to make that trip. It’s really surprising how taking your own container and filling it up with products can reduce the amount of packaging and waste. I also think it is important to simply visit a zero waste shop (even if you have no intentions to buy anything) just so you can realise how much of the items you’re buying regularly, or even daily, are contributing to the amount that you waste!
FACT: Everything we consume comes from the natural world – it is extracted, mined, farmed, grown, fished, cut down, etc etc etc. and did you know that the resources on this planet are limited? So, as we continue to consume at an ever increasing rate, the planet suffers from the over-extraction of resources. This results in degraded and collapsing ecosystems, habitats and species. Then there is the increased pollution and waste that comes with it!!
Remember: “there is enough in the world for everyone’s need; there is not enough for everyone’s greed.” GANDHI