Going zero waste isn’t easy. It takes thought and you have to break habits. It can seem daunting. Start small, but start. Here are some tips to help you on your way …
Refuse. If you don’t need it, don’t use it. Just say no. Single-use items are the biggest culprit here but it’s also all those little things that we take and don’t need. As Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t bring you joy….. and that freebie pen is unlikely to do that. Once you have stopped saying yes and starting reducing you’ll find the next tip a lot easier.
Reduce. If you have ever moved home you come to realise the amount of stuff you do not need that you have acquired. Start getting rid of it. Reduce what you have/need. Start donating. Do a car boot sale. Just get rid of ‘stuff’ without making waste. For example, if you have way too many pots and pans, donate them to a local nursery’s mud kitchen. Tackle an area at a time. Perhaps start with the ‘drawer of shame’ that everyone has or the shoe collection. You’ll then see what you need and what you really don’t.
Reuse. I’m sure you’re reading this because you’re starting to make changes – you have the coffee cup, shopping bag and water bottle, so step it up. Think about containers you can take to the butchers or grocery store. Don’t go out and buy, you’ll be surprised what you already have! But if you really are lacking, think about the second-hand stores.
Recycle. And make sure you recycle properly. If you’re not sure. Research. Your council website is a good place to start.
Compost. Get a composter going and put a good mix of green and brown waste into it. Again, it’s worth researching to get this one right. The Eden Project has some good tips.
Forget packaging. Check out the bulk aisle of your grocery store, go to the bakery, farmers market (you’ll find a handy list here), visit the deli counter. there has been an explosion of package-free stores (have a look here) ready to support your zero-waste mission.
Go clean with your cleaning. All you need is baking soda, white vinegar, lemon, some soap, and old rags. Switch to soap bars and refillable shampoo bottles – Soap Nuts have some great offerings!
Make habits that last a lifetime. While you’re changing your habits, make sure the whole family are involved. Teach the kids young to refuse, reuse and recycle. Do it in small steps, one thing at a time, and be consistent with it.
Good Luck ! We would love to hear about your zero waste journey.
Do share it with us.