If you’ve decided you want to lower your impact on the environment but not sure where to start, here are 16 easy general tips that will get you started.
1. Get yourself a reusable water bottle (or two) and ditch the single use plastic water bottles for good.
2. Say no to shopping bags of any kind, plastic, paper or otherwise and start using reusable shopping bags or totes instead. Leave them in your car and your handbag.
3. Purchase or make some reusable fresh produce bags to put your fruits, veggies, legumes and grains in whilst grocery shopping to again avoid plastic bags.
4. Start buying as much as you can in bulk; food, toiletries, cleaning products etc.
5. Store your bulk goods in glass or aluminium containers.
6. Start using a handkerchief instead of tissues or serviettes.
7. Use washable cloths or rags to clean your house and your dishes instead of disposable sponges.
8. Say no to straws!! They are completely uneccesary!!
9. If you like reading, get a library card and start hiring books instead of buying them new.
10. Shop for clothing and other items in thrift stores to reuse, recycle and upcycle instead of buying new.
11. Take shorter showers and turn the water off whilst brushing your teeth.
12. If you’re not already, start recycling. A quick internet search will tell you which of your household waste items are recyclable.
13. Also if you haven’t already, start composting. It’s surprising how much waste can be composted, it’s not just about your food scraps.
14. Wherever possible, stop using your car and walk or cycle instead, the environment and your waistline will thank you.
15. Reduce your paper waste by saying no to junk mail and switching to paperless billing.
16. Start making your own cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning products and just about anything you need. It’s completely possible to do this zero waste by buying ingredients in bulk. It’s also a great way to avoid all the nasty chemicals found in most over the counter products.
When you’re ready to go further on your zero waste journey I would suggest to assess all the areas in your life where you create waste. eg the bathroom, kitchen, laundry etc. Then address each area and find ways to eliminate waste in that area.
For example: The Bathroom.
- Swap your plastic toothbrush for a compostable bamboo brush.
- Replace your plastic razor with a reusable safety razor or straight blade.
- Switch out your tampons and pads for a menstrual cup and/or reusable, washable fabric pads.
- Reduce the amount of packaging you have by combining several products into one package free product – for example a natural bar of soap that will wash your hair, face and body.
- Start using oil such as coconut oil to condition your hair and moisturise your face and body. Use an oil you can by in bulk and store in reusable containers.
These are just a few zero waste alternatives for the bathroom but it gives you a good idea of the changes that can be made.
Last but not least, one of the most important tools for going zero waste is knowledge. Be sure to educate yourself on the topic as much as possible. Read books and blogs, watch documentaries and listen to podcasts. There is so much information available that will help make your transition to a zero waste lifestyle a smooth one.
You can find some useful information resources here.
Good luck and have fun!
Love Kat xx