Any ideas for a new year’s resolution in 2019? Here is one – first look back to 2018 (or any year before) and try to count all the times you had to take out the trash. Impossible? That can be so because we tend to produce an enormous amount of waste. According to EPA research, one person in the United States produces up to 2,000 pounds of trash a year, less than half of which can be recycled. There are, on the other hand, people proud of producing only one jar of waste in a year. Can it be possible for an average person? Here are some tips to produce less waste and therefore care more for mother earth.
How much do I really waste?
The first thing to do is a little reflection on your life. However disgusting it may sound you should look through your trash and see which items are the majority of your waste. Maybe paper cups? Plastic forks? Paper tissues? By doing so you’ll immediately see, what to focus on and what kind of waste should you limit the most.
It can seem harsh to immediately switch your lifestyle to zero waste, but in reality, you don’t need to do everything at once. Little swaps in your daily life can already be meaningful and help the environment. This can be a bamboo toothbrush instead of the plastic ones, a bag made of paper instead of the plastic ones, stainless steel Tupperware instead of – guess what? – plastic ones. So, in general, avoiding plastic is not that difficult if you make little changes.
The best thing would be to use no plastic packages at all, but that can be hard. So just do your best to limit it as much as possible. Try to buy your fruits and vegetables at a local market instead of the supermarket and don’t forget to bring your own bag. Some markets offer food sold in loose weight, so you can buy them in your own containers, like Tupperware or mason jars. Also, if you buy a piece of clothing, maybe it’s not always necessary to take it in a plastic bag with the logo of the shop?
Go for sustainability:
In addition to what was written above, you should consider choosing sustainable products. The biggest amount of waste comes from disposable items that are thrown away after one use. Things like a reusable water bottle to avoid buying plastic bottles every day, bamboo cutlery that you carry around to use for your takeaways, or a tote bag for your groceries can make a big impact and help you produce less waste. There are a lot of things that can be changed to sustainable options – from paper tissues and menstrual pads to straws and cutlery. You can also get sustainable homeware made of natural and recycled materials as an alternative to regular homeware. Of course, it can take a bit more effort at the beginning, to carry your own cup of bottle everywhere, but the earth will be a little lighter.
Try second hand!
Many of the trash that is being thrown away, could be reused. Maybe some plastic containers of butter or hummus that you already ate, could be reused as Tupperware? Or maybe an empty shampoo bottle could serve as a DIY hand soap container? Also consider buying second-hand items like furniture, clothes or other things. You don’t always have to have a brand new thing, right?
Do it yourself!
In our society, it can be hard to avoid plastic packed things. A solution to that would be to do those things yourself. Online you can find many recipes for great cookies (to avoid buying them packed in plastic bags), cosmetics (many of them are sold in plastic bottles that are hard to reuse or recycle), or liquid cleaners for your home. Again, it takes some time and effort to do everything yourself, but it’s also rewarding, when you discover, that you don’t need to buy this stuff anymore, cause you can do it on your own.
Change your lifestyle and save money!
It’s not possible to change your waste without changing your lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult, many of the changes have other advantages than only helping the planet. For example, when you switch from disposable menstrual pads to a menstrual cup, you save a lot of money every month. Also, when you switch to e-cigarettes instead of smoking regular ones (and throwing away all the butts and the packages), you don’t produce so much pollution. Vaping can be also profitable for your budget if you look for some good vape deals. In general, if the whole thing about protecting the environment doesn’t convince you enough, think of your own wallet and changes that less-waste-lifestyle will cause.
Summing up, there are a lot of things you can do to lower the amount of waste you produce. Our advice is – don’t try to do everything at once, as it can be overwhelming. Start small, change one thing at a time and see how you feel about it. Soon you’ll be ready to go completely zero-waste!