How to start Waste Free Living
Making the decision to start a waste-free lifestyle and taking the plunge to start your journey can seem a little overwhelming, especially if you feel there are so many changes to make and you don’t know where to start! We’ve given some tips to help you begin, and hopefully continue with, your journey into waste-free living.
- Remember, it’s a journey
Don’t try to change everything all at once. This might work for some people, but isn’t sustainable for most. Just keep in mind that this is a journey you are embarking on and you won’t reach the end goal (if there ever is one!) overnight. This is really important, we can all learn from each other.
- Educate yourself
Start by reading. If you haven’t already, read Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. She goes into great detail on how to analyse every part of your home and lifestyle to make changes, by always following her 5 steps of Zero Waste – the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.
Follow zero waste lifestyle bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers for inspiration and motivation. There are many people now sharing their journey to waste free living, and you can gain many tips and tricks to living more consciously.
- Get connected
Get involved with Forums, Facebook Groups and Instagram and connect with like-minded people who are trying to live a waste-free lifestyle. Ask them how they found the transition and what changes they made straight away. Search for events and groups local to you so that you can meet people who are also on a waste-free journey, if you find there isn’t anything local to you then start something yourself!
- Put together your shopping kit
The very first change, and hopefully one you are probably already doing is to say no to throwaway plastic bags. If you are still a bit hit and miss at remembering your reusable shopping bag, then keeping your reusable shopping bags in a place you will remember to take them out with you is a good idea. This may be in the car, by the front door or even in your handbag if they pack down nice and small. In one of your shopping bags add some reusable produce bags, and then you can refuse the throwaway plastic bags used for fruit and veg in supermarkets. Lastly, if you also add some large glass clip-top or screw top jars to your shopping kit you are well equipped for refusing unnecessary throwaway packaging and returning home with waste free, packaging free shopping!
As well as sorting out your shopping kit, making some really quick and simple switches from disposable to reusable in your everyday life will give you instant impact! Start with the following switches….
- Plastic water bottles – Reusable Water bottle
Such an easy and simple switch to make! With so many stylish water bottles to choose from, this simple water carrying vessel can be a stylish fashion statement showing the world you care about style, but you also care about our beautiful planet!
- Throwaway take-away Coffee Cup – Reusable Coffee Cup
As reusable coffee cups gain popularity, you no longer need to feel embarrassed in the coffee shop when asking for your take-out coffee in your own coffee cup. Let’s make this the norm!
- Packaged sandwiches – Home-made (and more delicious) lunch in your lunchbox
Packed lunch is not just for the little ones going off to school, stop buying packaged convenience food for lunch and instead take your own in a lovely container. Not only is packed lunch a great way to use up delicious leftovers from the night before (and also cut down your food waste), but it’s a chance to get creative and think up some quick and healthy lunches that will make you the office lunch envy! Check out YouTube and Pinterest for some inspiring ideas.
- Plastic throwaway straws – Reusable Straws
I have stainless steel straws stashed in drawers at home, in my bag and even in the car! Kids love straws, and by always having your reusable straws to hand you can refuse the plastic ones when you’re out and about. The small ones are perfect for Friday after-work cocktails too…..
- Shampoo bottles – Shampoo Bars
Ok, so we know that plastic bottles can be recycled and this certainly makes us feel like we’re doing the ‘eco’ thing by popping all our plastic into the recycling box each week. It’s definitely better to recycle than throw away, but did you know that once a plastic has been recycled once it cannot be turned into a recyclable plastic again? Inevitably, plastic ends up in our landfills.
Making a simple switch to a shampoo bar is one our family has embraced easily. With so many lovely options from shops like Soapnut we have enjoyed trying different ones to discover which we prefer using.
- Cling film – Reusable Wraps
Cling film, plastic wrap, whatever you like to call it is one of those annoying little plastic products that is also quite useful. If you really can’t ditch the nasty stuff all together, then reusable wraps are a great reusable alternative as they can be used to cover leftovers, wrap your sandwiches, keep your cut fruit fresh, in fact anything you would use cling film for, reusable wraps can do the same so win win!
These tips just a few ways to get you started, there are so many switches you can make for waste-free living but the main thing is to enjoy the journey of finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives!