The zero waste initiative has attracted a lot of attention – both good and bad.
However, living a zero waste lifestyle isn’t about fitting all of your trash into a single mason jar.
Instead, it’s about becoming a conscious consumer, unlearning old behaviors, and putting your own zero waste initiative into action.
Simply put, the low waste movement is a visionary goal developed to help us conserve our natural resources throughout our day-to-day lives.
The road to living a low waste lifestyle can be intimidating, and it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of demotivation once you understand just how much needs to be done.
The best advice I have is to look at the zero waste initiative as a journey.
There are multiple ways and degrees to which we can do anything, and to get anywhere, it’s important to start slow and move at your own pace. Take it from me, these small changes quickly add up.
So with that, here are my top 10 tips to adopt waste-free living, from supporting low-waste meal delivery companies to shopping at zero-waste online grocery stores, and everything in between.
The average American showers for eight minutes, during which 2.5 gallons of water are consumed each minute. This means one shower uses about 20 gallons of water.
There are two easy ways to limit your water wastage in the shower: First, cut your consumption altogether by turning the water off while you wash your body and hair. Second, keep a wide bucket in your shower to catch the excess grey water. You can then use this water for your garden or house plants
The entire grocery shopping process, from the drive to the shops to the bags your food is packaged in, significantly impacts your waste footprint. Unless you can walk or cycle to your nearest grocery store, and have a selection of ethical shops around you, shopping online is a great way to limit your carbon emissions.
Depending on where you live, low-waste shops and zero-waste online grocery stores are popping up all over the globe. These shops stock everything from legumes, flours, seeds, and condiments, to toiletries and cleaning products.
Here is a list of our favorite plastic-free online shops:
Living a low-waste lifestyle also includes limiting your consumption of energy. A pressure cooker and an air-fryer are two kitchen appliances that are affordable investments that can significantly impact your zero waste initiative.
Aside from leaving your food to cook without supervision, using a pressure cooker instead of a regular saucepan can reduce your energy expenditure by up to 70% .
Similarly, air fryers use convection to heat your food and are 50% more energy efficient than traditional ovens.
Both appliances are amazing to produce healthy meals, they are kind to the environment and to your wallet too!
It’s the end of the week, and your fridge is overflowing with expired food.
Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.
Be strategic about what you buy by planning your meals before your weekly grocery shop. The best way to do this is to track your weekly waste and alter your shopping habits accordingly.
Shopping at zero-waste online grocery stores is an excellent way to avoid impulse purchases that won’t only benefit the environment, but also your health and bank account.
Buying second-hand clothing is an affordable way to reuse existing fabrics rather than purchasing fast fashion which will eventually increase the amount of waste ending up in landfills.
If you aren’t a fan of thrifting, do some research on low-waste shops in your area.
Slow fashion designers create long-lasting garments using sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing techniques.
Not only will a veggie garden save you time and money at the grocery store, but they are also one of the most satisfying projects to undertake. Read this article on regrowing food scraps to see which fruit and vegetables can be regrown from kitchen scraps.
Do your best to use your own compost and organic fertilizer, and water your plants with grey water from your shower.
Living a low-waste lifestyle is all about making do with what you have available. You’ll be surprised how many everyday items around your house you can upcycle to reduce waste.
As your traditional light bulbs burn out with time, slowly replace them with LED light bulbs. These energy-saving bulbs use 75% less energy than a conventional incandescent bulb with the same output, and are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your home’s carbon footprint.
By carrying reusable shopping bags, you will easily avoid buying tons of plastic bags at each of the shops you buy from. This is a very easy way to save plastic from circulating and it will save you some money too! I always carry a couple of sustainable fabric bags with me, you can find many that can fold back in a small square so they don’t take up too much space in your handbag.
Sustainable fabric bags are often ethically made and are easy to wash when needed. They are colourful and sometimes they are printed with fun quotes about sustainability!
I had mine for years and it is crazy to think how many places it’s been with me around the world!
If you enjoy a good takeout as much as I do, one of the best tips to adopt waste-free living is to find a local low-waste meal delivery company you can support.
More than a third of all food is wasted, a lot of which is owed to the takeout delivery industry. Apps like Too Good to Go have created a way forward for restaurant food waste.
The average American creates over 4.9 pounds of trash per day. That’s about 56 tons a year.
In a world captivated by consumerism, eco-friendly trends like living a low-waste lifestyle are paving the way for a better future.
The low waste movement teaches us that being sustainable doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing practice. Every product we swap, vegetables we grow, and items we upcycle are a step in the right direction.
A tip for the journey: focus on what you can do and not what you aren’t able to do. Significant change won’t happen overnight, but every small commitment slowly adds up.