A simple way to a zero-waste lifestyle
Trash talk! No, not the kind that you’re thinking about. Let’s talk about the serious problem we have with waste and our improper ways of disposal. One good way to combat it is, eradicate it from the source. The waste we generate is slowly killing our mother earth. Dumping waste in landfills isn’t as good of a solution as we once thought since it leads to the release of greenhouse gases and affects the wildlife and ecosystem around that area.
A zero-waste lifestyle is one where we reduce what we need, reuse as much as we can, send little to be recycled, and compost what we cannot. It’s really about redefining the system. Currently, it is a linear economy where we take resources from the earth and then dump them in a giant hole within the ground. The goal of zero waste is to shift to a circular economy where we write trash out of existence.
Here are some easy and cost-effective ways to live a zero-waste lifestyle:
Quit single-use plastic products: Containers in all forms and dimensions of glass and stainless steel can be washed, reused, and carried safely for a long time. Avoiding them will lessen the effect it has on the environment. The toxic chemicals used to manufacture plastic gets transferred to animals, eventually entering the human food chain.
Limit the use of non-eco-friendly products: Choose recycled cotton versions instead of paper towels and paper napkins. There are bamboo toothbrushes available as an eco-friendly alternative now.
Keep a check on your food waste: Check your food remains, turn food waste into jams and sauces, and save money by planning your meals since you will buy only what you need. Scraps can also be composted
Buy products in bulk: Purchase the largest possible size or products in bulk and divide them into small environmentally friendly containers. This reduces packaging waste since around 45 percent of waste in landfills can be attributed to food packaging and containers. Even though at that point in time it’s expensive it works out cheaper in the long run since you don’t have to keep buying that product and buying in bulk also means that you might get a discount or deal.
Buy durable bottles: Use bottles of metal or glass for water or coffee throughout the day.
Segregate your waste: Keep food and kitchen scraps, garden waste, and recyclables separately. This will avoid non-biodegradable waste from being discarded in landfills. They’re responsible for 20% of the methane emissions in the US. Toxins from cleaners, batteries, small electronics (and other items that shouldn’t be dumped in a landfill) leach into the soil and can run off into the ocean and groundwater when it rains. The dry waste can be donated or given to recycling centers and the wet waste can be composted at home or be given to composting centers.
Recycle: Recycle everything you can including unbreakable glass, certain plastics, paper and cartons, tin and aluminum cans.
Start using large recyclable/reusable bags made of canvas, mesh, or fabric.
Benefits of this lifestyle:
Zero waste creates 10 times more jobs through reducing, reusing, and recycling than through trash disposal.
A lot of the zero waste practices include purchasing things mindfully, DIY’s, and thrifting
Reducing, reusing, and recycling can conserve that energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.
Reducing and reusing means fewer products are made, as people buy a fewer number of products and demand durable products.
A zero-waste approach can contribute to community capacity building, support marginalized communities and protect community health. Make use of this time and start your zero waste journey right from your home. The best part is this journey of zero waste can begin at home.