Zero-waste — a word many of us may have heard before — is a lifestyle choice that has come into the limelight in recent times. But what does zero-waste living really mean?
At its core, it is a form of sustainable living in which people actively work to reduce waste and adopt eco-friendly practices. And the reason for its growing popularity? People are becoming more environmentally conscious and, as a result, are trying to curb their contribution to environmental degradation.
The guiding thought behind the zero-waste philosophy is that each one of us has the power to protect the environment — by simply altering our habits and being more eco-friendly. But if the solution to environmental problems is so simple, why aren’t more of us hopping on the bandwagon? Because as much as we don’t mean to harm our environment, being committed to generating zero waste seems like a daunting task for most. But, in order to progress, we’ve got to start somewhere. So here are some simple tips to help you take your first step towards an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.
Bring Your Own Box (BYOB)
One of the easiest ways to enter the world of zero-waste living is by reducing the packaging waste you generate. All you have to do is carry a box with you wherever you go to use in place of traditional disposable take out boxes. In fact, don’t just stop there — it’s always handy to have a reusable straws, water bottles, carry bags, and cutlery with you each time you step out of the house. Human beings produce approximately 300 million tons of plastic each year*, most of which consists of disposable, single-use plastic items. So, even the small step of cutting disposables out of our lives can have a big impact.
Reshape your shopping habits
A lot of the waste we generate is a result of the way we shop. Be it the individual packaging of products (such as groceries and processed foods) or the multiple layers of packaging that online purchases come in, when we buy something new, we leave a trail of waste behind. But if we consciously make an effort to incorporate eco-friendly habits into our lives, we can drastically cut down the amount of waste we generate. For instance, rather than buying processed, heavily packaged foods, look out for local grocers or farms nearby, so you can buy items in bulk and carry them home in your own reusable bags. Another way you can reduce your waste production is by buying only the things you need. Instead of going overboard while shopping, try focusing on items that are absolutely essential for you. Not only is this tip eco-friendly, it’s also budget-friendly!
Alter your reading habits
In today’s digital age, we now have easy access to a wide range of technologies and gadgets — making it easier than ever for us to swap traditional forms of paper products (like books, newspapers, and magazines) with smartphones, laptops, and e-readers. This allows us to cut down on the amount of paper waste we generate, while also making it a lot easier to carry all our reading material on the go. By picking up this convenient habit, we can help reduce deforestation, and the consequences that accompany it, in our own little way.
Change your kitchen habits
The kitchen is one of the areas where we produce a large amount of waste, which can easily be put to better use — either by reducing, recycling, or reusing. So if you have a garden in your home, why not start your own composting pit for your food scraps? In fact, you could even start a little fruit and vegetable garden to grow your own food! In this way, you can effectively manage your food waste while also reducing the packaging waste you generate. Another benefit of growing your own produce is that it might just inspire you to cook your own meals — lowering your consumption of processed foods and take out as well as putting you on the road to a more wholesome diet. With these easy adjustments to your lifestyle, you can take a significant stride in an eco-friendly direction.
Now that you know these simple tips, we hope the world of zero-waste living doesn’t seem as overwhelming as before. Adopting this lifestyle is sustainable, far safer for the environment, and makes you feel like a healthier, more socially aware individual. So go on and incorporate these tips into your daily routine — with these baby steps, you can ease yourself into an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
*According to Plasticoceans.org