With Alice Bellini, environmental activist and co-founder of non-profit charity Inspire Eco Participation we have 10 easy ways for you to start your zero waste journey. It may seem like a daunting road ahead, but she reassures us that it is a journey to reducing our impact as much as we humanly can.
`We aren’t born zero waste and there’s no such thing as ZERO’
She rightly reminds us that we are on a journey towards lessening our impact on the planet not eliminating it, so don’t be too hard on yourself. The important thing is that you are here and you have taken the first, and often the most challenging, step! Try to embrace what is to come and avoid unrealistic expectations. You are not going to become zero waste overnight, and there is no one set path for everyone. This journey is about finding the small ways you can change you daily habits to make a big difference. So where do we start?
‘It’s not about simply swapping one object for another, but going zero waste means changing our lifestyle.’
- If you haven’t already get a water bottle! This is the simplest thing you can do. Consciously choose to stop buying plastic single-use drink bottles. On average it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose and 90% are not recycled!
2. Take a long, hard look in your bathroom. It shouldn’t take you very long (or hard) to find an abundance of plastic! Bathrooms are one of the top culprits for accumulating plastic and there are lots of alternatives out there. Use soap bars where you can for body, hands and even hair! The other option is refillables, so there really is no excuse for buying plastic!
3. This on is for, the women. Start researching plastic-free period solutions. You may be surprised at home many alternatives there are these days! It takes 500-800 years for a sanitary pad to decompose! Consider washable pads or menstrual cups which can last up to 10 years!
4. Consider your diet. Dietary changes can be one of the hardest for people to get their head around, but we are not saying you should become vegan overnight. Start by simply reducing your meat and dairy consumption. Maybe make Monday night meat-free and switch to rice milk or vegetable butter.
5. Whenever you can shop local and buy seasonal products. Take that extra time to find out where your fruit and veg have come from and decide whether you really need it! It’s worth doing your research no this one as many foods that we pick up without a second thought have flown half way across the world from a farmer who isn’t getting a fair wage. As a consumer you have a lot of power so it’s important to put some thought into where and who you give your money to.
6. Reduce your water consumption. Easy. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. Cut down on your shower time and only turn the dishwasher or washing machine on when its full.
7. Only buy what you need. Food waste is an easy thing to avoid! Just put it in the fridge for tomorrow or better still only buy what you realistically need. Other waste to consider is clothing, avoid fast fashion and only buy things you really need and will last a long time.
8. Try to travel in the most eco friendly way. Alice said that this is one of the main things that makes going ‘zero’ waste very hard! The best we can do is take public transport where possible for long distances and for shorter journeys walk or bike. This one is all about changing your habits. We are used to getting places quickly and efficiently but taking that extra time to plan our travel needs will massively reduce your carbon footprint.
9. SLOW DOWN and become consciously aware of your impact on the planet. It’s not about simply swapping one object for another, but going zero waste means changing our lifestyle. Consider every aspect of our lives, our house and our habits that have a negative impact on the planet and start by making changes that are easy. Being realistic is really important and not aiming for perfect. We are simply becoming aware, educating ourselves and doing what we think is best in the best way we can.
10. The final tip from Alice is LIVE SIMPLY. Adjust your life in anyway to can to live more in sync with the environment.
If you would like more information on how to go Zero Waste visit Inspire’s website where you can download a free guide on how to go zero waste.