So for a long time, I wasn’t going to write this blog. There are so many Zero Waste/Low Impact starter lists out there on Youtube, in Blogs and generally on the internet. But something occurred to me when I was chatting with a friend the other day. The more Zero Waste beginner lists out there, the better chance there is that a beginner will come across it. So here is my stamp on what you could do today, on the first day of your Zero Waste living to change your habits.
- Say no to a straw. I didn’t even think I used that many straws, but even if you don’t use them at home, you will begin to notice how often restaurants and bars give you a straw without even thinking about it. When you order a drink, just remember to say “No straw please”. Read more about “Say not to the straw” here.
- Say no to Plastic bags – Only buying one item? Just carry it. If you have more, bring your own reusable bag. I love my fold up bags that don’t take up a lot of space because then, you are always prepared for a last minute shop.
- Bring Your Own Water Bottle and Cup – Did you know that it takes roughly 3x times the amount of water that a bottle holds, to produce said single-use plastic water bottle? That’s crazy! Not to mention that these often sit in the sun, leaching plastic into the water that you are drinking. Grab a reusable bottle. My recommendation would be stainless steel.
- Take Away Packaging and cutlery – As much as possible, use your own container and bring your own cutlery. It really doesn’t take up that much extra space, and it often starts a great conversation with the staff where you shop. Where it’s not possible, try to support businesses that have sustainable and recyclable packaging, and let other businesses know that you are making this choice, and how they can get your business back.
- If you don’t need it, don’t buy it – This sounds like a minimalism tip, more than something to help someone go Zero Waste – but trust me – the fewer items you bring in to your life, the less you have to worry about your carbon footprint. Simply use what you have – even if it’s a little unconventional.
- Reduce Your Junk Mail – And any other paperwork you find yourself throwing into the recycling. Go digital, or simply unsubscribe from any catalogs that you are no longer reading. Depending on where you live, a no junk mail sign might also help with any “letterbox drop” style advertising.
And there you have it, the first 6 things I recommend to start off your Zero Waste journey. Some you might have heard before, and some that might be new to you. BUT – don’t take it all on at once. Take your time and make changes slowly as you are able. Don’t be fooled – you don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of shiny new Zero Waste stuff in order to make a difference.
I believe in you! You got this!