In efforts of being more environmentally conscious, thus living my values, I’ve decided to embrace a zero waste lifestyle.
WHAT IS A ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE?
Started by Bea Johnson and popularized by Lauren Singer, zero waste is a movement to reduce the amount of trash produced each year, thus encouraging the recondition of resource life cycles so that all products can be reused.
I will admit that the term zero waste seemed pretty baffling and incredibly implausible at first as many of you might have felt by just reading the title, but zero waste is more easily attainable than you think.
The first step in embracing a zero waste lifestyle is accepting that term in itself doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t allowed to create trash but rather keeping landfill-bound trash to a bare minimum. Zero waste living is all about understanding your personal impact and living with intention.
HOW DO I INCORPORATE ZERO WASTE INTO MY EVERYDAY LIFESTYLE?
While I am now where close to Bea Johnson’s level of producing one quarter of waste annually, I have certainly made a substantial decrease in the amount of waste I produce on a daily basis. I generally tend to focus more on reducing things that produce the most waste like plastic bags, foam utensils (plates, cups and forks), paper boxes, plastic bottles, receipt paper and cans.
The kitchen was a great place to start while embarking on my zero waste journey!
Here is how I zero waste:
REUSABLE PRODUCE + GROCERY BAGS
I prevent excess plastic bags from piling up in my home by shopping with reusable produce and grocery bags. Apart from being more stylish and practical reusable shopping and produce bags can replace hundreds of single-use plastic bags over the course of it’s lifetime. Not only are they more durable than normal disposable plastic bags but they are great for carrying just about anything doubling as a lunch tote, gym bag and/or beach bag – just about anything you can think of. Not to mention, reusable bags in addition, are also washable, non-toxic and helps protect our environment!
Here’s the link to purchase the produce bags featured in the cover photo here: amazon.com/keepingupwithbritt
2. HOMEMADE BEAUTY SUBSTITUTES
In order to avoid conventional beauty products with potentially hazardous chemical ingredients thus, preventing the compilation of excess plastic bottles and boxes, I make homemade beauty substitutes for everyday products like toothpaste, mouthwash, facial toner, makeup removers, hair gel and much more and simply store them in glass jars using ingredients I already have in my home. For example, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother together with plain filtered water makes the perfect facial toner as it brightens, tightens, softens and treats the skin with every use.
3. SHOPPING IN BULK
I love buying my dry foods in bulk (especially at whole foods) as it is a great way to minimize the consumption of excess product packing while it also allows me to have direct control of the quantity of each item I purchase. I have also found that shopping in bulk helps me to save lots of extra time and money as the products last longer thus, preventing more frequent trips to the grocery store.
4. LIMITING MY DISPOSABLES
My use of disposables have drastically decreased with zero waste as I hardly if ever, purchase plastic wrap, disposable cups, plates and utensils, paper napkins and paper towels. Although I have to do more dishes, using more glassware has created a lot less junk in my trash can thus minimizing my weekly garbage duties.
5. SAY NO TO PLASTIC!
Weather I’m storing away my spices, teas, rice, flour, grains or any other ingredients that require mason jar storage, staying hydrated with my reusable water bottle or fueling up for the day with my bento box lunch, I am constantly saying no to plastic, in efforts to retain the freshness, taste, and nutritional makeup of my food and to protect the environment of course. Glass is also a much safer alternative for storing your food as many plastic containers are usually composed of chemical substances like BPA that can migrate into your food during microwave heating. Glass also performs safely at different temperatures as oppose to plastic thus, holding heat for longer periods of time. Aside from looking more elegant, glass storage containers are also much easier to clean as oppose to plastic containers thus allowing you to avoid stains and lasting food smells.
6. DIGITAL RECEIPTS
I know it’s hard giving out your email for email receipts as most of the time it follows with an automated email subscription (especially when shopping in retail) but digital receipts are the best way to avoid excess paper from piling up in your wallet and your home as it you’ll enjoy the feeling of a more organized personal and sustainable environment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ZERO WASTE?
- You become a lot more self sufficient
- Save more money while saving the environment
- Reduced amounts of weekly garbage disposable
- You encourage and inspire others to join
- You become a lot more crafty and creative as you learn to repurpose simple everyday items you already have in your home like baking soda and vinegar
- Cleaning becomes way more streamlined as you produce a lot less waste
- You become more conscientious about your purchases as buying in bulk allows you to more efficiently control price/spending, frequent shopping and eliminates the compilation of excess unused product that can go bad over time.
- You tend to choose healthier alternatives to prepackaged, processed foods as you more frequently shop at local vendors and farmers markets where there is more bulk options; bulk foods are generally healthier than packaged processed foods.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR……
Zero waste had taught me how to live life with a bit more intention and to to be more conscious of the products I purchase. In addition I have also discovered that I have a tremendous amount of self control thus I am extremely disciplined as I enjoy conquering my own myself.
Are you living zero waste too? If not, will you be open to trying it? Share with us below.
FACEBOOK.COM/ BRITTNEY GRANT