The world is full of trash. That’s a sad truth nobody can deny.
On average each human being produces 1.5 kg (3,3 pounds) of trash per day. And most of that trash isn’t even recycling. In fact, plastic, the most durable material in our trash, isn’t recycled that much. In Europe, for example, only about a 40% of all plastic send to recycle get actually recycled.
Lately a new trend has become very popular: zero waste!
With influencers and bloggers talking more and more about zero waste it can feel a little farfetched. And, as it usually happens when something gets super popular, companies are trying to make a profit.
But, don’t worry! You don’t need to buy a full list of fancy zero waste items. Do not throw away your plastic tooth brush. Zero Waste swaps need to be thoughtful, not something impulsive just because a random instagramer told you to buy a bamboo brush!
In general, you can live by the 5 rules of Zero Waste. As seen in Bea Johnson’s book Zero Waste Home. Great read!
The 5 rules for a Zero Waste life
- Refuse the items you do not need. You do not need another plastic bag, right?
- Reduce the amount of things you need and own. Ever heard of minimalism?
- Reuse as much as possible. Try to repurpose stuff instead of discarding those items directly. Like jars! Even though they are recyclable, we prefer to repurpose them to keep food fresh in the fridge!
- Recycle. When the refusing, reducing and reusing fail: go to the recycling bin! When in doubt, toss it out!
- Rot the rest! You can pretty much do your compost anywhere!
Key ideas you can try today to reduce your waste
We are aware of the difficulty of changing your habits. But these small changes are easy to put into practise and they will even save you time and money!
First of all, remember: you’re on the right path! Don’t feel pushed to acomplishing everything at once. One small step every day will lead you towards a zero waste lifestyle in no time!
- Carry reusable alternatives
Most of us carry a backpack, handbag or a similar item with us every day. Use that instead of plastic bags when doing some shopping. You can also carry in there a reusable water bottle and a cup for your coffees. Take it one step further and carry your own containers for picking up take-out when you treat yourself to a nice meal out.
- Start your composting station
This has a massive impact and is super easy! You don’t need a fancy container to do it. We keep our compost in the freezer. Just like Trash Is For Tossers showed us.
- Reduce your personal care products
Let’s be honest, nobody needs 20 different products for their hair or skin. Each one in a different plastic container. Reduce the amount of products you use when you run out of them. Buy nice alternatives, plastic free if possible, and try to find products that can replace several items in your toiletries. Solid soap (usually plastic free) can replace your facial wash, your hand soap, your makeup remover, etc.
Again, try not to impulse buy miracle products for a zero waste life. Reduce what you need, reduce what you use. And don’t feel bad if you can’t completely reduce plastic from your life! We’re only humans in the end…
Of course, living a zero waste life, like completely zero waste, would be pretty much impossible, but we’re trying our best, and that is perfect! After all, the biggest poluters are not regular human beings like you and us, it’s governments and massive companies who really need to step up their eco-game!