Often when we hear the term “waste-free” our minds wander to images of people that only eat food that they grow themselves, refuse to go into supermarkets and wear hemp clothes. Naturally, this isn’t the only way to be waste-free and you definitely don’t have to cut everything out immediately. Similarly to every other challenge that humans face, it’s a working progress.
I’m going to be making more of an effort to be waste-free wherever I can this year but I’m by no means there yet. There are so many small changes that can be made to improve the amount of waste we’re producing – so why not check some of them out and make a positive change today!
- Addicted to coffee? Buy a reusable cup.
It became apparent to me a few weeks ago that I throw away around 300 coffee cups every single year, so I immediately purchased a reusable cup. They’re the exact same and most places give you a discount now for using them anyway – so it’s a win-win!
- While you’re there, grab reusable shopping bags and water bottles.
It’s shocking how much we take for granted and throw away on a daily basis – purely for practicality. These are just a few of the minimal changes you can make to gradually become waste free.
- Shop at the Ethical Superstore.
The Ethical Superstore have a number of great products for all aspects of life, designed to minimise waste.
- Use markets whenever you can!
There are a number of benefits to using markets and green-grocers; you’re supporting small businesses, they’re often cheaper and many of them have products that aren’t packaged. Have you ever gotten home from the supermarket and realised that you’ve bought a sea of plastic back with you? Purchasing fruit and veggies in their natural packaging is a great way to combat this. It’s also a great way of reducing your food waste by only grabbing what you’ll definitely use!
It’s worth noting that many supermarkets also have these options so you can continue to do this in your local chain – Sainsbury’s is particularly good when avoiding plastic.
- Cut out straws.
Take a moment to think of the number of straws you use on a typical night out. Simply remove the straw or buy one that’s made of metal or bamboo.
- Paperless Billing -paperless everything!
We’re living in a digital world in which everything is available online – switch your bills so that they’re paperless and avoid junk mail where you can. My only vito for this are books – because they bring me happiness in ways that a Kindle never can.
However, if you’re not a sentimental weirdo like I am, get a Kindle!
Remember to recycle whatever you can – including lightbulbs, electronics and other items that may not be accepted in your local recycling bins.
- Buy secondhand.
Try to purchase clothes and other essentials secondhand, although you may not be living a completely minimal lifestyle, at least you’ll be reusing perfectly acceptable products as opposed to contributing further to the exploitation of our resources.
- Switch up your toiletries,
There are great zero-waste supermarkets places all over the UK that allow you to take in bottles to refill your shampoo, washing up liquid and many other household products that we often buy without thinking twice.
Another great way of cutting down on this is using Lush products, their shampoo and conditioner bars are just some of their many fantastic, plastic free products. If you’re really committed to the cause, you could also make your own household items – but for now, I think I’ll stick to buying them ethically.
- Think about your period products.
Naturally. it’s hard to ensure that your periods are completely waste free, however, there are steps you can take to ensuring they’re environmentally friendly. There are many options so if you’re thinking that mooncups might not be your thing – check out this link to find a range of sustainable period products.
- Repair things when they break!
This is not only environmentally friendly but also economical: before jumping to chuck something out, check to see whether it can be fixed with ease, thus minimising the number of products you’re buying.
There are a multitude of other great ways that you can cut waste from your lifestyle, I’ll be giving these tips a go over the next month in the hopes of becoming waste-free and protecting our little planet in the future!
Let me know if you’re trying it too!