The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Zero-Waste Living

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Zero-Waste Living

So, you have heard the term zero-waste and you’re interested to learn more. A zero-waste lifestyle is about being mindful and considered in your everyday actions. A zero-waste lifestyle is a journey and the notion of avoiding, reducing and eliminating waste from your home and habits will not happen in an instant. The idea of waste-free living is about making considered decisions that are simple everyday swaps. While this lifestyle has a real, community-wide impact, it simply starts with you and your everyday actions.

The five main principles of zero waste living are

  1. Refuse what you don't need
  2. Reduce what you do use
  3. Reuse whatever you can
  4. Recycle what you can't refuse or reduce
  5. Rot whatever else remains

Write down the reasons why you want to start waste-free living

This is a good place to start because it clarifies the reasons why. 

Okay, we’ll start. 

  • Remove single-use plastics 
  • Eat healthier meals
  • Save money
  • Support local businesses
  • Help preserve the planet for future generations

Where to start?

Let's look at your habits. By identifying what is causing the most waste, we can make swaps and replace them with more sustainable habits. Note: Before buying anything new, use what you have first.

  • 1. Be mindful of reducing waste at home

Your home is where your waste-free living journey starts. By being mindful of what you bring home you will be able to manage your waste journey. This includes the food we buy, the clothing we wear and everything else in between. 

  • 2. Shop at bulk food stores 

By shopping at bulk food stores you will reduce both your packaging waste and also your food waste. Buying in bulk eliminates the need for fancy packaging & single-use plastic. Make sure to always have your reusable shopping bags handy!

  • 3. Organised for when you’re out 

In addition to bringing your own containers while shopping, carry your own set of reusable containers for eating on the go. Ensure you have a reusable coffee cup handy when ordering coffee. Better yet, create a plastic-free car kit so that you are organised whenever you’re on the go.

  • 4. Reconsider products you have always used 

Can you replace some of the products you buy with others that come package-free? Think personal care, cleaning products and soap. You can also opt for making your own with so many alternatives including using bar soap instead of a dispenser and choosing to make your own zero-waste cleaning products. 

What Zero Waste products should I buy first?

There are few essential items that will facilitate the lifestyle change and make the largest difference for the environment. Plastic alternatives are a huge component of this. Essentials to help you on your journey include:

  • Reusable grocery bags
  • Reusable produce bags
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Reusable coffee/teacup
  • Glass jars for food storage
  • Dual compartment trash can
  • Compost bin

For more sustainable tips, follow @boody #EveryBoody 

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