Our society is currently set up to create the most convenient way of life, which unfortunately, is very wasteful.The zero waste lifestyle is all about challenging how we perceive and interact with the world around us by changing our habits to become more sustainable. Whether you are new to the zero waste lifestyle or have a long history of questioning the “convenience mindset”, the following list of simple swaps will help you come closer to achieving more sustainable lifestyle.
1. Bring Your Own Cup and Cutlery. It’s a simple adjustment to your routine that eliminates significant single waste. Instead of taking a disposable coffee cup, ask your barista to fill up your reusable one. Going out to your favorite restaurant, but they use plastic single-use forks? Good thing you’re carrying your reusable cutlery.
2. Always Carry Reusable Bags. Reusable grocery and shopping bags are a no-brainer. I always stock my car with extra reusable bags, and I like to have one of those packable bags on my keychain that always seems to save me when I’m in a pinch.
3. Create a Zero Waste Lifestyle Travel Kit. From jumping on a plane to taking a small road trip, there are endless travel-sized items to make bringing everything you need that much easier. Instead of purchasing tiny tubes of toothpaste, create a zero-waste travel kit from reusable bottles.
4. Switch Up Your Soaps. Many soaps come in plastic containers, including hand soap, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Instead, choose bar soaps or refills for an easy way to exclude this plastic waste from your lifestyle.
5. Shop in Bulk. Purchasing bulk items is a more sustainable way of shopping, as you can bring your own containers to eliminate package waste, and it also saves you money. Stores that are set up for customers to bring in their own containers have scales that you can pay for just the product and omit the weight of the container.
6. Learn about Composting In Your Area. Composting is essential to the zero-waste lifestyle. Don’t know where to start? The first step is to learn about your options, including curbside compost pick-up, bringing your compost to a nearby location, or having a small compost in your yard.
Remember you are never done learning because new ways/strategies to be sustainable are evolving and still being created. There is no such thing as a perfect zero waster, it's about the efforts to produce as little trash as possible. We will all keep learning together and supporting each other through the journey.