The term zero waste has been used a lot lately, and not only in environmental circles. Zero waste and our current socio-economic situation are in contradiction, so how come it is constantly gaining ground as a movement?
There are two categories of people. The first is aiming for the impossible ideal, so they are easily frustrated and lose interest quickly. The second are the ones who start moderately but slowly gain confidence by making small steady changes and possibly reaching past their original goals. In the case of the zero-waste movement, it would be convenient to fall into the second category. 🙂 As is often the case with zero waste bloggers, it is better to have thousands of people who are not “perfect” but have consciously chosen to produce as little waste as possible, striving towards the ideal, rather than a single “perfect” person who can fit 8 years of waste into a single jar.
2020 is here and you’re still not sure where to start? Below are some tips and tricks for a year with less plastic in your life.
📋Think about what is bothering you and why do you want to change your habits? For example:
🏄🏾♂️ Ben loves surfing and spent a summer swimming in a sea of plastic.🥤 George works in a cafe and throws dozens of plastic straws into the bin every day. He knows that in all likelihood all these straws will end up in a landfill.🐢Do you remember that video showing that poor turtle with a straw wedges up his nose, and is that video now wedged in your mind?
Everyone has their own moment when the situation starts to affect us personally.
🌱 Every product in your home can be replaced with one that is more environmentally friendly. This means that you can opt for glass or paper products instead of plastic packaging, try to buy bulk as much as you can in raw materials, replace your toothbrush with a bamboo one and see if there is a toothpaste you like that comes in plastic-free packaging (good news! There is one here).
♻️ Remember that changes take a long time to make, old habits die hard, and there is no need to exaggerate, no deprivation, no panic. Reducing plastic does not mean that I throw away what I already have in my bathroom and kitchen and start consuming new zero-waste products unnecessarily. It is probably a better idea to use up what you have and move to more sustainable products afterward. The only exceptions are plastic containers, cutlery, plates or dishes that have been found to leak toxins into food and drink at certain temperatures, and it is advisable to either slowly change their utility or recycle them gradually.
🚮Take a look at your bin. Gross, but yes, it will help. If you see a lot of take-away boxes, for example, it probably means you have to start cooking more at home or taking the ready-made food in your own container. If you still see a lot of plastic packaging from products, you should check for a nice grocery store in your area selling bulk legumes, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, wine and raki. That way you can bring with you your reusable packs, buy quality raw ingredients, support your local businesses and small producers and avoid consuming products in plastic packaging.
🧰Organize your bag before you leave your home and most importantly do not forget your reusable stainless steel bottle and a Tote bag!
🍸Remember to go straw-free. A simple “no straw please” and you get your chance to show-off your fabulous steel straw! Yaaay!
Here’s to a good start and we’ll see you again soon!
The freep team!