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Zero waste living is becoming something of a buzz phrase, but what exactly does it entail, and is it possible to achieve such a lifestyle?
Living zero waste in full may be fairly ambitious and such goals could serve to bring your goals to a halt before you’ve even left the starting blocks. Precisely why it’s best to start small, perhaps aiming for 50 per cent waste reduction to start with, then growing your efforts from there with the ultimate aim of living a zero waste lifestyle in the future.
We have already shared some top tips for a zero waste home kitchen, but in what other areas of our lives could we aim to reduce waste? Let’s take a look at some of the most achievable zero waste living tips to help us get closer to a more sustainable future.
Refuse unnecessary plastics
Way too many things in our lives are made from plastic, covered in plastic or single use plastic. And all of these products are mounting up in landfills at alarming rates.
The easiest way to slow this whole ugly process down whilst adopting a zero waste living policy is to simply refuse these products in favour of long lasting and eco-friendly alternatives.
For example, when ordering a smoothie or cocktail, say no to the plastic straw. In place of single use plastic drinks, fill a reusable bottle. Take your own insulated mug to the coffee shop rather than using their take-outs.
In lunchboxes, replace plastic cutlery with eco-friendly alternatives such as stainless steel or bamboo.
Plastic shopping bags can be replaced with reusable totes or cotton produce bags.
If you use a disposable razor, make the switch to a reusable one. Literally billions of disposables are sent to landfill every year, and you could help make a difference by changing your habits. You’ll save money too!
Did you know that every toothbrush you ever used in your life still exists? Plastic toothbrushes never biodegrade, but the good news is that finally there are compostable alternatives, such as Brush Naked.
You may think you’re ‘doing your bit’ by putting your used plastic deodorant bottles into the recycling, but the fact is that these are hardly ever recycled properly, and almost always end up in landfill. There are plenty of planet-friendlier options, so you can help yourself towards zero waste living by being mindful as you do your toiletries shop. Whilst you’re there, try to start phasing out plastic packaging across your entire personal care routine. Pretty much everything has a sustainable option, from makeup and sunscreen to haircare.
Reduce your footprint
By reducing what you buy and throw away, you will be well on your way to living zero waste.
Overall, try to cut back on what you buy in general. A minimalist approach to shopping can actually be quite liberating. And of course, it will save you money too!
Cyclical fashion is a massively growing trend, with a host of fashion labels championing the process and numerous online fashion recycling outlets springing up. If you adopt a ‘never buy new’ mindset, you will certainly be helping along your goal of living a zero waste lifestyle.
Way too many unwanted clothes are sent to landfill, which is a crying shame when others could well have enjoyed wearing them. So be sure to donate or sell rather than throw away. If something’s a little worn, polish up your needlework skills and repair rather than replace or, for clothes that really are past their best, cut them up and use them as household rags. And if you need buy new rather than pre-loved, do your best to go for ethical clothing rather than disposable brands.
Another great way to reduce your footprint and adopt a zero waste living mantra is to cut back on your laundry. Try working up to washing things only when they are soiled, rather than every day regardless. Go for a cold wash to reduce energy consumption and, weather permitting, opt for line drying rather than using the tumble dryer.
Overly reliant on your vehicle? Ever thought of switching your commute to help reduce your carbon footprint? Alternatives such as car pools, public transport, cycling or even walking could be viable, so why not consider a change?
If you tend to eat out during the working day or when out and out about, why not take a packed lunch with you instead? Fill a reusable container with your favourite snacks. You’ll save money and time, and probably find it’s much healthier than nipping in for a fast food takeaway too.
Finally, when it comes to birthdays and Christmas, in place of physical gifts, ask for a donation to your favourite charity, or an experience gift. Try to adopt the same approach when gift giving too. There are plenty of gift ideas that are eco-friendly or designed for minimalists, so next time you’re buying, think about ways to reduce your footprint and support your goal of living a zero waste lifestyle.
Achieve zero waste living with help from Kola Project
Kola Project was founded in response to the global waste crisis. We are the world’s very first fully circular shopping experience, with a return and reuse program designed to support your zero waste living ambitions.
Buying from Kola Project’s range of high quality, sustainable household products, means you get to enjoy complete reassurance that what you’re buying has a future once you’re finished with it, so it won’t end up in landfill. Our program allows you to return whatever you buy from us for repair, recycling, refurbishment, recycling or composting, no matter of how long you’ve owned it.
Why not start your circular shopping experience today, and get yourself well on your way to living zero waste?