The zero-waste movement is growing very quickly, and more and more people are making it a part of their lives. The Zero Waste movement has a long history. In 2008, Bea Johnson, a blogger-turned-author from Zero Waste Home, is credited with inventing the “zero waste” lifestyle. While she popularized the movement, Paul Palmer was the first to introduce the phrase in the 1970s in regard to the usage of industrial chemicals.
Zero-waste lifestyle is not a luxury only a select few can afford; it is accessible to everybody and does not need more time or money. To embrace a zero-waste lifestyle, it is sufficient to adhere to the principles of waste avoidance, separate collection, and waste minimization. It may initially require some work, but it will get simpler with time.
What is Zero Waste Lifestyle?
Modern society can waste a lot of resources, like food that isn’t eaten, extra packaging, and too much energy use. Adopting a zero-waste approach entails examining every aspect of your daily life to see whether there is a more frugal way to approach it. Although each individual action may seem little, the sum of all of them may have a tremendous impact, and this impact will grow as more people become engaged.
The goal of a zero-waste lifestyle is to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastics in all areas of life, including the home and workplace, in favor of more long-term solutions. Simply put, it means minimizing the amount of waste sent to landfills, which has the potential to negatively impact the surrounding ecosystem. Protecting the environment, helping communities, and strengthening a circular economy may all be accomplished by switching to more sustainable or plastic-free alternatives, which can be anything from apparel to food and drink packaging to hygiene items.
Practicing the “3 R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle) will help immensely in this regard. This entails cutting down on consumption, reusing items wherever possible, recycling what you can and composting the rest before sending the remaining trash to a landfill.
Zero Waste Essentials
The phrase “zero waste lifestyle” is now often used to describe someone who maintains a lifestyle that aspires to produce no trash at all.
Some may question if this is even feasible. How do they manage? Well, for those of you interested in adopting a zero-waste lifestyle or just experimenting with it, here are a few must-have items to get you started:
1. Reusable Bottles
Unquestionably, reusable bottles are the simplest and most economical zero-waste alternative. Begin by simply refusing plastic water bottles and disposable cups. Investing in a flask or drinking container that you can use over and over for any drink cuts down on waste and saves you money.
2. Silicone Stasher Bag
Stasher bags are excellent for everything and everything in addition to being plastic-free and trash-free, especially for those aiming to decrease their bathroom, kitchen, and on-the-go waste. Made from food-safe silicone, a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic, these resealable bags may be used in the microwave, freezer, oven (at medium heat), sous vide machine and dishwasher. It’s long-lasting, doesn’t break down like plastic, and doesn’t have any harmful substances like latex or lead.
Stasher is the ideal replacement for wasteful plastic bags and freezer wrap, and it can be used for a variety of purposes, including keeping leftovers, cooking, and even carrying toiletries.
3. Biodegradable Paper Napkins, Paper Towels, And Toilet Paper
The ideal products for zero waste living are biodegradable ones like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins since they decompose over time. In landfills, the majority of conventional things like this take up to 500 years to degrade.
There are several zero-waste choices for these three items; thus, you should do research before making the switch.
There are paper products made from bamboo cotton or sustainable sugar cane that decompose in landfills in around 18 months. Toilet paper is another must-have that can be replaced with plantable toilet paper made from old newspapers or recycled paper rolls that don’t come from trees. There are also napkins made from cornstarch cloths or plastic that can be used more than once and doesn’t come in a package.
4. Silicone Compost Bin
Zero waste is achieved by reducing, reuse, recycling, and rotting. Rotting? Composting, to be precise. When we throw away organic materials like food in a landfill, they can’t get the oxygen they need, so they break down without oxygen and release methane into the air. Because methane is 20 times more damaging to our planet than carbon dioxide, and because decaying food is the second greatest source of man-made methane emissions, this is a serious issue.
It will make a significant difference if you recycle your organic waste instead of throwing it away, whether you do it on a commercial scale or in your own backyard.
A silicone compost bin is a great way to get started because it can be put in the freezer to reduce smells, is easy to clean, and has a hook so you can scrape food scraps into it as you cook.
5. Bamboo Utensil Set
Assume you are aware of the zero-waste movement and want to begin with something inexpensive and effective. In such situation, purchasing a utensil set made from sustainable bamboo fiber is your best choice. Bamboo’s inherent qualities make it one of the most durable and biodegradable materials on the planet.
Given that bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, bamboo products are a good zero-waste solution. These products are biodegradable and may be composted or buried after their usefulness has expired.
Naturally, bamboo is more durable than steel, and it is also resistant to mold and mildew, and it is simple to clean and lightweight. Put one in your handbag, back pack, or vehicle and you’ll be astounded at how much plastic you’re able to keep out of the trash.
6. Reusable Shopping Bag
We’ve all got one… Typically located in the junk drawer or at the back of the closet is a collection of abandoned supermarket and grocery bags that you’ve vowed to use one day. And while you should try to reuse those bags as bathroom trash liners, doggie bags, or shipping packaging, you should switch to a reusable option.
You can make your own zero-waste shopping experience by bringing reusable cloth or paper bags rather than single-use plastic bags. You may purchase a bag made of organic cotton, or you can make your own from old clothing or secondhand fabric.
7. Stainless Steel Straws
Straws made of stainless steel are a waste-free alternative to plastic straws. They are reusable, long-lasting, and may endure for many years.
There are different colors of stainless-steel straws, and many of them come with a case that is perfect for lunches.
Stainless steel is stiffer than silicone, therefore some people like it since it’s gentler on the jaw when they drink.
8. Glass Food Storage Containers
Glass containers may be used to keep zero-waste staples such as leftovers, fruit, and vegetables. Glass containers are an excellent zero-waste alternative to single-use plastic containers and metal food canisters.
What makes these zero wastes? After a single usage (or as required), the container may be reused indefinitely. And since they are made of glass, your food does not come into touch with any of the material’s chemicals (like plastics).
9. Eco-Friendly Toiletries
Did you know you could create your own plastic-free bathroom? Some of the immediate alternatives that may find a home in your bathrooms are recycled toilet paper rolls, stainless steel razors, soap bars, DIY beauty items, bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo combs, and eco-friendly shower puffs.
10. Plastic-Free Kitchen
Most of the trash in a home comes from the kitchen. Start by only buying what you need, freezing leftovers, and making your own vegetable stock from food scraps. You can also make composting your food waste a healthy habit. This is very important if you want to cut down on carbon emissions.
It always comes as a shock to find out how little work it takes to make a big difference for the environment. When people hear how many aspects of their daily life contribute to global warming, they are typically taken aback. Still, these bad things can be stopped in their tracks with a little willpower and care for the planet.
Zero waste living is a way of life in which you make no trash. Seems like a difficult task? People who live this way are demonstrating that it is possible to produce very little trash. Each of us must do our part. To live in the spirit of the zero-waste lifestyle, we do not need to entirely remove all of our garbage.
We must be conscious of opportunities to minimize waste. Check out this list of zero-waste essentials and start making your life more environmentally friendly.