As the global ecological crisis worsens, more and more people realize current green practices aren’t enough. And this holds true even in the domain of waste management and disposal. Namely, although recycling policies can make an enormous impact on the environment, they won’t be able to solve the current waste problem. However, one concept could serve as a major part of the solution — zero waste.
This article will explain what zero waste is and present you with 66 ways you can practice it in your everyday life.
What Is Zero Waste?
Unlike recycling, zero waste isn’t just a set of environmentally friendly practices. It is the philosophy of lifestyle which promotes the modification of the product life cycle to remove the disposal phase. In other words, instead of throwing the product residues out, consumers utilize them in other ways. Alternatively, they may choose to purchase items with little to no residue.
The purpose of zero waste is to eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste going to landfills or incinerators. Furthermore, by dealing with these issues, zero waste practitioners hope to solve the problems of resource scarcity, pollution, and high energy requirements.
Zero Waste Practices You Can Adopt Today
While it would be impossible to implement all of these practices at once, pick a few that speak to you now and then slowly introduce others. In no time, you will be leading a zero-waste, healthier lifestyle that benefits our planet.
Zero Waste in Kitchen
1. Make sure your dishwasher is full before turning it on.
2. Avoid drinking filtered coffee or make it with reusable filters.
3. Store your food properly so it will last longer.
4. Swap regular sponges with reusable ones.
5. Regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps.
6. Use cloth napkins instead of regular ones.
7. Freeze your leftovers (preferably inside reusable containers).
8. Learn a few stale bread recipes.
9. Ditch tea bags for loose leaf tea.
10. Plan your meals to avoid leftovers.
11. Consider canning your food to preserve it.
12. Have a few spice plants close by.
13. Swap paper towels for rags or tea towels.
Zero Waste in Bathroom
14. Avoid disposable razors.
15. Wash your clothes with cold water whenever possible.
16. Substitute regular cotton rounds with reusable ones.
17. Install a bidet attachment.
18. Fill your washing machine as much as you can before running a cycle.
19. Make your toothpaste and mouthwash.
20. Use a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one
21. Line dry your clothes instead of using a dryer.
22. Keep a bucket in your shower; you can use collected liquid to water your plants or flush the toilet.
23. Wash your clothes only when they are really dirty, not after a single wear.
24. Ditch liquid soap for bar soap (you can even make it yourself).
25. Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth.
26. Use tube-free TP.
27. Swap plastic shower loofahs for a bamboo bath brush or a real loofah.
Zero Waste in Shopping
28. Change every regular light bulb for LEDs.
29. Borrow items you need only once instead of buying them.
30. Become a library member or use Kindle to avoid purchasing books.
31. Buy rechargeable batteries instead of disposables.
32. Find things you need on eBay, Craigslist, or even at a local garage sale.
33. Always bring reusable bags to the store.
34. Refill cleaning products instead of buying new ones.
35. Purchase products with little to no packaging.
36. Go with second-hand clothing.
37. Don’t buy anything you don’t really need.
38. Find items that will last a lifetime instead of going for cheaper versions.
39. Do your research to avoid phenomena such as greenwashing.
40. Visit your local farmers market when you need produce.
Zero Waste in Fashion and Cosmetics
41. Make your own deodorant, lotion, and face mask from everyday ingredients.
42. Use dry shampoo to avoid frequent washes.
43. Find a tailor that can help you repair or repurpose old clothing.
44. Donate old or unused items in good condition to your local shelter.
45. Reuse plastic chapstick tubes with DIY lip balm.
46. Repair your old shoes and bags with the help of a local cobbler.
47. Host clothing swap with friends and relatives to avoid throwing away or buying new clothes.
48. Turn torn towels and sheets into rags, napkins, or handkerchiefs.
49. Learn to perform minor clothing repairs.
Zero Waste in Restaurants and Coffee Shops
50. Bring your own to-go cup and food container for takeout orders.
51. Ask the bartender for no straw when you order a drink.
52. Pack your lunch in a reusable container to avoid eating out.
53. Specify that you don’t need plastic plates and cutlery when ordering food.
54. Ask for a ceramic mug at the coffee shop when staying in.
55. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you.
Zero Waste Outside Your Home
56. Take public transport or carpool for longer distances.
57. For shorter distances, take a walk instead of driving.
59. Clean up litter when you see it (but wash your hands afterward).
Other Zero Waste Practices
60. Always repair broken items.
61. Place no junk mail sticker on your mailbox to avoid litter piling up.
62. Don’t wrap presents or use old newspapers to wrap them.
63. Plant a garden in your backyard or join a community garden.
64. Install rainwater or greywater harvesting system.
65. Write your notes on a whiteboard or download an app instead of paper.
66. Start a backyard compost.
More than 50 million tons of waste are generated in the United States alone every year. Therefore, living a zero-waste lifestyle has become one of the most important eco-friendly practices that you can adopt. And the best way to do that is by introducing small changes, one at a time. So, choose some of the methods outlined in this article and start protecting the environment today.
Featured Image by Filmbetrachter on Pixabay