People who live in a zero-waste apartment look like the happiest people on earth. Their lifestyle saves the environment, which brings them so much satisfaction. And all you can do is place your chin in your hand as you continue to dream of living in one.
Well, get out of dreamland! Follow these tips, and you can achieve a zero-waste apartment in no time.
Create a List
Having a zero-waste apartment involves a lifestyle change. But before you make any changes, first evaluate what you need to address.
Look around your apartment. What do you notice? Are there too many food packages in your pantry? Do you have a lot of shampoo bottles lying around? Do you tend to leave the lights on when you don’t need them?
Once you have figured it all out, create a list. Then, put at the top of your list which habits need immediate attention.
Make a Plan
After creating a list, plan how you will address these habits one by one.
If you tend to buy food in disposable packages, how do you plan to change this habit? Will you start buying foods that don’t come in plastic packages? Where will you buy them? Are they within your budget and location?
Careful planning is critical to sustaining your new lifestyle. It helps you visualize whether or not your proposed solutions are far-fetched. If they are doable, then it will be easier to maintain a zero-waste apartment.
Otherwise, you will fall back to your old ways.
Switch to Reusables
Almost every household owns single-use products. People buy them because they are affordable and convenient. But little do we know how destructive they are to the environment.
Just imagine how many billions of people are on this planet. Most of them use and then throw away single-use products every day. And they don’t just use one type of product. From washable cotton pads and diapers, all the way to disposable spoons and forks, there are single-use versions for just about everything we need!
So, if you want to live in a zero-waste apartment, you must switch your single-use products with reusable ones.
Decluttering doesn’t just make your apartment look good, but it also makes you feel good. Also, it helps you deal with tasks more efficiently, such as making your apartment zero waste.
If you have never decluttered all your life, then you have been accumulating items all your life. And items, old or new, will always take up space. It’s just a matter of choosing which ones are worthy enough to take up space in your life.
One might ask, “But where do I begin?”
A good rule of thumb is to declutter by category: books, clothes, dishware, etc. This method lets you see how many of the same items you have. Then, decide which ones to keep and how many of them you want to keep.
Composting is a method of decomposing organic waste into fertilizer. But it doesn’t happen automatically–there are proper tools and processes for that. Which means, yes, you can do it in an apartment!
Studies show that the average American household wastes about one-third of their total purchased food yearly. Many people don’t find it alarming, thinking food decomposes in landfills anyway.
Unfortunately, the conditions in a landfill do not allow for aeration. This leaves food in the same state, releasing methane gas into the air and destroying the ozone layer.
If you want to have a zero-waste apartment, then starting composting your food scraps. And contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t actually smell! The usual trash odor comes from mixing organic and inorganic materials, which is something you don’t do when you compost.
Alternatively, you can contact your local hauler or composting programs around the area. Just bring them your food scraps, and they will put these to good use.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
There are many interpretations of the term “zero-waste.” When people hear it, they immediately think of it as an all-or-nothing lifestyle. Others believe that you must not generate any more waste than what can fit inside a mason jar.
These can sound extreme, which is why many people quit along the way. Most of them don’t even start at all. However, you must understand that going zero waste completely is impossible.
You will slip one way or another. You will make mistakes along the way. Even people who have lived a zero-waste lifestyle for years still make mistakes.
What matters is that you meet each change with an adjustment, each problem with a remedy, and each fall with a comeback.
As the adage goes, “It’s not about how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up.”
Featured Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels