5 Tips for Zero-Waste Living this Earth Day
Zero-waste living is more than just tossing something into the recycling bin with all the best intentions and crossing our fingers that the item will get recycled into something useful. It is about making a commitment to reduce waste in all aspects of our lives. But we also like to think of zero-waste living as a process, and remind ourselves that doing something is better than being paralyzed by the goal of perfection. Zero-waste living consists of regular action, living with intention and realizing that small steps add up. If you’re a beginner, start with these five simple tips.
1. Avoid Using Single-Use Plastic Containers
The average American disposes of 110 pounds of single-use plastic each year. Not only do single-use containers pile up in landfills and pollute our planet, they also can contain some pretty questionable chemicals. Read Three Reasons Why We Should Stop Eating Out Of Trash and carry a plastic-free reusable container with you for takeout and on-the-go snacks and lunches.
2. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle and Coffee Cup
Plastic bottles are the third most collected plastic waste item at the Ocean Conservancy’s annual September beach cleanup events. Rather than purchase a new plastic bottle when you are away from home and get thirsty, carry a reusable bottle that you can keep filled on the go.
3. Buy In Bulk
Shopping in bulk is a great way to avoid much of the plastic that comes with food packaging. When shopping the bulk aisle at your local grocery store, bring your own refillable containers to stock up on things you need. Bulk Food-Storage Canisters with permanent etched tare weights make checkout seamless, and they’re great for storing pantry essentials once you get home.
4. Avoid Plastic Grocery and Produce Bags
Bring your own reusable bags with you to the grocery store. Canvas tote bags work well for this purpose and will keep you from using a significant number of grocery bags that you would otherwise use and then throw away. Get the facts about single-use plastic bags to help you kick the plastic bag habit.
5. Bring Your Lunch With You
Pack lunch at home and bring it with you to work or school. This can greatly reduce the amount of waste you produce on a daily basis, save money and help you eat healthier. Stainless Steel Containers with Platinum-Silicone Lids are perfect for bringing lunch with you and storing it until it’s time to eat.
Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle is an important way to protect our environment. With a few adjustments, you can still enjoy meals out, purchase produce from your neighborhood grocery store, and get a cup of coffee from your local coffee shop. If the tasks seem daunting, remember: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” –Anne-Marie Bonneau, The Zero-Waste Chef