The zero waste movement has recently become a trend on Instagram but it's more than that... It's a sustainable lifestyle in which people try to produce as little unnecessary waste as possible. This includes single-use plastics or products such as disposable utensils, cups, bowls, plates, and plastic straws. It stretches as far as avoiding disposable diapers and swapping it for cloth diapers. Some people try to conserve water while others avoid fast fashion. This world is full of DIY's and package-free buys and we take pride in doing our part, however small, to save the planet one reusable shopping bag at a time.
YES! There are some people who take it to the extremes by living off the grid, eating everything raw, wearing flour sacks as dresses, or never washing their hair. I say, "Great! Thanks for doing what you can to help the planet," but there are great ways to go zero waste or have a low impact lifestyle and not get weird stares from your friends when they see your compost bucket on the kitchen counter. I like to think I'm a fairly normal person... (that's what all crazy people say) and I'm here to help you with your transition to a better, more sustainable lifestyle. Follow me in Instagram and check out my blog to learn more on how to live this zero waste lifestyle and reduce your impact on the environment.
There is no single way to be zero waste. Everyone is different so where you begin applying zero waste principles will be different from person to person. A great way to start is by just paying attention to what kinds of things go into your trash can every day. If you buy a lot of packaged food, start by buying a head of romaine lettuce and chopping it yourself rather than buying the plastic bag of pre-cut lettuce. Buy in bulk and bring a reusable shopping bag. No, I don't mean bulk at Costco or Sam's Club, I mean bulk bins of oats or rice, etc. It's a more sustainable resource than the individual servings wrapped in loads of plastic that's harmful for the. environment. If you are a soda addict like I was, try heading to the gas station with a reusable water bottle or a mason jar instead of reaching for the dreaded styrofoam cup or 6 pack of plastic bottles. Switch to a shampoo bar to replace your bottled conditioner in the shower. Use a safety razor instead of disposable razors. Try a menstrual cup instead of tampons. Depending on where you live, you'll have a unique array of available resources and please keep in mind that it is close to impossible to make the switch in a single day. It takes time and practice and if you're making a conscious effort to reduce your consumption of single-use items, you'll find that it will get easier over time and you'll no longer even think about buying the plastic-wrapped version. This can seem daunting at first but I'm here to help. Instagram is a great place to learn more and reach out with others who are starting their zero waste journey just like you are. You can get advice from great people who look like they have their crap together (I sure don't.) Regardless of where you're at, remember that even avoiding one plastic bottle or straw can help. Every small thing helps.