When you surf the internet for zero waste info you will find quickly that there are at least 101 blogs with 101 ways to go zero waste. That's too many, especially when you are just getting started. Reading all of that is almost overkill because you really only need the few tips that will help you pin down what you're going to change and stick to (then sprinkle in some new efforts as you go along). It's like buying trick or treat candy: don't waste your money on the cheap stuff that you can buy a lot of, get the goodies you know kids will be excited about and eat :-)! Priorities.. lol. But for real, you don't need 101 ways to go zero waste, and here is why.
Keep Zero Waste Simple
The simple truth of how to go zero waste is defined by 3 main methods: reduce, reuse, recycle. You have heard it over and over again, but what does it mean? It's all about waste. Minimizing it, finding more purposes for one-time use items, and knowing what can be put into the recycle bin so others can repurpose the stuff that you can't. Now the main thing is to incorporate each of these things into your daily life and not go on a rampage trying to reinvent yourself, that's when people get overwhelmed. Remember it comes down to these 3 things and start considering them as you purchase new items and throw things away.
Reduce. This first 'R' is the awareness of where you are creating waste and adjusting your lifestyle so you do that less. Here are a few pointers:
- Buy what you need and know you will use.
- Choose products with less, degradable, or no packaging.
- Buy things in bulk.
- Look for things that can be reused.
Reuse. The second 'R' is the fun one! People who have committed to finding ways to reuse things they would typically throw away tend to get really creative. We recommend following hashtags on social media like #reuse and #repurpose to see unique and inspiring ideas. Some examples of simpler ways you can get started are:
- Refill plastic water bottles with water from home instead of buying new ones (OR even better, buying a stainless steel bottle and eliminating plastic use altogether).
- Purchase reusable environmentally-friendly bags instead of using plastic or paper.
- Make your own dressings and sauces and refill containers you bought instead of throwing them away and buying new dressing.
Recycle. You know about this one, but make sure you are super clear on what can be recycled so what you're putting in your bin isn't contaminating everything else. Materials that can be recycled (when clean and dry) are:
- Many plastics
We Do It, Too!
Here at swaggr, we incorporated these zero waste standards into our business model! We Reduce the plastic bottles being thrown into the landfills and ocean by Reusing it in our socks. What’s really cool is the socks are so cozy and amazing. Check them out here.