Oh boy, you have finally realized just how much waste you’re producing and now you’re face palming your way through each day. It’s okay! Take a deep breath. And let us first say ‘thank you’ for caring. That’s the first step, and getting all up in your feelings is only going to cause you to act on your stress. You gotta know eliminating waste from your life simply can’t happen over night. We want to help you get on the right track toward saving the earth, but that means purchasing your ticket for the train that’s really going to get you there. Keep reading for some key pointers for going zero waste in the real world.
Check in With Yourself
The first step to waste freedom is understanding how to pair it with who you are as a person. What’s your basic M-O? What things are important to you? How can you make this big adjustment without feeling like you’re missing something? Yeah yeah I know, we all want to believe we don’t need anything, but you’re going to want to be realistic with yourself if this zero waste thing is going to be more than a phase. Get real with yourself by asking:
Why? You’ll want to be clear on your “why” so you can remind yourself daily WTH the whole point is. Make this your “mantra”, crochet it on a pillow, tattoo it on your forearm, whatever you need to do to remind yourself of your true motivation.
Next, prioritize. Think about the most wasteful things you are doing and nix those first. Maybe you’re buying coffee from a shop rather than making it at home (taking a reusable mug is also a valuable change). What is your guilty pleasure? Take-out? Pizza on Fridays? Start by making that pizza from scratch, it will taste a lot better and you won’t have a huge cardboard box sticking out of your recycling bin on a weekly basis.
Replace As Needed
Resist that urge to go out and purchase all of the zero waste alternative things at once. Impulsive buys in bulk usually result in a few things you realized you didn’t actually need. Instead, replace the items you run out of with alternatives. That way you know you’re buying something you are definitely going to use.
Know Your Materials
There is no doubt that ridding your life of waste means using less single-use-plastics, along with other harmful materials. Do you know why, though? And what are you replacing it with? What difference does that really make? So many people go on a glass bender, buying glassware and jars to replace their plastic storage items. Still, too much glass can also create problems.
- Making new glass requires sand from river and seabeds, and though we have a lot of it, we are going through it very quickly.
- Removing this sand from the seabed creates the potential for the flooding of close by communities.
- Glass is heavier than plastic to transport, making it more expensive to get from place to place.
- Most glass in America is not actually recycled, only 33% in fact.
- Glass takes a very, very long time to decompose.
Hey, don’t get bummed out. Glass is still a great alternative to many things. The point is it also plays a role in harmful waste, and you want to be aware of that before you go ham on the glass jars. Keep an eye out for even better options, and be thoughtful of the materials you are using or how necessary they really are.
Remember: It’s a Process
Take this adjustment one day at a time, knowing that each day you do does really make a difference. It might take a year or more and that’s okay. You still rock just for trying to do your part and spread the awareness, even if it’s just by action itself. Try not to compare yourself to others who are further along in their waste free lifestyle, just learn from them.
Swaggr is committed to putting the waste that comes from plastic bottles to a use that everyone can benefit from. Want to learn more? Check out our process.