Living a zero-waste lifestyle is one of the best ways individuals can help negate the impact of climate change. You may be asking, what exactly is a zero-waste lifestyle? How do you make the necessary changes in your routine? Read on to learn more.
What Is A Zero Waste Lifestyle?
The zero-waste movement aims to reduce the amount of waste we produce in our daily lives. Not only does this cut down on the waste sent to landfills, but it also benefits the planet in a variety of other ways.
For example, cutting down on the number of clothes you buy minimizes carbon emissions throughout the supply chain. All the way from manufacturing to shipping. Furthermore, by avoiding purchasing fresh produce wrapped in plastic, you limit the opportunities for your waste to pollute our oceans.
A zero-waste lifestyle includes reusing and upcycling products that might otherwise be thrown away. However, it goes further than consumption habits. The intention is to unlearn all kinds of wasteful behaviors we have learned throughout our lives.
Why Aim for a Sustainable Lifestyle?
If you care about making a positive impact on the environment and doing your part to combat climate change, reducing your waste should be at the top of your priority list.
Transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle isn’t easy. However, even if you don’t feel fully prepared to completely switch to a zero-waste lifestyle, you can still implement many of the following tips to aid you during the transition.
Tips for Living Zero Waste
1. Compost Your Food Scraps and Yard Waste
Composting cuts down on waste, but it also allows you to produce excellent fertilizer right in your own home. It saves precious space in landfills and cuts down on the emission of methane gas. Methane is a significant contributor to climate change.
In addition, compost can be used for food forests, improves soil quality, reduces the use of chemical fertilizers, and saves you money.
2. Invest in Renewable Energy for Your Home
It’s easier than ever to power your home with renewable energy. Solar power has come a long way and is more efficient at a lower price point. Some homes even capture enough solar power to sell back to the electricity grid.
If you don’t have access to renewable energy sources, you can still make a difference. By buying energy-efficient appliances and water-saving devices you cut down significantly on your eco-footprint.
3. Recycle Whenever Possible
This goes without saying, but recycle everything you can. This includes DIY repurposing of old materials.
4. Reduce Your Consumption
What’s even better than recycling? Not making unnecessary purchases in the first place. By reducing consumption, you reduce your reliance on scarce natural resources. In turn, you cut down on your carbon emissions, and produce less waste overall.
5. Make Sustainable Shopping Decisions
When you go to the grocery store, be conscious of your buying choices. Are you buying in bulk or buying things in small packages? Are you bringing your own shopping bag? Are you looking for natural ingredients instead of heavily processed ones? Are you supporting brands that align with your values?
What Else Can I Do?
Aside from the main actionable steps above, there are many minor tweaks and life changes that can be implemented. While these may range in their impact, everything counts. Some of these steps include;
- Buy fresh produce at local farmer’s markets
- Avoid single-use items as much as possible
- Use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike
- Reduce online shopping & avoid fast fashion brands
- Buy ugly vegetables that would be thrown away
- Buy second-hand or vintage furniture.
- Make your own natural cleaning products.
- Don’t overuse heating or air conditioning.
- Eat more plant-based meals.
We can all do more to reduce our consumption patterns, recycle, and choose sustainable options, however, the reality is that it is difficult for most people. Hopefully, with this advice and these steps, tips & tricks you will be more inclined and better prepared to make long-lasting sustainable change in your life and in others as well!