Faced with a world that produces waste faster than light, the Zero Waste movement is positioned as the exit door. Its goal: to generate as little waste as possible and to stop the devastating action of man on the environment, while fighting the over-consumption of our current societies.
But, in addition to making a gesture for the planet by limiting the amount of unnecessary waste that is left to him, this way of life also allows us to make big savings and to live a healthier life.
If you want to embark on the adventure but do not know where to start, here we present 15 actions to adopt in all stages and all areas of daily life to limit your waste. But before, we explain to you the 5 basic rules of the movement, so that nothing is a secret for you.
To Guide You: The 5 Rules of Zero Waste
Bea Johnson wrote about the Zero Waste lifestyle. She explains that everything is based on 5 rules. Five small rules to respect daily to allow us to live without waste.
The first thing you need to do when you want to reduce your waste is to reduce your consumption. It makes sense: the less we buy, the less waste we will have.
Be careful, it is not a question here of refusing everything, but only of refusing what you do not need. And when we think about it, we quickly realize that we accept many things that we will not need, such as flyers and flyers, or free samples and gadgets that will eventually leave in a corner.
Here, it is about reducing our consumption with regard to the things we need, such as clothes. This rule is close to a minimalist philosophy.
This begins with a deep decongestion of our home, often one of the first steps for those who want to adopt the Zero Waste lifestyle. Scroll through the rooms of your house and, for any object you find, ask yourself if you really need it. Have you used it at least once in recent months? Do not you have it duplicated? Why did you buy it in the first place? Is it important to you for a particular reason?
As you sort, you can then fill boxes of items for sale, donate or barter, as well as a box of items to throw if it is not possible to give them a second life.
Once your house is uncluttered, the second thing to do is to make sure not to re-encumber. So limit your purchases to the maximum and avoid falling into the traps of our consumer society. Before buying something, ask yourself if you really need it. In many cases, the answer will be no. You will see it, by cluttering your house, you will also end up de-cluttering your mind!
Reuse as much as possible what you buy or what you could not refuse. You can also reuse an object by giving it a different utility than the one for which it was created. For example, make rags with your old t-shirts with holes!
But reuse, this also applies to other people’s objects. Thus, the Zero Waste movement argues for barter and second-hand buying based on the idea that if you have an item you no longer use, it could very well make another happy.
This rule applies to anything you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse. It may be, for example, a bulb that no longer lights. In this case, do not throw it in a normal bin, but throw it in a center that deals with this kind of material.
Because here, the sorting of waste is of crucial importance. Throw, for example, glasses with glasses and cardboard with cardboard for easy recycling by the organizations concerned.
The latter rule relates to the recycling of organic matter. Compost all organic waste, from hair peels to hairs. If you have a garden, your homemade compost will work wonders on your plants. If you do not have a garden, inquire in your city: there may be a place that will be interested in your compost.
You now know the basic rules. But how to apply them in everyday life? Here are some actions to adopt.
In The Kitchen
In addition to the composting and sorting that we have just mentioned, there are several other things to do in the kitchen to help you reduce your waste.
Don’t Waste Food
It is very easy to let food rot in our cupboards or in the fridge. One minute of inattention and hop, the expiry date is far exceeded! To avoid this, you can put some tips in place. For example, plan a floor of your fridge for end-of-life foods that you need to consume urgently and always consider using these foods as a priority during your meals.
In addition, consider using your leftover meals to make new dishes. You can, for example, use them in pasta or risotto, for a delicious result.
Don’t Use Plastic Containers
To store your food, prefer glass, metal, or wooden containers. These materials are much more durable than plastic and, above all, easier to recycle.
Say Stop to Plastic Film and Aluminum Foil
If you need to cover a dish, use a homemade cloth cover. Plastic film and aluminum, they are waste that will come to fill your trash.
In The Bathroom
Buy or Make Durable Products
The bathroom is filled with objects that will quickly turn into waste, from pieces of cotton to toothbrushes. However, for pieces of cotton, you can make your own fabric: they will be just as effective and you just need to wash them to refurbish them. As for toothbrushes, there are wooden toothbrushes that are much better than plastic ones.
Make Your Own Products
With a little exercise, you will soon realize that making your own cosmetics and hygienic products are much easier than it seems. In addition to avoiding waste, it will also allow you to make big savings and be able to use healthy products, without any chemicals. There are only good reasons to go!
Use Solid Cosmetics
You can also buy all kinds of products in solid forms, like shampoo or soap. This will save you from ending up with an empty plastic bottle once the finished product.
At the Supermarket and in the Shops
Zero Waste is far from being confined to the interior of our house, and it is particularly important to adopt several actions when you do your shopping to avoid coming home with a lot of waste!
This is one of the basic habits of the followers of the movement. Supermarkets are full of packaging and the challenge is not always easy.
Start by buying as many things in bulk as you can. More and more unpackaged stores are opening their doors, allowing you to buy everything in bulk. But even in the local supermarket, you can avoid packaging as much as possible.
You can, for example, bring your own cloth bags for bulk fruits and vegetables, which will save you from using the disposable plastic bags offered by the supermarket. For cheese and charcuterie, bring your own boxes instead of accepting the packaging that will be given to you. And for foods that you cannot find in bulk, choose those that are packed in recyclable materials, such as cardboard and glass.
Say No to Plastic Bags
Once at the checkout, refuse the plastic bags and instead bring your own reusable shopping bag. There are many in stores, all colors possible, you can fold to easily take them everywhere with you.
Buy Good Quality Items
This will allow you to keep them for a long time. On the contrary, objects of poor quality, whether it is a garment or a washing machine, will last less and you will have to quickly throw them away and buy back.
Be Sure of Your Purchases
Are you really going to use this item? Or do you buy it just because you saw it in advertising or because you still have a well-established habit of over-consumption? Remember: Zero Waste is also reducing its consumption!
Say No to Unnecessary Samples or Gifts
When shopping, you may be eligible for a small gift because of the amount you spent or a certain product you bought. And in the perfumeries, you will receive many samples. But all these free items are usually just gadgets you will not use. In this case, be strong: refuse them.
Even if the waste you create at work will not fill your trash at home, it is important to take it into account as well. After all, they are waste that would not exist without you!
Make a Maximum of Tasks on Computer
Do you take notes during your meetings? Instead of a notebook, write them directly on your computer!
As for impressions, try to reduce them to a maximum. It may take some time to adapt, but there are many documents that you can read without a problem from a screen.
Prepare Your Lunch at Home
Instead of going out and buying a sandwich or salad that will inevitably be sold with throwaway packaging, take the time to cook your own lunch so you can bring it to the office. And that in a durable container of course!
Again, it will also allow you to spend less and eat healthy meals without chemical additions or excess fat.
At the Restaurant
Even at the restaurant, we do not let down the guard!
Say No to Paper Towels and Straws
If you order a drink that sometimes comes with a straw, specify that you do not want it. As for the towels, if the restaurant you are going to use uses paper towels, bring your own cloth towel. Also, remember to return the paper towel to the server as soon as you sit down. If you leave it on the table for the duration of the meal it is likely to end up in the trash, even unused!
Bring Your Own Container for Leftovers
If you are used to not finishing your dishes, remember to bring your own container and give it to the waiter when you ask him to pack your leftovers. So you will not end up with a plastic container that will inevitably end up in the trash.
All these gestures form a beautiful beginning. But by putting them in place, you will quickly realize that there are a lot of other gestures to adopt! This way of life makes us rethink our actions in all areas of life.
If you have just started, some actions may seem very difficult to put in place. Do not worry, it’s normal! It’s not possible to change your lifestyle completely overnight, so you’ll need a transition period to get used to it. Do not hesitate to go little by little to not be too rough. As you will see, some tasks that seem almost impossible now will become much easier with time!
This Article Resolves These Queries Too:
- How to go zero waste?
- What does zero-waste mean?
- Why zero waste is important?
- Is zero waste possible?