Zero Waste Tips – Small Changes That Have A Huge Positive Impact On Our Planet
We’re all aware that plastic is a huge issue (see our blog “What’s The Problem With Plastic?” for more info.), but what you may not know is how much power you have to make a difference. We have all the solutions we need to reduce plastic pollution, decrease our waste, and have a more positive impact on the planet. Here are some easy ways to get started.
Do a Bin Audit
The best place to begin is to take a look at what waste you’re producing by checking out your trash. A bin audit lets you see what your main sources of waste are so that you can start thinking of switches & habit changes to reduce your waste. Only around 10% of plastics are Recycled, so Reducing and Reusing waste is always preferable. This is not an easy, overnight fix so start with just one thing.
Switch to Reusables
A generation ago, no one depended on plastics in their day-to-day lives. We’ve been taught, by vast marketing campaigns, that we need those bottles of water or plastic-wrapped veggies, but the reality is that most of the plastic we use can be easily replaced by more sustainable alternatives. A quick Google will show you all the imaginative ways you can do this, here are a few ideas:
Kitchen – switch out the cling-film for reusable silicone or beeswax wraps, stock up on jars to re-fill at your local bulk shop (or get some friends together and buy bulk yourself), shop at farmers markets and take your own shopping bags (plus smaller bags for fruit & veg).
Bathroom – from bamboo toothbrushes to plastic-free deodorant, there’s a range of solutions (read more about them here). And, of course, switch the bottle for a bar and get rid of plastic shampoo bottles.
Use Technology To Help Reduce Your Footprint
This handy app helps calculate your impact, and assists you on your “plastic diet”, finding ways to reduce plastic use around your home.
Out & About? BYO.
Get in the habit of carrying reusable – drink bottle, cutlery, straw, coffee cup, whichever things you use regularly. If you’re ordering takeaway food, ask if you can bring your own container.
Whether it’s sitting down to enjoy a coffee in a real cup, or cooking a meal from scratch, you won’t just be avoiding plastic & throwaway containers or packaging, but it’s also great for your mental health.
Vote With Your Dollar
Support businesses who are trying to make a positive difference, and avoid those who aren’t. It doesn’t take a huge loss in profits for corporations to pay attention, so as consumers we have a lot of power, use it wisely. Packaging is one of the main sources of plastic pollution, so support supermarkets or retailers who have ditched the plastic.
Support legislation change that reduces waste & let your local council or political reps know that it’s important to you. We’ve seen huge positive impacts from banning plastic bags and putting in refund stations for bottles. Some countries are even banning all single-use plastics! The possibilities are huge, but it will only happen if our leaders know that we care.
Grow Your Own
Set up a veggie patch or herb planter, all you need is a little space and some sunshine to get some plastic-packaging-free plants growing. Even if you only have a balcony or a windowsill you’d be surprised what you can produce.
The most important thing to remember: no one’s perfect, but this planet doesn’t need a perfect person. We need thousands of imperfect people doing what they can to make a difference.