Waste Not, Want Not – Kickstart Your Zero Waste Life

With the start of a new decade, a focus on climate change and how our personal choice can cause huge impacts has never been more visible.  Hearing that water companies in the UK are continuing to pump raw sewage into rivers because the Government will throw out the minimum EU standards has made many people question their own personal impacts.

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Image adapted from https://earth911.com/

Looking for ways to reduce waste is not hard, sometimes it begins with asking the right questions.  Let’s start at the beginning.

What are Zero Waste Products?

Even those who have been recycling for years may be surprised to learn that a new concept is starting to take hold – that of Zero Waste products.  At its core, zero waste principles call for waste prevention from the very concept of the design for all products.  The goal is to ensure that no trash will be sent to landfills, incinerators, or get dumped into the ocean.

This is far beyond using BPA (Bisphenol A) free plastic, and recycling.  It is time to include organic thinking into the mix.  For instance, beeswax is now a popular organic, biodegradable alternative to wrapping food in plastic.  Once you place it on the food or container, you can put your hands around it, and the heat from your hands will help it mold to your desired shape, covering your food safely.  Gently washing it and letting it dry will make it usable again – just avoid HOT water which will cause the beeswax to melt.  When it has reached the end of its useful life, simply put it into your compost.

Let’s get on to the next questions to start asking.

Do I Really Need It Now?  What Are The Best Options?

These are really the right questions to ask to stave off a tendency to impulse buy, especially when faced with a “bargain”.   Keep a list of what you are running out of and challenge yourself to find a better solution before you run out.  It only takes a few minutes of searching to throw up some ideas which may even help you eliminate buying things that get sent for incineration.

With Valentine’s just around the corner, instead of giving cut flowers and a card, perhaps think about giving a loving, living gift of their favorite flower, and something they really need instead.  Instead of conventional candles, go for ones made from organic ingredients like coconut wax, their favorite essential oil smells, and cotton wicks to eliminate toxins in the air. There are now even chocolates to give to family members which are both organic and use no plastics.

Remember, this is a journey, not just a one-off, and do what you can with what you have to hand.  This will help you start making better buying decisions.  It will also help you make better decisions when it comes to disposing of waste.

Upcycle, Recycle, And Dispose Of Properly

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Image adapted from http://oconnorswasteremoval.co.uk/

Now is a great time to start organizing a spring clean, so it is perfect for using up all the old stuff and going forward with zero waste in mind, even in the garden.  Turning to put out the trash, experts from O’Connor’s waste removal suggest that you call in an expert who will actually lend a helping hand to help you clear out everything and make a fresh start.  Finding a reputable waste removal firm who will ensure that everything is disposed of properly and that that recycled goods to the right place instead of landfill can provide the peace of mind many people need.

Householders are often surprised to find that those who offer commercial business removals provide services for households who have remodeled, are looking to downsize and even those who have just taken ownership of properties that need more than a little tender loving care to get them on the right track.

Once the rubbish, garden waste, and unwanted items are cleared out, many people find it is much easier to move forward becoming more eco-friendly as they enjoy being free of the mess and have much less stress.

Challenge Yourself To Give Zero Waste A Go Today

Here is a challenge for anyone starting on their journey to becoming a zero waste.  Start with the little things and work your way up to bigger things is a great way to help make lasting change.  A little bit of preparation can make a big difference down the line.

  • Bags: Reuse your grocery bags, buy bags for life, hemp bags, use a backpack.
  • Cups (and straws, utensils): use reusable bottles and cups for both hot and cold.  Often you get a discount on the price. Challenge yourself to do without straws as much as possible.  Carry your own utensils and a food container for take-outs and leftovers.
  • Compost your food scraps along with your own garden waste or make sure it goes into your separate food waste disposal bags or recycling areas.  This will help ensure that your contribution to landfill methane is kept to a minimum.
  • Personal care products: Moving from shower gels back to soap bars is a good step in the right direction.  As for hair care, most products simply are not necessary, but it may take some experimenting to find the right combination for you.  If you don’t want to make your own, look for those with non-plastic containers, some will ship back a refill when you return their bottles.

Take each area of your regular consumption, in turn, to see how green you can become and keep challenging yourself going forward.  Setting into motion these simple steps forward will make it more natural to think about ride-sharing or public transport for future journeys – always assessing the available options.


Interesting related article: “The increase in recyclable packaging products.”