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Hey lovelies! In the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of research on a zero-waste lifestyle. This is something I have been interested in doing for awhile now. Zero-waste overall is a lifestyle where you cut out the plastic you use in your daily life, and switch it out with containers and bags that are reusable, and that don’t create waste for the environment. We as humans in my opinion do the most damage to the planet, we either don’t recycle or make an effort to recycle but don’t understand that plastic is still very harmful. We have landfills all over the country that are overflowing and leaking into the Eco system, oceans, and forests. It’s time for us to start living a lifestyle that is environmentally friendly. I am going to talk some more about the zero-waste lifestyle as well as the beginning ways to start going zero-waste!
What is Zero-waste?
- Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.
The goal of zero waste is to not use any products, with plastic that will get sent to the landfills. Zero waste is planning the products you’re gonna buy to prevent using more plastic than you need to. Most of the time people doing this lifestyle have glass jars, and reusable bags, that they refill every time they go to the grocery store or drug store. Nowadays there are bulk stores and zero waste stores where all their products are in large containers so you can refill your smaller jars with what you need. They also sell products in glass as opposed to plastic. If you think about your daily routine, everything we use is from plastic. Toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, milk, laundry soap, dish soap, lotions, lip balms, spices, food and more. When you are done with those products you’ll recycle your bottles and they will end up in a landfill. The problem right now is the landfills in the US are overflowing, causing us to burn the plastic sending toxins in the ECO system or spilling the plastic in the oceans and other water sources.
Beginning the zero-waste lifestyle
The first step in going zero waste, is going through your everyday products and finding out which products you can switch to glass jars, which products are recyclable/decomposable, and which products are just plastic. To start this lifestyle you are going to need to purchase some different size glass jars to refill with products you use. You can purchase glass jars on Amazon, Walmart, Target etc. You will also need reusable bags to cut out using plastic bags at all stores. The second step is to see if there are Zero-waste or bulk stores near you. When you go into one of these stores they weigh your jars and bag, and then when you pay they minus the weight of your jars and bags so you’re only paying for what you’re buying. If you have no stores like this near you, go to your local grocery store and purchase fruits and veggies that aren’t wrapped in plastic. The checkout person won’t care what you are using to hold your food they only care that you’re paying for everything. The third tip is to buy the food you eat in glass jars when you can. Zero-waste is not cutting plastic out completely cause most of the time that’s just not logical. Zero-waste is cutting out plastic when you can. Now it is going to be a dollar or two more expensive but it’s worth it. If you need to buy products in plastic containers make sure you visible see the recycling sign somewhere on the bottle so you can at least recycle it.
Zero-waste in your home
Going zero waste doesn’t just apply to things you are buying, it also applies to your home. The first step is to switch out all your plastic bins, buckets, and holders with wire bins, metal baskets, or wooden holders. Plastic get dirty easier, they crack and fall apart, and are not good for the environment, So let’s stop buying plastic and switch it out for something more ECO friendly that will last longer. The next thing is to stop buying paper towels and other paper products (except toilet paper) and switch it out for cloth products. Cloth rags can be washed in hot water and reused, where as paper towels we toss out creating more waste. The third tip I have it to head over to Pinterest, and see which cleaning or beauty products you can make at home instead of buying a plastic bottle full of harmful chemicals. Even if you are not going zero waste this is something I still encourage doing especially if you have kids in the house. The chemicals in cleaning products are so harmful, and if you’re the one doing the cleaning you are going to be breathing all that in. The final tip I have is to switch out any tools in your house with wooden or metal ones. For example I no longer use a plastic toothbrush, mine now is bamboo. This applies for your cooking utensils, hair brushs, cleaning tools and things like that!
This ones for the ladies
Ladies, tampon’s are one of the worst things for the environment. It takes years and years, for tampons to decompose in a landfill and when burned cause so many bad toxins. Tampons in general are not good for you, and if you don’t believe me The FDA stopped regulating tampons years ago. Nowadays there are so many other ECO friendly feminine products to choose from you don’t need tampons anymore. There are the reusable cups like the Dixie cup, where you wash it out and reuse it every time you get your monthly present. The ones I use are similar to the Dixie cup but you throw them out every time you get your period so it is more sanitary. Cut down on the tampon waste and try something different.
Let me know ladies if you want a whole separate blog post on this topic!
Making what you can at home
Another huge part of going zero-waste is learning to make products at home so you can fill your jars without spending money or using plastic. For me products I make at home are cleaning products, candles, almond milk, trail mix’s, body scrubs, beauty products and more. (Again I can make a separate post on how I make my products at home if you are interested). When it comes to making things at home a lot of people think they don’t have time and it’s easier to just buy it. But trust me coming from someone who is super busy all the time, it’s easy to make time to do this. For example if I am making a body scrub it literally takes me two seconds to add coffee grounds, honey, olive oil and sugar and mix it in a jar. For cleaning products I use orange slices, vinegar, and essential oils, I make it in the morning before work and let it sit the whole day. Once you start doing this I promise you won’t want to stop, and you will notice your spending going way down, from not needing to buy all the extra products. Pinterest is a great place to look for recipes and DIY projects, you can also type it into Google and find a million different recipes. I encourage you to buy products you use more often in bulk so you don’t always have to go out and buy something when you want to make a product at home. Items like coconut oil, olive oil, regular vinegar or apple cider vinegar, essential oils etc.
Going zero-waste isn’t something that will happen overnight. Gradually cut out the plastic in your life, and make the effort to try. You’ll be helping the environment and your overall health.