You’ve heard of #wastefreewednesday and #zerowaste July, but what does it truly look like to use less on a daily basis. Here’s a few staggering facts. There are 8 billion tons of plastic on the planet. The problem is daunting and it’s hard to know where to begin. While we are nowhere to living a waste free lifestyle- here are some great places to start.
Consume less and purchase from companies with a focus on sustainability.
Confession: I used to love fast fashion. I firmly believed that closets were intended to be full. Feeling bad about myself, had a rough day, or simply a bit extra in the paycheck, I would head to the mall to get a thrill from the latest sale or deal. The result? Impulse buys that I would often throw out in 6 months to a year of time. Fashion is one of the worst culprits when it comes to waste, and through capsule wardrobes have been able to minimize purchasing.
When you eating out, choose to eat at the restaurant (no more takeout) in reducing waste.
Takeout containers create needless waste quickly and this is a great switch. Instead of using take out containers, opt to eat at the restaurant. Or depending on the restaurant, simply bring your own containers with you a few minutes prior to pick up. Most restaurants are more than willing to work with consumers to go waste free with takeout. Simply ask.
Think through simple switches throughout your life.
Here’s a list to get you started:
paper towels use rags or kitchen towels
plastic straws use metal straws
plastic bags use reusable shopping bags, baskets instead
buying packaged items use the bulk bins
cling wrap use beeswax cloth
to-go coffee cups get your coffee for here or use a keep-cup
purchasing something new see if you can thrift it or support a vintage merchant
stick to your shopping list at Target.
Always recycle. If you have land, compost.
I know this goes without saying. However, in areas of the country this still isn’t something that isn’t done. Once moving out to the West Coast, I quickly learned how MUCH can be recycled. Between food waste, compost, and general recycling, majority of what is put in the trash can be recycled. Learn the regulations of where you live and choose to be mindful with what you put in the bin.
If you own a business, think through sustainability on a broader scale.
– Print vs. Digital
– Cost to go zero waste or reusable containers
– Postage options vs. digital delivery
– Client gifts that are sustainable in nature
– Packaging that is reusable or serves another purpose
Other great resources and inspirations:
Serve God, Save the Planet by Dr. Matthew Sleeth
The Whole Food Diary (they’re pros at the waste free life and will help you get started wherever you are in your journey)