It's easy to think that going waste free is intimidating and difficult and when I first started i was overwhelmed and thought I needed to declutter everything I own. It can seem like you'll need a whole lot of time and energy to do it and many people think they can't do it.
So in this simple guide i'll walk you through easy first steps you can take to start embracing a zero waste lifestyle. In later guides i'll delve deeper so that zero waste becomes your new way of living.
But for now here are 10 easy ways to go zero waste!
1. Easy first steps
If you subscribe to any magazines, cancel them. How many unread magazines do you have lying around. How about just subscribing to the digital version instead.
Change your current energy supplier to a green one. There are many green energy suppliers available now.
Switch to paper-free billing and bank statements. The less printed paper the better. Pretty much all banks and utilities now offer this as an option.
Instead of buying books, access the services of your local library. Most libraries offer books and magazines for borrowing.
2. Sign up for a tree-free delivery service
Tree-free toilet paper is much better for the environment. Each roll is wrapped in recyclable paper. Many services also eliminate the rapping altogether and come loose in a recyclable box.
3. Use a local food waste collection service
Find out what food waste collection service your local authority offers. Most LA's offer this now or if you'd prefer just buy a food composting system and use your food waste to create compost yourself.
4. Take steps to reduce your junk mail
Junk mail that you bin on receipt are a waste of materials and are bad for the environment. But there are steps you can take to ensure you receive less!
The easiest way to reduce the junk mail you receive is to make a sign and display it near your front door. You can also get yourself removed from marketing lists - contact 'your choice' by the Direct Marketing Association, Royal Mail Door-to-Door opt out service and the Mailing Preference Service.
Also make sure to untick the 'post' box when ordering items online or signing up to newsletters.
5. Recycle, recycle
With a zero waste lifestyle we are aiming to drastically reduce or eliminate the amount we throw away. Recycling is an important part of this. To make things easier I find it good to set up recycling containers somewhere with easy access. Most items can be emptied into your local authority provided recycling bins. But there are some items, they won't collect. These will need to be taken to your local recycling depot. Each LA has its own rules but common exceptions are razor blades, metal lids and kitchen foil.
6. Make sure your family are on the same page
It is important to educate any people you live with. Whilst you may be reducing your waste you need all members of your household to play their parts too. Make some rules and ensure everyone sticks to them.
7. Reuse, reuse
Could items be reused instead of recycled. For example, bottles and jars could be used for storage instead. We keep all our takeaway containers and use them to store and freeze meals we've batch cooked.
8. Replace plastic bin liners with a paper alternative
Strong paper bin liners are available as a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic bin liners. A whole lot of plastic is used when you consider that most households will use at least one bin liner a week.
9. Say no to receipts
Many businesses offer receipt by email these days. Most paper receipts contain chemical BPA and can't be recycled so just say no!
10. Say no to single use straws
Pubs and bars often add single use straws when ordering drinks. These are very bad for the environment so just refuse them. If you need a straw just order a reusable straw from places like Amazon and keep one in your bag!
What other things should you say no to?
- Takeaway coffee cups - drink in or take a reusable cup with you
- Plastic carrier bags - take reusable ones with you
- Business cards - just store their info on your phone
Check out our other sustainability tips!