WTF is zero waste living anyway?
Are you confused about what living a zero waste lifestyle actually means? So were we! In exploring a more conscious lifestyle several years ago, I started to realize how much waste my husband and I were creating- especially our plastic consumption. Plastic is everywhere! With that, we began exploring alternative options to the goods we were using around the house. Standing back looking at our journey, I can honestly say I thought going zero waste meant a life of difficult sacrifices, making everything from scratch, and using deodorant that didn’t really work. What I’ve learned is that it’s far from difficult and can be achieved in making small and practical swaps until you are eventually completely waste free.
So what is the definition of zero waste? The simple answer is that living a zero waste lifestyle means you commit to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to send nothing to the landfill. You can reduce what you buy, reuse items where you can (swap for reusable items), recycle as little as possible, and compost all natural waste (food, biodegradable items).
Start by simply reducing what you currently use a la Marie Kondo and The Home Edit. Take a quick look back at all the purchases you made in the past week. How many of those items will end up in a landfill? Where might you have slight covid-stress buyer’s remorse? The average person creates 4.4 lbs of trash per day and even more in larger cities. It starts with making smarter choices.
Reusing what you have is also simple when using the right products. The biggest benefit here is the amount of time and money saved by reusing items you currently have and investing in products such as insulated coffee cups, a bamboo dish brush, reusable dish cloths, and beeswax food wraps.
Recycling and composting includes purchasing items that are biodegradable and recycling items that do contain plastic. The trick here is understanding your local recycling program. I was shocked after doing research that, depending on your city, up to 70% of items that we think are recyclable end up in a landfill anyway. Check your local recycling program by heading to epa.gov or checking out this site which has useful links. Terracycle is my new favorite go-to with recycling programs for some of my favorite brands.
A few easy items to swap that are 100% compostable are shampoo and conditioner bars as well as dish soap!
Wherever you are in your zero waste journey, feel good that you’ve landed on this page and took the time to learn a little more about making conscious decisions for the planet. We’d love to hear from you- what’s one change you can make in the coming week that can have a positive impact on you and the planet?