With plastic pollution in the public eye so much this year, it’s no wonder ‘single-use’ was named Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2018. Whilst some manufacturers and retailers are making positive steps to reduce the amount of packaging that goes to landfill, how as the consumer can you live your best zero-waste (or at least reduced waste) life?
If all of the reports on plastic pollution and the eco-impact have you thinking ‘what can I do to cut down on waste’ then there’s no time like the present. As we head towards 2019 it’s the perfect time to make resolutions to live a greener lifestyle!
Here, we’re giving you tips to live your best zero-waste life in 2019:
- ‘Think’ zero-waste
Be mindful of what you’re about to throw in the bin. Mindlessly throwing items away means you’re not aware of how much waste you’re generating over time. Béa Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home, reduced her family’s annual waste to a single jar. The Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (and only in that order) rule was the secret to her success.
- Look for refillable options
‘Refillables’ are a growing trend. Many brands are bringing refillable options into their core product range to cut down on the packaging. Also, there’s a growing number of zero-waste stores opening which have refill stations! You can refill a range of products, from hand wash and shower gel to grains and flour.
Grant, founder of Smaller Footprints recommends to “work out what you need and, where possible, don’t buy excess”- food waste is waste too.
- Go for the eco-friendly alternatives
Rethink everything you buy and use on a daily basis to consider what It’s made of and what it contains. Then ask the question, is there an eco-friendly alternative?
This is important for items that excessively use plastic. The good news, there are more and more eco-friendly alternatives available. For example, beeswax wraps are a great alternative to clingfilm.
There are also more reusable options available! For example, swap face wipes for reusable bamboo clothes or tissue boxes for handkerchiefs.
You can also repurpose items you’ve already bought to make this into a reusable item. I always have a tub (or three) of Christmas chocolates over the festive period. These tubs are great for storing household items.
Of course, another zero-waste swap is TOTM’s menstrual cup. They can be re-used for years and then recycled as they are made from medical grade TPE. Even the box is recyclable, and the cute organic cotton drawstring bag can be repurposed, so it’s completely zero-waste! Compare this to the waste 5 years’ worth of plastic applicator tampons in plastic wrappers would cause.
Although we’re not sure we’ll be able to keep to a single jar of landfill waste, the team here at TOTM HQ are going to try to live our best zero-waste life in 2019 by making conscious choices. Have you ever tried to go zero-waste? Or are you intending to in 2019? Do you have a zero-waste shop recommendation to share? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @totmorganic.