Getting Started With Zero Waste

Getting Started With Zero Waste

Zero waste can feel really challenging and part of the problem is that buzzword: zero waste. Not less waste, zero waste. It implies a form of perfection that can feel overwhelmingly unobtainable to people just starting out; who are looking for ways to lessen their impact on the planet and to start living a less wasteful, more considered life.

I prefer the term ‘low impact’ or ‘eco-friendly’ but whichever you choose, they’re all just buzzwords for habit switches that can being more mindful of the choices we make and the consequences they have. These switches don’t have to be big or dramatic, they can be simple and small. So simple in fact, they’ll benefit you not just the planet. Easy habit switches like taking your own bag to the supermarket or ditching disposable coffee cups for a reusable one.

I’m all about starting out with small, manageable changes that lead to having a bigger impact in terms of sustainability. Low impact swaps and sustainable choices that can help reduce your waste and get you started on your "zero waste" journey. If you want to reduce your waste but don’t know where to begin or feel confused and overwhelmed, here’s how you can get started:

Getting Started With Zero Waste

Reusable Coffee Cup

Every year more than 100 billion single-use cups go to landfill. Maybe buying coffee is part of your daily routine or a weekend treat, either way all those disposable cups start to pile up. Whether it’s made of plastic or paper, everything about disposable cups is awful for the planet and for your health. Styrofoam is made from a petroleum derived material, it’s also carcinogenic and leaches into your drink. Plastic cups are no better; although some of them are technically recyclable, a lot of recycling plants won’t accept them. Paper cups might seem a good choice but they're equally as wasteful as they require recycling. All of this can be easily avoided by having your own reusable coffee cup, it’s such an easy switch that requires very little effort and once you’ve found a reusable alternative you love, you won’t want to drink out of anything else.

Canvas Tote Bag

1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide and 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year. Plastic pollution has a hugely destructive effect on wildlife, the environment, and people’s health. Have you’ve ever walked along a beach or in a park and noticed just how much plastic litter there is out there? It’s shocking. Plastic affects our land, waterways, and oceans causing harm to us all. There’s really no excuse for us to continue using plastic bags when it’s just as easy to switch to a more sustainable, eco-friendly option. Reusable totes are not only better for the environment they’re also more reliable. Canvas tote bags are great for grocery shopping; they fold up small making them easy to take with you everywhere. Stash a couple in your car or backpack (especially if you’re forgetful) and you’ll always have one to hand when you need it.

Bamboo Toothbrush

The first plastic toothbrushes were available in 1938 and every single toothbrush made since then still exists somewhere on the planet to this day. The combination of plastics used to produce toothbrushes makes them difficult to recycle and impossible to biodegrade. We’re told to replace our toothbrush every 3 months, which means each one of us will use approximately 300 toothbrushes in our lifetime. Bamboo toothbrushes are sustainable, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and compostable; they’re also inherently anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Ditching your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one is all round better for you and the planet.

Stainless Steel Straws

Plastic straws are awful, so awful there is talk of banning them (and cotton buds) in a move to tackle plastic waste. Not only are they littering our oceans and beaches, piling up in landfills, and causing harm to wildlife; plastic straws are largely unnecessary for most people. They are ‘one of the most insidious polluters’ and we have the opportunity to stop it. Thankfully everyone (except the plastic industry) is in support of a ban and while action is slow moving we can, as consumers, say “no” to them at every chance. There are reasons why you might want to use a straw and should you want to, why not switch to stainless steel ones? Most pubs and cafes offer paper alternatives but they often disintegrate before you’ve finished your drink. Stainless steel straws are made from food grade material, they can be sanitised in the dishwasher, and unlike bamboo or paper ones, they’re incredibly durable.

If you’re just getting started with making low impact swaps and eco-friendly changes to your life, The Ethical Box can help. It can be a costly process to introduce new habits into your routine but the Get Started Box* contains the four main reusables and alternatives mentioned in this post all in one purchase. There’s a reusable Ecoffee cup, a bamboo toothbrush made by From Earth To Earth, a fair trade cotton tote bag, and four Bunkoza steel straws with a cleaner and carry pouch. The Get Started Box contains everything you need to get started on your zero waste journey by providing you with sustainable, eco-friendly, low impact alternatives to the things we usually throw away.

If you'd like to get started with zero waste, you can pick up your own Get Started Box with 10% off using the code: CONSIDERED10. Pick up yours here.

Have you thought about going zero waste?
What are some sustainable habit changes you’ve made?
I’d love to hear from you!

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Getting Started With Zero Waste