Daily Zero Waste Habits

September 15, 2020

Daily Zero Waste Habits

Living a more sustainable, less wasteful life doesn't happen overnight. Simple new habits slowly creep in and, after a few years, you realise just how much has changed. I started my low waste journey by adopting the 3 habit shifts that have the biggest impact: I've been following a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet for almost two decades (!) I avoid flying, don't own a car, and mostly use public transport; and I've stopped buying so much stuff.

The small changes are important too and we should be switching to more sustainable alternatives whenever possible. When we ask for change, we start to see is happen. There are plenty of low waste swaps for everyday items, and many of them are more cost-effective meaning you save money as well as reduce waste.

To give you an idea of what a low waste lifestyle can look like, these are my daily zero waste habits and favourite low waste products that help me to be kinder to myself and the planet.



Daily Zero Waste Habits Daily Zero Waste Habits


Coffee

I can't do anything until I've had my morning cup of coffee. I buy coffee beans in bulk (to reduce packaging waste), grind them fresh everyday, and brew them using a reusable filter. It's relatively easy to make your coffee habit low waste, even if you buy takeout - just remember to take your reusable cup. Sometimes I'll drink loose leaf herbal tea or matcha during the day too, which is just as easy to brew in a low waste manner.



Getting Ready

I've made a lot of low waste swaps in the bathroom. In the shower, there's bar soap to wash with, shampoo and conditioner purchased in bulk, eco-friendly toilet paper, and a safety razor. If I'm on my period, I a mix of sustainable period products. There's a few things I won't change about my routine like my toothbrush and toothpaste but I do enjoy using low waste mouthwash tabs.

My beauty routine is really simple with only a handful of products. Having a minimal beauty routine makes it naturally low waste. Everything I use is vegan-friendly and low waste, although there are very few zero waste options for makeup. I only occasionally wear makeup and stick to brands I like and trust. I use simple oils for cleansing.

I keep a low waste wardrobe by buying and wearing a mix of old favourites, new sustainable pieces, and second-hand finds. I aim to wear everything I own at least 30 times, which is harder than you think! Having a low waste wardrobe is all about wearing what we have, slowing down our purchases, and supporting sustainable brands.



Daily Zero Waste Habits Daily Zero Waste Habits


Cooking

Eating a plant-based diet is one of the biggest ways you can reduce your environmental impact. I've followed a vegan lifestyle for 16 years and I mostly eat whole foods, making food from scratch to avoid plastic packaging and reduce waste.

I'm able to shop at a local plastic-free bulk store, fresh produce market, and local bakery but it is possible to shop low waste at a supermarket. One of my favourite ways to reduce food waste is to buy discounted food.

I have an 'eat first' shelf in the fridge that helps me to eat up food before it goes off. When choosing what to eat, I cook from ingredients on this shelf first to prevent the food going to waste. Learning how to store food properly really helps reduce food waste too. I make us of the plastic I already have, and repurpose glass jars for storage.



At Work

I'm a self-employed jeweller and writer so a lot of my work is done on my computer. When I buy electronics I try to buy them refurbished or second-hand - it's not always possible or cost-effective though. I have a stack of old stationery purchases that I'm trying to use up, and I keep track of tasks by bullet journalling.

When I'm in the studio, I reuse and recycle as much packaging as possible. All the packaging I use for my jewellery is low waste and eco-friendly, from the jewellery boxes to the thank you cards. Even the metals I use are sourced responsibly from suppliers that use recycled metals. This is how I send a zero waste parcel.



Daily Zero Waste Habits Daily Zero Waste Habits


Running Errands

When I'm running errands like taking orders to the post office or picking up food items, I always take things that help me to reduce my waste. Tote bags are excellent for carrying shopping as they fold down really small and can be stuffed in a pocket. If I'm away from home a long time, I pack things extra items like snacks, a reusable cup, utensils, and napkins.



Doing Chores

I switched to bulk buying eco-friendly cleaning products several years ago, they're all vegan-friendly too. You really don't need lots of different products to clean your home; I find a good multi-purpose cleaner purchased in bulk does the same job. I replaced disposables, like cling film and paper towels, with reusables, like silicone baking mats and washable cloths. When you get rid of the clutter and own less it makes cleaning a lot easier.



Sleeping

My bedroom is one of the most important rooms in my apartment. I want the room to be inviting and my bed to be really cozy. My bed sheets are made sustainably from organic cotton and so is my nightwear, and I have a refurbished weighted blanket that helps relieve stress and anxiety. I like to make my home to smell amazing so I use oils and incense to fragrance my bedroom, and a pillow spray for better sleep.




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Daily Zero Waste Habits Daily Zero Waste Habits




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