With the growth of the wellness industry and people becoming more health conscious and aware of what they put into their bodies, there has been a universal shift of consciousness now from our internal wellness towards our external environment, and the planet. How can we become less or even better, zero waste?
This is a great time to start thinking about what we can do to help reduce a negative impact on the environment.
I’ve put together 7 ideas towards a zero waste lifestyle, a few tips and tricks to get you started. By just adding a few of these ideas into your daily routine will make a difference overall, however small it won’t go unnoticed.
7 Tips Towards Zero Waste in your Life
1. Reuse Bags, Jars and Bottles
This may seem obvious, but I’m sure we’ve all felt the dread at the checkout knowing you’ve got a drawer full of bags and you’ve got to buy another, so remember to keep a reusable bag in your bag! Wash out any glass jars you’ve used and refill with dried goods for the cupboards. Ensure you’ve got a reusable water bottle for ethical hydration.
2. Reduce Single Use
Many everyday items are created with a one time use purpose, and end up in a landfill or in our seas which is a terrible fate for plastic straws which can take up to 100 years to degrade. If you can’t live without them, invest in a bamboo or metal straw you can pack in your bag on a night out! Kitchen roll is another single-use item which we take for granted, I’m not saying clean up icky things with fine linen but it’s a great idea to have a stack of ‘dirty rags’ which you can use to wipe things off the floor and wash – these can be old tea towels/towels cut to size, another great way to reuse what you’ve already got. Another important topic is female sanitary products – which over the course of an average woman’s life add up to a huge amount of waste. I understand this is a delicate topic, but with high costs of tampons and pads, switching to a silicone menstrual cup (which can be sterilised and used for up to two years) and washable pads, can save you money and mother earth will thank you.
3. Veg Scrap Stock
All of the vegetable odds and ends after your Sunday roast may normally end up in the bin (if you don’t already compost) but try keeping the edible scraps and pop them in a suitable container in the freezer, add to this each time you cook and when your box is full you’ve got the ingredients for a homemade veg stock to hand – wonderfully versatile and flavoursome, you’ll be able to rustle up a risotto, soup or curry in no time!
For all those scraps that didn’t make the stock box, compost! If you don’t have a garden or space for a compost bin, many areas have community compost schemes set up and will gladly relieve you of your carrot tops.
5. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is not only a great way to reduce waste, it’s also cost-effective; the higher the quantity, the lower the cost per kilo. If this doesn’t work for you, many health food shops have introduced self-weighing systems where you can bring your own container and take just what you need.
Charity shops and second-hand items can really provide just what you need for a fraction of the cost. Many websites and Facebook pages are dedicated to offering a platform for local communities to sell, swap and give away a vast array of everyday items. You know what they say, one man’s trash another man’s treasure.
7. Do I really need it?
We’ve all been there, that must-have item that you cannot walk away from, and if it brings genuine happiness, then great! But more stuff doesn’t equate to more happiness, it’s good to assess what you’ve already got and whether you really need it in your life. Often we get caught up buying the newest model or a different variety when sometimes going for a walk can feel just as good as spending £100 on new shoes.
I hope these ideas can inspire you and show you that it is, in fact, easy to reduce, reuse, recycle! These are just 7 tips towards zero waste but now you know these you can start to see other areas in your life that you can do the same to help reduce your impact on the earth. These are a good start!
I regularly write for AdventureYogi and cook on their retreats. Here is more about me and I also run my own yoga bowl events in London and Brighton. Check out the AY calendar to see what retreats I am cooking on! Follow me on facebook for more.