First of all, ask yourself the question why you want to go Zero Waste? The reason to start this journey is important as you will experience some hurdles transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle. It is amazing how much waste we produce around us through the way we shop. Our supermarket giants over the years have offered convenience to their customers and food brands had to design packaging that met their standards. There is so much plastic waste now around products that we have a serious plastic waste problem in the world. (Don't get me started with statistics, that's for another blog)
Start an Audit
First, you audit what kind of waste your bin is filled with. There is a pattern in every household. Recognize some of the packaging waste that you might be able to eliminate by shopping differently. eg. Instead of buying your apples in a plastic bucket wrapped with plastic, buy them lose in the supermarket or start shopping at your local produce market. Same with vegetables and foods like nuts and bread. Our magic word is REFUSE - refuse the plastic, refuse the extra packaging.
REDUCE the Waste!
Eliminate the Single Waste Plastic.
Examples are plastic straws, plastic shopping bags, plastic toothbrush, plastic cups, plastic water bottles, plastic cling wrap etc.
It's about taking baby steps, commit every week to a small change.
Invest in some reusable solutions. (just some ideas)
- Buy reusable shopping bags and take them with you whenever you go to the shops.
- Get a set of Produce Bags, and used when you buy your fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, refuse the green biodegradable plastic bags (as it is still plastic).
- Get stainless steel, bamboo or silicone straws, the kids would love them, easy to clean and easy to reuse.
- Get the kids stainless steel lunch boxes, teach them not bring in their sandwiches and fruit in plastic bags.
- No more zip lock bags use silicon food bags or beeswax wrapping solutions.
If you are ready for the next step, shop at a Bulk Buy Store, no more packaging at all. From Cereals to Fresh Milk in your own bottle, Flour, Nuts, and kind of food that you use on a daily and weekly basis. Bring your own recycled jars, produce bags, containers to buy your food. (Check out my other blog where you can find Bulk Stores)
Follow some of the Zero Waste Influencers and learn from them.
- Bea Johnson
- Anita VanDyke
- Wasteland Rebel Shia
- Kathryn Kellogg
Finally, take your time to go fully Zero-Waste, as I said it is challenging as the world is conditioned to have waste everywhere. I always say to people, we need to get back to the old days (for some of you, you might remember) where the milkman came to pick up your empty bottles and bring you back fresh milk. Where you visit your local bakery and pick up fresh bread. Where the only place you shop for fruit and vegetables is your local produce market or buying directly from the farmer.
I wish you all the best on your journey to Zero Waste.