It’s the start of a new year and everyone is trying to think of a few new resolutions to implement into their lives- why not try some of these zero waste goals to help you reduce your environmental impact in 2021!
Zero waste practices are a great way to start living more sustainably while reducing your carbon footprint and helping you to play your part in the fight against climate change. Sustainable living is all about making changes to decrease the amount of natural resources that you use. You meet your current needs but without jeopardising the needs of future generations. Simply put, zero waste living aims to; reduce your consumption, encourages you to reuse items as much as possible, and recycle as much as you can. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
Here are 5 areas of your life that you can give a zero waste makeover to this year.
Stop using single use plastics
The environmental impact of single-use plastics is significant. Millions of tonnes of single-use plastics end up in the natural environment. They break down into microplastics, contaminating the soil and marine environment, and eventually entering the food chain as they are consumed by animals on land and in the sea. But zero waste living can help to prevent this from happening. It can seem like single-use plastics are everywhere and it would be impossible to avoid them. It isn’t always easy, but there are many simple ways to start. One of the best ways is by using reusable items. This may seem strange or inconvenient at the start, but you will quickly get into the habit of having these items ready to use in your bag and it feels great when you manage to say ‘no thank you’ to the plastic options that business normally offer you. Coffee cups, water bottles, shopping bags, cutlery, food containers and straws are the most useful ones to begin with. Remember to bring your reusable bags with you when you go shopping and keep a reusable water bottle and coffee cup in your bag. These little changes will make a big impact.
Shop at zero waste stores
Shopping at zero waste stores can be a great way to move towards zero waste living. All you have to do is bring your own containers with you and fill up with what you need. Zero waste stores also help you to reduce single use plastics and the amount of packaging that ends up in landfill- no fruits and vegetables wrapped in excessive plastic or pastas and cereals in plastic packets. You can buy in bulk and not create any waste. It also promotes locally grown foods which helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced.
Say no to fast fashion
Fast fashion has a huge environmental impact on our planet. It is a growing area of concern with consumers buying more and cheaper clothes than ever before. It is also an area that is simple and easy to address if you are willing to try something new! Living zero waste doesn’t have to come at the expense to style. There are many eco-friendly brands that will help you look your best while protecting the planet. You could also try shopping second hand, repairing old clothes, or swapping items with friends. Think carefully when you are purchasing new clothes. Will it last? Is it timeless? Don’t just buy clothes on a whim, try and think if they will be useful long term.
When the time comes to get rid of your clothes, you can donate them to charities or try and find a local business that works to recycle old and worn out clothes. There is always a chance to give clothing a second life before it ends up in landfill.
Learn how to recycle properly
Recycling is so important for a sustainable way of life. Many of the products we buy and throw away into landfill can actually be recycled and used again. Zero waste living is about all about focusing on using the materials that we already have again and again, so recycling is an essential one to learn how to do properly. Recycling reduces the need to extract raw materials for the production of new products and it helps to save energy which reduces greenhouse gases and tackle climate change.
Compost your kitchen waste
Composting is a great way to make a difference and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. It is good for your garden and for the environment! It reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfill and at the same time adds essential nutrients to your soil and recycles organic resources. There is a huge variety of compact composting options, so you don’t even need a big garden in order to do it. If you live in a city and don’t want to use your compost, you could look into finding a composting service that picks up your waste for you.
Your turn to give it a go!
These are my top 5 tips to show you just how simple it can be to reduce your environmental impact. Don’t feel overwhelmed that you have to stick to all of them all the time. You can start out by picking your favourite one and work up from there. Becoming more sustainable is not about being perfect, but if everyone plays their part and changes a few small habits where possible, it will have a massive overall impact on our planet.