Plastic and other wastes have become a huge problem in our society and environment. We as consumers have changed our habits to certain extents and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing we can do to stem the flow of single-use products on the market and later on into the landfills. That’s why there is the zero waste movement, the philosophy of waste cycling that supports a goal of zero-waste in neither land, incinerator, or the ocean. Zero waste living does not only apply to consumers but to manufacturers and everyone else who is included in the chain. If you’re here, then you have decided to take a step to change your lifestyle and here are some eight steps that will help you in doing so slowly but initially.
- Say NO to plastic – Discard non-biodegradable plastic bags as they are the true menace to our natural environment by clogging the waterways, pollute parks and beaches, and are a nuisance to our wildlife. Many countries have waged a war on single-use disposable plastic bags. The solution is to take reusable cloth bags and say no to plastic bags at checkouts. The same thing applies to plastic cling wrap. These are used to preserve food and is considered as an important part of our kitchen. Though it is convenient to use, it is hard to dispose of it off thus creating a huge problem for the environment. The solution is to use reusable food wraps that are made from beeswax, jojoba oil, hemp, and tress resin.
- Facial tissues and napkins – Marketed worldwide as the most convenient product that would improve hygiene, facial tissues are made from recycled paper. Even though this positive point, there are many disposable tissues and serviettes that go to waste every day. The remedy to this situation is to carry a handkerchief with you all the times. It is easy to clean and can be purchased anywhere!
- Give aluminum foil a chance – It is a known fact that aluminum foils can be washed and reused but most people don’t do it. It often ends in the dustbin after we use it to cook our food in it. The solution to this is to start using covering dishes with a glass Pyrex pan if you are roasting a chicken. If you are using aluminum foil to store food, then opt for reusable tin or glass food containers. When going camping, then bring your own cookware that can be used over a campfire.
- Paper towels – Even though these are convenient and biodegradable, the fossil fuels used to produce and deliver the products are completely wasteful and unnecessary. The solution is to use washable cloth towels or use some pieces of cotton from old or worn out clothing.
- Forget zip lock and freezer bags – These are mostly used to keep vegetables or meat in the freezer. Even though it is handy and easy to use, it does cause a lot of damage to the environment. The remedy to it is to use reusable and washable glass containers or plastic containers to store food.
- Forsake bamboo skewers – Yes these are eco-friendly but they are made from natural materials and the resources used to produce them are wasted. So better opt for reusable stainless steel skewers instead. They are easy to wash and last longer.
- Really coffee pods also – Yes these too! These are the single-use products that we are trying to avoid using. The best option is to prevent using these in order to reduce waste. Avoid buying coffee pod machines, if you have already a coffee machine, then go for reusable coffee pods or else you can make coffee the old fashioned way!
- Throw away the kitchen sponge – Kitchen sponges are made from artificial fibers such as polyurethane and usually ends its journey in a landfill. The trick is to use biodegradable and natural alternatives such as dish brush or a cotton dishcloth that is washable and can be used again.
Well, these are most of the things that we use in the kitchen and there is more for the ones we use in other areas of the house. It is true that zero waste living has turned your life upside down as you are trying to adopt a thousand new habits that actually does not work for anyone else. It is true that sustainability is something that we can no longer ignore even if we want to. It is up to us to make sure our kids and their kids have a planet that nurtures and supports who they want to be. As we all know that change and charity begin at home, the needful must be done to take charge. A zero-waste lifestyle makes you more aware of what comes into your life and home. You will surely think twice before buying some items or food. Even if you’re doing in a baby step, you know one day it will be worth it because at the end we all will reap the benefits!