Zero Waste Lifestyle
Moving to a zero waste lifestyle doesn't have to be fun or style free. Embrace a new way to live that's kinder to the planet.
Topics to explore
Zero Waste Beginner's Guide: 21 Easy Ways To Change At Home
We have a lot of resources to help you go zero waste and to work out whether zero waste is worth it for you.
Whether you achieve zero waste in area of your life or home, or whether reducing your waste is more achieveable, zero waste is a mindset that helps you redefine what you buy, throwaway, reuse and recycle.
We need to use and buy less full stop, so this is a way of questioning what you really need across every aspect of your life.
How to live a zero waste lifestyle
From must-have zero waste products to creating a less wasteful mindset, there are many, many ways to live a zero waste lifestyle, but what they all have in common is reducing plastic, food or packaging waste and being more conscious about the products, services, food and drink we al consume.
To live a zero waste lifestyle, start to think about:
- Reducing single use plastic
- Stop buying fast fashion
- Reducing the plastic packaging in your kitchen
- Reusing packaging as much as you can
- Reusing whatever you have at home as much as you can
- Recycling as much as you can
- Choosing to support brands that don't use plastic in their packaging
- Look for products that have no packaging, reusable packaging (like glass jars) or packaging that can be recycled (like cardboard)
- Look for services that are Net Zero or carbon positive
Why is zero waste important?
Zero waste as an idea is important because overconsumption is one of the biggest causes of our climate changing. We consume food, fashion, physical stuff and finite resourced without thinking a lot of the time about what the impact is on the planet.
- Over 140 billion items of clothing are made each year
- Food waste accounts for nearly £500 per household's spend on food each year
- The beauty industry produces 120 billion bits of plastic packaging a year.
It's clear this isn't sustainable for us or the planet, so thinking about what we can do to be different and how much less we can consumer is one of the most impactful things you can do as individual.
The average person in the UK is responsible for 9 tonnes of CO2 per year, so moving to a more zero waste lifestyle should bring that impact down, more in line with the global average of 5 tonnnes.
You can use an action tracker like Giki Zero to track the changes you're making to see how much carbon you can reduce when you decide to follow a more zero waste lifestyle.
Low waste living
You might hear the term 'low waste', which is a gentler - or more realistic - way of talking about zero waste. Essentially you're commiting to throwing less away, reusing more and therefore buying less.
Low waste living looks to reduce waste in all aspects of your life.
- Slow fashion rather than fast fashion
- Buying less but buying better
- Choosing organic or sustainable food
- Choosing plastic free brands or those that use reusable or recyclable packaging
- Not buying something you're not going to treasure or that isn't going to last
- Investing in quality over quantity
- Mending or upcycling clothes
- Repairing items that have broken rather than throwing them away
- Buying secondhand items rather than items that will have used yet more resources
- Swapping, bartering or swishing clothes and other items to keep them in circulation rather than in landfill
How to have a zero waste home
There are lots of different ways to have a zero waste home. Essentially you're looking to reduce waste in all forms, whether that's flyers that come through your door, or the stuff going in your kitchen bin.
Here are a few things to think about to get you started in creating a zero waste home
- Do a single use plastic audit in your home (like this one I did with Everyday Plastic)
- Declutter your home room by room and either donate unwanted things or sell them secondhand
- Commit to not buying anything new for a certain period
- Pledge to only buy homewares from ethical homewares brands or only buy natural or recycled materials
- Ditch the disposables and replace them as and when you can with reusable versions
- Swap your cleaning brands to refillable eco-friendly cleaning products
- Invest in organic bedding
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