5 Tips For A Zero-Waste New Year’s Resolution
With the year coming to an end, most people are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021, especially after the recent pandemic literally put everyone’s life on hold.
In one way, however, the pandemic showed us how little we actually need in order to survive on a day-to-day basis. And while it was far from ideal, we were able to go for months without shopping, buying vehicles, or travelling, and we came out quite all right at the end of it!
After experiencing this low-consumption lifestyle, many people have decided to commit to going zero-waste in the coming year. Sure, it’s challenging, but aside from protecting the planet this lifestyle can also help you cut down on unnecessary expenses and lead to healthier habits.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Do Your Research
One of the easiest ways to cut down on consumption and move towards a zero-waste lifestyle is to do your research on the various pollutants that form a part of the raw materials in everyday products.
Let’s take plastic for example. While plastic bottles and straws are quite obvious hazards, were you aware that certain types of clothing also contain microplastic particles? And you can cut down on your plastic consumption by simply avoiding these clothes.
By learning more about plastic, PVC, or any other pollutant, you can eliminate them more easily from every aspect of your life.
- Say No To Free Stuff
Corporate and community functions often have free giveaways at the end of their events, in a bid to leave the attendees with something to remember. Quite often though, these giveaways either contain plastic or are wrapped in plastic, and by refusing these freebies you can cut down on plastic consumption.
Even if there isn’t any plastic involved, free stuff is usually never utilized and left lying around the house until we decide to toss it in the trash.
- Plan A ‘No-Buy’ Month
In the coming year, set aside one month where you avoid shopping or buying anything extra for yourself, your relatives, or for the house. Of course, groceries and essential household items like toilet paper and bath soap are allowed, but nothing more.
Not only will you be able to save money, you’ll also gain some perspective on how little you really need in order to be happy. And this habit of avoiding anything extra and only buying necessities will hopefully seep into your everyday life, reducing your overall consumption.
But, be careful not to make up for this no-buy month by shopping extra during the rest of the year!
- Design A Zero-Waste Kit
Your personal zero-waste kit will be based on the kind of places you frequent on outings or the kind of activities you engage in most often.
For example, if you’re used to grabbing a daiquiri with friends every Friday night, packing a reusable straw would be ideal, so you don’t end up using plastic or paper straws at the bar.
On the other hand, if you’re a frequent visitor at your local coffee store, carry a reusable coffee mug around with you so you can avoid those one-time paper cups used at the store.
Aside from carrying a steel water bottle (which is essential to every zero-waste kit), see what activities you engage in most often and pack accordingly.
- Walk More
Walking, biking, or using public transport is perhaps one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and get some healthy exercise into the mix.
Lets say your commute to work is a short, 10-minute drive. Try to wake up 20 minutes earlier so you can get ready early and walk to work instead. Or if that’s too far, then at least to the nearest bus stop or train station so you can use public transport.
Aside from reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on gas, walking on a regular basis can work wonders for your health and your state of being. As such, it’s worth inculcating the habit into your lifestyle.
Remember, living zero-waste isn’t an overnight change, but a campaign; something that wins out over the long haul. It should be adapted to slowly, and sudden big changes should be avoided as much as possible as they can be difficult to stick with.
So start by making small, simple changes in your consumption patterns and slowly work your way towards a zero-waste, green lifestyle in the coming year. Good luck and have a great year ahead!