By Corey Breneisen
This week is Zero Waste Week. So what does that mean exactly? It’s a week to consider making lifestyle changes to minimize your impact on the environment, and bring yourself into alignment with Nature. In this age of social media overload, there can be a lot of pressure to “do it right”, to have the “right tools”, the “right products”. In reality, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to live a Zero Waste Lifestyle. There are only positive effects from your efforts to make more conscious and informed consumer decisions. I recently saw a post on social media expressing this. It said, “We don’t need a handful of people doing Zero Waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Here are 3 ways for you to begin your Zero Waste Journey:
Stop Before you Shop: Ask yourself if this is a purchase you really need to be making. In a week, will it still be valuable to you? Does it serve multiple purposes? Will your life be improved by possessing this item? Is it something that requires maintenance? Can you afford the maintenance costs? What is it made of? Is there an alternative made from more renewable materials? How is it packaged? Is there an alternative with less packaging available? Taking a moment to ask yourself these questions decreases the number of impulse buys thereby reducing the amount of stuff produced which saves on resources.
Remember your Shopping Bags: This includes produce bags as well as jars or bottles if shopping in bulk. Glass is an amazing material. It’s infinitely recyclable. So put those spaghetti sauce jars to use. Clean them and then take them to market to refill your granola stash. We often think of reusable totes and market bags when grocery shopping, but take them when you go clothes shopping too!
Free-Cycle: If you find you have items in your house you no longer have use for, ask your neighbors to make a trade. They may need a new toaster oven meanwhile, you just cleared space on your counter and now can use your two slice toaster guilt-free. The trade may inspire them to look around their homes and offer you a much needed yard rake. Not only are you building community, but you are keeping items out of landfills and reducing waste.
There are many ways to begin a Zero Waste Lifestyle. It doesn’t matter how you do it, it only matters that you do it.
Need more tips for Zero Waste Living? Check out our Green Services.