1. Make more food from scratch.
When you buy prepared foods, they come with unnecessary plastic and foam packaging. To combat this, try to make more of your food at home. Invest in metal or glass containers to pre-package your own meals for the week. Making this sustainable in your life will help you keep making progress, so make it easy for yourself by preparing a week’s worth of meals at once.
2. Bring your own containers to the grocery store and coffee shop.
When you bring your own glass jar to carry bulk foods home, you eliminate plastic bags from your routine. Make the switch to glass or reusable containers for all bulk items, and washable cloth bags for produce and bread products. This allows you to take only what you need, so you’ll also throw out less food. Bring your own reusable coffee cup and you’ll save a plastic cup and straw from entering a landfill, and most coffee shops offer a small discount!
3. DIY your hygiene and beauty routine.
Make your own toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo with the same base ingredients and store them in glass jars. Use natural ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oils to create your own perfect blend. Once you stop buying plastic tubes and bottles full of products, you’ll notice that you can achieve the same results with simpler versions made by hand.
4. Just say no to extras outside the house.
It can be tough to resist peer pressure and the force of past habits, but once you make a determined choice you’ll be surprised how easy it is to maintain these new habits. Say no to plastic straws, disposable plastic bags, business cards you don’t need, and anything else you encounter in your day that you don’t need. It might be awkward the first time, but after you’ve established the habit it’s easy to decline things that don’t actually do anything to improve your life.
5. Ditch the paper goods in your cleaning routine.
Swap paper towels for a set of cleaning cloths that can be used to wipe up spills or clean around the house. These can be washed and reused rather than thrown away after one use. You can also switch to cloth handkerchiefs instead of single-use tissues. The more daring zero-waste consumers install a bidet to eliminate the need for toilet paper as well. With less paper products you’ll also save the empty rolls and plastic wrappers from going straight into the garbage, and these small amounts can really add up.
Your journey to becoming zero-waste doesn’t have to be perfect. Any step toward reducing waste is a step in the right direction. Pick any of these steps to get started, or go all in and try the whole list at once. Whatever you choose remember that you’re doing the planet and your body a favor!
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