Zero Waste beginners. Image: Nina Fedorova – Shutterstock.
Today we are witnessing a growing interest in topics such as respect for the environment, reducing air pollution, greater attention to the amount of garbage and plastic we produce and to what we buy. It must be said, we are still quite far from a generalized change in attitude on a global scale, but as they say ¨Rome was not built in a day¨, and it is already something very positive to see that more and more people have the will to promote a change to leave a better world for future generations.
The question most often asked regarding these minimalist lifestyles that seemingly forgo many of the comforts of today’s society in favor of the environment is: ‘How do they do it? How can you give up on so many? things when everyone doesn’t do without them? ‘
Perhaps sometimes, reflecting on the subject, you have asked yourself the same thing. Well, you have to know that the answer may be quite different from what you think. Leading a more zero waste lifestyle is easier than one would say and, dare we say, quite fun too.
Going from day to night to a completely waste-free life is difficult, yes. But we want to show you how with the odd trick you can considerably reduce your environmental footprint and the plastic you dispose of without even realizing it and – answering the question – without giving up anything you do or eat.
Tips to reduce plastic for beginners
So, we are going to provide you with some small changes that you can make to your habits from now on and that can be very beneficial for the environment, following the law of minimum effort maximum benefit.
1. Don’t use plastic bags anymore
Plastic bags are the most harmful to the environment, since they have a very short useful life: when you get home after a purchase, they already end up in the trash. This of course means a very large amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. Just by changing the plastic bags with a reusable cloth bag you would save a considerable amount of plastic per year, helping the environment. This is an imperceptible change for you, if you think about it. In addition, cloth bags are much more resistant and it is very difficult for them to break.
2. Goodbye plastic bottles
Plastic bottles are also something that we should reduce, since they are also part of the so-called disposable plastics. This type of plastics are the most harmful to the environment due to their very short useful life and we should try to reduce them as much as possible. Changing the plastic bottles that you have at home for aluminum or glass bottles is a good start to improve the situation.
To reduce the amount of plastic bottles you buy at the supermarket, we advise you not to buy the 1.5L ones, but instead opt for the 5L or 8L ones. The total amount of plastic is less and, when you get home, you can always refill your glass bottles.
3. Take a folding glass with you
Many of us are away from home all day for work, and it is usual to start the morning with a good latte to go. Every time we order a drink to go we are producing garbage that we could save, since we throw away the containers as soon as we finish drinking. The solution is a simple collapsible glass that you can keep in your bag and take with you wherever you go. Every time you order a drink to go, you will use it and avoid generating more garbage. Make the count of how many containers you would save per week, month and year and we assure you that you will be positively surprised.
4. Don’t use plastic straws
Another throwaway plastic, straws are very bad for the environment. In addition, unlike bags or bottles, they do not fulfill an important function, since we could drink without problem without them. So, just by dispensing with them and drinking directly from the glass you will be doing a good deed towards the environment. If you are one of those who cannot give up straws when having a soda on a terrace, we advise you to take a reusable straw with you. There are many in commerce of different measures and materials, the most common are those of steel or bamboo.
5. Change the plastic toothbrush
If you stop to think about it, every three months or so we each throw away our toothbrush and buy a new one. This is fine and the dentists themselves advise us to renew it periodically so as not to damage the teeth and ensure an effective cleaning. However, what we can do to reduce the environmental impact in this case is to change the typical plastic toothbrush for one made of bamboo or wood, whose environmental impact is much lower. There are also some that allow you to remove the head and only change that, an even better option since you will not throw away the entire brush. Lastly, an electric toothbrush can also be a good idea. It is true that it is made of plastic, but by changing only the head the impact is less than a classic brush.
If you have come this far you will have realized that being more respectful with the environment is really easier than you think. You don’t have to be 100% zero waste: with some small changes that have no influence on our lifestyle or shopping habits, we can give a big hand to the environment and feel much better about ourselves.