I was inspired by my friend, who made a New Year’s Resolution to cut down on her waste, to do the same. For the past couple of months I’ve been trying to put a conscious effort to minimize waste that I create on a daily basis. It’s been challenging and I feel no matter how hard I try, I will still create waste. But, I decided I’m okay with that as long as I am trying whenever possible. So, today I thought I’d share with you 5 easy steps you can take today to get started on the zero waste lifestyle.
I also want to preface this post by saying that for getting started on the zero waste lifestyle, you don’t need to go out and buy stuff that is zero waste. That defeats the purpose. Use what you already have around the house and once a particular item finishes, then think about how your future purchases can be smarter and fit the zero waste lifestyle. I just want to train my mind to be more conscious of the waste I am creating.
5 Easy Steps To Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle
1.Reusable Bags/Cloth Tote Bags:
Always keep a tote bag on hand. I started keeping a couple of cloth bags in the car. I’ve had these two cloth bags for a long while now and they were just sitting in my closet. So, I pulled them out and now I leave them in the Jeep. Any time we go to the mall, a store, or just out and about, I take one of the totes along with me. So, whenever I get to the checkout, I just say I don’t need a bag and use my own.
The same goes for our weekly Friday night grocery shopping. I have a lot more reusable bags that I collected from stores like Lululemon and Saje and they make the perfect grocery shopping bag. I just bring them along with us and say no to the plastic bags at the store. I’ve noticed that with just having some tote bags easily accessible, I’ve really cut down on how many plastic bags I bring home!
2. Coffee Cup:
Say no to disposable coffee cups and take along your reusable coffee cup with you. Gursheel and I go to Starbucks at least once a week and during the week I usually go out to get some coffee at least once or twice. And never do I bring my own coffee cup. But, this has also come to a stop now. Any time we go out on the weekends, we bring along our coffee cups with us. Starbucks is really great because not only do they give you 10 cents off your drink when you bring your own coffee cup, but they also tend to give you more coffee! We always ask for a tall, but since our coffee cup is pretty big (20 oz), they fill it up all the way (that’s basically a venti sized drink)!
I also bring my KeepCup with me everywhere. In the mornings I make myself a lemon honey tea and in the afternoons at work, I either make myself a latte or I use my KeepCup to get a coffee. Just having a coffee cup with you really helps you cut down on all those disposable coffee cups that really add up to your waste. And they’re fun. I am obsessed with my KeepCup!
3. Reusable Water Bottle:
Start taking your reusable water bottle with you everywhere. I think this one is pretty obvious and I think almost everyone has a reusable water bottle. It is shocking to me the amount of plastic water bottles that are out there and used on a daily basis. My in laws actually use them quite a bit and this is something I really would like to encourage them to stop using. It is so easy to bring a water bottle along with you everywhere. There are water filters everywhere: at work, at airports, at malls and you can even ask any restaurant or coffee shop to fill up your water bottle.
4. Reusable Straws:
Get yourself some reusable straws. I really enjoy drinking cold beverages out of straws. I use it for my morning green smoothie as well as iced coffees or frappacinos when I am out and about. We all know how terrible plastic straws are for the environment, so now I have started to keep a stainless steel straw in my bag at all times. If I’m ever in the mood for an iced coffee when I’m out, I just pull out my own reusable straw. And if I don’t have my reusable straw with me, I’ll opt for a drink that doesn’t require a straw.
5. Reusable Ziploc Bags/Stasher Bag:
Finally, my last step is to stop buying ziploc bags. If you already have them, re-use them as much as you can. But once you’ve run out, I’d highly recommend to invest in some Stasher Bags. I am obsessed with my Stasher bags. I have a total of three now, but I’d like to get a few more so I can have easy access to them whenever I need. My favorite way to use mine is taking some to go snacks, making smoothie pouches for the week and making some popcorn. The Stasher bag is great because it is made of silicone and is BPA free, microwavable, freezable and heatable. It is multi-functional and a great way to opt out of ziploc bags.
I hope you find this post helpful. I saw this quote recently that really inspired me: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
For more lifestyle related posts, check out the Kamfy Living section of the blog 🙂