I first came across term ‘Zero Waste’ after watching TED talk ‘Two adults, two kids, zero waste’ by Bea Johnson. I remember thinking wow how they can do that, life without any trash. After that followed Lauren Singer ‘Trash is for Tossers’ channel & blog. This idea of being able to live life and not to produce any waste seemed so fascinating. Until that point i had never truly took a moment to think how much waste i produce, where it all goes & how does it effect our environment.
At that point i knew that by cutting animal products out of my diet i am clearly helping our environment big time, however, i was asking myself is it the only way & should i stop there? I quickly released that is not the only way and there is so much more i/we could be doing. So that is how i started to make little changes. I started small and continued to educate myself more on zero waste lifestyle.
In this post i want to give you a quick introduction, a sort of beginner’s guide to zero waste. Where should you start and what first changes in my opinion you could make in order to begin your zero waste journey.
So let’s begin
1.Cups Cups Cups- this is a big issue. Especially if you a regular coffee shop costumer. Disposable cups are everywhere. Every minute around the world approximately one million disposable cups end up in landfill. One of the first changes that you can make (that i did myself) is to invest into a great quality reusable cup. There are a lot of great companies out there, i just stumbled across Keep Cup. I love their designs, have been using my one for around a year now and it still looks like brand new.
By having a reusable cup you are not just saving the environment, but you also saving some cash as well, as most of the coffee places nowadays gives you a small discount for bringing your own cup. Win- Win situation.
You can get your Keep Cup here
2. Ditch plastic toothbrush. A daily essential tool that could easily be made zero waste. Have you ever considered how many different toothbrushes you already used throughout your life? I believe the numbers are quite high. As we know some plastics can be reused for years, however, not toothbrushes. Next time you are in the need for a new brush, swap your usual plastic one for more sustainable/biodegradable/eco friendly brush. I have already tried quite a few, here are some useful links.
You can find 100 % biodegradable toothbrushes by clicking here ♡
*you get 10% off for your first order, yay!
3. Say bye to plastic bags. Our environment can not handle any more disposable bags. More than five hundred billion bags are being used each year. According to Environmental Protection Agency a plastic bag is usually being used for around twelve minutes before it ends up in our trash bin. This same bag we use only for twelve minutes then remains in our oceans, landfills & forests for thousands of years. So next time you’re off to buy your groceries make sure you have a canvas bag with you. It is such an easy and effortless way to be more environmentally conscious. Before i leave home i always make sure i have at least one if not more canvas bags with me. They do not take up much space and really you never know when you need to buy or carry something. Be prepared.
4. Let’s talk about straws. Do you really need them? Can you have your drink without them? Probably. Plastic straws just like disposable coffee cups are everywhere. The best solution to this are reusable straws. You can choose from; glass, stainless steel or bamboo straws. Myself, (couple years ago whilst in Bali) i have picked up a set of 5 bamboo straws. Love using them for my morning smoothies. I make sure i always carry at least one of them with me. You never know, right? By saying no to plastic straws you reducing the scary number of 500 million straws that are used and thrown away every day. Get your sustainable straws here.
5. What about cutlery & eating out. Once i began being more conscious about the waste i produce i have noticed that it is much easier to be zero waste whilst you are at home. But what about when you are out & about. Especially if say you are at a food market and want to enjoy a take away meal. First thing i would advise is to get yourself a reusable cutlery set. In my case i got bamboo spork (spoon- fork) in one. It takes little room in my bag and it always saves me from those one time cutlery uses. You can find one similar here: p.s. you definitely do not have to buy anything, you could also just take a set of cutlery from your kitchen and happily use that.
When it comes to boxes, if you know you will be at a food market or any kind of place where they most likely give you a plastic container, you can always bring your reusable one or just a simple mason jar. This saves tuns of plastic. Plus it is always a nice way to open up a conversation, people are always curious why you are doing this, what are your reasons behind it.
6. No more plastic water bottles- seriously, No More! There so many great reusable water bottles out there, you could pick any design / style / price you want. There is no need to buy plastic water bottles. If you find yourself desperate for drinking water and say you left your reusable bottle at home at least always try to go for glass bottle instead of plastic.
These are my top 6 zero waste swaps for beginner zero wasters. In my next posts i will be focusing more on different areas within our homes; zero waste kitchen / bathroom swaps and more. Always remember that it is all about the small changes. Everything counts. And please do not get scared by the term ZERO waste, it is necessarily not about that. It is more about how you can produce as little harm as you can to our environment & what positive changes you can implement to your daily life.
Much love ♡
Seashells & Barefoot Journeys
A travel & environmental blog for the adventurous soul.
Aiming to share my globe-trotting life and inspire you to explore this beautiful world with a little bit more compassion…