So recently I discovered “Zero waste movement” that made me rethink a lot of things in my everyday life.
Zero waste movement was created by Bea Johnson in 2008, she applied this kind of living to her family and since then it became pretty popular all over the world. I discovered her on YouTube and highly suggest watching her speech in Google called Zero Waste Home this will explain about zero waste much better then I can.
Zero waste means you live your everyday life without creating any trash in your home…I know it sounds pretty mystical You do that by following 5R rule: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (compost).
1. Fight junk mail. It’s not just a waste of resources, but also of time.
2. Turn down freebies from conferences, fairs, and parties. Every time you take one, you create a demand to make more. Do you really need another “free” pen?
3. Declutter your home, and donate to your local thrift shop. You’ll lighten your load and make precious resources available to those looking to buy secondhand.
4. Reduce your shopping trips and keep a shopping list. The less you bring home, the less waste you’ll have to deal with.
5. Swap disposables for reusables (start using handkerchiefs, refillable bottles, shopping totes, cloth napkins, rags, etc.). You might find that you don’t miss your paper towels, but rather enjoy the savings.
6. Avoid grocery shopping waste: Bring reusable totes, cloth bags (for bulk aisles), and jars (for wet items like cheese and deli foods) to the store and farmers market.
7. Know your city’s recycling policies and locations—but think of recycling as a last resort. Have you refused, reduced, or reused first? Question the need and life-cycle of your purchases. Shopping is voting.
8. Buy primarily in bulk or secondhand, but if you must buy new, choose glass, metal, or cardboard. Avoid plastic: Much of it gets shipped across the world for recycling and often ends up in the landfill (or worse yet, the ocean).
9. Find a compost system that works for your home and get to know what it will digest (dryer lint, hair, and nails are all compostable).
10. Turn your home kitchen trash can into one large compost receptacle. The bigger the compost receptacle, the more likely you’ll be to use it freely.
5R saurce: www.zerowastehome.com
I know that I ‘m not going to apply this kind of living fully 100%, just because I don’t really feel the need, but being present and actually exploring my home and realising how many trash I create made me do some changes in my home.
Decluttering my home
I decluttered my home from all unneeded stuff and get rid of everything I don’t need. And I did that with no mercy I collected 6 huge bin bags full of clothes. I threw away some of them and gave others to the ones in need.
Releasing your food from plastic packaging
After watching Bea’s speech I realized that everything is in plastic bags in out cabinets. Rice, pasta, cornflakes, all seeds, nuts – everything in my kitchen were stuffed in plastic bags. Not even it’s bad, but you easily forget what you have and become hoarder of things. Suddenly you have 3 half used porridge bags, all kinds of pasta leftovers and you keep on buying and spending more money without even knowing what you really have at home.
So I bought bunch of glass containers and jars and changed that! Not only it save space, but looks so much nicer as well.
I also try to use as little plastic bags as possible. Taking my own reusable bag when shopping. And If I buy only few apples for example, I simply put them into my shopping cart without using any plastic bags.
From plastic to steel
You probably now by now that I really looove smoothies and every time I made new one I used to take new plastic straw and throw it away right after finishing my morning smoothie.
It takes about 300 years for plastic to naturally decompose in the nature and just a thought that this tiny straw will be somewhere in this planet for 300 more years is pretty scary! So I changed all my straws with reusable stainless steel ones. I have 8 straws and it is more than enough for me.
I also try not to use plastic cups or bottles and use my reusable glass bottle every day. I bought this “fancy” water once and now use that bottle everyday as my flask.
No I don’t use baking soda and vinegar to clean my house, not for now at least. But I once opened my cleaning cabinet and realized that I have so many different cleaning products that I probably don’t even need. All of them were with shiny labels, very strong smelling and colored with fluorescent colors that don’t even exist in the nature.
So I did some investigation and found local, ecological brand with no artificial smells or colors. It works just as good any other “popular” cleaners and is even cheaper. You don’t inhale any strong smells while cleaning and your hands don’t feel like sand paper after using them. Plus supporting local production is always a good idea.
So those are the steps I made in order to produce less waste, declutter my life and live healthier and more productive life!
Small Steps Lead To Big Change
If you need some further information about minimalism and zero waste movement, I highly recommend these videos:
Where can you buy stuff: