Going zero waste can be overwhelming. Knowing where and how to start is half the battle. That's why, in this blog, we will show you how to get started on your zero waste journey, where to begin and why it is important to take things bit by bit.
But first, a reminder of what going zero waste is all about.
Getting to a state where you are literally producing ‘zero waste’ is not something that happens overnight. Getting to such as stage, if indeed it is even possible, involves a journey. The mantra for this journey to zero waste is “live simply and produce less waste”.
Wherever you are on your journey to zero waste and however far you get it is all a great step towards living a more sustainable lifestyle.
In our interview with a low-waste guru the Zero Waste Wanderess, she recommended starting in one room, focusing on that and then moving on and repeating the process. The idea of zero waste is that it exists in a circular economy, that is all products move in a circular fashion and the need for landfill doesn’t exist.
Take a walk around your house and look at each room in turn. Consider each item in it in turn and ask yourself ‘what does it produce in terms of waste?’. Look at the bathroom for example, what products in that room produce waste and how can this waste be reduced. Look at plastic shampoo bottles, for example, these end up in a landfill once they’re finished; so why not replace them with solid shampoo bars. Go one step further and ensure that these shampoo bars are free of plastic packaging. Taking this example to its logical conclusion you could then start making your own shampoo/soap.
If you want some inspiration for going zero waste then have a look at this series of photos from Antoine Repesse. The photographer stopped throwing away his recyclable waste for a year and collected it, all 365kg of it. The resulting series of photos ‘365, Unpacked’ can be seen here.
There are plenty of ways to start going zero waste, here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Either create your own challenge to reduce your waste or sign up to a community-based initiative such as the Thirty Day Zero Waste Challenge by Be Zero. Whatever option you choose, make sure that you tell your friends about it, this will help you stick to your commitment. Document your achievements on social media, such as photos of your progress on Instagram.
‘Stuff’ is overwhelming. Draws and cupboards stuffed full of ‘things’ that are rarely ever used and largely forgotten about. Not only does it take up a lot of room in your house it can also be psychologically overwhelming. Part of the journey to zero waste is about living simply, and this involves reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ in your life.
Start decluttering your life but choosing one room and a time, for example, the kitchen at 8 pm. Then each night at 8 pm go through the kitchen cupboards and remove items that you think are unnecessary. Go through the room several times, you may keep stuff on the first pass that you later realise that you don’t need to keep.
The journey to zero waste involves, more than anything a change of mindset. Purchase reusable, food grade, stainless steel containers rather than plastic, Tupperware, equivalents. These will last for a much longer time and are fully recyclable.
Take these containers to your nearest local shop, ask for them to put your produce in there. They are more likely to be happy to do this than a supermarket.
It can seem overwhelming going zero waste, everything seems to be wrapped in plastic but remember every effort counts.
Get your friends, partner or family involved. Like most things in life going zero waste is much easier if you’re doing it with someone else. You can ask people to get involved with your challenge or tell them of your progress as you continue your journey.
Going zero waste means tapping into some of the skills that our grandparents took for granted. Repair old clothes, reuse items whenever you can and make your own alternatives to products you would normally buy such as cosmetics and bathroom products.
Cleaning products are one of the easiest things that you can make yourself. White vinegar and baking soda will do the job of most shop bought cleaning products. What’s more, you’re not creating any plastic waste associated with the cleaning product bottles.
Join the reuse revolution today, purchase your reusable, long lasting, food grade stainless steel Elephant Box products here.