Tips and Products to Help You Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle
ero Waste is a grassroots philosophy that seeks to address one aspect of the negative effects of mass production. We need things and we use things. Convenience and branding drive the production of waste from materials that are inexpensive and malleable but that have long term effects on health and the health of the planet. This, in turn, causes a feedback loop between environmental and human health. Zero waste is a call for personal responsibility. Our dollars and decisions are the tools of a revolution. They cause change through demand from the upstream production of products and materials. If we ask for it, manufacturers will find new ways to package, produce and distribute the things we need. Necessity is the mother of invention. Consciousness is the challenger of convention. Additionally, demand for new types of products brings economic opportunity to undeveloped parts of the world that might then be spared the need to exploit resources and labor in an otherwise destructive way.
This philosophy asks us to plan ahead. When you consider the health of our planet and our interdependence with it, it’s a very small task indeed. It’s possible to make your zero waste lifestyle simple and, over time, a natural part of your natural lifestyle.
Choose items that are reusable or compostable and commit to using them.
Re-use is the most direct form of recycling and the most effective. Simply reusing containers that other products were purchased in and reusing bags for groceries are moves that make an impact. At Rebecca’s, we maintain a bulk section where you can bring your own containers to fill up on basic stock items, herbs and spices, and totally decadent treats.
Reusable lunch containers and utensils made from sustainable and recyclable materials like stainless steel, glass or bamboo are an easy place to start.
Keep your beverages hot or cold for hours with a reusable container such as Hydroflask. If you’re taking meals to go, Togo Ware makes eco-friendly, plastic-free alternatives for utensils and food containers. U Konserve is another eco-friendly brand with creative options for to-go containers, utensils, and more.
Even disposable plates made from renewable and compostable material, in harmony with natural cycles, such as palm ware, have a positive effect by removing plastic, Styrofoam, and virgin paper from the landfill or the incinerator. Repurpose is an amazing brand whose disposable products are compostable. Eco Soul life also makes excellent products from palm, including larger plates and platters for serving.
Tips and lifestyle changes to reduce waste
There are many powerful moves you can make in the direction of a zero waste. Reusable straws, reusing bags for groceries and general shopping, buying bulk foods carried in glass containers, and/or simply reusing containers that other products were purchased in are a few impactful choices. As mentioned, working towards a zero waste lifestyle takes a bit of planning, but once you get used to these small changes, they’ll seamlessly become part of your routine. If you have children, instill these habits in them from a young age! It will make it much easier for them to carry over into adulthood. Let them begin in shaping their world in a positive way.
If you’re interested in learning more about the zero waste lifestyle or getting involved with an advocacy organization, there are many organizations that promote the concept of Zero waste. One popular one is Plastic Free July, which you can follow on Facebook here. The Department of Energy and Environment also has a number of initiatives and resources.
Interested in making your grocery runs zero waste? Come see us at Rebecca’s Natural Food; we’re happy to support and share tips!