How Attainable is ‘The Zero Waste Life’?

Our children’s generation are the first generation to have indisputable evidence that we are ruining our Earth. We all have a personal responsibility to care for our environment and I’ve been so inspired by reading other peoples stories about cutting down on their waste and aiming for a ‘zero waste life’. Even if we never achieve the ultimate goal of ‘zero’ waste, every small positive change that we make will help.

Here are some small changes that we have been able to make in our efforts to live more consciously:

  • Shop Locally

We live in a town that has a traditional weekly market, selling fresh fruit and vegetables, locally produced bread and baked goods, fresh fish, local free range eggs, locally produced meat, and plants as well as a large number of other stalls. By shopping here and at the weekly Country Market (formerly known as Women’s Institute Markets) which sells homemade jams and pickles, homemade cakes and other foods and crafts, we can not only support local small businesses but we can also reduce our ‘food miles’ and reduce our food packaging (the foods are usually sold loose or in paper bags).

We have also just been introduced to our new local ‘zero waste’ mobile shop which sells all kinds of dry ingredients (mostly organic), cereals, vinegars and oils, eco-friendly cleaning products, as well as lots of other eco-friendly products. You take your own empty jars and containers and have them filled with whatever you want. So 100% zero waste!

The Green Weigh Mobile Shop

  • Switching from plastic cling film wrap to beeswax wraps

This is a fantastic way of reducing your use of single-use plastics. See my post ‘Making Beeswax Food Wraps’ for more details on this.

  • Switching to paper drinking straws & bamboo disposable cutlery

Thankfully the British government has now banned single-use plastic drinking straws, but we switched to paper straws a while ago. Many takeaway outlets are now offering bamboo cutlery instead of the single-use plastic variety, and this is great. But for the ones that aren’t yet onboard you can just decline their cutlery and whip out your eco-friendly reusable ‘Spork’!

  • Switching to bamboo toothbrushes

When you discover that every toothbrush you’ve ever used is still languishing in a landfill somewhere it’s not hard to see why switching to a biodegradable version would be a good idea. We bought ours from our mobile zero waste shop, but these are readily available from many online retailers and are very reasonably priced.

  • Using reusable coffee cups & water bottles
  • With many coffee shops offering a small discount when you use your own reusable cup, there’s really no excuse not to carry one everywhere you go, unless you don’t drink coffee that is. I even took mine on a recent flight and was given a 50p discount per cup. If you carry your own reusable water bottle with you there are over 14,000 free refilling stations across the UK where you can top it up.
    • Using eco-friendly cleaning products

    I’ve got to be honest, the main reason I’ve started to use gentler eco-friendly cleaning products is because they’re kinder to my skin. I get very sore hands when I use the harsher chemical products. My favourite brands are Ecover and Method. Not only do they clean brilliantly and smell amazing, they have far fewer harmful chemicals and are much kinder to our waterways and environment. The Method Wild Rhubarb anti-bacterial all purpose cleaner is my absolute favourite!

  • These are just a handful of things that we have done but there are so many other ways to live in a more environmentally mindful way, from switching to glass milk bottles and growing your own food, to curbing your consumerism in general!
  • By making some shall changes it really can make a big difference, especially if lots of people start to make those changes. Take responsibility, we all need to do our bit.
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