5 Steps to Reducing our Waste

Disclaimer: this is just to get people thinking and conscious about their habits! I am not perfect, but I try my best to do my best.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”

-Robert Sean

I’m sure you have seen how polluted and gross our beautiful planet is becoming. If you haven’t, please search “the great pacific garbage patch”.

Convenience is destroying our planet. Single use plastics, fast fashion, fast food, etc. We have the power to start a movement toward a zero waste lifestyle and to save our planet.

  1. Educate yourself

You keep hearing and seeing commercials, advertisements, your co-worker all discuss the benefits of sustainable living. You’re interested, but you just don’t know where to start. The first step to reducing waste and to begin living a sustainable lifestyle is to educate yourself about the issue this planet is having, and how humans are destroying it.

I am not saying take a full year of sustainability courses (I mean, you absolutely can), but you can also just do a quick Google search, or a quick Youtube search if you enjoy videos better.

There are a TON of information out there about the issues, how humans are destroying the earth and where to start! My favorite way to look up ideas on how to reduce my waste is to Youtube search “Zero Waste”. There are so many people sharing their zero waste journey that will help inspire you to begin your journey.

If you only want to visit one website, I suggest visiting Bea Johnson’s website, and even think about purchasing her e-book, or going to your local library to check it out. Bea Johnson is a mother of two children and a wife. She and her family live a simplistic zero waste lifestyle. She talks about her lifestyle and how she transitioned into living sustainably. Her website is Zerowastehome.com

2. Begin with simple swaps!

Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere!

Bring reusable cutlery everywhere! This one could seem like a hassle, but there are so many different options you could go with! You could purchase a set, look up “portable cutlery set” and there are so many cute options! Or, you could also use what you already have! Wrap your silverware in a cloth or a reusable bag and tote it with you everywhere you go. You never know when you want to get a bite to eat but they only offer plastic, single-use cutlery.

Bring reusable bags, or just reuse your plastic bags until they’re no longer usable! Many times we see plastic bags as a one time use situation when that is not the case! I reuse my plastic bags until they are no longer salvageable.

Love coffee? Bring a reusable mug or reusable cup every time you get coffee. There are so many cute mug or travel cup options you can use to ensure that you are not creating trash with your coffee consumption.

3. Strive for progress not perfection

It is extremely unrealistic to go from a overconsumption lifestyle to zero waste. No one is trying to be perfect, but trying to do little things everyday is the key to succeeding. What I do, as I am still in the beginning of my journey, is to think “what can I do better to reduce my waste today?”. Everyday I do small things. I bring reusable everything with me. Cutlery, hydroflask, and a reusable bag.

4. Consume less

Honestly, this is hard. We are taught to consume! We don’t think, we just buy things that we really don’t need. I suggest reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, or watching her netflix series called “Tidying Up”. This show puts your mind in a different perspective. We do not need items to make us happy. The things that make us happy are usually things that we can’t buy.

If you really want to purchase something, try second hand first! Second hand stores, second hand websites (like poshmark) is a great way to reduce our waste by using someone else’s second hand items. This is so, you do not create more plastic trash by not buying something that was originally wrapped in plastic.

5. Pick Up Litter

How many times a day do we walk right past a piece of garbage on the ground because “we didn’t put it there”? I do, almost everyday. Something that I am doing now is picking up trash as much as I can. I take the public transportation to work so my walk to the bus stop, to my apartment, to my job, are almost always littered. Instead of continuously walk by it and complain about how dirty it is, I pick up the trash.

Now, I don’t always do this. Sometimes I am running to the bus stop because the bus is coming. So I won’t pick up the trash. Sometimes my hands are full (with my reusable items). But all it takes is to begin the habit of seeing trash on the ground and picking it up. You feel good about yourself, other people may see you and think “wow look at this girl picking up trash, I’m going to start doing that too”.

If we all picked up one piece of trash a day, how amazing do you think our planet would look?

I hope you picked up at least one useful and easy tip from this.

“What you do makes a difference, and what you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make”

-Jane Goodall

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