15 ways to start a Zero Waste lifestyle
If you’ve been looking at my Instagram you’ll have seen that I’m easing myself into a zero waste lifestyle. Living in London, everything is at your fingertips, but the downside is that the majority of it produces a serious amount of waste (mainly in the form of plastic). Below I have for you a few steps to start reducing the amount of waste you produce. I’m a firm believer that no lifestyle should be strict, so do what you can. It’s not about cutting out everything you love, it’s just about taking baby steps. You never know, I might be looking back at this in a years time and thinking about how wasteful I was and how easy it was to stop.
- Say no to straws. This one I have to say is a big weakness for me and why I’ve put it as number one. I constantly forget when I’m in a bar or ordering a smoothie to say “No straw please”. It’s simple Hebe! Get your shit together woman. I will update you all once this simple sentence is part of my vocabulary.
- Tote Bags. I love my tote bags. I have far too many and don’t see myself getting any less. I always have one rolled up in my little yellow rucksack just in case. Plastic bags are stupid and I would love it if they stopped existing altogether. If you forget to bring one, force yourself to carry all that stuff without a bag. You’ll never forget again.
- Water Bottle. Carrying a refillable water bottle around with you is so simple. I bought mine before I’d even heard of this whole Zero Waste thing, so unfortunately it’s plastic. But it does the job and I can see it lasting me a very long time. Even if I forget it, I only buy drinks in recyclable cans or glass bottles.
- Bring your own containers. For buying cheese, pasta, rice, takeaways etc bring your own vessel. Again I’ve had mine for a long time, so they’re plastic. But it’s meant that when I’ve gotten takeaway food I simply ask them to put it in my box instead of the non recyclable boxes they usually have. I’m very lucky to live down the road from Bulk Market, a zero waste supermarket, so I can get my grains, spices etc all from there.
- Make your own. In my search to find products on my shopping list not in packaging I’ve realised that many of the items I’m struggling with I can make myself. Pinterest has always been my saviour for finding recipes and every day I’m thinking of new things I want to try making myself.
- Refill. Your shampoo, washing up liquid, wine all can be refilled. Borough Wines is my favourite. Their refillable wines are delicious, super cheap and did I mention delicious?
- Bar Soap. You can buy bars of soap without any packaging, but if you can’t find that, paper is best. Plus you get to have a cute little soap dish. If liquid soap is your life, you can find refillable options.
- Make lists. Planning your meals is a huge help. It means you don’t have that end of week panic and find out none of the shops are open apart from that one corner shop that never seems to sleep. Without lists I would completely fail and pick up something from a supermarket is a hangry haze.
- Think local. Local farmers market and Delis are perfect for finding products without packaging. We’re even really lucky in London to have virtually every corner shop selling loose fruit and veg.
- Compost. If you do end up with some scraps of food, by maybe possibly cooking something then forgetting about it for two weeks until you got to use that saucepan again, then compost it. Hackney council are brilliant for offering composting as part of their recycling, but if your council isn’t that fab, then just start it yourself.
- Use cloths and brushes. By using a brush for wishing up instead of sponges that eventually end up in the bin you’re instantly saving money and the planet. #winning Cloths and rags clean counters, bathrooms and everything in-between. Simply throw them in the washing machine when they’re not looking so great and voila.
- Go paperless. Bills, junk mail, flyers. Get rid. The digital age is here and when you can view everything online why use up all that paper?
- Swap tea bags for loose leaf. There are a million reasons for this and I can bet you any money your tea will taste better. Trust me.
- Bring your own coffee cup. Takeaway cups are the worst. You see them all over London and it sucks. I bought a Keep Cup which works wonders and even saves you money in some shops.
- Say no to freebies. It can be so tempting to say yes to that pen or keyring or whatever it is someone is using to advertise a product, but just say no. Are they really worth it?