To start a zero waste lifestyle, let me share how you how you can get started with my experience
- Do your research, it can be hard to change your ways without the “why”.
- Study your municipalities waste pickup guidelines for waste, compost and recycling disposals.
- Read material regarding environmental problems on land and sea, our health as well as the plants and animals.
- Learn about single use plastics
- Make an inventory list of the products you buy in about a years time frame
- Kitchen and bathroom are the major areas to list
- write out the packaging types for each product
- Highlight in different colours the single use plastics via waste, recyclables, reusables, compost, glass, tin etc . . . (This all depends on the municipality’s waste disposal guidelines).
- Learn where your bulk stores are for shopping package free or where you can bring your own containers.
- Work on a couple items at a time, searching for alternatives to get away from the plastic packaging. Cutting out the compostable packaging is a good idea as well, as resources are used to create them too. Unpackaged is best, glass can be reused at home and metal is highly recyclable. (again, follow the municipality’s guidelines for recycling).
- Seek out what products you can buy that are local, like at Farmer’s Markets and small businesses.
- Make your own products
- Cloth produce bags and cloth bags for shopping for dry goods with a tare weight on them
- Find some do it yourself projects and create or repurpose
- Search out recipes you can make from scratch to avoid packaging and with healthy fresh ingredients.
- Advocate to companies to change their ways via packaging.
- Your voice matters, speak up
- Nothing wrong with asking or suggesting changes, you may be surprised!
- Share what you learn with everyone.
- Even if people don’t seem to care or notice, your planting seeds that will grow in the future, when they see the “why”.
- Try to be kind and understanding if others don’t see your way, you were once in those shoes. This may be one of the hardest parts of living zero waste.
- Educate with your own experiences and the way you live day to day. Your actions speak louder than words; lead by example.
You can browse my page, Managing Our Waste at Home, which I had dedicated 18 months to how we transitioned to a zero waste lifestyle.
Here is a list of experiences I have learned.
- Small changes are best. Trying to change many things can be chaotic and stressful. This takes time!
- Organizing and changing spaces in the home will be frequent until the space is utilized for your use and purpose.
- Do not cut out products unless you have a better solution to replace it With. Example: Packaged food, you will be hungry! Lots of kids snacks are packaged. Don’t cut those out until you can provide similar nourishment with no or less packaging.
- If you make a purchase and realize later you could have done better, don’t worry about it! Lesson learned! Keep moving forward!
- If you can’t find a better way to get your item without packaging, don’t sweat over it if you need it!
- Medicine is essential. Do not skip out on it when you need it.
- Can you cut back on some items? Can you live without it?
- Do not throw out items because it is plastic or wasteful. Use them until worn out or donate/sell to someone who can use them.
- Make a list of things you want to improve.
- Keep a record of the changes you made so you can look back at the good you’ve done, what you have learned and what else can be improved. Sharing this to others can be inspirational!
- Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Rot, Recycle. We should strive for these R’s, in this order.
Areas of the home and more for change
Make your own deodorant
Baby and Kids
Paper towel wipes, rather than wasteful baby wipes and package
Birthday Party decorations
Some examples of reusable items to have around the home