If you are wondering what zero waste is all about. I’m writing here, what it means to me and how we started living zero waste.
Zero waste means, to produce as little waste as possible. It is impossible really, to produce zero waste because we are humans, even when we are dead, we degrade into highly toxic waste. Most of use have medication, pesticides, plastic and who know what in our bodies.
So it’s more about reducing waste where possible. For me it is important to reduce landfill waste as much as I can.
Landfill waste can’t be recycled or reused. It doesn’t degrade for hundreds of years and it poisons the planet, the animals as well as us and if it’s burned, it releases toxins into the air.
We really have to do something and find a solution before we ruin our planet completely. Just think, plastic has been found in human bloodstreams, as we been indigestion it with our food.
I understand that it is difficult for some to buy plastic free or in bulk, not everyone has refill/bulk shops available. Some have food intolerance, some have favourite foods that come in non recyclable packaging, some have large families and can’t afford to buy organic food in bulk shops. Not everyone is a domestic goddess or has lots of time to cook and bake.
Don’t worry! There is still plenty that we can do to reduce our waste and that’s why I want to share ways to reduce waste.
I also know that buying in bulk still produces waste, obviously the food and cleaning products come in large plastic bags and containers and are then emptied in the bulk container. It still reduces the waste from single packaging, let’s think rice.
I can buy 1 kg of rice in a small plastic bag or I can fill up some at a bulk shop without the need of extra packaging. It does make a wee difference and if you can afford it, it’s a great step in the right direction.
So how do we get started?
-First of all, whenever you go shopping: take your own bag! Plastic bags really pollute our planet, they have been found in whale stomachs, birds and fish. Its only good, they don’t give them away for free here anymore. Germany already got rid of their plastic shopping bags, well done! It’s easy to take your own bag and reuse it as long as it lasts.
-Buy Organic. We started buying organic, mostly unprocessed food. Organic food is grown with less water and without pesticides, herbicides etc., which is amazing for our health and planet.
– Buy Unpacked! We then started to buy food, that came without packaging from health food and bulk stores. Example cucumber: Organic cucumbers in a supermarket are wrapped in plastic but organic cucumber in health and bulk shops or the farmers market, are without packaging. We now get an organic fruit and veg box delivered every week. In summer month we go and pick our own berries at a farm, we pick loads and freeze what we can’t eat, so we have some for the winter.
– Get busy in the kitchen or check your local bakery! I started baking bread, cake and cookies at home or bought them at bakeries and shops that sell them in paper bags .
-Check out your local milkdelivery! We get a dairy delivery once a week (all in glass bottles) and from the milk I made my own yogurt at home.
-Take a bottle with you! I filter our tap water with a Berky water filter instead of buying bottled water. We take a reusable water bottle with us.
– Buy in glas! We buy beverages and juice in glass bottles.
-Avoid food waste! We are planning our meals to reduce food waste and I cook larger portions, so I can freeze a meal for times, when we used to order a take away/ready meal.
-Buy in bulk! I started buying foods like rice, lentils, beans etc. in bulk, using either a paper bag or my produce bags. I refill our cleaning products at the bulk shop ( washing up liquid, all-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, laundry conditioner etc.)or I make them myself using vinegar and baking soda. I refill our shampoo, conditioner and hand wash at the bulk shop and shower with a bar of soap.
-Use natural skincare! I started making my own moisturizer and we bought package fee cosmetic and hygiene products
-Brush with Bamboo! We use bamboo toothbrushes and I buy toothpaste in a metal tubes (Weleda),my husband still uses the toothpaste our dentist recommend for him. You can get tooth powder in glass jars or make it yourself, if you can bear brushing your teeth that way.
-Buy recycled toilet roll! We use recycled toilet paper in degradable packaging.
– Use reusable female hygine products! I use washable Menstruation pads, you can also use a reusable menstrual cup.
– Start cloth daipering! I used washable waterproof training pants instead of nappies when my daughter was potty training.
I still use one nappy a night for our daughter as the training pants don’t hold her wee over night. I am trying some night soaker pants soon and will update the result.
– Dont poisen your children with cheap, toxic plastic toys! I try very hard to get my daughter natural and if possible organic toys. You can also buy used toys. I just don’t like my daughter to have so much plastic, at least as long as I can decide for her 🙂
-Buy second hand! If we need new furniture we go for a natural option like wood, metal. soft furnishings from latex, wool or kapok. We also buy second-hand furniture.
These are a few thing we did when we started living non toxic and zero waste.
Simple swaps for a greener and healthier lifestyle.
When you feel like buying something in plastic, remember: It’s never going to go away, not as long as you live.