Reducing waste is difficult but totally achievable. I am nowhere near living a waste-free life but even the small changes can make a difference. Imagine if nobody used plastic bags and bottles, there’d be so much less pollution! Since the best thing to do is leading by example, here are my 5 baby steps toward leading a less wasteful life.
- Ditch plastic bags. Carry a cotton tote bag with you at all times. Plastic bags are polluting (it takes more than 1000 years to get rid of them), uncomfortable to carry and ugly. Carrying a small cotton tote bag takes 0 effort and makes a huge difference for the environment.
- Get a stainless steel reusable bottle. Not only it’s so much better for the environment, but also for your health. Stainless steel bottles are indestructible, keep your water cold and they make water taste better than plastic. If you are a coffee-on-the-go aficionado, think about a reusable cup as well. You can ask your local coffee shop to just fill it up. They won’t mind!
- Bring your lunch box. Bringing your own homemade lunch to work has multiple positives. You’ll end up eating healthier, save money and avoid all the over-packaging used by restaurants and supermarkets. Maybe you can even learn how to cook better!
- Buy local. Supermarkets (at least in the UK) use a ton of useless and non recyclable packaging. I understand that buying from local shops and farmers markets can be more expensive, but think about the positive impact on your life. The food will be healthier, tastier and fresher. You will probably buy less and avoid food waste. At the same time, you will produce less packaging waste and help your local economy!
- Think twice before throwing anything away. Throwing something away shouldn’t be the norm. You can reuse or donate (or sell!) almost everything you own. Remember: one man’s trash is someone else’s treasure.
Need a push? If your friends are not willing to try this experiment with you, try to find people who are. You will find waste-free meet ups almost wherever you are and if you don’t, you can always organise your own.
We can do it!