Ready to begin your zero-waste journey? With the plastic pollution in the sea rising, it's time to take action and look and where we can reduce plastic waste in our own homes. The zero-waste journey is a slow journey but one which will greatly benefit you and the planet once you start. Here are some handy tips of how you can get started:
1. Take it slow
The golden rule in starting your zero-waste journey is to not throw anything away immediately. Before you go buying reusable containers make sure you use all of your old products up first, (deodorants, soaps etc) . This gives you enough time to do your research about sustainable alternatives and means you are not being wasteful.
2. Track your waste
We talked about this in more depth in last week’s blog, but essentially you need to start observing and writing down what you throw away so you can see where you can make changes in your shopping habits. For example, seeing a lot of plastic wrapping in your bin? Then make the switch to buying unpackaged goods. It’s an easy swap to take on and will make a world of difference.
3. Shop local
Whether it's groceries or fashion, make sure you are shopping locally, sustainably and organically. When it comes to food look for zero-waste food stores or shop and your local market and suppliers. If you have to shop in the supermarket, take a look at where your groceries are shipped from, the more local the better to help minimise the footprint.
4. Repair and Recycle
Look at what you are throwing away as material rather than a product. Take a t-shirt for example. Does your t-shirt have a tiny hole? Don't be so fast to throw it away. A tiny hole can take a few seconds to sew back up with the right tools. If it is too far from saving then make sure you donate your unwanted clothes if they are in a good condition or find another use for them before coming to the last resort of throwing them away.
5. Say no to freebies
I know, who says no to a freebie? .. its FREE! but a lot of products which are given away for free are thrown in waste. Zero waste is about making the consious decision of what you really need, vs what would be nice to have.
6. Learn about your recycling
Make sure you know what should actually go in your recycling bin. It's super simple, just type you post code in Recycle Now and it will give you all the details about what can be recycled in your area. Wishful recycling is a massive player in how some waste is thrown rather than gaining a new life. Through the recycling process unwanted items will either end up on landfill, causing more pollutant resources to be used, or they could cause damage to the machines, costing the company money and preventing recycling from happening. What your friend in the neighbouring village can recycle might not correlate to what you can recycle so make sure you know what goes on your bins.
7. Always celebrate the Earth
And finally, to celebrate Earth Day look into gifts to get others. Instead of buying your usual gifts, save waste and support causes in their name. Why not donate towards the conservation of trees or support saving endangered animals. Celebrate your relationship with others by helping causes in need out.
Let us know if you are trying to make a zero-waste change by tagging us in your images using @erpinghamhouse and @erpinghamhousebtn.