How to be eco-friendly. It’s pretty daunting right? I’ve been making a few transitions towards a more ec0-friendly lifestyle in the last few months and I’ve been feeling super good about it. So here I am sharing my most simple zero waste tips or where I would start.
Now I am by no means an expert. Hey I’ve literally only been doing this for a month or so, I am literally at the beginning of my journey. A lot of these things I’ve mentioned are very much a ‘work in progress’. But I wanted to be as upfront and honest as possible and document my whole eco-friendly journey as it is in this blog, because going zero waste is a journey.
Here are my simple zero-waste tips
Principles of Zero Waste
Reduce, Over Recycle
My biggest point here. Recycling is great, but you know what’s even better? Not even having to produce that waste to begin with. I am a big advocate of recycling obviously, but the next problem we face is that materials such as plastic, can only be recycled once. Try not to produce the waste (or to be recycled waste) in the first place.
For example, buy a reusable coffee cup, shop at local grocers, bring your own food to work, avoid excess plastic packaging, buy in your food in bulk… the list goes on. And a lot of it is reusable
Reduce Your Meat & Dairy Intake
In so many ways, eating more veggies is good for not only you, but the environment. Changing attitudes to food is my mind equally, if not more, important than just switching your diet. Eating a more vegetarian lifestyle is more sustainable, cheaper and just tends to be healthier.
Changing attitudes towards meat and dairy I feel is just as important as simply cutting it out. By viewing meat and dairy as less of a commodity, but more of a luxury, has allowed me to transition to it a lot easier. At the moment, I’m transitioning to a vegan diet when cooking. It’s a small step, but honestly I found a lot of the food I cook is already vegan or vegetarian. Plus cooking meat for just one person is far too expensive for what it’s worth in my opinion.
Buy What You Need (Not what you want)
Learning and recomputing my brain to not want (or buy) unnecessary things has been hard.
It has however become easier since starting and it’s surprisingly liberating. At the moment I am buyings things only if I truly need them. This means that that new Glossier launch has to wait. (*cries) I buy things either to replace something that has run out or something I’ve been contemplating buying for literally months. This stops me from making those instant purchases I just never really needed and also allows me to appreciate more them when I do have to buy something new.
Everyday Practical Things To Buy For Beginners
You don’t necessarily HAVE to buy these things, but if you need to buy a new one, here are a few more zero waste and eco-friendly ideas for in your every day life. If you already have for example, plastic tupperware, don’t throw it out because that defeats the point.
Keep and use whatever you have to reduce waste. If you finish a jar of peanut butter for example, you can use that jar for something else in the future once you wash it.
Buy A Mooncup
That is, if you menstruate. Pads, tampons and disposable menstruation products aren’t easily recyclable or degradable. They tend to just hang around on landfills well, forever basically. They’re very difficult to degrade and a Mooncup is a super easy alternative that is not only tbh one of the easiest eco-friendly tips I have, but it’s also more economical in the long-term.
Buy A Bamboo Toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes are pretty f’in damaging for the planet. One billion toothbrushes were thrown away in the USA alone every year. That’s a lot of difficult to degrade plastic…
Bamboo grows super quickly, and also degrades easily (hooray!). This makes it a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes. You can easily buy a pack on Amazon. If you search on Amazon you’ll find a bunch there to choose from.
Buy A Reusable Coffee Cup
This is becoming more of a ‘mainstream’ thing, but might as well reiterate it. If you buy coffee every single morning before work, investing in a reusable coffee cup is a great idea. Not only does it protect the planet a little more, but you can also get discounts across a few chains such as Pret.
Buy Stainless Steel Tupperware (when you need it)
When you need to buy some tupperware, opt for stainless steel or glass. A classic example of these are Indian tiffin boxes which you google you will see loads of. Stainless steel and glass degrade easier and are not made of plastic (obviously… hooray!).
Opt For Stationary That’s More Long Term
Stationary is admittedly a difficult one. But every time I lose a plastic pen at work – I get a little unnerved in myself for having to get another one, that I’ve just lost. You can opt for fountain pens (refillable), pencil highlighters and more online. Tayler has a great video on this, so click here.
Simple Eco-Friendly Actions You Can Do Now
As I’ve mentioned, a lot of these things you won’t be able to do straight away. It’s in near impossible to be able to wake up one morning and be like, ‘I am zero waste now.’ But here are a few things you can do right now.
Ecosia is a web browser, just like Google. But with one big difference.
‘Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue. Get the free browser extension and use Ecosia every time you search.’ You can find more on that here as well as information on their site.
If you’re wondering I’ve made 142 searches using Ecosia by setting it as my default web browser, on average you need around 45 searches to plant a tree, so I’ve hopefully planted some trees!
Refuse Plastic Straws When Out
Plastic straws are another big issue, as you only ever get one use out of them, then they are thrown away to landfill. Refuse and don’t use them when out.
Make things from scratch
Try making things you would usually just buy at the supermarket in your own home. For instance, you could make your own almond milk, peanut butter, granola, tortillas etc. and honestly it’s so worth it, as it’s cheaper and more fulfilling. (from personal experience). A lot of these things are super easy to make and it’s also quite rewarding.
As I said, I’m by no means an expert, hell I’m literally at the beginning of my journey to be one of those minimalist, vegan babes. (#goals) Transitioning to zero waste is definitely going to be a slow process for me, for example I’m still using a plastic toothbrush as I can get use out of it.
Are you looking to go more zero waste?