20 Oct 5 Tips for Cultivating a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Is a truly zero-waste lifestyle possible, or will we always require waste removal for some items? While that extreme level of waste reduction seems unrealistic, an NYU environmental science major claims that she was able to fit all of her waste from four years into just one 16 oz. jar!
While that level of waste removal may not be realistic for everyone, zero-waste is put forth as an ideal to emphasize the importance of striving to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. If you’re looking to do your part in preserving our beautiful earthly home, here are five zero-waste tips to try:
A zero-waste lifestyle goes hand in hand with a less materialistic, more minimalist way of life. Think twice before buying just about anything, from consumer goods to furniture to clothing and electronics. Do you really need it?
2. Make Plastic the Enemy
One of the first things those striving for a zero-waste existence do is cut out plastics from their lives as much as possible. Plastics take a long time to decompose in landfills, and some types take many decades, such as Styrofoam. Avoid buying items made of plastic or packaged in plastic whenever possible.
3. Favor Reusable Items
Instead of using tissue, carry a cloth handkerchief. Phase all single-use products out of your life such as plastic dishware, silverware and straws. Buy higher quality items that last instead of disposable varieties. Doing so can cost you less in the long run as well.
4. Filter Your Own Water
Instead of buying water in bottles, jugs or from a delivery service, invest in a water filtration pitcher and filter your tap water. When taking water along with you, use a reusable glass or safe metal bottle to transport it.
5. Think Ahead
Most importantly, whenever you purchase anything at all, think ahead to its entire life cycle. How long will it last? Is it breakable or durable? Where will it end up at the end of its life cycle? Can it be recycled or refurbished? How much of a carbon footprint does buying and using the item leave? Be thoughtful about every item you purchase and mindful of its potential impact on the environment.
Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle takes some time, planning and effort. It likely won’t happen overnight. However, once you start thinking in these terms, the zero-waste lifestyle gets easier over time.
Use these five tips to make it easier to reduce, reuse and recycle instead of discarding things into the dumpster or trash container. While this lifestyle requires some sacrifices, it is also very rewarding to know you are helping the planet through sustainable living.
At Lakeshore Recycling Systems, we believe in the zero-waste ideal. While we offer premier waste management and dumpster services, we can also assist you with all your recycling needs. Contact us for more insights about reducing your business or residential waste production and being kinder to the environment.