Going zero waste, or getting as close to it as possible, has become a hot topic for people concerned with just how much the environment is suffering at the hands of the demands of the consumer. Getting to a zero waste lifestyle doesn’t have to be extreme, and the people who have the most success with it take it one step at a time. Here are 5 easy ways to get closer to being completely zero waste.
Forget the single use containers
So much waste is just unnecessary, and we can think of no less necessary waste than single-use containers. Coffee cups, plastic bags, water bottles; these items intended to be used only once are an enormous source of waste and much of the time, they aren’t properly recycled. They wind up in landfills or even worse, in the natural environment. Cutting back on and eventually eliminating your reliance on single-use containers is a huge, but easily achieved, step in becoming zero waste.
Reduce your takeout
Eating takeout food is so easy and pretty delicious too, but the waste from takeout food is reaching epidemic levels. Plastic bags and styrofoam takeout containers aren’t easily recyclable most places. More and more, restaurants are turning to recycled and recyclable takeout containers, but waste is waste, even if it can be recycled. You can reduce takeout waste by bringing your own to-go boxes with you, but ultimately, cooking at home is going to produce far less waste than going out.
Embrace bar soap
Liquid soap is convenient, but nine times out of ten, these soaps come in thick plastic containers. These containers can be recycled, but the goal of the zero waste movement isn’t to create more recycling but to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Most bar soaps come packaged in small paper-based boxes that can also be recycled. So bar soap technically creates waste, but it is significantly less waste than liquid soap which brings us one step closer to being fully zero waste.
Purchase a safety razor
In the United States alone, more than 2 billion plastic razors are thrown away. These razors, while made of plastic, cannot be recycled. We can all take steps to reduce this waste by purchasing all metal safety razors. Not only do they provide a better, closer shave, but the blades can be recycled and refill blades cost much less than buying new razors.
Make your dental hygiene routine green
If you have a toothbrush sitting in your bathroom right now (we really hope you do), there’s a good chance that it’s made of unrecyclable plastic. If you floss (again, we really hope you do!) it’s also probably made from non-recyclable plastic. Bamboo toothbrushes are a popular alternative to their plastic counterparts. The bamboo portion is recyclable, which reduces how much waste is being generated. 100% natural floss that comes in a refillable container is also an option.