We recommend starting this journey at your own pace, there’s no rush to achieve a certain goal, whatever is manageable for you. Some (but few) people will do a sudden switch going from average waster to zero-waste maker over-night. Many (but most) will make the lifestyle change more slowly, taking on the challenge at a more sustainable pace.
Either way, we think that these top 5 swaps are a great place to start.
1. Reusable water bottle
You can pick up a reusable water bottle anywhere these days, try sports or outdoor shops, zero-waste stores, online, homeware shops, department stores, gift shops, etc. There are many different options out there from glass bottles to metal ones, take your pick.
Ditching bottled water may be easier for some. If your accessible water is not drinkable, then we recommend a filtration system such as a water filter jug or tap filter, in order to purify your water before drinking it.
Nowadays, many supermarkets and stores will charge you to take a plastic bag. Plastic bags can be very harmful to our planet, so why not stop using them altogether and take your own totebag when you do your shopping? We advise to always keep it handy on you (in your backpack or briefcase, whatever floats your boat) and then you’re never caught off-guard. These can be purchased in many places such as; gift stores, retail shops, low-waste friends.
You can find awesome little wraps made especially for bamboo cutlery or you can simply pick a knife, fork and spoon out of your cutlery draw and bring them with you in a napkin. Either way, you’re avoiding using the plastic options that are usually on offer when we grab food on the go.
4. Re-usable coffee cup.
If you’re as addicted to coffee as we are, then you’ll know about the urgency we sometimes experience to grab a cup of coffee when rushing to work or a meeting in the morning. Imagine all of the take-away coffee cups that are used once and then thrown away. By using your own re-usable option, you are saving so much single-use waste. You can pick up a re-usable cup from many coffee shops, retail stores, online, outdoor shops.
5. Metal straws
Whether you’re a party going mojito drinker or an early morning green juicer, you’ve probably encountered the numerous plastic straws that are typically offered for our drinks. Many people are now refusing the straw and some establishments have eliminated them completely. But if you like to use a straw (be it for medical purposes or for the sake of your pearly whites) then we recommend using an alternative. There are so many different options available these days including; metal, bamboo, paper, pasta, vegetable … the list goes on.
We’d also like to point out that going zero-waste doesn’t have to be a huge investment of buying lots of new things. Why not ask friends if they have any extra water bottles or thermos mugs? Or looking in your cupboards and seeing what bags could serve as your day to day reusable bag. You’ll probably be surprised about how many plastic-free options you have.
Good luck with beginning your journey to a lower waste lifestyle. Once you’ve mastered the art of these everyday swaps, why not try to progress to an even lower-waster? Here’s the link to our next step suggestions. (link)