How to live a less wasteful life?

Healthy living is not only about your nutritious diet and regular exercise it’s about combining these factors with mindful living on a daily basis. By this I don’t only mean your fellow human beings but all beings and organisms around the World!

A more detailed insight into our consumptive lives shows us how adversely we can impact the nature and our closest surroundings… but there’s a lot we can do to improve our daily routines to ultimately improve our future!

Another advantage besides ecological is the economical improvement to your household - yes, you might need to spend some money to get the alternatives to your day-to-day products but over time you’ll definitely save some serious coin!

Here’s a few tips that might help you start living a bit less wasteful, but don’t fool yourself.. it doesn’t happen overnight so take your time & step by step you’ll get closer to living ‘zero waste’ life!

1. No more paper towels!

 Switch from your paper towels to microfibre cloths or tea towels - they can be washed and reused over again! Even better - make your own cloths out of clothes you don’t wear, don’t want anymore! 

2. Give up plastic bags/ plastic foil

Yes, it is so much easier to grab a bag provided in the shop but there’s soooo many alternatives nowadays, and don’t even try to tell me you don’t own a tote bag - EVERYONE has one. So next time you’re grocery shopping resist the urge to grab a minion plastic bags or already wrapped products & take your own bags & boxes and use the bulk isle where you can get, guess what, the exact amounts you actually need. Not only better for the environment but also cheaper!

To cover your half-used veggies, bowls with leftovers use a beeswax based wrap or lid, can be washed & reused!  

3. Compost bin

Even if you’re not big on cooking at home you probably still produce a lot of compostable waste ie. tea bags (a lot of those are compostable now), coffee grounds, banana peels, leftovers etc.. A next step from having 2 bins - recyclables & general waste - is getting a compost bin (if you like to cook it’s a MUST) you can get them in many different shapes & sizes, most of them are odourless as well.  

4. Water saving home-style!

Most of us don’t realise but the biggest water waste producers at home are… showers! Washing machines, toilets & dishwashers are close behind! There are many ways to save water on all of the above. Showers - switch to a water-saving shower head, it limits the amount of water going through per minute - very useful! Washing machines - use the quick mode, you can put it on a delicate, cotton or colour program - it does your washing faster & uses less water! Since we’re on the topic it’s also much better to air dry your clothes and you can get a decent air dryer for a tenner, over time you’ll save quite a bit on electricity! Toilets - same as showers - invest in a water-saving flush. Dishwashers are pretty useful and in food industry used all the time for sanitary reasons my advise is - FILL THEM UP to the top, one of the easiest steps to start with 😉 

5. Lunchboxes, cutlery & reusable cups

Lunch - everyone has it, everyone loves it! But admit it - most lunches end up with a box after your main, packet after the crisps & a plastic bottle after the drink… Why not make your lunch at home pop it in a fancy lunchbox? Make your coffee and use your own personalised cup? If you insist on going out why not enjoy it to the fullest & instead of taking away in a bulk of packaging eat in and use the cutlery & crockery provided? All food businesses are trying to make all their packaging recyclable or compostable but why not take it a step further & get a discount for bringing your own packaging?  

6. Plan your meals - shopping/ farmer’s markets/ loose veg etc/ tea & coffee

Planning your meals might be a bit hard at first but ultimately makes your life much easier. Not only will you know the exact amounts of groceries you’ll need but you’ll also produce much less waste! Shopping is much better in bulk and at local shops/ farmer’s markets - this way you’re minimising the transportation of the produce & support local economy! Get loose fruits, veggies, grains, pastas, tea & coffee (also invest in a tea strainer & maybe a french press & appreciate the real flavours!). 

7. Freeze leftovers

In case of any leftovers do freeze them before they go off! They won’t loose any nutritional value and can be defrosted ONCE. In case of raw leftovers they last ageeees in the freezer 🙂  

8. Toiletries

Similar to homemade reusable cloths you can use your old cotton clothes to make small patches and use on a daily basis instead of disposable cottons! They can be washed and reused but just to be safe not to stain them you might want to rinse them after using 😉

Using wooden ear buds makes a big change as well - even better - clean your ears while you shower! 

9. Water filter

Invest in a water filter! Yes they’re pricey but not if you compare it to the amount you spent on bottled drinks! Or use activated charcoal bars as we do in Arapina - they’re long lasting and have no packaging (besides the paper bag they come in)! Both options combined with reusable water bottles save us from buying sooooo many plastic bottles.  

10. Transportation

The oldest trick - ditch your car! If you don’t have that option at least try to carpool! But other than that there’s so many options. Walking & cycling add to your physical health whereas public transport is useful for further voyages & definitely better than using your car on a daily basis! 

11. Shopping

When it comes to clothes & household items it’s always good to go for durability & timelessness instead of price - by the rule of short term loss for a long term gain! Another thing worth checking is second hand, giveaways - whether it’s a charity shop around the corner or a site you found online, there is some real treasures out there! 

12. Don’t throw away!

According to the previous point - once you got tired of a piece of furniture or maybe stopped wearing a piece of clothing instead of chucking it away think it through… First - it might have another application just needs some imagination, second - give it to a friend or donate to a charity shop, third - sell it! Especially if it’s furniture, not only you’re being responsible but you can also make something on it! 

And that’s just a few to start you off on the right path! As you start getting more into zero waste living you’ll realise that you can find a way to be less wasteful at almost every step in your life! 

Working in a healthy lifestyle bakery definitely got me more into how we live our daily lives and how can we live better! You should try it too! It’s good for the Planet and feels sooooo good 🙂

Have you started already?! Share your ‘zero waste’ wisdom!

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Izabela Deputat

Creative & Marketing Associate

Izabela Deputat