How to Go Zero Waste at Home

Zero waste probably sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? You want to be environmental-friendly and cut down on wastage but aren’t sure how to go about it. You have a pile of garbage or storeroom full of junk that you’ve never cleaned out cause well, life.

Honestly, when my friend told me about zero waste, I literally scratched my head and went like, “What’s zero waste?”

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You’d think I’d committed some evil crime the way my friend looked at me for not knowing about it. (I’m sorry, okay? Don’t give me that look, pleaseeeeee?)

What’s Zero Waste?

Anyway, zero waste is apparently a thing. It’s actually become a lifestyle for some. A zero waste lifestyle is more than recycling your average plastic bottles and papers.  It’s about sending nothing to landfills and avoiding the destruction of resources. Landfills are basically sites for the disposal of waste materials by burying them. It doesn’t mean more recycling - more of the opposite! It’s basically recycling nothing instead. We find ways to avoid having recycling material at all.

 

Aish, you think. Sounds like a lot of work! But is it worth it? Yep! Cause you’re playing a huge part in saving the environment!

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Be decisive about it and don’t hesitate.

 

The key to living a life with Zero Waste is… *cue drum roll*

 

Being DECISIVE!

 

Want to buy that awesome shirt but don’t need it? Don’t buy it! Shiny new headphones with all the features you want? Nope nope nope nope nope. AVOID IT. Don’t even look at it. Run!

Where do I start?

Be decisive. Avoid, Refuse, Switch, Reuse and Reduce.

You want to avoid letting waste going into landfills and the destruction of resources, so keep that in mind when shopping :) You also want to be able to use them for as long as possible. Broken toothbrushes don’t count by the way...you should replace those like once a month.

If you can find a way to reuse those materials, even better~

Top 5 Fabulous Beginner Tips

1. Avoid

Avoid buying things that you don’t need. If you’ve a whole wardrobe full of clothes, don’t get any more. Seriously haha. You don’t want to accumulate too much stuff until you can’t walk to your own bedroom :P

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If you really do have to buy, check out the materials of the stuff.  Take a look at what your products are made of and their packaging before buying. Items made of wood, stainless steel and glass are good.

A good example is using a wood dish brush instead of a plastic dish sponge. You can compost the wood dish brush after its lifespan runs out. If you use plastic dental floss, you can use silk dental floss in a refillable glass container instead.

2. Refuse

Refuse, refuse, refuse all waste. (Sounds so easy to say kan?)  Fight them junk mails! It’s a waste of resources and time. Turn down them freebies if you don’t need them. Ask yourself before taking: do I really need another “free” pen? Notebook? If you accepted but don’t need any, give it to a friend or someone who you think needs one.

 

“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life.

Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.

- Roy T. Bennett

3. Reuse

Instead of disposable, go for reusable. Look for reusable options. Paper towels to cloth towels, cloth bowl covers and reusable wraps - you get the point. You can usually find reusable and sustainable alternatives for disposable items.

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4. Reduce

Time to reduce the clutter! Piled up plates, boxes and bottles cluttered along the hallway? A closet bursting with clothes? Yeah...no. Time to separate them into piles into “Keep”, “Reuse”, and “Junk”. “Recycle” if it doesn’t fit into any of the 3 categories. Try and do this once a month. You’ll be amazed at how much more organized your home will be.

5. Recycle

So you've gone through all the steps and done it all. But there's still stuff piled up? No worries. Recycling is your friend.

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Sort them according to the six main categories:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Textiles
  • Organics
  • Metals
  • Paper

After sorting them out, pack them and get them to a recycling center :)

 

It’s also good to know about the local recycling policies and locations. Check the life-cycle of your purchases.

Also, buy your stuff in bulk or second-hand. If you need to buy new stuff, go for glass, metal or cardboard. Avoid plastic if you can cause a lot of it gets shipped across internationally for recycling and usually ends up in a landfill or ocean :(

Stuff That Can Help

Compost bins are structures that help with turning materials into fertilizer. Perfect for gardening! More so if you’ve been spending money on fertilizer - this helps save you tons of money in the long run.

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Get a compost bucket for the kitchen or bathroom. There’s a lot of stuff that’s compostable. Paper towels, toilet paper, nail clippings, floor sweepings, dust bunnies, pizza boxes, matches, 100% cotton balls, our hair...well, you get the point.

If you’re not sure if it’s compostable, just Google it for good measure. Do make sure that the site is credible though. And make sure it’s a secure site (the link should start with https or have a closed lock icon in the beginning).

Before we end, here's a video to help :)

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