•by Green Friday TeamCircular Economy
We live in a world the demand for our planet’s resources soar and sustainability has never been more important. These days it can be extremely hard to ditch single-use plastic but there are a few small steps we can all take to live more sustainably. Your path to reducing waste can be fun and exciting as you find out new ways of doing things and building new habits. For example, swapping the takeaway plastic coffee cup for one that’s reusable, or making the most of all the food you have in the house. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, these are our favourite zero waste tips you can slowly start incorporating into your everyday life:
1. Bring your own reusable bag
Using what you already have is what zero waste is all about! Reusable shopping bags are readily available seeing as most supermarkets don’t provide single-use plastic bags anymore. The hardest part about reusable bags is actually remembering to bring them. Some good ways to remind yourself is to keep a stash in the boot of your car, by the front door or set reminders on your phone. You could even store some laundry baskets in your car boot and load your shopping straight from your trolley into the car and ditch the bag altogether. This also means fewer trips from your car to your house when you’re unpacking your shopping. It’s a win-win!
2. Reusable coffee cup
Everyone loves a morning pick-me-up, especially when it comes in the form of a delicious warm beverage. In an ideal world, we would have the luxury of sitting at a cafe and sipping away on our coffees but sometimes this is just not realistic. That’s why most of us opt for the takeaway version. Unfortunately, most takeaway coffee cups and lids are lined with or made from plastic, making them unrecyclable. A simple switch you can make is bringing your own reusable coffee cup from home. You can find some really great brands like rCup, KeepCup, and Frank Green that make good quality, stylish reusable coffee cups. If you do end up forgetting your reusable cup, just ditch the lid. Refusing the lid means you’re refusing more plastic from entering our landfills!
3. Meal Prepping
Did you know in Australia, 7.6 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year? It’s not only the food that’s wasted but also the energy and the water that went into producing it in the first place. If you start planning your meals in advance, you’ll not only reduce how much food you chuck out but save some money in the process. Start bookmarking meal inspiration, and any recipes you’ve been dying to try, and only grab the ingredients you need. There are some awesome fresh produce delivery services such as Good & Fugly that package up quality produce that hasn’t made it to supermarkets because it isn’t cosmetically perfect. Another way to get your groceries is by bulk food shopping and avoiding all that extra packaging and waste that comes with supermarket shopping. By planning your meals ahead of time, you’re more likely to not order in (and deal with the extra takeaway plastic). If you don’t end up eating all the food you prepped, you can easily freeze it for later. Meal prepping doesn’t exist to limit you but help you understand how much food you’re utilising and wasting.
4. Join the sharing economy
Start buying less, borrowing more, and preventing more stuff from ending up in landfill. There are so many ways we can all start contributing to the ~$8bn share economy in Australia, but one great way is to join a rental marketplace like Releaseit. You can access the latest and greatest brands at just a fraction of the cost of buying brand new, from Bugaboo baby strollers, designer dresses, and Teslas to camper vans for your next adventure, Releaseit has it. The more stuff we own that doesn’t get used isn’t just wasteful but also harmful. Experience it all without owning a thing.
5. Educate yourself
There are so many resources out there to start learning more about sustainable living. Netflix has a host of documentaries to check out, and we have a handful of recommendations for you. Kiss the Ground,’ educates us on soil and the ways it can combat climate change. It features climate activists, scientists, farmers and public figures like Ian Somerhalder. Another one to check out is ‘Down to Earth,’ hosted by Zac Efron where he travels the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to share more sustainable ways to live. ‘Brave Blue World’ is about the world’s water shortage crisis and features Matt Damon & Jaden Smith. You can’t skip past the legendary David Attenborough's ‘Life on our Planet’, which tells his story of encountering remarkable creatures but also witnessing the rapid destruction of their habitats. Or you can sign up to online zero waste communities that are constantly sharing information and tips, such as Zero Waste Australia, Zero Waste, Zero Judgment, and Zero Waste Australia.
The journey towards zero-waste is becoming more and more mainstream. It’s never been more important than today to start making small steps towards living more sustainably, for our health and our planet’s health. It’s all about the journey to living with zero waste. Every small change will have a collective positive impact.