Top Ways to Achieve Zero Waste at Your Home

Zero waste is a movement that has been vastly popularized by millennials. It is essentially a culture of not leaving anything behind. With the condition that our planet is in right now, in terms of trash, it makes a lot of sense. People are becoming more conscious of their footprint and it’s a great thing.

Although a lot of people know about it, not many actually commit.

  • I could never stop using tissues, I’m allergic to pollen!
  • I love snacks too much, this is impossible.
  • Someone else will take care of the planet, I don’t have to do it.

People come up with all these excuses, but what they really need to do is assess the amount of trash they make. We all leave a massive scar on our home planet that will take centuries to heal. So, is it really that hard?

In this article, we will look into the ways you can make your home zero-waste (or at least reduce your carbon footprint). Let’s dive in!

Reduce

We all have heard this popular motto by now: reduce, reuse, recycle. But what does it actually mean?

First, you have to analyze the items in your home. Think about what you use on a daily basis and what items are just lying around waiting to get tossed. That’s the reduce part. But reducing doesn’t necessarily mean throwing away. A lot of things have much more uses than you might think. If it says “vinegar” on the packaging, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be turned into a multi-purpose cleaner.

Remember all the papers you have lying around? Your old essays, books, and lecture notes don’t need to take up that much space. You can use a recorder during the lectures and type your essays. Nowadays, most schools accept digital submissions. Besides, if you ordered an essay from Essay Pro, you wouldn’t have to go through any trouble at all! So, start with decluttering. Pile up all the old paper, plastic and everything that doesn’t have a use in your household. But read till the end before tossing it all in the trash!

Reuse

Now, think again. Which of the things you don’t need can have another life? You can look up upcycling projects if you like to DIY. Donating your old clothes and your child’s toys is always a good thing to do. Our generation is more likely to toss something, while our parents would always mend and fix the old things.

We should all learn from them! If something is broken, it doesn’t mean that it’s never going to work again. Call your dad, he’ll know what to with a broken kettle or a TV remote. If you replace an item, there’s no guarantee that the new one won’t break in the same amount of time. But if you fix it, you will boost your self-esteem, not to mention the broken item working again.

Recycle

If you live in a big city, recycling is as easy as it can be. A recycling bin is probably right around the corner. It only takes a little more walking than usual. Almost every plastic container is recyclable, so zero-waste doesn’t mean you can’t buy snacks anymore.

reduce_reuse_recycle

You just need to learn some ground rules:

  • Wash the plastic thoroughly;

If you put a container that has a small trace of food in it into a recycling bin, the whole batch will be wasted.

  • Recycle it right.

Every recyclable plastic item has a number on it. That number indicates the kind of mix used. You have to toss the right things in the recycling center for them to get recycled properly.

  • Research.

Find the closest place to you that accepts organic waste. If you live in a house, make place for a compost pile. If there isn’t enough space, you can buy a composting bin, or make it yourself.

How Do I Get Started?

You don’t have to quit cold turkey. But once the idea gets planted into your mind, you will see yourself becoming more mindful of what you buy and what you toss. Start little by little. Follow these simple steps below.

  • Buy in bulk

If you buy in bulk, you won’t suddenly run out of something. Making a pantry essentials list is also beneficial.

  • Bring your own containers or bags to the store

Even if you don’t have those fancy reusable bags, it’s not a problem. Everybody has plastic bags lying around. Keep a few in your purse in case you go to the grocery store after work. Plastic is durable and reusable.

  • Have containers for food takeout as well
  • Refuse the unnecessary

Do you really need to pick up a receipt at the store? What about that flyer from a promoter in the street? Politeness should not be the reason to bring trash to your home.

  • Use the same cleaner for everything

A whole shelf of cleaners for every single surface is just marketing. If you look at the ingredients, they are mostly the same. Dilute vinegar with water and use that to clean surfaces in your home. You can even use it on glass, it doesn’t leave traces.

  • Stop buying single-use items;

Paper towels are not a necessity. You can use regular towels for as long as you want. Just wash them regularly.

Wrapping Up

There are many brands that support the zero waste movement. You don’t have to suddenly start making beauty products yourself if you have never done that before. You can just take your own containers to the store, or bring the old one for a refill. Once you start doing that, you will see that you’re not alone. If you get a friend or your whole family to join you, the journey to zero-waste will become a walk in a park!

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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