The notion of a zero waste lifestyle can be unnerving, particularly when its new to you. However, the sad truth is we live in a world, where our way of life is gradually deteriorating the environment. Take a look at some of the statistics behind it all.
• The average person generates over 4 pounds of waste every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
• We use around 500 million plastic bags every week in the UK, and each will take between 500 – 1000 years to decompose in a landfill
• We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road
• Each UK family goes through an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually, that end up at a landfill (glass is one of the very few products that can be completely recycled again and again).
When it comes to the kitchen, we face a great deal of waste, whether its plastic bin bags, egg boxes or over-ripe fruit, it all ends up in a landfill leading to greenhouse gases. The good news is; you can do your part to combat global warming, it all starts in the kitchen with a zero waste policy. Follow these 7 tips to begin your path towards a zero waste lifestyle.
1) Swap Disposables for Reusables
This requires using glass containers and jars as food storage, cloth shopping bags for plastic bags and reusable cloths for paper towels.
2) Bulk Buy
Buying in bulk reduces your packaging to product ratio. If you visit stores that sell food from large bulk bins, take containers from home such as jars or cloth bags to avoid packaging.
3) Find New Uses for Food Waste
Over-ripe bananas are great for baking, orange peels can be used to repel mosquitos, coffee grounds keep ants away and can get rid of odours. This is just a select few of many examples.
4) Prepare Lunch from Home
Not only does food from home eliminate waste packaging but it saves you money and is no doubt richer in nutritional value.
5) Say No to Plastic
Plastic has the single biggest impact on our environment. No more bin liners, you can use the bin without and wash it. Avoid buying bottled water, tap water is fine, and finally if you use or buy plastic bags at the supermarket, try investing in a cloth bag instead.
6) Start a Compost Collection
A compost pile can be put to great use in your own garden as fertilizer or if not for this use, some councils provide a compost collection scheme, which is well worth looking into. It is also important to note, compost sucks carbon out of the air, providing a solution for not only disposing of food but also saving the world.
7) Recycle as Last Resort
Many materials that are recycled, are in fact down cycled – meaning even after they are re-made into shopping bags or plastic bottles, they still end up at a landfill in the end.
Total zero waste is a huge challenge; it doesn’t happen overnight but if you can achieve just one of the above tips, you’ll be well on the road to a greener lifestyle.