The world produces more than 2 billion tonnes of waste yearly. And it is expected to increase to 3.40 billion tonnes by the year 2050, which is more than double the world’s population growth at the same time. Unless we do something to counter this, our planet will cease to be habitable
So before it’s too late, here are 10 of the most impactful zero-waste habits you can start practicing today.
1. Compost your leftovers
To compost is to recycle organic matter such as food scraps into fertilizer. It’s a process that happens naturally over time. However, composting speeds it up by providing an ideal environment for decomposing organisms to get to work.
It’s also a wonderful way to reduce methane emissions. This happens when food scraps end up in landfills, because they mix with other materials like textile and plastic. Once your leftovers have become nutrient-rich fertilizers, you can use them to improve the quality of your garden soil.
To get started on composting, try Bokashi’s Composting Starter Kit or Redmon’s 8000 Compost Bin for beginners.
2. Use Sustainable Products
Sustainable products are great not only for your skin but also for the environment. These undergo economically-sound processes and are made of natural ingredients. And often, they are biodegradable, compostable, cruelty-free, and reusable.
Switching to reusable products lessens the amount of waste we send to landfills. To start, you can replace your everyday products with their sustainable counterparts. Some examples are LastObject’s biodegradable cotton rounds, Reuuse’s eco-friendly hand soaps, and Eco by Naty’s compostable wipes.
3. Line Dry Your Clothes
Do you spin dry or tumble dry your clothes? These drying methods do not just damage your clothes overtime. They also consume a lot of electricity to work. In fact, clothes dryers waste more electricity than washing machines.
Change this habit by using a clothesline instead. It’s efficient and it keeps your clothes smelling fresh. Plus, it’s more gentle to the clothes as compared to using a clothes dryer.
4. Repair Leaks
Leaks drain more water than you know. Whether it’s a pipe or a faucet, anything that leaks can drain as much as 3,000 gallons per year. And it’s alarming considering more and more places are starting to experience water shortages.
So, repair anything that is leaking in your house. You can also take it a step further by replacing fixtures with low-flow ones like Brizo Pascal’s pull-down faucet and Moen Lindley’s single-handle faucet.
5. Bring Your Own Shopping Bag
Shops and stores produce a lot of plastic bags and paper bags for your purchases. But a majority of these bags take hundreds of years to degrade and end up polluting the environment. These are also putting species in danger!
To avoid this, how about bringing your own shopping bag instead? You can also get one from eco-friendly shops like L.L. Bean and Eco Bags.
6. Cut Down on Meat
Consuming plenty of meat is harmful to the environment. Raising cattles requires so much from our natural resources. It also produces a lot of greenhouse gases that harm the ozone layer.
To counter this, cut down on meat and make it a habit to eat more greens instead. You don’t have to do it all at once. You can trick your body by gradually reducing the usual amount of meat on your plate and then replacing that portion with vegetables. Keep doing this until you get used to eating more veggies.
And while you’re at it, how about throwing in some fruits, too? Your body will thank you for it!
7. Delete Emails
How many emails do you keep in your inbox? What about your spam folder? Well, did you know that each email produces 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide?
Your emails are stored on a server. And it requires a lot of resources such as electricity and water to maintain servers–all for your emails! So if you have a lot of unimportant emails, make it a habit to delete them. Not only will this be great for the environment, but it will also free up your email from all the clutter.
8. Donate What You Don’t Need
Keeping things that you don’t actually need requires a lot of maintenance. They eat up space and need constant cleaning. They also contribute to waste eventually, once it’s time for them to go.
If you want to live sustainably, make it a habit to donate what you don’t need. Chances are someone else needs it more than you do. Plus, you get to maximize the things that you actually need (and already have!).
9. Go Paperless With Your Bills
Do you still receive paper bills every month? Just because these are not plastic, it does not mean they don’t contribute to pollution. In fact, the paper itself creates a lot of damage to the environment: it requires about 10 liters of water just to produce a sheet of A4 paper!
So avoid this by making it a habit to go paperless with your bills every time. It will also save you from adding more clutter to your home.
10. Think Twice Before You Buy
Another great habit to help you be sustainable is by thinking twice before buying something. It helps you avoid buying on an impulse, and you get to figure out if you really need it or just want it. Remember: the less we buy, the less trash we produce.
It’s simple logic, but it goes a long way.
Going zero-waste doesn’t always take too much work, but it does take consistency. As they say, change doesn’t happen overnight. So pick a habit, stick to it, and then move on to the next habit. Eventually, you will live a zero-waste lifestyle.