How to Get Your Individual Zero Waste Journey Started
Are you interested in learning more about how you can start your zero-waste within your personal life and in your community? We’ve put together some useful resources and guides to help you explore what the path to zero-waste could look like for you.
At Keep America Beautiful®, we encourage everyone to make it a priority to reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle at home, at work, and on the go. Additional steps to living a zero-waste lifestyle include refusing and repairing. Here are 6 ways to get started.
- Analyze your purchasing behavior
- From the food you buy to the clothes you wear, take a look at what items you can live without or make yourself. Purchase items that have good quality and will last a long time. Tidy up your home, donate unneeded items, and consider different ways you can reuse an item. You can also consider renting items that you do not plan to use every day.
- Buy in bulk
- Visit the local grocery store with the largest bulk food aisle. Keep in mind that it is important to find a store that permits you to weigh (or ‘tare’) your own bags and containers before filling. Items such as glass jars, stainless steel containers, or cloth bags can be used to store your items.
- Refuse unnecessary products and promotional items
- Saying no can be hard, but first, think about if you need this item and whether you can save it from entering the landfill within a year. Many promotional items are often made with cheap materials that are not durable. Instead, consider investing in items that can be used for years for multiple purposes.
- Change up your commute
- Cars produce one of the highest carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. Consider biking, rideshares, or taking public transportation when commuting.
- Reconsider what you’re currently using
- Can you replace some of the products you buy with others that come package-free? Find various alternatives to things like personal care products and cosmetics, such as using a bar of soap or shampoo bar rather than the liquid that is in a container. Click here for tips on zero-waste bathroom habits from I Love A Clean San Diego, a Keep America Beautiful affiliate.
- Reduce food waste
- Plan out your meals for the week, and reuse ingredients across multiple meals. Rather than throwing away scraps, from vegetable remnants to eggshells, you can compost them into nutrient-rich fertilizer. Put fruits and vegetables on the brink of going bad in the freezer to be used later for other items, such as soups and smoothies. Additionally, consider working with local farmers or subscribe to services that take the ugly produce and deliver it to your door. Click here for more tips on zero-waste grocery shopping from Everything Bags Inc.
If you do purchase single-use products at times, be sure to dispose of these items responsibly and recycle what you can. Click here to learn more about what you can recycle locally.
Keep America Beautiful is hosting the webinar series “Exploring the Transition to Zero-Waste Communities” now through May 20, featuring industry leaders, sustainability experts, and more in discussions about their journey to zero waste and how they define what it means for cities, towns, and rural communities to be waste-free. Learn more and sign up here.