Carboon Zero Waste Challenge
Updated: Jan 21
Zero waste can feel daunting, overwhelming even unachievable. All we are trying to do is take small steps together to a more considered life. bellow are just ideas, to get you thinking.
When we simplify our lives, avoiding waste gets a whole lot easier. Zero waste and minimalism can work together at helping up to consider how our decisions (about what to buy) affects the world around us, not just our personal space. By striving to buy less, choose well, make do or do without, and to use things up until there's nothing left, we can live a more considered, less wasteful life.
Simplifying our lives often starts with decluttering. Decluttering responsibly not only helps us make space in our homes and our lives, we can donate the things we don't need or want anyone to those who do. What's left are the things that are either useful or beautiful to us, and preventing clutter from creeping back in can help us to avoid waste in the future.
Simplifying our lives is a big task that can take years. It's about living a more considered life that enables us to be ore mindful of how we live our lives through the choices we make and how those choices affect the lives of others. Removal of non-essential stuff enables us to avoid excess and live with less so that we can be happier and healthier, helping us to appreciate what we have and focus on what's important.
"The small steps we take on our own, can become big ones when taken together."
Make sustainable swaps
There are so many ways we can live more sustainably by making small changes to our habits. This list of zero waste swaps covers everything from the daily essentials to kitchen utensils, and can help us to reduce the waste we create or perhaps even avoid it completely. Making these swaps is more manageable if you work through each section, making changes where you can whenever you can. It can be tempting to throw out the plastic you already have in favour of exciting new sustainable products but there's nothing sustainable about waste! Use up what you already have, buy only what you need, and shop second-hand if you can. As you use up your old products in plastic bottles and tubs, you can replace them with more eco-friendly, plastic-free alternatives.
A big part of zero waste living is knowing what you can change and accepting what you can't. Focus on the habits shifts that reduce your environmental impact and make the sustainable swaps you're able to but there are some important truths about zero waste living. As individuals we can take responsibility for the purchases we make and the habits we adopt based on our circumstances. We have to take into account everything from price to accessibility to convenience and sustainability. For low waste living to be sustainable, it has to be sustainable for us as individuals too.
There are some zero waste swaps I can't or won't make and a few wasteful things I still buy for a variety of reasons. While I encourage you to make as many sustainable habits shifts as you can, I also encourage you not to feel discouraged or disheartened when you're unable to, Our mental health is important to, we can see the world and have adventures, this is a journey that together can make big changes with the ;little steps we take as individuals.
Questions to ask to stop yourself buying things you do not need.
• Why do I want this?
• Is this the right one?
• Do I already own something similar?
• Can I afford it?
• Does it add value to my life?
Reduce single use plastics and avoidable waste
When we think of zero waste living the first thing we think of is often plastic. While there are bigger environmental issues to tackle than packaging, it is one we have a good amount of control over as individuals. We can often choose not to buy pre-packaged snacks, plastic wrapped produce, and disposable cups, and so "no" to unnecessary freebies and junk mail. It takes a little bit of effort and perseverance as well as the willingness to change habits but we can, as individuals, reduce the amount of avoidable waste we create - and we have a responsibility to do so.
Avoiding this waste can be super easy or super hard depending on your lifestyle, where you live, and your ability to do something about it. These are the ways you can go plastic-free, some habits might be easy to adopt while others might be difficult to avoid. Work through the list and do the best you can. Stopping junk mail can be relatively easy if you're willing to fight it for a few months, and reusing plastic we already own is easy enough that we can all do it.
Say "no" to the things you don't need, like single-use cutlery and napkins or pointless plastic freebies. Reduce the amount of packaged snacks you buy by making you own food instead. Limit the amount of fast food you eat and either eat in or take your own containers to sidestep the waste it creates. When it comes to the holidays, rethink gifting by talking to friends and family; ask for zero waste gifts, switch to low waste wrapping,, consider buying gifts second-hand and carbon offsetting help us plant bamboo, every seed counts, together we can make a difference.