What is Zero Waste? Where and How do I begin?

Living a zero-waste lifestyle is a long-term commitment and should be done with proper planning and self-reflection. Before my research into fashion and sustainability, I was pretty much oblivious to how my actions impacted the environment.  The first step to this new lifestyle is to take inventory of your daily routine and habits. What are you buying? Types of transportation you choose? What do you throw away? Etc. Being aware of your actions will naturally lead you to understand how to simplify and declutter your life.  I've always used the "Do you need this" rule, to silence my inner impulse shopper. If I had to ask myself that question, then most likely I don't need it. It's also the same as material things in life that no longer sparks joy. It's important to identify early on the difference between a 'Want' and a 'Need.'  Always be aware of the social and environmental impact your decision has,  as most consumers only see the results of a product and never see the full lifecycle.

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So let's get started? The kitchen is the heart of the home, which produces the most waste. So let's take a look at what is in my kitchen. 

Kitchen disposable items list:

  • Food packaging (zero waste alternative: buy Bulk and mason jar containers to store your goods. this part I will attempt after I replaced the things below this list.)
    • Frozen food plastic bag packaging.

    • Paper box packaging.

  • Disposable food wraps (zero waste alternative: buy or make Beeswrap and or pyrex containers, replacement lids or eco-friendly silicone lids that fits over your existing cups and bowls)
    • saran 
    • aluminum foil
    • parchment paper
    • zip lock bags
  • Cleaning supplies (zero waste alternative: make your own using these recipes)
    • paper towels
    • dish detergent
    • laundry detergent
    • softener
    • bounce dryer sheets
    • cleaning products  (I would love to make DIY cleaners to replace the toxic things I use)
      • method all-purpose cleaner
      • bleach
      • windex
      • Stainless steel cleaner 
  • Food Waste (zero waste alternative: Compost it. I will be taking a sustainable home course for the next three weeks, and afterward, I'll receive a free compost bin, so I'll write more about that experience in depth!)
    • food scraps from making dinner
    • expired leftovers.

Do you have more disposable or wasted items? If so please comment below, I love to hear about it and how you changed your habit. So now I can start to replace these things gradually. Zero Waste to me means financially as well, so I have curated a zero waste kitchen with reusable products with a cost of how much each item. Planning this also means you'll need to budget yourself and acclimate your new lifestyle gradually based on your budget.

 

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