How to Start Living a Zero-Waste Life
July is almost over, and with that brings the end of Plastic Free July, a movement to reduce your personal plastic waste. The movement saw over 120 million people doing their part to reduce their plastic waste.
July might be nearly over, but that doesn't mean that your chance to join the movement is over too. There’s never a bad time to reduce your plastic waste and live a more zero-waste lifestyle - so why not start now?
A zero-waste lifestyle can be intimidating to a lot of people. How could you possibly not produce any trash in your day-to-day life? Well, it’s a lot easier to start than you might think.
You don’t have to buy a ton of zero-waste alternatives right away, and you don’t have to make it your entire life's purpose either.
The first step to living zero-waste is simple: all you have to do is become conscious and aware of the waste you generate. It’s as easy as that.
It can be a little overwhelming to think about the waste that comes from everyday activities. Nearly everything you do can generate waste - from the packaging on the food you buy, to the hygiene products you use everyday, to the clothing that just isn’t really your style anymore.
But by being aware of the waste that’s generated by the things you use everyday, it can become easier and easier to consciously stop generating it.
For example, let’s say that you’re looking to pick up a couple different pieces of produce. Typically, you would have grabbed a few plastic produce bags to keep your items separate.
But, by being aware of your waste, you realize this is a lot of unnecessary plastic. So instead you choose to put similar items in the same bag, and decide to bring reusable bags next time.
When you become aware of the little things in your life that generate waste, it becomes so much easier to transition into a zero-waste lifestyle.
It might not be a quick process. Take small steps, and consciously make more and more zero-waste decisions. Be aware of what you generate, and you’ll find that you’ll want to use less. Overtime, you’ll get there!
If your at a loss as to where to start, stick to the simple things!
Try avoiding plastic bags, and instead use things like canvas or cloth bags when you’re shopping. Bring a backpack with you to hold anything you buy when you’re out and about instead of taking a plastic bag from each store you visit.
If you’re at the grocery store, try and buy things in bulk to avoid using more packaging than needed. Farmers markets or bulk store are always a great option, since you can use your own bags and jars.
A lot of stores will let you use your own containers for bulk items - just make sure to weigh them before you get started.
A few little tricks like these can help you easily transition into leading a waste-conscious lifestyle, and eventually, to becoming as zero-waste as possible. There are countless other ways to become a more conscious consumer and to generate less and less waste.
When you’re in the process of becoming conscious and aware of the waste you use, the clothing you wear isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind.
Fast Fashion, a system of creating cheap, trendy clothing that’s designed with a short lifespan in mind, has become increasingly popular over the years. The attractive designs and cheap prices make fast fashion incredibly attractive for consumers.
However, because of the low prices, consumers often end up buying much more than they need. These extra purchases end up sitting in their closet, and eventually make their way to a landfill.
An easy way to reduce your waste generation is to support slow, sustainable fashion instead of fast fashion.
Wearing and supporting sustainable clothing is a great way to become zero-waste in your day-to-day life.
Sustainable may be slightly more expensive up front, but that investment will quickly pay off, since it will typically be much higher quality than the cheaper alternative.
Despite all of your best efforts, there are times when it’s incredibly difficult to avoid generating waste, or to avoid using plastic. You don’t have to be hard on yourself if you’re not completely zero-waste when you first start out - it takes time!
We’re here to help you in those times when you can’t avoid using plastic.
By turning plastic waste into glasses frames, we’re providing a way to support slow and circular fashion, all the while giving the unavoidable plastic a long, happy life.
At SHYNE, we believe that everyone is able to incorporate a zero-waste mindset into their life. It may take time to become fully waste-free, but we know that you can get there with just a little bit of effort. Start slow, and don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get there right away. Be conscious of the waste you generate, and you’ll find yourself doing better, every day.