(without getting totally overwhelmed)

Zero Waste - reusable diaper/nappy

There’s probably no getting around it, #ZeroWaste is err‘where. Well, in my echo chamber it is anyway…..and with any new trend comes marketing, and things to buy, activists and hella content telling you how to do it THE RIGHT WAY. When all people really want to know is how to actually reduce their waste.

It’s no wonder I get so many messages telling me how bloody overwhelmed people are. 

When I say ‘so many messages’ I mean two………….Maybe three 😉

Anyway, let’s all agree the idea of reducing your waste is now in the mainstream and talk about how to actually do it.

Getting started with Zero Waste

Because that’s what we wanna know, right? HOW to do it. WHAT to do first, and maybe why. 

WHY should we reduce our waste?

Because we have one planet that’s not equipped to cope with the sheer volume of waste we currently produce. It’s skewed, of course, towards humans who consume more than the average but it’s fair to see most of us use more than we need, creating unnecessary waste.

If we continue this way, we are simply condemning the planet to a shorter life. One our children, or other people’s children, will have to deal with.  

And a REALLY important point on this is that recycling more is NOT THE GOAL. Sure, it’s the lesser evil…..but still an evil. And plastic is basically the poster child of evil incarnate.

So not only should the goal be to reduce our landfill waste, but to reduce our recycling, reduce plastic AND eliminate all single-use disposables entirely. 

Bea Johnson explains it better here…….

HOW should we reduce our waste?

Getting started is probably the hardest bit. Once you start looking at everything in your home as different varieties of evil it’s a little stressful, to say the least. 

DON’T STRESS is my first tip, because let’s face it; life’s too short. There will always be someone telling you you could do more, believe me – every time I talk about Zero Waste online I encounter criticism or something I ‘should’ have said. 

flatlay image of granola in a jar and coffee cup.

I say, screw the perfectionists. It’s always better to do something good than nothing at all, despite what some might say. So here are my top tips to reduce your waste without become totally overwhelmed!

Start with your single-use, disposable plastics……what do you really need? Try to eliminate these first.

Then move onto your recyclables and landfill (trash/garbage bin) waste: What are the main culprits here? For me, it was nappies. They aren’t recyclable, and we were taking out a couple of bin bags each week – nappy/diapers sit in landfill for about 500 years so switching these out to reusable nappies was my first big switch.

But for you it might be shampoo bottles, takeaway coffee cups, snacks in unrecyclable plastic (all the yummy food seems to come in this!) and toilet roll. Focus on the biggies, researching zero waste/low impact  swaps that work for you.

Have fun! I loved making a tote bag full of little cotton produce bags, a bread bag I made from some scrap fabric and my Keepcup so whenever I go out I have it to hand. I also love trying new zero waste alternatives when I run out of stuff; making new cleaning products (ps this is EASY PEASY!) and trialling toothpastes in glass jars (so far, all are rank.)

Follow people who inspire you online. I love Bea Johnson, Sustainably Vegan (also Low Impact movement on Instagram), Eco Boost, Treading My Own Path. 

More than anything, be kind to yourself. This shit is hard. REALLY hard. And sometimes, I’m sure even the most hardcore of zero wasters ‘slips up’ but who cares – trying and failing sometimes is better than not trying at all. 

L x