Not everyone has the time, energy, or know-how to live a zero-waste life. Living zero-waste can be difficult and often requires a relatively significant financial investment, meaning it’s a lifestyle not available to everyone. The good news is any action you take to cut down on waste benefits the planet. Here are some simple ways to live a sustainable lifestyle that everyone can do.
Avoid Single Use Plastic
This is a big one, so start small. When you start noticing it, plastic is everywhere. From fruit containers to plastic produce bags, it can be nearly impossible to shop without purchasing a single item packed in plastic. So, it’s important to keep in mind— this is not the goal.
Your goal here is to avoid plastic use, not eliminate it. Start with one thing, such as plastic water bottles. Making the switch from a plastic to a reusable bottle is a game changer; not only does it keep your water colder for longer, but it cuts down on a considerable amount of plastic waste and saves you money at the same time.
Once you’ve knocked plastic water bottles out of your life, try to get rid of plastic utensils and straws. Take it one step at a time. No matter how much or little you do, you’re helping to save the planet.
Carry Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are a great way to cut down on plastic waste at the grocery store. Choose a few durable, large bags to pack your groceries in. Don’t forget to grab a cold bag while you’re at it— these bags keep your frozen foods cold for much longer than regular plastic. Big reusable bags also make carrying the groceries inside much easier!
Another kind of reusable bag that’s less well known is a produce bag. These small mesh or canvas bags replace the plastic produce bags at the grocery store.
Dress More Sustainably
There are many ways to shop for clothes more sustainably, and most of them will save you money at the same time. First, look at the clothes you already have. Try altering a few clothing items before you purchase something— you’ll be amazed at what a difference a new hemline can make. Any clothes that you no longer wear or don’t fit, donate to a thrift store. You’ll want to be sure these clothes are going to people who need them.
Another great option is to swap clothes with friends. You each get rid of unwanted clothing and end up with new-to-you clothes for free!
When buying new clothes, shop from sustainable stores or thrift. Do your best to avoid fast fashion but understand that this is not an option accessible to everyone. Fast fashion is cheap and more readily available, making it a necessary evil for many.
Remember, it is always more sustainable to use or repurpose plastic or fast fashion items that you already own than to buy new eco-friendly products. Keep what you already have and follow these simple ways to live a sustainable lifestyle going forward.