Making the Switch to a Zero-Waste Home
With the threat of climate change as pressing as ever, there has been a huge rise in people switching to a zero waste lifestyle. In order to lead a more sustainable life, we need to think about making a huge difference in the way we manage our home, which is where having a zero waste home comes into play.
There is a significant amount of waste in kitchens across the United States. It’s estimated that one-third of the food produced around the world is wasted. For the US, this comes at a cost of over $380 billion, not to mention the impact that it has on the environment. So what does it take to move towards a zero waste home? Let’s take a look.
What is a Zero Waste Home?
Living a zero waste lifestyle means following a philosophy that aims to prevent waste from going to a landfill and ultimately, destroying our planet. The movement incorporates responsible production and consumption or products, as well as emphasis on and proper reuse of various materials.
While recycling, plastic reduction, and a lower carbon footprint are at the heart of the zero waste movement, our health can also be improved when we choose to refuse single-use products.
10 Easy Kitchen Tips for Living in a Zero Waste Home
The thought of moving to a zero waste home can be overwhelming when you look around and see how much rubbish you throw away. However, help is at hand with lots of advice from like-minded people who want to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Plus, zero waste stores can help you on your way.
Now, let’s take a look at our top ten tips on changing to a zero waste home.
25 percent of waste in the USA can be composted yet it ends up in landfill where it cannot decompose, which leads to 16 percent of methane gas emissions. It is easy to set up a compost bin in your backyard, and if you do not plan on using it to grow your own veggies, you can give it to local farmers.
Buy in Bulk
There are lots of zero waste shops where you can buy items in bulk without the use of plastic bags. You simply weigh your food, fill up your container, and pay for your products.
Use Mason Jars
Mason jars are cheap to buy and will last forever. More and more stores are encouraging customers to bring their own mason jars in to top up with cereals, grains, pasta, and other dry products so that you don’t have to take home more plastic bags. Mason jars are also great for storing food so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Improve Your Recycling
We all think that we recycle as much as we can, but it is likely that you can do more. Programs to recycle items such as batteries, cell phones, chip packets, asthma inhalers, and much more are available, so do some research to see what you can do in your area.
Refuse Junk Mail
If you are fed up of picking junk leaflets and takeout adverts from the mail and popping them straight into the recoiling bin, just say no. You can put a sign on your mailbox and learn to say no when people try to hand you flyers when you are out and about.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
Many stores try to use paper bags but there are still a lot of plastic bags being given out. Make sure you take a reusable shopping bag with you each time you head to the store.
Reduce Single-use Products
If you use a lot of straws, paper plates, paper towels, and aluminum foil in the kitchen, try to replace them with items that can be used time and time again so that you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
DIY Cleaning Products
Cut down on plastic bottles and nasty chemicals by making your own cleaning products that are much more environmentally friendly. A little bit of vinegar, baking powder, and lemon juice can go a long way.
Say No to Bottled Water
There are lots of cool reusable water bottles on the market. Plus, with clean tap water in most areas, there is no excuse for buying bottled water. If you are worried about the quality of the water, there are great filtration systems that will clean your water before you drink it.
Think Before You Buy
We all buy too much stuff, whether it is clothes that we wear once, candles that never get lit, or ornaments that simply gather dust. Next time you’re out shopping think twice before you add an item to your basket. Ask yourself if you really need it in your life before making a purchase. You will find that leading a zero waste lifestyle will save you money, and you will be wondering what you ever spent all your money on before.
Useful Resources for a Zero Waste Lifestyle
For support and guidance on having a zero waste home the following resources are available:
- Bea Johnson: She is a popular figure in the zero waste movement and is the go-to person on all things sustainable. You can catch her on YouTube and find the answers to all of your questions on her website.
- Local Councils: Familiarize yourself with your local council recycling programs so that you know exactly what waste you can ethically get rid of in your area
- Community Groups: Check out community action groups in your area or start one yourself so that you can spread the word and work together to create a better environment for everyone.
The move to a zero waste home is something that you can do gradually. Nobody is expecting you to change overnight. The fact is, by reducing the amount of waste that leaves your household you will be contributing to a more sustainable world for generations to come.