Simple hacks to reduce waste and living zero-waste
It is no news to any of us that mama Earth is suffering because of our daily actions. As many people I was (and still am in many aspects, but I made a commitment to continue to educate myself) very unaware of how my actions were playing a part in the destruction of our beautiful home. The more research I do, the more I became aware how many of my small daily actions have an immense impact on the planet. Below I share a few tips and suggestions that will help you to have a more conscious living and consumption. It is through small steps that big changes are made.
- Don’t use bottled water. Get a water filter and reusable stainless steel or glass water bottle. It’s better for your overall health and the environment.
- Use glass, bamboo or stainless steel containers to store your food. This is so much better for your health, you don’t want plastic to leak nasty chemicals in your food. Do not throw out your plastic tupperware, you can use it to store things around the house.
- Reuse the glass jars from produce you buy (I always have new jars from gherkins & peanut butter).
- Use bamboo, glass or stainless steel straws.
- Buy a set of bamboo cutlery, or bring your normal cutlery with you when you go out. This way you don’t have to use plastic cutlery.
- Use washable tea towels instead of paper towels.
- Get reusable washcloths instead of disposable ones. And ditch sponges in favour of compostable scrubs or brushes.
- Use silicone reusable bags instead of zip lock bags.
- Use silicone lids instead of wrapping paper
FOR THE BATHROOM
- Make the switch to a bamboo toothbrush. They are effective and really affordable.
- Use organic bamboo cotton buds.
- Use reusable/washable makeup remover cotton pads. They are way more gentle on your skin and wash beautifully. (Tip: wash them with a soap straight after using them, let them air dry. If you choose you can pop them in the washing machine as well for a deeper cleanse).
- Switch to bamboo toilet paper. Use less of any toilet paper. One or two squares are enough for number one , and 3 will do for number two. AND use the wet method where you just wash your behind .
- Use a waterpik instead of floss. It is way more powerful, so it improves your dental hygiene.
- Instead of regular pads opt for organic cotton ones or even better for period underwear or Moon pads.
- Use a Moon Cup instead of tampons. And if you choose tampons make sure they are nice and organic cause you don’t want anything bleached to go inside your delicate vagina.
- Switch from a plastic disposable razor to a metal safety razor.
- Buy bigger quantities. If you still choose to use liquid hand soap, buy a 5L bottle instead of buying small ones each month.
- Use solid shampoo instead of regular liquid one.
- Use black soap instead of body wash. You can find them at your local African and Caribbean shops.
FOR THE REST OF HOME
- Always run a full load of clothes, don’t put it on for one towel.
- You don’t need to buy clothing softener . You can use vinegar or just nothing.
- Stick to the motto reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse.
- Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your letterbox.
- Turn off all the lights, water and WiFi when not in use and especially when you go on holidays.
- Go paperless as much as possible.
- Use a fountain pen and ink instead of purchasing so many new plastic pens.
- Buy less and always ask yourself before you purchase something; ‘Do I really need this? And does it bring me joy?’
- Never throw away anything. Give it to a friend or someone in need. It’s so important to circulate things, otherwise they end up in the landfield.
- Buy from ethical sources, locally and products made from good materials that will last for a long period of time.
These are just a few things we can all do to make a difference. Doing nothing changes nothing. We cannot just stand on the sidelines and expect others to do the work for us. We owe it to the earth, to the generations to come to take care of our planet.