The average American consumer produces just under five pounds of trash each day, adding up to around 1,642 pounds per person annually. That’s a whole lot of rubbish! So what can we do about it? You may have heard of the phrase “zero-waste,” where the idea is to let nothing you use go to a landfill. We know this goal of producing no waste at all is overwhelming to achieve, but it’s important to remember that zero-waste is just an ideology to work towards. For this reason, many members of the sustainable living community prefer the less threatening term “low-waste.”
If you want to start living a low-waste lifestyle, then the best place to start is at home. Cutting your waste doesn’t happen overnight, but with a few adjustments, you’ll be able to set new habits to reduce the amount of trash your household creates. Here are a few ways you can do this.
Reduce the amount you buy single-use plastics
To start with, find reusable items you already have in your house that can help you reduce your consumption of single-use plastics – such as mason jars and plastic bags.
Think while you grocery shop
When it comes to groceries, you can already go low waste without going to a fancy store. Even stores like Walmart tend to have bulk bins where you can bring your own containers and stock up on staple foods such as rice, beans, and flour. There are also online alternatives like Zero Grocery, an online alternative to shop for groceries waste-free without leaving your home.
Source “naked” household and care items
Next, you’ll want to find shops where you can buy household items that don’t result in extra waste. For instance, if you need personal care products, look to brands such as Lush where you can buy naked bars of soap, shampoo, and lotions without the extra packaging.
Should you live in an area devoid of these types of shops, there are a bunch of online stores that specialize in low-waste lifestyle items and groceries such as Life Without Plastic and Wild Minimalist.
Cut down your food waste
Living a low-waste lifestyle also means cutting food waste from your kitchen. There are two main ways to go about doing this. First, buy carefully and reuse leftover items from one meal to make the next meal. Second, start composting. That way, anything that’s left over can be disposed of properly.