We have always admired people who try and lead a “Zero Waste” lifestyle. Even we ourselves try to reduce waste, but in a world of convenience, over consumption and marketing-focused packaging, buying unpackaged goods at our local markets has become very challenging.
While the idea of living waste free in our world today seems almost impossible, we found with some research and lifestyle shifts it can be quite simple once we make a conscious effort. Our goal at the end of the week is simply to:
- Live a healthier lifestyle
- Place fewer items in the garbage bin
In turn, healthier living results in feeling more vibrant in our own skin and with less garbage, you can purchase smaller trash bags and help your wallet along with the environment! Living waste free means three basic things: Refuse, Reuse, and Recycle. Here are 10 basic tips to help do, just that!
Plan your Meals: We asked Caitlin Ball how to reduce all the waste associated with meals, and her top tip is to Meal Plan! She says, “Meal planning has so many advantages that there is no excuse not to do it! If you sit down each week with pen and paper (and maybe Pinterest open on your phone), you can have a meal plan done in 15 minutes. Those 15 minutes will save you time each night, save you money from reducing takeout, save you energy by not having to always think about what to make or have to make daily grocery shopping trips, allow you to eat healthier, and allow you more freedom each night to spend time doing more of what you love. See? No room for excuses.”
Invest in Quality: Reusable containers are sold everywhere, but which ones are the best? We want something light weight, leak proof, BPA free and easy to clean. We asked Danna Levy Hoffmann from Organilicious which are her favorites and she recommended looking into either ECO Brotbox CH for your sustainable lunchware made of 100% stainless steel which checks all the boxes that we were looking for, or Waschbär for all the eco-friendly gadgets you need to store food at home.
Go Vrac. Start shopping at bulk shops where you can take in your own containers. Glass bottles, reusable sacks, paper bags etc. There are a bunch of shops like this in Zurich and all around Switzerland. Check out our list of Zero Waste Shops near you!
Refuse the Plastic. While fruits such as strawberries may need some form of a container, why must it be plastic? And if you’re buying a bunch of bananas, do they really need to be placed inside a plastic bag? At the grocery store, there’s no need to plastic-bag single items of produce: just place the price sticker (if you need one) on the produce itself.
The Price of Convenience. The main reason there is so much waste in our society is because we are riding the hamster wheel of convenience. Think about the everyday objects you use that are convenient, but incredibly wasteful: Paper wrapped plastic straws? Takeaway cups? Individual condiments? Sugar, salt and pepper packages? Plastic bags? Plastic forks, knives and spoons that are individually packaged? No thanks!
Recycle. We all know what recycling actually means, but do we really stick to it? Raise your hand if you occasionally, by mistake, throw something recyclable into your trash. It’s easy to do. The nice part about Switzerland is that they make recycling easy! Plastic bottles, batteries, and more can be recycled at your local super market. The rest can be recycled at a location near you!
The old Saying. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Yes its true. Those old mason jars can be easily sold online to crafty people, etc. Sell unused items on Anibis and make a few bucks while getting rid of your junk!
Reuse. You are not a hoarder if you keep paper, envelopes and bows that you can re-purpose. You can also reuse delivery envelopes or boxes you get when you order stuff online…boxes can be expensive if you need to purchase them at the Post office! Need some creative ideas? Check out this BuzzFeed article to reuse that old wrapping paper!
Buy Second Hand. How many of you look in your closet and see an endless amount of unworn clothing? An important step to living waste free is to donate and shop at second hand shops! One great thing about second hand shops is that you don’t have to buy new clothing for your kids! Reuse, and eliminate waste.
Educate Yourself. How can YOU specifically live a zero waste lifestyle? What methods work for you? Read other articles online and follow bloggers to keep you motivated and accountable. It is our job to protect the planet for future generations.
Have any more ideas on how to live, waste free? Let us know and we will add it to the article!