Starting a zero waste lifestyle can be a bit daunting for newcomers. That is why we came up with our 5 top tips to help you start transitioning smoothly!
Tip 1: explore your second-hand stores
Most of what you need has been needed by someone else before you, and will thus be available in second-hand stores. And by second-hand store, we also mean online second-hand store! Gumtree, eBay, Preloved, Shpock,etc. are some of the resources available to you.
Tip 2: think twice before accepting anything
Do you really need it? Whether you are given a leaflet in the street or getting a straw at a bar, think thoroughly about it. Are you going to reuse that thing again or is it going to end up in a garbage bag or at the back of a drawer? Are you just accepting it to be polite or out of habit? If it is the case, then there’s a way to nicely refuse it.
Tip 3: know your thrift shops!
Fashion is one of the sectors in which people waste the most. Why? Because the fashion industry does a great job of making us think we need to buy more all the time. Thrift shops are real fashion wonderlands for those who have the courage to dig a little bit. Buying from ethical and sustainable brands can also be an option when you can’t find what you’re looking for in thrift shops (underpants, anyone?).
Tip 4: reinvent the objects that surround you
Objects can be used for other things than the ones they were originally made for. A napkin can also be used to wrap a sandwich, as cutlery while on the go, or to keep your leafy greens fresh in the fridge. Glass jars can be used as picnic cups, as your take away soup or juice container, as leftovers storage or as a plant vase for example. Be creative!
Tip 5: replace any disposable items with reusable ones
Plastic and paper take away cups now exist in sexy reusable versions, plastic straws have their stainless steel cool alternative, aluminium foil can be substituted for much more practical reusable boxes, plastic bottles can be replaced nicely by stainless steel ones, etc. You can check out all our product recommendations here!
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Plus, using all these techniques will probably inspire others around you. Even if you might not immediately notice anything, you’re still planting seeds that will grow when the time is right!
Image source: Joanna Kosinska — thank you.
Morgane is a London-based writer and the founder of Zero Waste Nest. She’s passionate about sustainable living, ethical fashion and social justice. She also founded the Ethical Fashion Guide, with the firm intention to make ethical fashion the norm. Her retirement plans are to adopt as many stray cats as she’s able to.