A zero-waste lifestyle is one that takes quite a bit of dedication to achieve, but it comes with a lot of reward. If you’ve ever thought of adopting this approach, there’s no better time to start than today. Small steps will get you there before you know it and you’ll experience some, if not all, of these benefits.
The first place you’re bound to feel the impact of going zero-waste is at home. First, you’ll notice that the amount of trash you take out on a daily basis is far less. Maybe instead of filling up a refuse bin once a week for garbage pick up, you’ll fill it up every two to three weeks. This means less waste at the landfill, as well.
Additionally at home, you’ll have far less plastic sitting around. Think of all the containers you buy now that are made of plastic that serve no purpose once they’re empty. Shampoo and conditioner, laundry detergent, dish soap and so on. If you make the switch to zero-waste products, you’re looking at more storage options once the products are gone. Plus, one of the most common types of zero-waste products is bamboo, which comes in a wide variety of forms. Replace your plastic hair comb with a bamboo brush, or your paper products with bamboo alternatives.
There are some products that can even make your produce last longer, which is especially helpful if you’re constantly throwing out berries, lettuce and other greens. Eventually, you’re also looking at less spending and much less food waste, especially if you set up a compost heap in your yard.
If you’ve ever watched the movie Wall-E, you know the dangers that come from landfills, especially when they reach capacity. The reality is, the movie is a good look at what could happen if we continue to throw away garbage like we do. Add in the fact that there are still some areas without a recycling facility and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Zero-waste not only cuts back on trash, but on recycling as well, since part of the mantra is to reuse and repurpose. A lot of the packaging in sustainable materials and products is specifically designed to lessen the impact on the environment, which means you’re already halfway there. Even if you can’t find the use for a plastic jar that your eco-friendly toothpaste comes in, for example, you can gift it to someone else to use or donate it to a shelter or charity that might be able to use it. Additionally, sustainable packaging is often made of bamboo or similar material, so you can toss it in the aforementioned compost heap.
Another added benefit of less trash in the landfills, is less incineration, which results in fewer greenhouse emissions. It’s a win-win all around.
Saves You Money
One of the things people immediately find when they go zero-waste is that sometimes things cost a little more, which can be true depending on the products. However, they also tend to last longer. Consider bamboo paper towels, they’re not simply one and done, they’re reusable. You can wash and reuse them over and over, which means not only are fewer trees cut down to provide the product, but they last much longer and in the end you spend less.
Additionally, a zero-waste lifestyle encourages mindful spending, so you don’t end up back where you started and that, in itself helps save money because you’re less likely to have impulse buys.
There are many ways to get started with adopting this particular lifestyle and the benefits far outweigh the challenges associated with it. Remember, start small, but shop smart and before you know it, you’ll be experiencing a number of benefits, including ones not listed here.