How to Start

The first steps in your Journey to Zero Waste

In a world that seems to be drowning in trash, it can be challenging to know where to start to reach your goals of Zero Waste.

Going Zero Waste might sound simple but it can be a daunting task to begin.

The more time that you spend looking around your home and other areas of your life, the more daunting the task of going zero waste can become.

Start with one item.

Large goals can be more easily handled in smaller portions. So start small.

There are several ways that this can be done.

1- pick an item that is currently in your trash

or

2- pick a single room in your home 

or

3- pick a single activity that you do often

Or

4- pick one of the 6Rs of Zero Waste

Regardless of where you begin it is wise to use the 6Rs of Zero Waste

Refuse

Reduce

Reuse

Recycle

Rot

Repair

Whether you choose to start with an item in your trash, or a room of your home, choose one item that will end up in the trash and figure out how to prevent that from happening by taking it through the 6Rs.

Refuse- Is it an item that you could have refused in the first place? Can you refuse it the next time someone offers you a similar item?

Reduce- This applies if you had bought too much of this item, you can buy less of it the next time. Also, can this item be donated or sold to be given a second life?

Reuse- Can this item be repurposed somewhere else in your home or in your life?

Recycle- Are parts of this item, or all of the item made of recyclable materials? 

Rot- Is the item made of biodegradable materials that can be added to your compost bin?

Repair- Can you give the item a second life by repairing it?

Where I began-

I began my zero waste journey in my kitchen.

I had long been bothered by the amount of plastics that go through my kitchen to the trash.

My first move was a very popular trend. I stopped using the plastic bags from the supermarket and started bringing my own reusable bags. (Fortunately, my local store also collects used plastic bags for recycling, so any other bags I collect from other stores, I can bring to this location for recycling.) I used the two Rs- Refuse and Recycle

Then I moved on to beverages. 

I have always been in shock and awe at the beverage aisles (yes, plural) in grocery stores. 

I see multiple families with one entire shopping cart overflowing with water bottles and soda bottles. The amount of plastic waste that these families produce in a year is astounding.

In order to avoid that for our family, we had our water tested. We are fortunate enough to live in an area with good water. But we still purchased an under the sink water filter. So, we know that any water that goes through our filter is just as good, if not better, than what is sold in stores. But now we can enjoy it without contributing to all the plastic waste from those bottles.

Although most of those plastic bottles are recyclable, we know that a large part of our plastic waste does not end up being recycled. Not using the bottles in the first place is a better option.

Composting was another easy step for me to take. I am already an avid gardener, so I combined my need for nutrient rich soils and my desire to help the environment. 

I currently have three compost bins that I add to everyday.

Where will your journey begin? 

1 thought on “How to Start”

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