Guide to a zero waste life for beginners, zero waste
Zero waste beginners. Image: Nina Fedorova – Shutterstock.

Today we are witnessing a growing interest in issues such as respect for the environment, reduction of air pollution, greater attention to the amount of waste and plastic we produce and what that we buy. It must be said that we are still quite far from a generalized change of attitude on a global scale, but as we say “Rome was not built in a day”, and this is already something very positive to see that more and more people want to promote a change to leave a better world for future generations.

The most frequently asked question about these minimalist lifestyles that seemingly forgo many of the comforts of today’s society in favor of the environment is, “ How do they do it? How do you give up so many things when not everyone is doing without them?

Maybe sometimes, thinking about it, you’ve wondered the same thing. Well you should know that the answer can be very different from what you think. Lead a more Zero waste it’s easier than it looks and, dare we say, quite fun too.

Going from day to night to a life without waste is difficult, yes. But we want to show you how, with this weird trick, you can dramatically reduce your environmental footprint and the plastic you have available without even realizing it and – by answering the question – without giving up what you do or eat.

Tips for reducing plastic for beginners

We are therefore going to suggest some small changes that you can now make to your habits and that can be very beneficial for the environment, by following the law of minimum effort maximum benefit.

1. Stop using plastic bags

Plastic bags are the most harmful to the environment, because they have a very short lifespan: when you come home after a purchase, they already end up in the trash. This of course means a very large amount of plastic ending up in landfills. Simply changing the plastic bags to a reusable cloth bag would save a considerable amount of plastic per year, which would help the environment. It’s an imperceptible change for you, if you think about it. In addition, fabric bags are much stronger and it is very difficult for them to break.

2. Goodbye plastic bottles

Plastic bottles are also something we should cut back on, as they are also part of the so-called disposable plastics. This type of plastic is the most harmful to the environment due to its very short lifespan and we must try to reduce them as much as possible. Changing the plastic bottles you have in your home for aluminum or glass bottles is a good start to improving the situation.

To reduce the amount of plastic bottles you buy at the supermarket, we recommend that you do not buy the 1.5L, but instead opt for the 5L or 8L. The total amount of plastic is less, and when you get home you can still refill your glass bottles.

3. Take a folding glass with you

Many of us are away from home all day for work, and it is customary to start the morning with a good coffee and milk to go. Every time we order a drink to go, we are producing waste that we could save, because we throw away the containers as soon as we have finished drinking. The solution is a simple collapsible glass that you can put in your bag and take with you wherever you go. Every time you order a take out drink, you will use it and avoid generating more waste. Take into account how many containers you would save per week, month and year and we assure you that you will be positively surprised.

4. Do not use plastic straws

Another disposable plastic, straws are very bad for the environment. In addition, unlike bags or bottles, they do not perform an important function, because one could drink without problem without them. So, just by dispensing with them and drinking straight from the glass, you will be doing a good deed towards the environment. If you are one of those people who cannot give up the straw by having a soda on a patio, we recommend that you take a reusable straw with you. There are many in the trade of different sizes and materials, the most common are steel or bamboo.

5. Change the plastic toothbrush

If you think about it, every three months or so we each throw away our toothbrush and buy a new one. This is very good and the same dentists advise us to renew it periodically so as not to damage the teeth and ensure effective cleaning. However, what we can do to reduce the environmental impact in this case is to replace the typical plastic toothbrush with a bamboo or wooden one, which has a much lower environmental impact. There are also some that allow you to remove the head and change just that, an even better option since you won’t be throwing out the entire brush. Finally, an electric toothbrush can also be a good idea. It is true that it is made of plastic, but by changing only the head the impact is less than a conventional brush.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll find that it really is easier than you think to be more environmentally friendly. You don’t have to be 100% zero waste: with a few small changes that have no influence on our lifestyle or purchasing habits, we can give the environment a big helping hand and we feel much better about ourselves.