With 7.7 billion people alive in 2019, our lifestyle choices in general can wholly affect the earth’s health.
Recent reports on climate change, towering rubbish dump sites, plastics causing the death of both marine and flying animals, and so on are sobering.
It can be easy to feel a bit depressed and defeatist, knowing that our world is being contaminated by our choices.
Many convenient things we use take a long time to decompose and are contaminating the earth.
We may even be slowly giving ourselves new diseases. For example, did you know the average American consumes between 74,000 to 121,000 microplastics in just one year?
However, it’s not all gloom and doom.
With effort, you can also reduce your environmentally-damaging ways, such as reducing the amount of plastic you use.
You can even try out the zero-waste lifestyle if you’re totally committed to making more environmentally-friendly steps.
What Does Going Zero Waste Mean?
The zero-waste lifestyle is one where you commit to making no waste, sending nothing to landfills and incinerators.
Basically, garbage collectors will find nothing in zero-waste lifestyle experts’ trashcans when it’s waste-collecting day.
Committing to a total zero-waste lifestyle is hard and takes discipline. However, the rewards can be fulfilling once you get used to it.
Here’s 5 ways why zero-waste can make your life better:
1. You Start To Shop Consciously
We do a lot of damage to the earth in our pursuit of convenience.
Online shopping comes with tons of plastic packaging. Food delivery comes with plastic sauce packets, utensils, and plastic bags. Even takeaway food comes in styrofoam and plastic.
We don’t have to all commit to a completely zero-waste lifestyle. However, consciously trying to be zero-waste in some areas in your life can also do your wallet plenty of good.
For example, you don’t get tempted to just buy anything you see online, keeping impulse purchases in check.
You will also be more conscious about how many products you actually use.
For example, why spend a ton on pads and tampons every month, when you can just use a menstrual cup?
And do you really need that many clothes, bags and shoes?
Once you start embracing this, you’ll start to realise that we’ve all been brought up in a consumerist society that encourages us to buy things and throw them away on a whim.
Once you decide to eliminate the throw-away part, however, you’ll also realise that you can’t throw what you don’t buy in the first place.
2. You’ll Eat Better, More Easily
What do unhealthy, frozen fast foods come packaged in?
That’s right, plastic.
The easiest way to go zero-waste in your food choices is to buy food that you know will not come with any extra packaging. Think fruits and vegetables from the local farmers’ market.
Reduce shopping at soulless grocery stores. Instead, bring your own reusable containers and get your fresh meat and fish at places like the butcher’s or the fishmonger’s.
This way, the chances of you ingesting microplastics will be lessened.
Plus, you will have fresh ingredients that are much better for your diet. You also won’t contribute waste that will lead to toxins spreading into the earth.
This is totally a win-win situation for you and mother earth.
3. You’ll Start Feeling More Thankful For What You Have
Another beneficial effect of living a zero-waste lifestyle you wouldn’t expect: Having gratitude make an appearance in your daily routine.
Instead of coveting what other people have, you’ll naturally start to focus on the fact that you just don’t really need all that much to be comfortable, to begin with.
Nobody needs to upgrade their phone every year. People don’t need to throw a super fancy wedding in order to show off to other people.
These are merely society-dictated constructs that get you to spend more money.
As long as you have the basics (e.g. shelter, clothing, food, clean drinking water, and the Internet), you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful.
4. You Won’t Be Alone In Your Zero Waste Journey
The online zero-waste community is a thriving, fast-growing one where people love sharing the baby steps they’re taking every day to create less waste.
Generally, these communities are supportive and non-judgmental.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not completely zero-waste. As long as you’ve made an effort, the community will acknowledge it.
Whether a Facebook group page or in real life, do go find your tribe.
If you feel like you need encouragement from other people in your zero-waste journey, they are out there and ready to support you.
5. You’re Literally Making The World A Better Place
Let’s face it: Rubbish from people who are no longer living and breathing are still taking their own sweet time decomposing and releasing toxins into the environment.
You might not think you’re making a difference, but you definitely are.
Veganism used to be looked at as something to mock. Yet now there are plenty of delicious vegan restaurants in every major city in the world.
Little by little, newer generations are also wising up to the effects of climate change and how our lifestyle choices are affecting every other life on the planet.
Thinking of going zero waste? Start by using scrap or unused fabrics at home to make your own bento bags and napkins with our free tutorials: