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Posted: 15 Oct, 2019 Contributor: Shraddha Thakur

A Pocket Guide to Zero Waste Living

We talk about health, clean eating, fitness, and the environment altogether. They all are directly or indirectly related to each other. When you become aware of your health and start focusing on healthy food consumption, you could start turning into that person who is also concerned about the environment. If you are nowhere near that, then you need to understand how small changes in our day to day life and mindset toward environmental ethics can play a significant part in a better tomorrow. 

What do we mean by zero-waste living?

The term ‘zero waste living’ can be slightly overwhelming for some. When we say ‘zero waste’, we do not mean simply cutting out plastic bottles from your life. There is much more related to zero waste living. It can be described as a choice of lifestyle that encourages reuse and recycle most of the items we use in our daily life. It can be your first step into a positive contribution to the environment and a sustainable change for yourself. It carries plenty of benefits, which we will go through in this article.

Zero-waste, Step by step 

Step 1- understand why you want to go zero on the waste

Does polythene bags or plastic bottles bother you when found lying on the street? If it does and you want to be a part of reducing non-degradable products from the environment, then zero waste lifestyle is a way to go. You must have a reason why you want to follow this path. Although, it is more about making better choices rather than completely removing all from your life.

Step 2- The Five R’s 

The five R’s of sustainable living is a must to understand if you are planning to follow No waste ideology any time soon. You must have heard about the three R’s in your childhood, but here we’re following a pretty simple approach that will guide you throughout No-Waste Lifestyle.

Refuse- Start saying NO to unnecessary things offered by people. Free stationeries, coupons, product samples and other items that you think are non- biodegradable. When offered a carry bag at stores, start refusing them and carry your own instead. 

Reduce- Start decluttering your house and remove items that you think are not needed. This process is called “reduction”. The less you own, the less waste you produce.

Reuse- Reuse the stuff you own i.e. your old clothes and rags for cleaning and wiping purposes. Purchase clothes that you think you will be able to use for much longer. 

Recycle- everything that hasn’t been reused is being recycled. Saying that your next focus should be recycling. Choose products and packaging that can be recycled easily, such as cardboard boxes and cartons.

Rot- Your dinner leftovers cannot be put into any use such as the above categories. However, you can turn them into vermicompost. This gift from our little fellows (worms), can be used as a very good fertilizer in your kitchen garden, helping you sustain organic farming methods.

Image Source: arcticgardens.ca

Step 3- Analyze and react

Analyze your lifestyle and your approach. You can begin with writing a diary to check what you own, but on a daily basis and throw away each day. Make a list of the things you are planning to buy and analyze if you really need them. This will help you cut down on unnecessary items and thus you will be reducing your waste.

Step 4- Switch 

As we have already discussed, you don’t need to completely remove some items from your life. What you really need to do, is to find an eco-friendly alternative for the items you use. Use glass containers instead of the plastic ones in order to store your food. Always carry your refillable water bottle when heading out. Poly-bags or plastic wraps can be swapped with paper bags and wrappings. When looking for disposable cutlery, go for the wooden ones and use them at your party.

Step 5- Make your own products

When we buy products, they usually bring a lot of clutter, so why not make it yourself at home? Instead of buying cleaning sprays from the market, make your own by adding a small amount of baking soda into vinegar. Prepare your meals and snacks at home from leftover food instead of purchasing packed ready meals. Every package brings additional and unnecessary trash.

Benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle

The goal of a zero-waste process is to eliminate waste from landfills by reducing the production of trash coming from people, by making them more environmental- conscious. When you decide to go zero on your waste, you are the first one of all who needs to know why you follow that path and find a reason for it. To recognize that, you need to understand what benefits come with it. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Personal benefits

This might sound unusual, but a zero-waste system is healthy for you. If you focus on wasting less, you will buy less, and so on. This means reducing the number of unhealthy products that you’re putting into your shopping basket. When you decide to go eco-friendly, you cut out a lot of unhealthy and toxic substances from your surroundings. Once you begin reusing stuff, you will be spending less money on purchasing new items, which also means more savings.

Then, you start eating clean, plant-based food instead of ready-to-go, packed meals from the supermarket. Organic food is a healthier alternative which is good for both us and the environment.

When you follow the point of re-using stuff, you will be wasting lesser money on buying new things, which means more savings.

You start eating clean, plant-based food instead of the prepared, stored packed food. Organic food is one healthier option which good for both us and the environment.

Environmental Benefits

There is no doubt that zero waste system is environmentally friendly and helps us cut down carbon footprints from the environment.

When we reuse or recycle, the processes help eliminate harmful effects on the environment produced by waste products, such as plastic, electronic-waste and other non-biodegradables.

Reusing and recycling save energy that is consumed to produce a whole new product; thus, it helps the environment in an entirely new way.

Conclusion 

Turning your regular life into zero or “less” waste life certainly takes plenty of time and effort. It’s like changing your way of living to support a worthy environmental cause- benefit for you and the environment. Drastic changes may bother you more than anything, that is why, it is better to take it easy, step by step. Start making small changes, because this will not happen overnight. But in the end, we can assure you it is all worth it. At OMKITCHEN, we help the environment by serving and delivering your delicious homemade meals in eco-friendly glass containers, supporting the statement ‘Say No to Plastic’. 

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