Welcome back to the Eco Blog! Where we believe in sharing all eco-friendly knowledge so that you too can learn and grow in a healthy environment.
Today's topic is all about starting an eco-friendly waste free life and demystifying some of the myths and hard truths, so let's get started! You do not have to throw everything away when you are starting your waste-free life, but limit yourself to buying necessities and when that is not possible, buy recycled products.
When starting as waste-free, eco-friendly life there are many challenges that you first face:
1. Guilt - when we first realize the impact we are having on the planet and understand that what we are throwing away is not easily biodegradable and that the first plastic we ever used has not decomposed, it can be an impossible burden. It's okay to feel that way and that is why this blog was created; to release that pressure, stress and guilt. Below we will answer: how do we make change in our lives in order to stop throwing away so much garbage?
2. Pressure - After guilt comes the need for new things, we are living in culture that is always demanding the next best thing, the newest, latest and greatest things. So, we begin to feel the pressure to throw everything away even when it works perfectly well. Below we will answer: how do we encourage a recycle and fixing culture instead of a throw away culture?
3. More - The pressure to buy more and fill our closets and pantries may not be a fully realized pressure, but it is there. Do you find as soon as you clean your closet is it soon filled with more junk? That's because we want our lives to feel full. Did you happen to watch Marie Kondo on Netflix? (If you didn't watch Marie Kondo, it is a cleaning show which emphasizes that you only keep things that bring you joy.) Then you already know that from now going forward it would be amazing to only buy things that bring you joy. Avoid buying items out of peer pressure, last minute decisions or quick buys. Buy items because you need them. Below we will answer: how can we make small adjustments that have big impacts?
Now for the Q&A!
How do we make change in our lives in order to stop throwing away so much garbage?
1. Make your own food - the meal plan trend is an excellent idea!
2. Use reusable products - So many new technologies are allowing us to buy reusable items such as reusable make-up removing cloths (no more cotton swabs and make-up remover needed), Swedish dish cloths (saves up to 17 rolls of paper towel, it is easily cleaned and biodegradable), beeswax wraps (instead of plastic wrap, it does not hold onto bacteria, it is easily cleaned and is biodegradable).
3. Use eco-friendly products - in the event that a product must be thrown out after use, buy ones that have minimal impact on the environment. For example, wooden or bamboo toothbrushes, floss made from corn (instead of plastic), eco-friendly bandaids and glass or metal waterbottles.
How do we encourage a recycle and fixing culture instead of a throw away culture?
By you doing your part encourages others to do their part. This can be really challenging when in a work or peer pressure environment, but you don't need to explain, you just need to take the lead and others will follow.
How can we make small adjustments that have big impacts?
In addition to the above small changes you can make, sell your items if they still work, instead of throwing them out. This way you make money your customer gets their item and one more thing is saved from the dumpster. If possible, break down the items in order to recycle them into their proper places (ex. a non-repairable shelving unit may contain wood, metal and plastic, this needs to be taken apart so that the plastic, metal and wood are all separate and can be recycled properly). If it is clothing that you don't want to throw away, you can patch it up or get it tailored to suit you. If that wont work or is not a possibility, find a clothing recycling location (hint: H&M and Zara have old clothing recycling bins).
This is all it takes, small changes that make a big impact, comment below; what are some small changes you are making?