A 2018 report by the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs revealed that households in Britain are responsible for creating 26 million tonnes of waste every year – the weight of which equates to around 260 cruise ships.
This means that each of us in Britain will throw away around 400kg of waste annually, which is seven times the bodyweight of the average person in the UK.
The report also highlighted that of the 26 million tonnes we dispose of, only 12 million tonnes is recycled; the remaining 14 million is sent to landfill.
Disposable cups, bottles and packaging are prevalent, in a society where convenience is king. However, there will be those out there, after reading these shocking statistics, that may be wondering what on earth they can do to pitch in, and do their bit.
However, by making a few adjustments to your lifestyle, it is very possible to limit your impact on the environment. In this blog, we’ll be talking about how to make strides towards living a zero-waste lifestyle.
How Beneficial is a Zero-Waste Lifestyle?
Adopting a lifestyle like this does involve a little planning, inspiration and time – remember by working towards zero-waste you’re essentially trying to break the habits of a lifetime.
But, imagine if just a fraction of those in Britain were able to do the same. We could save tonnes of waste from ending in landfill, improve the quality of both the air we breathe and the water we consume, and perhaps even save ourselves some money in the process.
Ways to Start Your Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Make a Package-Free Pantry
Food packaging is one of the number one causes of plastic waste, and it can be incredibly disheartening when one is actively trying to be environmentally friendly, only to be then faced with a great deal of plastic packaging after doing the weekly shop.
These days, many stores are offering an alternative to the traditional supermarket setup, by offering fresh and dried produce and household products completely free of packaging. Another option to the mainstream supermarkets is farm shops and markets, who will often have better products without the packaging.
To make your package-free pantry just that bit easier to maintain, it’s a good idea to stock up on glass jars to store pasta, cereals and spices, which can be filled in bulk.
Switch to a Bamboo Toothbrush
Toothbrushes made from bamboo and nylon four bristles are 100% compostable and biodegradable, check out our guide to find out more.
Once you’ve made the switch to bamboo, you can brush safe in the knowledge that your toothbrush isn’t harming the environment and can be disposed of sustainably. The same cannot be said of plastic toothbrushes, which use fossil fuels during the manufacturing process and often end in landfill.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Soapberries and DIY cleaning kits and recipes offer a fantastic natural alternative to off the shelf cleaning products, which are often packaged in plastic and chock-full of harmful chemicals.
Many of those that are using their own cleaning mixtures report that the results are just as good as the widely bought options.
Ditch Plastic Bags
Keep reusable shopping, produce and bread bags handy in your car, so there will never be a reason to pay 5p for a plastic carrier bag again. These days, many supermarkets are removing the plastic bags in the produce isles in favour of paper bags and home delivery will now usually come with a ‘pack without bags’ option.
Consider Reusable Tea Bags
Although most teabags are tossed onto the compost heap, the outer shell is actually made of plastic. While the rest of the teabag will degrade over time, this casing that holds everything together will never fully degrade. Consider reusable tea bags or a rather fancy tea strainer instead.
Natural Soap Bars
Placing natural soap bars around your house means you avoid plastic pump bottles and any harsh chemicals that go into some soaps. These days you can get a range of soap bars for hands, body, face and even hair.
They are far kinder on the skin, contain all kinds of natural scents and ingredients and come wrapped in attractive paper packaging.
Think About Out and About Products
By investing in some useful reusable items that can be carried with you when you’re out and about, you can seriously reduce your reliance on single-use packaging. For example, you could carry metal straws, reusable coffee cups, water bottles and cutlery.
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