Cutting down on household waste to become zero-waste can often come with its challenges. It can be hard to know where to start, and we can feel easily defeated in the beginning. Growing social media profiles sharing their zero-waste journeys can be a source of inspiration, however, they can also sometimes make the transition to zero waste look deceivingly easy and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
If you feel like this – you’re not alone! We all have sensitivities when it comes to our role regarding the environment. Feeling guilty about climate change and the future of the planet has even become so widespread that it has an official term, “eco-anxiety”.
We asked our fellow Pearl team members for some simple steps that can help to lower your personal consumption and slowly ease you into the zero-waste lifestyle. Reducing the waste that you generate is not only going to lower your eco-footprint, but will also save you time, money and space at home!
Being a conscious consumer often comes down to preparation and organisation. Here are some of our fail-safe tips:
- Plan ahead: Research bulk food stores in your neighbourhood. Larger supermarkets can be limited when it comes to packaging choices. Bulk food stores will give you the ability to shop with as little waste as possible.
- Be prepared : We’ve all been in spontaneous shopping situations without our trusty reusable bags. Keep recycled mesh or tote bags with you to avoid buying extra bags at the checkout. Luckily, most totes and mesh bags take very little space and can be kept snugly in a backpack or handbag.
- Stay minimal : Not everyone is fortunate to have bulk food stores nearby. If you need to go to larger outlets, do your best to opt for choices with as little packaging as possible. Opt for loose fruit and vegetables or products with recycled packaging.
- Online shopping: When buying goods online, try consolidate your orders into a single delivery. This can reduce multiple shipping processes and empty miles.
Luckily for food lovers, there are more choices and approaches for zero-waste alternatives. For a start, eating home-cooked meals made from locally produced ingredients. Buying products that have no packaging, or packaging made from recycled materials. Freezing leftovers for another occasion, bringing them to work the next day or for unavoidable food waste, you can also consider composting. Many neighborhoods have urban food waste programs so do your homework to see any projects or initiatives near you.
You can become more zero-waste by choosing reusable products such as stainless steel straws, or low-impact products such as bamboo cutlery. You can also store your food goods in natural and reusable packaging such as glass jars.
Ice cubes can be made in aluminum or stainless steel trays rather than plastic. To protect food, avoid cling film and plastic lock bags and instead try sustainable storage alternatives such as beeswax wrap, which allows food to breathe and stay fresher for longer, or silicone food covers.
Zero-waste self-care is on the rise too! You can feel good and look great with a low waste beauty and self-care routine! Avoid the trap of single-use makeup remover wipes and cotton pads, instead, try reusable makeup pads and face cloths. Take stock of the cosmetics you use and consider substituting them with more sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives. Take a closer look at the packaging, is it made from recycled or sustainable materials? If not, thanks to increasing awareness, the odds of finding a more sustainable version are very high, so take time to consider your options before choosing.
Bamboo toothbrushes and makeup brushes, shampoo bars and even stainless steel razors are all great swap-ins in for your self-care bathroom tools that can help you avoid plastic and unnecessary waste.
We also love multi-functional products at Pearl, the more ways you can use a single product the better! Lipsticks can easily be used as a cheek stain, beeswax lip balms and coconut oils have nourishing properties that can also help moisturise your cuticles, hair, and skin and eyebrow pencils can be doubled up as eyeliners. Save some money and some space in the beauty cabinet!
There you have it, a brief overview of some of our simple starters to help you slide into the zero-waste way of living, good luck!