Someone once told me the best way to down-size your rubbish is to peek in the bin and see what you often throw out. Gross, I know, but essential if you don’t know where to start on your reusable journey.
Full disclaimer: I’m not a totally flawless candidate for zero-waste living. I’ve dramatically reduced my refuse and increased good practices, but I’m not perfect! And who can be? If that’s you, kudos...
Anyway, what did you find in your rubbish? Coffee cups, plastic bags, single-use drink bottles, food scraps?
I list these things because personally; these were the easiest parts to swap for reusable options. Here are some ideas where you might do the same.
Take-away coffee cups. Two alternatives:
1) Splurge and invest in two reusable cups. Buy a lightweight (preferably bamboo) one and leave it in your bag. Have another one in the office or at home (perhaps made from glass or ceramic material.)
2) When it’s safe again and Coronavirus has left our shores, allow some extra time to sit and enjoy your morning brew at the cafe rather than always taking out.
Plastic Bags. I have three sets and here are some extra suggestions too:
1) My ‘everything’ bag: I have a small and compact bag, which lives in my day pack. I use it if I purchase anything from the shops. It’s great for travelling and using it as a beach tote too. Very sturdy and easy to sew up if it breaks.
2) Grocery bags: Simple.
3) Produce bags: I use Onya bags, which I bought online. They live in a brown leather pouch and stay inside my grocery bags. Perfect for travelling also.
4) Bread bag: Another Onya product. Find a local bakery to support while you’re at it, and they might have their own merch too.
5) Try hitting up your butcher or local deli to ask if they could put your items in a container. Most are happy to oblige and if not, keep pestering them!
6) Take-away containers: Love UberEats? Ring the restaurant beforehand and ask to supply your own containers. Otherwise, you can reuse the takeaway plastics for freezing leftovers and storing food in the cupboard (rice, nuts, etc). Give them a thorough clean of course.
7) Bin-liners: Ever used compostable liners? They’re great, but make sure you line the bin with some newspaper to prevent any leakage.
Ok, how about some more ideas while we’re at it?
Single-use drink bottles (Our sworn nemesis):
1) I prefer stainless steel water bottles as they keep the contents chilled for up to 24-hours. I have three sizes depending on what I am doing, but I carry my drink bottle EVERYWHERE.
2) Source a market where you can buy drinks in bulk. You can easily do this with kombucha and OJ, but unfortunately, I haven’t found any other varieties. Feel free to recommend any you come across. If you like soda water, invest in a soda-stream.
Food Scraps - If you don’t have a garden or compost:
1) Check out “share my waste” or a similar service which takes your scraps for composting.
2) If you own a home and your council permits it, purchase a green bin. They’ll compost your scraps for you. If you are a renter (like me), ask your landlord to buy on your behalf.
3) Use your vegetable scraps to make stock (you can freeze this for later use in soups etc.)
Reducing your waste doesn’t have to be time-consuming or tricky.
Start small, give yourself time to adapt, and learn from others. People are a wealth of knowledge, but it’s not a competition either. Do it on your terms and come up with solutions that fit your lifestyle!
As always, share some of your waste-reducing tips below and we may steal a couple ourselves.Our Moon mission is to promote the use of reusable products to help improve the health of the planet and everyone on it. You can join the reusable revolution by purchasing a Moon Reusable product here