How To Start a Zero Waste Life

reusable straw

The Earth is Dying. In every living thing there is a circle of life, however there is one thing that we have that sustains those lives. Our beloved planet Earth. With the incline of social media there has been a steady incline of awareness being brought to the status of our ocean and the environment around us. It does take time and dedication but hopefully this helps on your journey to start a zero waste life.

I particularly have a love for our oceans and cannot bare to see another video of water-dwelling creatures choking and dying on plastic rings, straws, bags or any other form of trash found in our oceans today. If you can start anywhere, please get reusable straws. Cheap, easy, no excuses (shop the post).

Did you know, a single glass bottle can take over 4,000 years to decompose?! That’s crazy; however, the benefit to glass is that it breaks down into sand.

Aside from glass here are a few other everyday items that take a shocking amount of time to decompose.

Cigarette butts: 10-12 years

Aluminum cans: 200-250 years

Batteries: 100 years

Sanitary pads: 500-800 years

Tinfoil: does not decompose

Ways We Can Help

There are so many ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

A great place to start is in the bathroom! So many products and plastic containers that have been rendered useless. Fortunately we now live in a day and age where using bar soap for your hair isn’t absolutely absurd. They make specially formulated bar-shampoo in all kinds of scents and treatments just like the stuff in the bottle.

Next up, makeup wipes. Yikes. I know how many of these I’ve used of these over the years and when I think of where they are now it mortifies me, it also mortifies my bank account due to how often I had to re-purchase them. Reusable wipes are not only more affordable, but they exfoliate your skin far better than disposable ones ever could.

My favorite eco-friendly bathroom toiletry has to be my bamboo toothbrush. A regular plastic toothbrush takes over 400 years to decompose and often just sit around in landfills. The best thing is that they come in multi-packs so you can give some to your friends!

The next best place to start saving the planet is the kitchen. Think of all the plastic bags and plastic wraps and garbage that leaves the kitchen.

First things first, start a compost box! It’s the cheapest and most simple way to start going green, in my opinion, because even if you remain using plastic garbage bags, you won’t have to take them out nearly as often; thus reducing the amount of plastic you use. Plus you can use any bin or tub as long as it has breathing holes to allow things to decompose.

Paper towels are huge when it comes to waste. Truly you can go through rolls a day, and it’s another easy thing to switch out for some cloth towels and rags.

And lastly, replace all your containers with glass storage. The plastic stuff stains quickly, melts easily and more times than not just gets thrown out.

We Want Our Children, Grandchildren and so on to Have a World Better Than Ours

Whether or not you have kids or want kids or whatever the case may be, future generations should be able to walk where us and our ancestors have walked and experience the beauty in nature that we have, and in order for them to have that we need to save the planet now.

Shop this post to grab the suggestions, or go to our full list here for more Earth friendly opportunities.

Also published on Medium.