How to go Zero Waste [article]

How to go Zero Waste

Author: Monique Webb, EnviroPerks

Zero Waste – We hear the term all the time, but how do we actually go from thinking about being Zero Waste to actually being Zero Waste?

The first step toward eliminating waste is not bringing waste into your home in the first place. Every room can be a place for Zero Waste, starting with the kitchen. Disposable is the easy way out, but to go Zero Waste we have to think about longevity. No more disposable plates, cups or utensils. Stick to your regular glassware and ceramic dishes to reduce waste. Paper towels – not here. Try using only reusable dish rags as an alternative to the single use paper towel. Where waste is concerned, the biggest waste generator in the kitchen is your food packaging. Thankfully, there are some ways to get to zero. Using things like assorted glass jars and cotton produce bags for your grocery shopping can greatly reduce the number of plastic bags you bring home from the grocery store. People may wonder why you’re bringing empty jars and containers into the store, but when they see you saving the planet one step at a time, you may gain loads of kudos and support! Don’t worry, we know that your favorite cereal already comes in a box, and you can’t help it, but on the way to Zero Waste, buying some items in bulk can be a better option. Plus, that extra-large cereal box could double as a Sponge Bob piñata at the next party.

Did you know Zero Waste can make its way out of the home and into the office? Try to consciously reduce waste while on the job by going digital in the office, and refusing to print! Why waste paper printing your meeting notes? Just use your tablet! You can type additional notes on it without having to worry about running out of ink (just make sure it’s charged). Another office space Zero Waste idea is to bring your own lunch. Styrofoam may be a popular way to store and deliver food, but when it comes to the planet, Styrofoam is a no-no. Not only is it not recyclable in most cities throughout the United States, it’s loaded with harmful chemicals. Let’s just ditch the whole thing and enjoy a home cooked meal in a reusable, chemical free glass or aluminum container.

Composting is the “end all, be all” of a Zero Waste reality. Taking the food scraps that you would have normally thrown away and composting them is a great way to make rich soil for your garden. In as little as a month, your at-home compost bin will produce soil from your household organic materials changing your waste into a reusable resource.