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Sinead O’Carroll

July 22, 2020

Zero waste for beginners: “I want to try but I have NO idea where to start”

Zero waste for beginners: “I want to try but I have NO idea where to start”

Sinead O’Carroll

July 22, 2020

It’s safe to say that the world is currently facing an environmental crisis, and now more than ever is the time to streamline our life and reduce our waste.  But zero waste lifestyles are tricky, to say the least.

Leading a zero waste lifestyle has become a widely-discussed topic of late, and although going entirely zero waste may be a daunting task, implementing waste-free habits into your daily routine is easier than you think. What’s more, it will (contrary to popular belief) often actually save you a lot of money, too. 

In many ways the major changes towards a zero waste lifestyle boils down to how and where you shop…

toiletries

Where to shop

Ethical and zero waste shopping often go hand in hand, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the  better quality products available (especially in terms of food) where bulk buying (in realistic amounts) saves you money. 

Farmers markets and zero waste stores are growing in popularity and becoming more affordable, so it’s worth looking out for Dublin-based zero waste hubs such as Dublin Food Co-op, Veganic and Noms. These shops make it simple for people to stock up on essentials & basics for cheap, without any packaging. Another positive aspect of going zero waste is that you aren’t forced to buy more than you need (the frustrating reality when faced with food packages designed for multiple people is that the produce can go out of date before getting used). With this in mind, going to a farmers market, or a zero waste/ health store to restock will save on money, time and waste. 

Use what you have

Glass jars are an easy way to simultaneously reduce waste and organise your kitchen! Instead of recycling your glass jars, wash them out and use them for food storage at home, or take them with you to bulk stores. Tote bags are another sustainable (and altogether en vogue) way to shop without all that unnecessary packaging. Invest in a good quality bag and it will serve you for years to come, or better yet, make your own out of a clothing item you planned to otherwise throw away!

onion peel

Compost

If you’re finding that food scraps and leftovers are a major contribution to the amount of waste you accumulate on a daily basis, bare in mind that the most effective solution is also the easiest! Start a compost bin. 

Starting a compost bin is very simple; grab a bin and a pocketful of worms and set one up in your own garden. Chuck in all your food waste and scraps, and let it rot baby! And the party doesn’t stop there, you can even use the resulting compost to grow your own garden, donate to your friends who wanna grow THEIR own garden or just let the worms get it onnnn…

Incremental changes FTW

Zero waste living can be a little intimidating at first. What’s important to remember is not to get overwhelmed and to implement whatever changes you can, wherever and whenever possible. Some changes such as conscious shopping are simple and effective while others such as installing a compost bin may be a later step in the process. Remember, every little change makes a difference!