Welcome to Zero Waste Week 2017 – Day Four. How to make your Zero Waste lifestyle quick, easy and effortless

Welcome to Time Saving and Top Tips Thursday!

Is your Zero waste Lifestyle taking too long? It’s time to find a hack for that!

Just like any other goal in life, you need to start small and build up to your desired goal. I talk more about that, and some nifty ‘mind games’ you can play with yourself, to turn this big goal into something easy and effortless with my blog “How to do your bit when you’re busy‘.

I asked our Facebook community for their answers and here’s what they came up with!

Aggie recommends bulk cooking then freezing. Coupled with using a slow cooker, this stops her grabbing convenience food wrapped in plastic when she’s late home from work. She also has some ideas for not getting caught out when popping out for lunch. She writes “Keep a spare zero waste food on the hoof kit in the office (reusable cutlery, reusable coffee cup) in case you end up “popping out for lunch” for any reason.”

Victoria urges you to have your bin system organised.  She’s set up a colour coded system which are size appropriate for how full they get. Victoria says this makes segregating different types of recycling easy and emptying them more straight forward.

Here’s Victoria’s recycling bins:


Nadine says she doesn’t think Zero Waste takes much more extra time once you have habits set in place. She goes onto say “I definitely keep my shopping bags/containers together and organized so I can grab them and go.” Anna C agrees. She says I keep a container in the trunk of my car that has my reusable cotton bags, glass jars with tare weights, and to-go reusable drink jars with stainless steel straws. And stainless tiffin containers for leftovers.” Mariola is all about the quick gains. She writes “I love to be environmental. My better day with my silicone straw. I always carry with me ,whatever I’m in McDonald’s or Pizza Hut or Reustaurant. I don’t use anymore plastic one . My silicone straws it last for ever and don’t have throw them away just washed and use again and again.”

Anna B talks to us about batching errands. She shares “Once every three weeks I drive 30 minutes and go to the toy library, healthfood shop, supermarket and secondhand shop. This is on a Saturday afternoon. I have sychronised my Library book lending for the Saturday morning so I don’t forget. Once every two weeks on Sunday morning I go to the market for fruit, meat, fish, soap, etc. I go to the milk farm every five days, which takes about 20 mins, for my milk.”

Carla shared this brilliant result! She wrote “I usually get 5 junk mails everyday. Since I wrote this 3 weeks ago I have received 5 leaflets in total. I’m sooooo surprised that people take notice, and I don’t have to throw so much uselessness away.”

How to stop junk mail zero waste week

Gayla pointed out that starting Zero waste is like starting to budget – if it’s a change from what you used to do, it will take time in the beginning and pay off later.

She advises making a list of changes you need to make that will cause the most significant difference and reminds that you’ll most likely need to invest both time AND money such as purchasing a diva cup, buy/make shopping/grocery bags, buy ingredients for DIY toothpaste, buy a water bottle / keep cup, washable diapers etc., but then once you have these things the savings in both time and money start to add up.

Gayla recommends starting small with just 1-2 things at a time, gradually moving to zero-waste.

Deborah agrees with the small steps routine. She writes “We focused zero plastics first for the first 6 months and went room by room.We found that at first the time consuming thing was having to go to multiple shops for groceries rather than getting all our stuff at one place. So now I do a monthly shop for dry/ bulk goods and get a veg box delivered which is no effort at all! Since we’ve switched to shampoo and soap bars we’ve found these last ages so we’re shopping less frequently for those items. A lot of ‘zero waste’ reusable items are expensive initially so we just buy one item per month and only replace items that are broken or empty.

Pip wrote “Having milk and juice delivered (in reusable glass bottles) definitely has saved me mid-week ‘popping to the shops’! Which in turn I think also means less impulse junk food buying”

What about you? What tips do you have to help your Zero Waste lifestyle take minimal time?

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Rachelle Strauss

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