To celebrate the final day of Zero Waste Week 2021, we have a special gift for you.
You can enjoy 75% off all our online courses by using the code zerohero when you checkout. View our online courses and enjoy as many discounted courses as you like – the coupon expires 17th September. You don’t have to complete the course by then, just choose a course that takes your fancy and sign up.
Before that, though, we’re sharing our top tips for Zero Waste living. By we. you’ve hopefully realised by now, we don’t just mean from us – Anna and Rachelle. We mean from all of our ambassadors and from members of our Zero Waste communities, or people who’ve done our courses. We’ve even had contributions and suggestions from people we don’t even know – people who other people have invited to add their voice to the Zero Waste Week know-how.
Here we go then with a round up of top tips for getting started on a Zero Waste journey. We hope there’s something for everyone. And of course, if you’ve got a top tip of your own or you’d like to add your voice to the campaign, feel free to contact us through social media or the website.
My top tip is to take it once step at a time. Start with a a single, easy to manage swap. It could be a reusable coffee cup, a reusable water bottle, a washable handkerchief and don’t beat yourself up if you forget it once in a while. Just keep adjusting your routine a tiny bit at a time, so the Zero Waste becomes easier than the alternative. If you put your shopping bags back in your handbag / car when you’ve unpacked your shopping, you’ll end up always having them with you.
My top tip for anyone wanting to begin a Zero Waste journey is to get your mindset in the right place. My first question would be “What is your big why?”
Let’s face it, if you’re anything like me, you don’t like being told that you should do something! Especially when the reason given bears no resemblance to your own values in life. So it’s time to dig deep, look at your values, drives and passions and decide WHY you want to start a Zero Waste journey.
Maybe it’s to save money, preserve resources, protect the environment for future generations, for religious or spiritual reasons, because you can’t be arsed to get up at 7:30 each week to put out your bins, to protect wildlife, to be part of a growing movement, to learn new skills, to do something that feels good, for health reasons, to reduce the amount of stuff you have to take care of, because you like to set yourself challenges, because you’re just fed up of wasting stuff… the list goes on and on.
Knowing WHY you are doing something helps to keep you motivated and, more importantly, gets you back on track when you invariably fall off the bandwagon. For me it’s all about preserving the planet for my children and grandchildren. They need and deserve a beautiful, healthy and safe planet to live on. I also have an inherent love of nature and I want to do what I can to protect it. Any time I find myself slacking, I bring to mind my future ancestors and picture what I want for them and how I can be part of that vision. I love the concept of Seven Generation Stewardship which invites us to consider the impact of our choices today, seven generations into the future.
Let’s get the best tips from some of our Zero Waste Week Ambassadors
There’s a wealth of information out there, and so many keen to share and help you on your journey. Take the first step, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, because it makes the whole process so much easier and fun.
Make a shopping list before you go food shopping and stick to it. Reducing food waste is one of the best things you can do to help reduce climate change (check out the list of climate solutions on drawdown.org ). Making a shopping list is a very simple but powerful act that can help you avoid buying more food than you need.
Take a walk around your home and note down all the things you can change. Then start with the first thing you want to change and break it down weekly so that it does not become overwhelming.
Just do one simple thing like using a reusable coffee cup and know that your journey has begun. Celebrate your success then next week try to add in something else.
Take the time to understand what motivates you to make changes to how you live to reduce your waste, environmental impact or carbon footprint: this will be what makes the difference between success and giving up.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start your journey small by choosing just one thing to swap, something that you regularly use every day. For me this was a reusable coffee cup, and then remembering to take a reusable bag with me every time I left the house. Small changes make a big difference, and we have to remember that sustainability is a journey that we are all learning from.
Try to be in the Good-Good zone – good for you as well as everyone else and the planet. It’s like wearing your oxygen mask whilst helping those around you. You can’t keep going if you cut all the fun out of life, you’re fighting everyone around you, or you’re making yourself ill.
And what do other Zero Heroes have to share?
Buy a reusable water bottle. You will notice that you have fewer plastic bottles in the recycling.
Be aware, look at things you are buying and say “Do I need this? Will I use it?” If not then don’t buy it.
Make a compost heap for all your uncooked food waste. It will improve your soil, encourage insect and worm life, reduce your waste impact and turn your flowers and veg into prize-winners! Probably.
Work with food. Learn about the non-importance of many poducts’ best before dates and save tons of money.
You don’t have to cut everything out at once. Start with a few little things and see where it takes you as they add up.
Honestly a lot of our zero waste changes have been really fun… foraging with the kids, growing in leftover food containers, making dodgy wine. It doesn’t have to be a chore and we have an amazing sense of achievement when the general waste bin isn’t full.
Swap to Refillable dry goods. It’s an easy change to make, it shouldn’t be more expensive if you balance the slightly higher cost of pasta or rice with the significantly cheaper herbs and spices and it’s fun.
Lizzi can’t pick just one! She says:
Take a water bottle/coffee cup/bag – don’t let yourself buy coffee if you don’t have your cup – then you’ll notice and start to remember it by default.
More positive 🙂
Look for your local zero waste shop or bakery or greengrocer – you may find some new favourite foods and will be supporting a small business and community.
Next time you think of buying something think about where it’s coming from. Do you really need it? Could you borrow or get it second hand? If you do have to buy new, will it last? Are you paying a fair price for it? How will you dispose of the packaging? How will you dispose of it when it no longer serves you?
As has become our custom, today is about caring and sharing. What’s your top tip to share with anyone wanting to get started with your Zero Waste Journey?
Don’t forget you can develop everything you’ve learned this week by enjoying 75% off all our online courses when using the code zerohero when you checkout. View our online courses and enjoy as many discounted courses as you like – the coupon expires 17th September.