Millennials are obsessed with going zero waste. It’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s actually a great thing. I’ve noticed that a zero waste lifestyle has become a source of competition though. If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I am passionate about the environment and veganism. But I also strive for balance. I don’t want a lifestyle to turn into an obsession. You don’t have to be over-the-top with zero waste (unless you want to). This is why I am going to share some zero waste/sustainability tips that won’t stress you out.
Take Re-usable Bags to the Grocery Store…This is probably the easiest thing you can do. Most grocery stores sell these bags or you can buy them on Amazon. If you have a lot of excess plastic bags, most stores also have a place where you can recycle used plastic bags. I always bring more than one re-usable bag just to ensure that the cashier doesn’t have to use a plastic bag.
Use Mason Jars or Glass Jars…I like to store things in glass jars. I either use mason jars or reuse sauce or pickle jars. I also put smoothies in jars, instead of using plastic cups. Glass is a much more sustainable option. Glass can be reused like plastic products, but it doesn’t have such a negative impact on ecosystems. The glass jars also don’t end up in the landfill when you reuse them.
Avoid Palm Oil…You’ve probably already heard this. Palm oil is a major cause of deforestation and has increased the chance of extinction among some species. It’s also just not very good for you and there are plenty of other plant-based oils companies can use. Here is an article explaining 5 Reasons to Avoid Palm Oil.
Avoid Products Wrapped in Plastic…This relates to grocery shopping, but also applies to shopping in general. Go for products without wrapping or go for things in cardboard packaging. Paper packaging is easily recyclable. For produce, plastic wrap is not even necessary because you’ll wash it anyway before eating. For clothing and bottled products, it also isn’t necessary to be covered in plastic. It’s just an extra layer of packaging you don’t need. If you can’t avoid it, just make sure you recycle the packaging at a recycling center.
Eat less processed foods…I’ve talked about this before. I know it’s hard to completely overhaul how you eat. But avoiding processed foods is more sustainable. Processed foods typically have more packaging and also contribute more often to pollution than whole foods (not the store). The meat and dairy industries are actually the highest contributors of methane and water pollution. On an individual level, fresh foods can be composted and have minimal waste.
I hope these tips eased your stress about zero waste. I know it can seem complicated, but these are small things you can incorporate into your daily life. If you have more tips, please put them in the comments. Thanks for reading!