Lifestyle

Just Another Post About Zero Waste

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!

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    jaicommunity
    March 24, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I’m totally with you. However, society needs to force change in corporate culture for us to make meaningful impact. The single use plastics are one of the largest offenders of unmanageable waste – straws, plasticware, water bottles, etc. I have been trying very hard over the past year or so to reduce my consumption of these types of products, but you just cannot escape them. Have you seen the recent articles and web posts on the floating plastic waste in the ocean? That is extremely disturbing. Thanks for helping keep this important topic on peoples’ minds. Great post

    • Reply
      Kaley
      March 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      I have heard about the plastic waste in the ocean. I wish more brands and companies made a point to use more sustainable resources. In a lot of European countries you have to use reusable bags at grocery stores, I wish that was the case in the US. Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you liked the post!

      • Reply
        jaicommunity
        March 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm

        It is a totally a culture shift. I almost ALWAYS choose paper bags now when shopping in the grocery store, and some of the looks I get are just silliness. If I was organized enough I would take my reusable – but paper is a step in the right direction because it is at least biodegradable.

  • Reply
    searchingformyinnerzen
    March 24, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    It’s incredible how much produce is wrapped in plastic. I recently went and bought some fruit that was packaged in a plastic container, when I opened the container the fruit was wrapped in plastic too! It’s so sad the damage we are doing to the world which our future generations will have to pay for.
    Thanks for sharing, this was very inspiring 😊

    • Reply
      Kaley
      March 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      I have had similar experiences. It is quite annoying when everything is wrapped in plastic. Thanks for commenting 😊

  • Reply
    Florida Fruit Geek
    March 26, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Great topic, thanks for posting about it. One technique I’ve found that’s super helpful for keeping your waste production down: save all your landfill trash for a month, then weigh it. And look through it all before you take it to the dump at the end of the month. It’s really eye-opening to see that stuff all at once, especially seeing what types of items make up the bulk of the waste. That helps influence my buying decisions in the future towards lower-waste items.

    • Reply
      Kaley
      March 26, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks for commenting. That is a really good idea! I remember doing that as a child, but I haven’t done it lately. Thanks for sharing that tip!

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  • Reply
    gaygalpal
    April 3, 2018 at 12:43 am

    Awesome article! Super helpful and insightful! I’m working on my own blog post about this topic right now. My friends and I at college have started a zero-waste group chat, and we are trying our best

    • Reply
      Kaley
      April 3, 2018 at 12:46 am

      Thanks for reading! That’s really cool that you have a group chat going.

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  • Reply
    jennifernkenobi
    April 4, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I’ve seen ads for reusable wrap products. Have you given any of them a try?

    • Reply
      Kaley
      April 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      No, I haven’t. I’m interested in trying them though.

  • Reply
    RH
    May 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    I have been re-using glass jars but I find that the metal lids start to rust quite easily and after only very little time, so I had to throw them out. Have you had this problem too?

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