The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Living
Our community has provided amazing suggestions of how to reduce waste, and for the first time, we’ve brought it all into this ultimate guide.
We want everyone to have the information to their fingertips. But what do we mean by Zero Waste living?
Living without waste means throwing nothing into your bins every week, recycling or otherwise. For most, it means just not throwing away any plastic. The notion is that we make the best use of our valuable resources.
It has become fashionable to do this as our waste is going into our rivers and oceans and even recycling waste is either mostly burnt or shipped abroad.
In this guide, you’ll find condensed community recommendations of how to reduce waste from food, drink, health & beauty, children and households. Consider this your go-to place for zero waste living.
Taking a mini audit of yourself and your family is a great way to get started. There are multiple ways to do this but what’s recommended is to audit your bins over a week and find out what you’re throwing away.
Another way of doing this is to use a calculator. There’s a really useful one here, which gives you an idea of how much plastic you throw away.
Waste from this source makes up the proportion of most people’s waste. Here are our community’s top tips on how to reduce it.
Get waste-free food delivered to your front door! Here are a few operators who will sort you out:
- Milk and More; provide locally sourced diary products, bread, veg and fruit in most areas of the country.
- Boxfresh delivers veg boxes, sourced locally, across the UK.
- Able and Cole, Riverford, Eversfield Organic; deliver organic produce everywhere in the country with a lot less plastic.
- Farmdrop delivers locally sourced farm foods in certain areas of the country.
- Oddbox delivers in London amazing plastic free veg boxes which are filled full of food of odd shapes which would otherwise have been thrown away.
Plastic bottles are currently the scourge of our oceans. It’s high time we found better ways of drinking. Here are our top community tips:
- Re-usable Hot drink Cup, top suggestions include; KeepCup, rCup, and Huskcup.
- Get a refillable water bottle
- Stop buying bottles of fizzy drink, make your own; get a Sodastream - old school but cuts out a lot of plastic!
- Shop using disposable coffee pods; Halo Coffee provides a reusable alternative.
Fast fashion means buying clothes or shoes that then throwing them away after one or two uses. These items are often made of plastic, polyester or nylon which do not biodegrade and must be burnt when disposed of.
We will always throw away some items, but there’s plenty we can do minimise. The main suggestion is to simply use your clothes for as long as possible and fix them, but here are some other suggestions;
- Get second-hand clothing; use charity shops or online facilities such as Vinted or Patatam.
- Lease your clothes; Girl Meet Dress, The Frockery, Hirestreet, My Wardrobe HQ, & MUD Jeans
- Buy low impact, long-lasting fashion. Shoes; VivoBareFoot, Veja, Ethletic, Po-Zu, Beyond Skin, Wills Vegan Shoes & Blackspot. Womens clothes; Snag Tights, People Tree, Palava & Outsider Fashion. Mens; Brothers we Stand, Unisex clothing; Gather&See, Beaumont Organic, Rapanui, Bambooo Clothing & Finnesterre.
Health and Beauty
There’s is a lot of bottles and containers used in the management of our health and beauty, alongside some direct waste. To reduce this waste our community has had some amazing suggestions;
- Plastic-free Shampoo and Soap Bars as they can often be better and more natural, suggestion include; Friendly Soap, Lush & The Funky Soap Shop
- Low Impact Beauty Products with less packaging and a smaller impact, check out; Beauty Kitchen, White Rabbit Skincare, Zao Essence of Nature, Rebel Shave, Eco Beagle, Peace in the Wild & The Body Shop.
- Health Care Products with less plastic; QBamboo Toothbrushes, Mooncup alternative to menstual disposibles, and Ecovibe and GeoOrganics, which are a one stop shop for low waste health care products.
Babies and children create a lot of waste, from when they’re born we throw out nappies and buy tonnes of short-lived plastic toys. Here’s our community tips;
- Cut down on nappy waste; where you can use reusuable nappies (see Close Parent & The Nappy Lady, and use biodegradable nappies from the likes of Kit and Kin.
- Look at sustainable toys, which of course includes getting toys from charity shops, using Whirli that provides a toy rental service, Le Toy Van Toys with has 100% wooden toys, and Eco-craft which provide craft materials for children.
- Low impact clothing and supplies; Natural Baby Shower provides a realm of baby products, and Palava provides a great selection of kids clothes.
Household and Other
Cleaning materials and general items for use within the house are sometimes difficult to find without plastic, there’s also microplastics to consider from clothes and tyres! Here’s some tips;
- Plastic-free cleaning products by going to a local place which does refills, or using services such as Iron and Velvet which has plastic-free cleaning products.
- Plastic-free utensils can be obtained from the likes of The Plastic Free Shop or Ethical Shop, as well as local zero waste retailers.
- Reduce Tyre Waste - tyres produce 40% of all plastic waste. Drive less, more carefully and replace your tyres with longer-lasting tyres, and you can help cut our microplastics and tyres being burnt!
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