An important part of living a low-waste lifestyle is having low-waste hobbies. The more time you spend doing things that are naturally low-waste, the easier the lifestyle will be for you.
Here is a list of some fun past times that are not only low-waste, but are good for the environment in other ways as well.
If you are unsure or nervous about getting involved in a new hobby, don’t worry, all these hobbies are easier to get started in than you think.
Upcycling is a great hobby for creative individuals who like crafts and DIY projects. Upcycling involves creatively reusing items by transforming them into something new and useful. Like turning an old tire into a belt, glass jars into an herb planter, or just creating art pieces from used materials.
How it is good for the environment: Upcycling allows you to give a new purpose to something useless, rather than throwing it away. It keeps trash out of the landfills and prevents unnecessary consumption by letting you make products out of used materials, rather than buying new items.
How to get started: Use sites like Pinterest or upcycling blogs, like upcyclethat.com, to find ideas and tutorials. You can even get inspiration from other upcyclers in your area at a meetup. After some experience you will be able to come up with your own ideas and hopefully notice a reduction in your waste.
Hiking is my hobby of choice. When I’m not working I try to be on a trail. Hiking is an excellent workout and studies have shown that it combats the symptoms of stress and anxiety and boosts creativity. It allows you to experience gorgeous natural sights which gives you a better appreciation for nature.
How it is good for the environment: It is so easy to go on zero-waste hikes. Just bring water and snacks in reusable containers. Hiking fosters an appreciation for nature and an interest in the environment. The public being interested in hiking generates a demand for healthy national parks and undeveloped natural areas.
Natural environments can be fragile, however, so fires need to be avoided of contained and wildlife must be undisturbed.
How to get started: It’s best to start small and find some short, easy trails close to you. Take a friend and get acquainted with learning how to follow trail markings and navigate the outdoors.
As you improve you will be able to do more challenging hikes. You will meet other hobby hikers along the way who will point you towards the best hikes in your area.
You can also join a hiking club or attend hiking meetups in your area.
I have been trying my hand at gardening since adopting a zero waste lifestyle because it is the best way to have complete control over your food waste.
I haven’t completely cured y black thumb, but I am powering through.
When gardening is done correctly, you can have constant access to zero-waste food. Or, if you prefer a strictly aesthetic garden, that’s great too.
A lush garden provides a habitat from many life forms, like insects, and provides food for others, like birds and bees.
Growing a personal garden ensures that only natural fertilizers are used in your food, which benefits both you and the environment.
Plus, it goes hand-in-hand with a low-waste lifestyle, generating a supply of zero-waste food and providing a need for compost.
How to get started: You don’t need a huge yard to start a garden. Large pots can hold a garden just as lush as any yard. If you do have a yard, clean up some space to allot to your garden.
Different climates promote different vegetation, so find out what plants are suitable for the soil and temperatures in your area.
Any garden store is a great place to start. Let an employee know what your garden goals and starting point are and they can provide you with some good information.
You can also strike up a conversation with a neighbor who has an impressive garden. Experienced gardeners love to share tips with novices.
You can also find plenty of online resources, like my favorite gardening blog Garden Betty.
With dwindling bee populations, beekeeping is now more essential than ever. Backyard bee colonies are vital to increasing the population of wild bees.
But you won’t only be benefiting bee populations, beekeeping provides you with a supply of fresh honey. Along with its great taste, honey is also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, which gives it a variety of beneficial uses in the home.
Beekeeping a hobby also pairs well with gardening, as a bee colony will ensure that your garden yields as much produce as possible.
How it is good for the environment: Honey bees are essential to our environment. They are responsible for pollinating about a quarter of the food that we eat.
Since the discovery of Colony Collapse Disorder, many scientists have tried to estimate what would happen if bees were to become extinct. While some believe that human life may be dependent on the existence of bees, all agree that most of our plants and many of our food crops would die off with the bees.
Beekeeping can help preserve bee populations and crops. One bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day.
How to get started: Believe it or not, you can actually buy a colony of bees online and have it shipped to your door. You really can buy anything online these days.
Most beekeeping supplies can also be purchased from online stores, like Kelley Beekeeping.
Because beekeeping can be a bit challenging, beekeeping courses can be found online or at a college in your area. It is a good idea to a least read some online instructional material before purchasing a hive.
After you have your hive you can join online communities, like Reddit, to share tips and stories with other beekeepers.
Because cooking at home is a critical part of a low-waste lifestyle, you might as well get some enjoyment out of it by turning it into a hobby.
How it is good for the environment: Cooking at home allows you to have better control over your waste than eating out does.
It also allows you to make better environmental choices by purchasing all your own ingredients. That way you can ensure that you are purchasing foods that are organic, fair-trade, Non-GMO, etc.
How to get started: First, you will have to bring the food into your house in a low-waste fashion. Wether it be growing your own food, shopping a bulk food stores, or applying low-waste practices at the supermarket.
Once your low-waste food is in the house, you will need to find some recipes. The amount of online resources out there for cooking novices is endless. Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, blogs, YouTube, recipe sites, the list is endless. Find people who inspire you and recreate their recipes. It’s that simple.
Over time you will develop your own ideas and transform them into delicious recipes.
Now get out there and find a low-waste hobby that you enjoy. Comment below if you have any low-waste hobbies that you want to share.