The average school-aged child produces 67 pounds of waste per school year just from their lunch alone. The solution is pretty simple… zero-waste lunches. They are easy to create and are more affordable over time than the typical packed or school bought lunches.
In my opinion, zero waste grocery shopping is one of the most difficult aspects of living a zero waste lifestyle. Almost everything comes in packaging. We use tons of plastic bags, clip paper coupons, and get receipts down to the floor at the end of our visit. And this isn’t even the worst of the waste. Most grocery store waste comes from the food that we throw out at home from over buying and the food that the stores throw out to keep us customers happy.
This is one of the main reasons my focus with WasteLessThinking is a less wasteful lifestyle, rather than a waste free one. It’s also the reason why it is so important to cut down on grocery store waste where we can. Here are 8 simple tips to cutting down on waste when grocery shopping.
By: Courtney Schallhorn
Even though they’re clean for you, showers can be pretty dirty for the environment. They are one of the most water and energy intensive practices that we do at home. Not only do they pull huge amounts of water from our drinking supply, they send harmful pollutants down our drains and into our oceans, rivers, and lakes. Here are a few tips to help you make your showers as clean for the environment as they are for you.
Composting is a major ingredient of a low-waste lifestyle. It’s how you turn items like food scraps and yard trimmings into a nutrient rich substance that fertilizes the earth. Whether you live on a farm or in a studio apartment, everyone can compost. And once you have your nutrient rich soil, you can use it as fertilizer for your fruits, vegetables, or flowers. Here are some tips to get you started on your composting adventure.
Cutting down on waste is not just about switching to reusable items, it’s also about using less in the first place. Every thing you buy is creating waste in some way, be it the packaging, the waste created from the manufacturing process, or the product itself being thrown away. That is why it is important to make sure everything we purchase actually serves an important purpose.
There are a lot of useless products out there that we waste our money on because companies and advertisers convince us that we need them. We purchase and repurchase these items because we are convinced they are necessary, even if they don’t provide any real benefit. Other products were once very useful and we are still purchasing them even though they are no longer necessary.
In a perfect zero-waste world we would cook every meal at home, in our waste-free kitchen and never worry about restaurant waste ever again. But for most of us that is not an option and we will eventually have to eat out at a restaurant.
Restaurants generate a huge amount of waste, but according to an NPR survey, that waste is a low priority for restaurant managers who are more focused on other issues, like revenue and customer satisfaction.
That’s why it is important for us as customers to take steps to reduce the amount of waste we create when eating out, and make it known that waste is a priority to us, so it needs to be a priority for businesses also.
Anyone with concern for the environment has probably heard all about greenwash and how evil companies can be by manipulating consumers into thinking their products are better for the environment when they really aren’t. But what we might not realize is just how prevalent greenwash is.
Living a low-waste style is something that I made the decision to do because the system of trash generation and treatment in this world just isn’t working anymore. We are producing trash at an unprecedented rate, but shipping it out of sight when we are done with it where it’s out of sight, out of mind. Most people don’t give much consideration to landfills, or what happens to our trash after we put it on the curb, because we aren’t confronted with it. But I think you should know about the problem with landfills.
Controlling and monitoring waste production in our homes can be easy because we decide what comes in and goes out. Other environments can be harder to reduce waste in because you do not control them, like the workplace. Here are some tips to help you reduce waste in the ways that you can control in your workplace.