Us humans – we create a lot of waste. Like a LOT. Just take a look at your garbage can (I know, I know, it’s gross) and actually analyze how much trash you throw out in a week, and what are your garbage “trends” aka what comprises most of your trash.
Ultimately, nobody can live a truly “zero waste” life, but we can make many small steps to live a less wasteful and more conscious life on our Mother Earth. In this blog post, you will find tips on how to get started, which will have an instant positive affect on reducing your waste. Almost all the products I recommend are from Package Free Shop, my favorite NYC Zero Waste store. Keep in mind, you don’t have to buy new things (as that can defeat the point of reducing waste), so if you already own any of these items, use those!
1. Use stainless steel straws
You’ve probably heard that plastic straws are bad for the turtles, sea-life… and us. Switch over to a reusable and non-toxic stainless steel straw, and bring it everywhere you go – it’s so easy to fit it in your bag. Get it here! And say “No straw, please” when you’re out for drinks and food.
2. Drink from a reusable water bottle
We all know we need to drink more water. But drinking from plastic bottles (even reusable ones!) exposes are to BPA, microplastics and other toxins when waterbottles get exposed to heat. Not to mention how many plastic bottles never get recycled and end up on beaches, in oceans etc. I love my insulated stainless steel water bottles, and glass ones are great too. You can get the stainless steel water bottle here, and a glass one here (if you love pink, here’s a pink glass water bottle option!).
3. Get your coffee/tea in a reusable to-go mug
Coffee cups contain your favorite, go-to beverage, right? Well, unfortunately they are not recyclable nor compostable, and are lined with plastic that leaches into your hot beverage when you drink from it. Yikes. But, nowadays coffee shops are very accepting of reusable coffee mugs and some even give you a discount for bringing it! KeepCup is my favorite because it looks like a regular to-go coffee cup, and is made of sustainable materials – glass and cork! You can get it here!
4. Shop in reusable bags
In NYC, bringing your own bag is now strongly encouraged, since the plastic bag ban. If you do need a bag, you will be charged 5 cents for a paper one. Paper, however, isn’t endlessly recyclable (neither is plastic!). So, for the long run, bringing your own shopping bags to stores is the most sustainable option. For produce I like these, 100% organic cotton sacks, I use whatever tote I have handy for carrying the bulk of the groceries (you can get one like this here, and spread awareness about going package free!), for bulk items I use jars such as these, or these small cotton bags.
5. Eat with a reusable bamboo cutlery set on-the-go
Do you throw your takeout plastic cutlery in the recycle bin? Bad news: they likely won’t get recycled at all. Their shape, size and mix of plastics they’re made out of sets them up for landfill. Plus, remember how I said plastic leaches out toxins when in contact with heat? The same thing happens when you eat with plastic cutlery. Thankfully, you don’t need to carry around your heavy utensils from home (unless you want to, of course!). Bamboo cutlery is light, sustainable and the perfect to-go option. I’ve had the best experience and highest quality from this Package Free Bamboo Cutlery Set, which you can get in adult size here, and in kids size here.
There you have it! You’re set up to make a big impact with just there five simple upgrades. A lot of the items I linked (affiliate) from Package Free Shop are on a major sale, so make sure to take advantage and support the blog at the same time! 😊