How To Start Shopping And Living A Zero-Waste Lifestyle

5 Ways For A Budding Environmentalist To Start A Zero-Waste Lifestyle

One thing I've been SUPER diligent about not buying anything from fast-fashion stores. That includes Zaful, Shein, Zara, Fashion Nova, Forever 21, and so many more.


This is going to be a continuation of my last article about using a menstrual cup for the first time, but I'll be speaking broadly about the things I've been changing with my own lifestyle choices that are better for the environment. Of course, some of these don't apply to EVERYONE, but I think this is a good starting point for beginners who are trying to make the transition.

1. Plastic bags


Honestly, why are we even WASTING so many plastic bags when we go shopping, just to hoard them in our pantries after we take the groceries out??? Plus, they're super weak and rip super easily when you have a bunch of groceries so you have to DOUBLE and TRIPLE up. Just save yourself the time and energy and invest in some cute canvas tote bags with a nice design. They're sturdy, they're cute, and they're eco-conscious for the environment!

2. Plastic utensils (forks, spoons, and straws)

Going along with the plastic bags, one SUPER important things that we shouldn't be buying anymore is plastic utensils. At Rutgers, we usually get plastic forks, knives, and spoons whenever we get takeout, but recently I've been passing on these. I recently went to Walmart and found some QUALITY utensils for SUPER CHEAP, so I got two sets for me (and for Kory whenever he comes over).

And all I have to do is wash them whenever I'm finished and just keep using them again! I've also started transitioning to using reusable straws instead of disposable ones, which has been GREAT because the other day I got a drink at Starbucks and they ran out of straws but guess who had her reusable one!!!

3. Disposable water bottles

Long gone are the days of Poland Spring and Fiji water. I bought a Contigo water bottle about a year ago, and it's been my SAVING GRACE and BEST FRIEND ever since. I take it literally with me wherever I go, and just find a water fountain to fill it up whenever I feel thirsty. It's honestly so much better than buying packs of water every couple of weeks and it makes me more inclined to drink more water throughout the day! You can also get really cute ones from Target or Marshalls with designs and different types of materials, and I'm sure there are filtered water bottles for those of you concerned about the water quality.

4. Reusable tea strainers and loose leaf tea

This one is probably my FAVORITE because I love tea! This past Christmas, I bought my dad a tea strainer from David's Tea and a various assortment of loose teas. It's super easy because you don't have to deal with the tea bags and you can actually make the tea as strong or weak as you'd like AND you can mix different tea flavors to your liking! It's a small adjustment to save the environment, but think about all of the waste you're saving!! Plus, it's so much easier to buy the loose leaf teas in bulk at your local supermarket than small tea bags!!

5. Cheap, fast-fashion

One thing I've been SUPER diligent about not buying anything from fast-fashion stores. That includes Zaful, Shein, Zara, Fashion Nova, Forever 21, and so many more. What I like though is that some of these brands are trying to make a conscious effort to make sustainable clothing in better conditions for their workers (i.e. H&M's Conscious Collection). With the exception of this brand, sustainable clothing brands can be VERY expensive (cough cough, Reformation), and so I've been thrifting a lot more of my clothes now! Depending on what day and time you go, you can probably get some AMAZING finds for less than half the price that these bigger brands are selling their clothes for. Reusing of clothes helps the environment and helps workers in harsh conditions.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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