Start with a week or so and see how it makes an impact in your life.
1. Look through your trash
Going through your trash can be a good way to see what it is that you're throwing away. Make note of what you throw away most and think of reusable alternatives.
2. Swap out trash with zero-waste products
You might notice that you threw away a ton of plastic bags or paper towels. Exchange the plastic bags with reusable ones and instead of using paper towels maybe keep a washable towel in your purse or around the house.
3. Have your barista fill up reusable cup
Take your own cup with you places and if you buy a drink anywhere just ask them to fill up your cup instead of a plastic one.
4. Take your own containers grocery shopping
Go to a store that offers bulk products. Bringing your own containers will eliminate extra trash later. This can also be a good way to eat healthier because a lot of the bulk products are natural.
5. Try buying clothes secondhand
Shopping at a thrift store can actually be fun. It's like giving the clothes a second chance at life. If you're crafty you can even upcycle the clothing to make it a little more stylish.
6. Shop at a farmers market
I love this tip so much, this is a good way to buy products without packaging. I love eating healthy and how it makes your body feel. Imagine zero-waste as a way for the environment to have that same feeling. We aren't filling it with all the junk it doesn't need, but instead we are living off of it and giving it zero trash in return!
7. Turn down junk mail and paper statements
Switching to e-statements is such an easy fix to a big problem. I hated getting those letters in the mail when it could just be sent over email.
8. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush
Switching from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one is just one more way to be eco friendly in your everyday life.
9. Try making your own beauty products
Using natural products for beauty is a good way to give your body what it needs in a healthy way and without the plastic bottles. You can still look beautiful and wear makeup, just without all of the extra chemicals. You'd be surprised how good this is for your skin as well.
10. Use steel or bamboo straws
Plastic straws not only end up in landfills, but they also end up in our oceans and can harm wildlife. I always try to ask for no straw with my drink so I can use my own, and who knows maybe someone will be so surprised by your choice that they might decide to try it themselves.
11. Switch to paperless products
As a college student this one can be extra hard because we are always needing to write things down or buy new books every semester. Next time just see if they offer it as an ebook, it is the same content just on phone or tablet instead of paper. Also, it can help to take notes on your computer or phone that way you don't have all that information on paper, this is more reliable anyway-less likely of losing it somewhere.
12. Bring your own utensils
If you know that you might have to use plastic utensils, just bring your own set of metal ones. You can find them in a cute little box that is easy to carry around.
13. Drink from a reusable water bottle
I think the whole idea of water coming in separate plastic bottles all wrapped in plastic is so pointless when you could so easily just bring the same bottle with you and fill it up each time.
14. Avoid disposable feminine hygiene products
Girls, I know this sounds like a tough transition, but there are actually many benefits to making the switch to a menstrual cup. You don't have to worry about going out and spending money on pads and tampons every month AND they are zero-waste, how convenient!
15. Slow down and focus on the goal
Our lives are busy and it's hard to live zero-waste because we are just used to throwing away the trash. When in reality we need to be focused on eliminating it in a whole.
If you try these simple steps to living zero-waste, then it won't be as hard as you imagine.