6 cool ways to start living a zero-waste lifestyle
Considering going zero-waste and contributing to reducing your carbon footprint but feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to start?
Rest assured there are easy ways to go zero-waste without radically changing your lifestyle. It might take some tweaking of certain habits, but none of it will break the bank. Going zero- waste helps reduce water usage, conserves energy, diminishes the production and consumption cycle, stops ecosystem destruction, and more. Starting your zero-waste journey can be easy, cool, and fun!
Here are 6 easy, cool ways to reduce your carbon footprint and go zero-waste on this Earth Day.
Reuse coffee grounds
Did you know you don’t have to throw out your coffee grounds? Here are four ways you can reuse them.
Use them to neutralize odors. Put them in a room with a lingering smell, and the nitrogen in the coffee grounds will contain the odor in the air quickly and safely.
Use coffee grounds to clean pots and pans. Let them dry and then sprinkle them onto your utensils, dishes, pots, or pans, then scrub and rinse thoroughly.
If you grow a garden, add coffee grounds directly to the soil around your leafy greens. In addition to nitrogen, coffee grounds contain calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and chromium, which are great for the soil and especially for green, leafy plants like kale.
Lastly, coffee grounds can be directly added to compost as a nitrogen-rich ingredient.
Save fruit peels and make a natural cleaning solution
Need something to do with those orange, grapefruit, or lemon peels? Add them to a glass jar until it is full, then add white vinegar to fill the jar. Let it sit for two weeks in a cool, dry, dark location. Then remove the peels and discard or compost them. Use the solution as a cleaner for countertops, the sink, or bathrooms. You will add a fresh lemon or orange scent to your living space!
Use bar soap instead of liquid soap
Liquid soap is refreshing, and there are so many varieties these days. But, most containers are made from heavy plastics and add to the already high levels of plastic waste in landfills. If you use liquid soap, make sure you are purchasing a biodegradable or recyclable container, or reuse the container. Or, even better, use bar soap. There is minimal waste and no plastic to discard.
Grow and eat plants
Adding more plants to your diet is a great move for your health, but is it the best move for the environment and to sustain our only planet?
Plant-based foods reduce our carbon imprint by photosynthesis, the process of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, storing it in plants for growth, and releasing oxygen. Growing a garden provides nutritious, healing food, creates microbes and nutrients to replenish the soil, beautifies your garden, and reduces your carbon footprint.
Eating more plants is also important for going zero-waste. Animal-based food creates enormous waste and contributes to depleting and destroying the soil. By adopting a fully plant-based diet for a month, you save 620 pounds of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, 913 square feet of forest, and 33,481 gallons of water. You also save 30 animal lives. Going plant-based is indeed going zero-waste.
Grow and eat plants, watch your health improve, and contribute to zero-waste and Earth Day!
Learn more about the health benefits of plants.
So you are eating more plants, but what do you do with your plant waste? How about composting those vegetable and fruit scraps? Composting your food scraps instead of throwing them out helps replenish the soil with needed nutrients. It is part of nature’s cycle.
When people hear the word “compost,” they get nervous, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Composting is as simple as putting kitchen scraps in a container and then adding them to your compost bin. Save scraps from fruit, vegetables, seaweed, kelp, or coffee grounds. Composting requires “dry” and “wet” ingredients, a combination of nitrogen and carbon-rich components. Read more about composting.
Reuse, repair, recycle and reduce
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint and go zero-waste is to repair or reuse things before buying new. For example, a broken frame can be remedied, or it can be broken down and made into something else. An old side table can be repainted and used as a decorative piece in another room in your house. A lampshade can be spray painted a different color for a new look. If you cannot repair or reuse things, recycle or donate them instead of throwing them in the garbage.
Reducing your carbon footprint and going zero-waste is easy when you learn to live with less. This can be scary, but it is doable! Evaluate whether you need to purchase something new when you already have a similar item. Do you need to buy another phone when the one you have works well, or do you need another TV when you already have two? Every purchase, if not fully green, adds more waste to our landfills. Learning to live with less makes life easier, too!
All of these suggestions will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to going zero-waste. Begin with one or two suggestions and make every day Earth Day!
Choose from Veestro’s fully-prepared, preservative-free, plant-based meals below.