The 10 Easiest Ways to Reduce your Waste Right Now

Being kinder to the planet doesn't have to be overwhelming
A tattooed arm holds a string bag of vegetables. Zero waste.
These tips will help you cut down on waste (Photo: Sylvie Tittel)

The waste pandemic is taking over our oceans and landfills, and disrupting thousands of ecosystems across the planet.

We using the oceans as our rubbish bin and this has wide-reaching consequences than we can comprehend. From plastic washing up on the shores of Costa Rica (the greenest country in the world) to whales beaching themselves due to stomachs full of plastic, the pandemic has reached breaking point and has become impossible to ignore.  

So what can you do to reduce your waste right now? Here are the 10 easiest swaps I came up with to help you on your journey.

1. Bag swap

Switch your plastic bag out for a canvas one. Even if you aren’t able to buy all of your groceries unpackaged, beginning with the bag you carry them all in is a great start.

2. Water bottle

There are tons of reusable water bottles out there to help avoid plastic but which is the best one? 

A stainless steel one is light, durable, and unlikely to break in the bottom of your bag.

3. Buy less

Simply start by shopping less. About 95 percent of the waste that happens when we buy a new item, actually occurs before we even lay eyes on it. So by reducing your needs and shopping less, you can be extremely effective without really having to do anything -  except exercise your willpower...

You can help save the planet - and your pennies - by prepping packed lunches and snacks (Photo: Toa Heftiba)

4. Second lease of life

When you do shop, shop second hand. As previously mentioned, the majority of the waste happens in production, so why not give some vintage jeans a new life rather than wasting 1,800 gallons of water buying a new pair?

5. Preparation

Make your lunch and snacks at home. A lot of us waste out of convenience, so by preparing your food at home and taking it to work or school, you can lessen the temptation to purchase packaged convenience foods. It's also healthier too.

6. Reuse

Reuse glass jars that you buy at the supermarket. If you're really into olives or pasta sauces don't recycle your jars, instead, keep them. 

You can use them to hold bulk items you buy at the store and save waste, and a bit of money, by reusing instead of recycling or buying new.

7. Coffee cup

Are you an avid coffee drinker who needs that fresh coffee shop flat white every morning? Well take a reusable coffee cup with you and more often than not you can also get a discount.

I love my KeepCup, but it's not leak proof, so only works if I carry my coffee after I have bought it. It's also made from glass which means its a little heavy, but I bought it and do love it so now I'm stuck with it.

The best ones are likely to be the ones made from bamboo or corn, as they will be super light, leak-proof and won’t smash in your bag.

Reusable coffee cups help reduce coffee shop waste (Photo: Goran Ivos)

8. Books, books, books!

If you're a massive nerd like me, and love to read, then there are a few easy swaps to help reduce your waste. 

I use a Kindle which saves on paper printing, buy second-hand books when I can, swap with my friends, and use my local library.

Swapping with friends is great because then you can have your own little book club and chat about it after.

9. Cycle or walk

Commuting can be tiresome when your face-to-face with a stranger sweating on the tube.

Why not cycle instead if you have the means to? It saves money, emissions, train tickets and on a beautiful day can really change your mood.

10. Sanitary swap

If you bleed, then this one's for you. Reusable menstrual products have been a tremendous way to reduce my waste monthly. Using a period cup in conjunction with some reusable pads has been one of the simple most effective ways of reducing my waste.

Again it saves you money in the long run and is much kinder to the planet. There are lots of period cup companies out there, so make sure you find the right cup for you.

Check out, Lunette Cup, Organicup, Ruby Cup, Diva Cup, and the Moon Cup. Lunette is my favourite because it fits me well, but may not be right for you so make sure to do your research.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Immy Lucas is a Social media activist and Campaigner with a focus on sustainability and Zero Waste living. Using both instagram and Youtube Immy attempts to seeks to merge Veganism with Zero waste to engage both communities in a wider environmental context. Immy's activism centres itself around the small changes we can all make in our everyday lives to ensure that we create a huge impact, and hopefully change the world one plastic bottle at a time.

(c) 2018 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

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