Change your habits, change the world - it's not that hard. Here are some handy pointers on how to decrease your environmental footprint.
Disposable items like plastic straws, utensils and water bottles are some of the worst culprits and one of the greatest examples of a moment of convenience leading to a lifetime of waste. It takes a little preparation but it's easy to break these habits. Bring your own travel mug to your favorite coffee shop (some will even give you a discount!), invest in bamboo utensils, bring a carry bag with you instead of taking a plastic bag and bring a mason jar with you (to carry leftovers). Small steps can make a huge difference in the long run.
The bulk section of your supermarket is a great place to commence your zero waste journey. Not only do you avoid excess packaging, but by bringing your own cloth bulk bags or mason jars you can eliminate the need for plastic bags altogether.
Many people think that food waste that ends up in the landfill simply returns to the earth naturally. In fact, once food gets to the landfill it generates methane, a greenhouse gas approximately 23 times as potent as carbon dioxide in trapping heat within our atmosphere.
Food waste makes up 25% of waste in landfills but you can drastically reduce your contribution by starting your own composting system. There are loads of ways to get started but one of the easiest is the 'trenching' system. Simply collect all your food scraps in a separate container and when it's full, bury it in your garden bed around 15 - 20cm deep.
In With The Old, Out With The New
A cultural obsession with fast fashion has reduced the average garment life to months rather than years. In the United States, more than 25 billion pounds of clothing, shoes and accessories are thrown out every year. Much of this ends up rotting in a dump. Buying and selling pre-loved is an important part of conscious consumerism and changing the wasteful patterns of the fast fashion industry.
Make it yourself
There is a tremendous amount of waste generated from ordering take away and delivery. With little incentive for the private sector to provide ecologically sustainable solutions, its often left with the customer to deal with huge amounts of packaging. Leaning to cook and become familiar with ingredients is one of the best ways to prevent waste and get all the nutrition you need in your diet.