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What is a Zero Waste Life? 4 Ways to Start Living Zero Waste today

What is a Zero Waste Life? 4 Ways to Start Living Zero Waste today

We’re using more resources than ever before in human history. Between the plastic bags we use for our groceries to the packaging used for your favorite bottle of shampoo, we’re quickly running our planet dry—and in some cases, literally. And ask any well-meaning scientists, then they’ll say something along the lines of this: We can’t keep doing this for much longer.

Living a zero-waste lifestyle—which is one defined as a near trash-less existence—is growing in popularity. Many, too, believe that it’s the way we need to go forward if we, frankly, wish to leave a still thriving planet for future generations.

Better yet, it’s much easier to adopt (or partially adopt) this lifestyle than you might think. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to slash the amount of trash you make on a daily basis.

1. Bring Your Bags (and Jars) to the Store

This tip is simple, straightforward, and you can do it on your next run to the grocery store.

Before closing the front door to your house or apartment, make sure you’ve got a reusable bag—and jars. Yes: Jars. Buying common things like nuts, oatmeal, spices, and then putting them in those aforementioned jars means you won’t have to deal with industrial packaging waste.

To avoid using plastic bags for produce, try to bring small burlap bags, as well.

2. Make Your Own Shampoos and Toothpaste

Want to save money and the planet, all in one fell swoop? Consider making your own bath products like shampoos and toothpaste.

Thankfully, making these two products at home is, in fact, quite easy. The internet is alive with how-to videos and easy-to-follow recipes that show you how to make each.

Your wallet and our planet will thank you for opting to make your toothpaste and shampoos.

3. Embrace At-home Composting

Want to make the most of your food scraps? Easy: Compost them.

Now when most people think of composting, they conjure up images of elaborate backyard setups that cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to build. While, yes, such systems exist, you can easily compost within the confines of your countertop.

Look into these small, easy-to-use countertop composters to help make the most of your food waste.

Or, you could easily get a composting service for curbside pickup in Philadelphia.

4. Shop for Second-hand Clothes

One of the most wasteful industry practices is clothing and textiles. Between the dyes, chemical runoffs, and the need for a litany of other non-renewable resources, it’s an eyesore to Mother Nature.

However, you can mitigate those effect by shopping for second-hand clothes and other textiles. This removes you from the clothing industries  “consumer loop,” all while saving you money and lessening your carbon footprint in the process.

So, consider getting thrifty and hit-up your local thrift stores. The savings—both financially and environmentally—will speak for themselves.

Keen on reading about more ways to green-up your life? Peruse our other content on Green Philly.

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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