People are often pessimistic when the topic of ecology is brought up. Some agree that the pollution is a problem but also think that they cannot do anything about it. Others don't even care about all the eco-hippie-gibberish and live their happy consumer lives. However, there are also people who understand that it's important to make a change and live cosciously. And I choose the side of the latter.
Probably the first "green" habit I embraced was using a cloth shpping bag, many years ago. It's one of the easiest changes and I'm seeing more and more people do that.
A couple of years ago I came across the book "Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days" by Vanessa Farquharson. The author finds one way to make her life more "green" every day for 365 days. Some of things she tries are trivial ("Switch to recycled paper towels
" or "No more electric heating pad
") and might not reduce your own impact on the planet but still the book is a good start.
I never liked plastic dishes, cups and cutlery but my intolerance has grown exponentially since I started working and eating out every day, facing the piles of disposable plastic thrown away every day. Me and my colleagues usually take food from the nearby luncheonette and eat it in the office. Since every dish is put in a disposable box, the trash bin is overflowing each time. I hated it so I started using reusable glass/plastic box
es and some of my colleagues approved my idea and joined.
Some of my most precious childhood memories are the carefree summer days at the countryside with my grandparents. We didn't have a trash bin because we didn't produce trash. Me and my grandparents were minimal waste without even knowing about "zero waste" or trying too hard. We grew vegetables and fruits in our garden and composted the leftovers. We bought dairy products from the neighbours so there weren't any packages. We bought bread from the bakery (still no packages). The only waste was some broken glass and a few plastic bags (from sugar, salt, etc.) which were collected and thrown in the city trash bin once or twice a month. The amount was less than what a regular family produces for 2 days in the city.Zero waste
is self-explanatory but just in case you haven't heard about it, here's a quote from Wikipedia:
Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.
Do you want to be green and zero (or at least minimal) waste? Here are some starting points:
- food - buy food from bulk shops and farmers markets. If you don't have a bulk shop nearby, choose products with less packages.
- home and personal hygiene - try making your own cleaning products! Some are very easy to make and will save you money (see the links below)
- clothes - reuse your old clothes (see links below) and buy "new" from thrift stores.
- recycling - you have no excuse for not doing that!
- transport - when possible use the public transport or ride a bike.
- share - tell your friends
Cool links:The Clear Bin Project 30 Days to Zero WasteThe Bulk Shopping Guide100 ways to upcycle your clothingZero waste solutions for your personal care routine