Are you interested in learning more about how you can start your zero-waste within your personal life and in your community? No need to be daunted by this goal, just start with one step at a time prioritizing the concepts of refuse, repair, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle, at home, at work, and on the go. Here are some tips on how to get started changing the paradigm of your daily living to aim for the elusive goal of zero waste.
Analyze your purchasing behavior
From the food you buy to the clothes you wear, take a look at what items you can live without or make yourself. Purchase items that have good quality and will last a long time. Tidy up your home, donate unneeded items, and consider different ways you can reuse an item. You can also consider renting items that you do not plan to use every day.
Buy in bulk
Visit the local grocery store with the largest bulk food aisle. Keep in mind that it is important to find a store that permits you to weigh (or ‘tare’) your own bags and containers before filling. Items such as glass jars, stainless steel containers, or cloth bags can be used to store your items.
Refuse unnecessary products and promotional items
Saying no can be hard, but first, think about if you need this item and whether you can save it from entering the landfill within a year. Many promotional items are often made with cheap materials that are not durable. Instead, consider investing in items that can be used for years for multiple purposes.
Change up your commute
Cars produce one of the highest carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. Consider biking, rideshares, or taking public transportation when commuting.
Reconsider what you’re currently using
Can you replace some of the products you buy with others that come package-free? Find various alternatives to things like personal care products and cosmetics, such as using a bar of soap or shampoo bar rather than the liquid that is in a container.
Reduce food waste
Plan out your meals for the week, and reuse ingredients across multiple meals. Rather than throwing away scraps, from vegetable remnants to eggshells, you can compost them into nutrient-rich fertilizer. Put fruits and vegetables on the brink of going bad in the freezer to be used later for other items, such as soups and smoothies. Additionally, consider working with local farmers or subscribe to services that take the ugly produce and deliver it to your door.
Last but not least, Recycle
Be sure to recycle what you can, even beyond what is accepted in the curbside bin. Scrap haulers or depots will take all of your metal materials. The Delaware Solid Waste Authority has drop off sites and special collection events for paper shredding, Styrofoam, batteries, oil, cardboard, electronics, paint and so much more. The large garden centers take back plastic pots and similar plastic materials. Clothes, shoes and other textiles can be donated at various locations across the state. Click here to learn more about what you can recycle in Delaware and where.