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September 22nd 2021, 11:44 PM
By Perk Hero

5 Zero-Waste Lifestyle Tips For Beginners

There’s no easy way to say this—the world is struggling with the massive amount of plastic waste. Over 8 billion tonnes of plastic are generated by the globe annually with no signs of slowing down. 

In Canada, we throw out approximately 3.8 million tonnes of plastic every year with less than 9% recycled. And where does the rest of the trash go? You guessed it! The landfills and the ocean. It’s time to take a more drastic approach to save planet Earth—zero-waste living.

What Is Zero Waste Living And What Good Does It Do? 

Contrary to what the name implies, zero waste living doesn’t mean you have to live off-the-grid and hand-make your essentials. It’s about being aware and actively avoiding creating more non-recyclable waste.  

By reusing and making full use of the things you already have, you’re minimizing your purchases’ impact on the world. Besides that, you’re also playing a part in reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses, helping fight climate change, and protecting the planet. 

On a more personal level, practicing a zero-waste lifestyle forces you to focus on higher-quality products. Although organic and sustainable products are more expensive, they typically last longer and work better, which saves you money in the long run. Not only that, but you can also reduce your exposure to hidden toxins in single-use plastic.  

Pre-Zero-Waste Prep

Before you start practicing a waste-free lifestyle, you should consider what your motives are. For most people, it’s about their love for animals. Others started practicing zero-waste because they’re concerned by the amount of trash their family produces. Regardless, it’s essential to keep in mind your ‘why’ so that you don’t veer off course when the going gets tough (and it probably will).

Besides that, you should also do a trash audit a few weeks before starting. It means you should observe and note down the most considerable wastage in your life. Whether it’s plastic bags from groceries or bottled water, keeping track of what your vices are will come a long way in helping you transition to zero waste. 

Start A Compost Bin

A compost bin is vital for a zero-waste lifestyle as it houses all your food and organic wastes. Essentially, it provides the perfect environment for worms and other decomposing organisms to turn your food scraps into fertilizer that you can then use on your plants. 

Composting directly reduces methane emissions from landfills since your food scraps don’t go there. Not only that, but you’d also be doing your part in conserving water and reducing the waste stream. The National Resources Defense Council has an excellent article on how to start your first compost bin.  

Ditch The Plastics And Use Mesh Bags For Your Shopping

It’s common knowledge that plastic bags are made to last forever. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to degrade, and even then, they break down into microplastics that continue polluting the environment. So, one of the easiest things to do when switching to waste-free living is to use reusable mesh bags for your shopping. 

We love the Reusable Mesh Tote Bag by Green My Home since it comes in five fun colours and is 100% cotton. With this sturdy material, you’re virtually guaranteed to have many years with these organic netted grocery bags. Not only that, but they can also hold many things, which significantly reduces your need for plastic bags. 

Use Eco-Friendly Toothbrushes And Toothpaste

Think about it—how many times have you changed toothbrushes and toothpaste this year? 

Although throwing away a few toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for your family might not feel like much, it does add up on a larger scale. In fact, almost one billion toothbrushes end up in landfills in the US every year. But don’t worry—there’s a much more eco-friendly way to take care of your oral hygiene. 

Making the switch to bamboo toothbrushes means drastically reducing your plastic waste. These BPA-free, vegan toothbrushes are infused with premium activated white charcoal that naturally cleans, whitens, and brightens your teeth. The best thing of all? You can put them in your compost bin once you’re done with them! 

Instead of buying toothpaste from the store, you can also make your own homemade toothpaste with just some baking soda, water, and a few drops of essential oils. Alternatively, you can get this DIY toothpaste kit by Earthy & Good that contains everything you need for an effective and natural toothpaste (+a bonus toothbrush). It also comes with a silicone travel tube. 

Use Bar Shampoos, Conditioners, and Soaps

In total, the UK throws away approximately 520 million shampoo bottles per year. And although shampoo bottles are recyclable, many people often throw them away instead because they don’t know what to do with them. 

Why not cut out the middleman and get bar toiletries so you don’t have to deal with the container? 

The unscented Tsubaki Camellia Shampoo Bar is rich in oleic acid, vitamins (A, B, D, and E), and omega(3, 6, 9). It doesn’t contain any preservatives, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, and alcohol. It’s so nourishing and gentle that you can even use it on your skin.

But if you’re looking for a complete bundle, you won’t go wrong with the Shampoo and Conditioner bar bundle. These shampoo and conditioner bars are made of 100% naturally derived and cruelty-free ingredients that stimulate hair growth. Green Room also offers many eco-friendly and zero-waste alternatives, like a chrome-plated safety razor with an organic shave bar and a multi-purpose face cream

Buy Plastic-Free

Living zero-waste means suppressing your shopping bug, but you’d probably have to run to the store every once in a while. You should always try to buy plastic-free or refill your essentials at a zero-waste shop when that happens. 

As an eco-friendly indie marketplace, Perk Hero has always been very conscious and mindful of who we partner up with. Many of our vendors provide plastic-free, compostable packaging or make their products with ethically sourced ingredients. 
And we think you deserve to be rewarded by simply doing your best for the planet and supporting our vendors’ hard work. For every dollar you spend on Perk Hero, you get extra savings and cashback that you can use for your next purchase. Sign-up is free, so join us today and let’s do our part for the planet together!