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Environmental Wednesdays

A Zero Waste Approach

Try to go a day without throwing anything away, you might be already wondering…but how?! It can actually be easy - by using reusable items only!

Going “zero waste” may sound scary and almost hard to achieve, but it’s actually not as hard as it seems. Focus on how to be more efficient with your time, money, and resources, or simply follow the five R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.

 Here are some ideas that are all things you could try to incorporate into your daily routine and are also super easy to do - it just takes a little bit of commitment. You might not be able to implement all of them today, but you can sure get a jump-start on a lot!

  • Refuse what you don’t need

If you’re a magazine junkie, it’s easy to let copies pile up. Sure, they are recyclable, but instead of putting them in the recycling bin prevent yourself from accumulating magazines, newspapers, and paper in general. Opt for the digital versions of books, newsletters, coupons, and journals.

  • Reduce whatever you do need.

Skip going to the coffee shop and instead have your morning coffee with single-serve pods or better yet try brewing it yourself the old-fashioned way! Once you’re done with the grounds, collect them along with the paper filter and store them for composting.

Celebrate freedom from plastic bags with a reusable tote. In fact, replace any disposable item when you can bring or use a reusable item instead such as water bottles, coffee mugs, utensils, cloth napkins and dishtowels.

 Learn to love your tap water. We suggest you investing in a good water filtration system so you can have all the benefits of clean water without the chlorine, fluorine compounds and Trihalomethanes (THMs).

  • Recycle what you can’t reuse or refuse

Sometimes by force of habit, we throw away materials that can be composted or recycled. By taking away the trash cans, it’ll inspire us to think more about the materials we dispose of and remind us that there’s always a better solution than letting valuable resources go to waste.

Think pre-cycling as well as recycling. Is there another option with less packaging? Can the item or packaging materials then be recycled? Make sure you know all the acceptable items your city will take.

Take a walk in a different park or with a neighbor around your block. If you see any litter, pick it up to make the scenery even more enjoyable and then send good energy back out to the one so that they may think twice about their actions next time. Your good vibes and intentions also count! 

  • Reuse what you need

In your kitchen swap paper towels for reusable rags, swap sandwich plastic bags for kitchen towels or reusable containers, and drop garbage liners altogether (keep in mind that wet waste is mostly compostable).

When cooking, get creative and reinvent your leftovers before they go bad. (There are plenty of sites and pins that can give you a hand with recipes to do this!)

  • Rot or compost the rest.

Spend time in your garden appreciating the efforts you have put forth, or better yet, visit your local farmer’s market to pick out organic fruits and vegetables. In either case, farm to table is kinder to the environment, as well as to your body and soul.

Plant a tree in someone’s honor or memory.

 

There is no one correct way to do things; but there are always a multitude of ways ranging - from best to better - to not so good - in the zero waste journey. Weigh all of your options and become a conscious consumer.

Remember that reducing your consumption is the most important thing you can do, taking little actions and steps to reduce your ecological impact.

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