I spend a lot of time with my photographer (and now friend) Anna. One of the first things she told me when we met was that she was ‘Zero Waste’, and owns a business called A Zero Waste Life.
When spending time with her, she encourages (sometimes forcefully, lol) me to be more eco friendly and sustainable. Some of her suggestions are too much for me – e.g. not washing her hair for 3+ months or making her own yogurt. But many of them are simple and easy to implement.
Anna told me “Two years ago my friend, Charlotte, and I decided that we’d had enough of rubbish to last us a lifetime (literally) so we went waste-free, this means we have no need for a bin because nothing we throw away ends up on a landfill. We started buying loose fruit and veg and took Tupperware boxes to the supermarket for food such as meat and cheese. “
I chatted with Anna about some easy swaps you can make, and some that I’ve made over the past few months…
- Take a reusable water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. I know you must have heard this a million times but honestly, you’ll probably drink more water having your bottle with you. It’s cheaper, easier and will improve your health. There’s a common misconception that bottled water is better for you than tap water but it’s not the case. Tap water actually goes through more tests than bottled water because it’s government rather than industry regulated – so better for you and the environment.
- Invest in good Tupperware and a bee’s wax wrap. Wax wraps are a zero waste replacement for cling film, sandwich wrappers and are handy to store food on the go such as fruits or nuts. We have a tutorial on how to make them on our blog or you can buy them here. A good Tupperware is key for bringing snacks and lunch with you to work/uni/the gym – leaking salad dressing is the worst!
- Get a travel coffee mug that’s right for you. I would often say that I couldn’t fit my coffee cup in my bag…then I found a foldable cup (and bought everyone I knew one for Christmas!) You can get foldable mugs, mugs that don’t ever leak, mugs that keep your coffee warm for hours, the list is endless.
- Recycle. I currently have four bins in my kitchen -> a compost bin, a card and plastic recycling bin, a glass bin and a non-recyclable. It makes it so much easier to recycle them appropriately.
- Stop with the face wipes. This was admittedly one of the hardest for me to give up, especially because of the convenience when travelling or post gym. I was given a pack of washable cotton make-up remover pads for Christmas , I’ve switched to a face wash (without microbeads!) and am trying to make more ethical decisions when it comes to my makeup brands.
- Eating less meat. Let me first say I am not vegan, nor do I plan to become vegan. However, I am eating meat more consciously, choosing to buy it from the butcher where possible and reducing my consumption.
- Thinking before purchasing. Like buying unwrapped produce, reducing the amount of packaging overall, choosing glass rather than plastic products, or looking out for products that are made of recycled goods. I’ve started using the Eden Project Compostable coffee pods – I like the Costa Rican blend.
Once you start making small changes, you’ll become aware of so many others that you could make. However, this is not to make you feel bad (or myself feel bad, as I often do). Doing one small thing can really make a change for the world.
According to Anna, “lots of people say to me that they feel bad for not doing enough, but if you are aware of your actions, you’ll naturally begin to make positive choices. So pick that apple at the supermarket that isn’t covered in plastic, ask for a sandwich in your beeswax wrap or say “no, thanks” to that straw. Make tiny life changes that help save the planet.”
The planet will feel better and so will you.
I’d love to know if you’ve made or are going to make any changes in 2019! Let me know in the comments…