Maybe you have heard campaigns on living zero waste lifestyle. First time hearing and reading about it is overwhelming. I don’t think I can follow on that. I find it near to impossible to have zero waste in the world we are living in.
But although zero waste may not seem feasible, I still believe in the idea of living with less waste. And that’s what my family and I have started doing. We think that less waste can make us live a healthy life. A healthy life means a healthy environment. Doing our part in sustaining a cleaner environment is our tiny steps in saving the planet.
Why Reducing Waste Saves The Planet?
Do you believe that your waste bin can reflect your health? The more waste you have, the more toxic lifestyle you live. Managing your health well is reducing waste around you. Less waste can have a significant impact on your environment. Reduction and proper management of your waste are a way of reducing the pollutants you send into the air and surroundings. Having cleaner surroundings means cleaner air to breathe. If you care for your health, you will pay attention to your environment. Protecting your environment is showing high regard on earth.
Is reducing our waste really doable? Well, many have tried and claimed to succeed. Change does not happen overnight. Our family is starting slowly, and it already changed our lives. But what is waste minimization?
If we look it up on Google, Wikipedia describes it as refusing, reducing, reusing, recycling and composting. On YouTube, Bea Johnson, Haley Higdon, and more TEDx speakers share their journey on living zero waste lifestyle. And the tips they gave are the ones I started following. Some are hard, but some seem doable for us. One thing I know for sure, we need to take one step at a time. As a mother, I started it first, and then the rest of the family follows my lead.
Toilet Papers And Table Tissues
Oh my! We are a fan of tissue papers, who’s not? It’s hard just to get a bunch, and I have to resist it. What do we use? We have tons of old towels. I cut them to face towel sizes, hem the edges, and use them instead of paper towels. At first, my children complained, but with explaining, they get used to it.
I learn to buy our clothes in thrift stores. Sometimes, I buy second-hand ones. But now, we rarely buy clothes and shoes. And if ever we buy a new set, we have to take out from our closet old clothes to make space for the new purchase. Favorite dresses, we don’t throw them. I mend them if they have holes or lack buttons so we can still use them. Sometimes, I recycled them into throw pillow cases. I also learn to make DIY dolls out of colorful shirts and give them away as gifts.
We eat meat once a week, and most of the days we eat greens and fruits. As a mom, I have to be creative with our meals. I watched tons of cook shows to learn how to turn veggies into wonderful heartful meals. And my kids just loved it. They even bring them to school instead of buying in the canteen, especially my veggie burger.
You may wonder how about the peelings. Well, some fruits and vegetable peels should be eaten, and they are a good source of vitamins and dietary fibers. But of course, we can’t eat them all, so I give them away to be used as compost. I look for gardeners who can use them. But I’m starting to learn to decompose them myself in pots.
It’s hard not to have leftovers. To solve that problem, we dedicate a day for leftovers. Creating a new meal out of it is a challenge, but it increases our creativity. Food has been vital to us for our health and the energy we need for the day depends on it.
I am just glad we have friends who believe in our endeavor. We can arrange to carpool. There are times when my kids use their bikes when making short trips. I often just walk when I go to a friend’s house or visit someone nearby. It’s a form of exercise for me. If ever we are to use our car, we schedule our errands. We do as much as we can, like grocery shopping since we buy our stuff in bulk.
Plastic Grocery Bags
Yes, I used to be a fan of plastics, but even back then, I recycled them. I folded them neatly and segregated them according to size. But later I learned how toxic using plastic is, so I tried my best to eliminate them from our lives. I bring with me foldable recyclable bags for shopping.
These are the simple ways we started as a family. It’s not much yet, but we are on our way to our goal. It’s our small way of contributing to the community and in saving the Earth. And we have learned so much from reducing our waste and saved and gained a lot.
We learned ways to simple living. Since we rarely buy stuff and save gasoline, we were able to save money. With the money, energy, and time we saved, it allowed us to travel during our kids’ break. It’s one way of encouraging them to live the simple, healthy lifestyle.
You may think I have much free time to do all this stuff. Well, I say that I no longer waste my time thinking of things that are not important. Living healthy physically and mentally bring us closer together as a family. I have never seen them this happy and contented. And I want them to pass this on to their children, so the future generation will still see and experience the beauty of the planet they are living in.
Thinking of doing big things (zero-waste lifestyle) can be distressing that you feel discouraged starting it. Sometimes, thinking small (less waste) can lead to success. Taking your baby steps can make you do unimaginable things. To sustain this lifestyle, you have to be happy with it. So, try to start your less waste lifestyle the way you see fits you, and contribute in your small way in saving the Earth.