When you are easing into a low-waste lifestyle, it’s important to remember that the small actions really add up in the bigger picture. Even now at grocery stores, the clerk will still ask you if you want paper or plastic. Keeping the environment in mind, this may seem like having to choose the lesser of two evils. If you bring your own reusable bag, you can avoid this dilemma. Investing in a reusable tote bag will definitely reduce the amount of plastic you use every time you go grocery shopping. Plastic bags around the produce section are definitely not necessary, so place any fruits or vegetables in your bag and they will be just fine. Single-use plastic bags seem to do nothing but take up space in your home. Plus, the canvas material of the bag is less likely to rip so you can avoid disaster as you leave the store.
Drinking water is essential to living. There’s no question about it. In fact, you should probably reach for some water in a reusable bottle right now if you’re reading this. Reusable water bottles are essential to a low-waste lifestyle. Especially the bottles that hold the amount of water you should be drinking in a day. It’s a win-win for the planet and your health. Reusable coffee cups also reduce the amount of waste you produce if you need a cup to start your day. By carrying coffee in your own cup, you will also be saving money by not buying a disposable cup every day. Depending on which chain you go to and where you live, you might even get a discount for bringing in a reusable cup. The planet and your wallet will thank you.
Give containers new life
After all, the second R stands for “reuse”. This means that some packing that is considered disposable could be used again and again. Glass and plastic jars are the perfect examples of this. Once these jars are empty, give them a nice wash and make sure that there are no traces of food or whatever was in there previously. You now have a new container that you can use for whatever you want! Whether it is for food storage or office supplies, jars are pretty versatile and are better when repurposed instead of thrown away.
Bring your own silverware
Before you leave to go start your day of classes or work, make sure to have your own set of silverware. It could be utensils you brought from home or a set that you bought specifically to be your on-the-go utensils. By bringing your own, you won’t have to throw away plastic utensils every time you go on your lunch break. If you think about it, this really adds up and saves a lot of waste being thrown out. Plus, it’s more sanitary to have utensils that only you use. The same applies to straws. Most of the time you don’t really need a straw for your drink, but if you do, opt for a steel or aluminum straw that you can use again. You don’t know where those plastic utensils have been! You could use your own set of plastic utensils, but it is more sustainable to bring actual silverware or utensils made from bamboo.