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How to go Zero Waste- Trash your Trash

23 Feb 2021

The world produces an estimated 2.3 billion tons of waste each year and is expected to grow to 3.40 tons by 2050. And perhaps ‘zero waste’ might be a daunting term at first but if you try a little harder or shop a little wiser, you’ll get there very soon!

Zero waste is about eliminating useless or unnecessary waste from your lifestyle, especially single use plastic!

Plastic has always been an alarming issue worldwide and although many countries are doing their bit to reduce its use, we still have a long long way to go!

Look around your room right now and you’ll find at least 5 items made of non-recyclable plastic! Let's look at some ways through which we can actually achieve what we’ve been just reading, hearing and talking about all this while!

India generates around 25,940 tons of plastic waste every day but less than half of it only gets collected, the rest can be found littered around on the streets or floating in rivers or dumped into large grounds outside the city.

One has to make wiser choices like buying things in bulk, composting the waste, buying package free meals or in containers that are eco-friendly, carry your own containers where you can to buy things like oils, dairy products etc. There are many things that you can do today to start reducing your carbon foot print in many little ways.

Going zero waste is a choice that may seem difficult at first but is worth all that effort. You might find it tiring to look for such products or be sceptical about using them but once you do, I can assure you, you will be a rock star!

Reduce Reduce and Reduce!!

Yes, the best and first step is to REDUCE buying all that single-use plastic. Stop getting plastic shopping bags! Use cloth or jute bags for your shopping trips to the grocery store and vegetable market.

  • Swap your colourful toothbrush to a wooden one,
  • plastic comb/hairbrush to wooden comb (it has so many health benefits too).
  • Choosing personal care items that come in eco-friendly packaging instead of the non-biodegradable ones .
  • Be a little old school and carry your food in steel boxes instead of plastic ones.
  • Opt for silverware or wooden cutlery and please for God’s sake ask your restaurant to not pack any cutlery for your home deliveries.
  • An industry estimate shows that a whooping 22,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated through these cutleries that come with online orders. Not only is the plastic cutlery a problem but also its packaging- the extra layer of plastic around it.

Use and then Reuse!

  • There are so many products today that come in reusable packaging or are reusable.
  • Reusable cotton pad. Apart from being a totally healthy option that will save you from many health problems, these are also a great way for reducing your carbon footprint. It takes about 500 years for a sanitary napkin to decompose. Yes, you heard me right.
  • And why not carry your own metal or glass water bottle wherever you go and refill it when needed instead of buying bottled water. Not only it saves your money but also does a lot of good to the environment.
  • Get reusable cotton pads for wiping your makeup instead of cotton balls. Also, using a cotton handkerchief/ towel instead of tissue papers or paper towels is so much better as their fibres too small to be recycled again.
  • Another great way is by replacing plastic cups or glasses for beverages with reusable mugs or glasses (mason jars FTW).
  • Steel, copper or bamboo straws are a real thing and should be used at all times as straws are hard to recycle and are often found floating around water bodies or in landfills.
  • Try organic makeup products that come in biodegradable packaging and eliminate those chemicals and toxins from the face of Earth.

Recycle when you can not reduce or reuse

  • Try to first reduce and reuse as not many things or many recycling centers are available. There are some brands that recycle their containers but these are not many.
  • Recycling itself is a big challenge and not everything thats available in the market is completely recyclable. For example, straws are hard to recycle as they fall off the crevices of recycling machines and many recycle stations do not accept them.
  • Other items like plastic bags and bottles (of course!), bottle caps, toothpaste/cream/facewash tubes,
  • Many make up brands offer refills, and others offer to recycle your empties for you. Look out for brands that offer these services as these items are tricky to recycle.

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