More Life, Less Trash

zero-waste-2_AEM

Eight ways to adopt a zero waste lifestyle

Story & Photos by Sara Bannoura

People generate an overwhelming amount of plastic waste everyday, endangering the environment and the planet. As students and the next generation of leaders, we can attempt to reduce the amount of waste we produce. According to the Worldwatch Institute, every American uses more than 220 pounds of plastic every year, mostly in the form of packaging. A low-waste lifestyle can seem challenging, but starting small is the first step. Here are the most common wasteful products and
how to avoid them.
1. Ditch the disposable razor and invest in a stainless steel safety razor. With proper care, a stainless steel razor base lasts about 15 years, with blades lasting for up to two
months. Replacement blades cost $20 for a box of 100 and come in a tiny recyclable cardboard box.

2. A bamboo toothbrush is a sustainable alternative to a plastic toothbrush. When you’re ready to replace it, you can compost it, bury it or throw it on a woodburner.

3. To avoid constantly buying plastic water bottles, invest in a reusable bottle to take with you wherever you go. Take an insulated reusable cup to coffee shops for hot drinks, and bring a mason jar for cold drinks.

4. Stainless steel straws can last a lifetime, unlike single-use plastic straws. Keep one in your bag and leave an extra in your car.

5. Avoid styrofoam and plastic containers by bringing your own stainless steel or glass to-go container. Bring cloth bags for fresh-baked bread.

6. Say no to single-use plastic utensils and carry a bamboo reusable set with you. Your bamboo set can last for years, and when it has reached its end, simply put it in compost.

7. Refuse plastic bags from grocery stores and shopping centers by bringing your own reusable bags. Bags made from recycled materials are a great option, and you can leave one in your car for unplanned store visits.

8. Eliminate the waste that disposable containers create by buying in bulk from grocery stores. Bring mason jars to hold bulk items such as nuts and seeds and bring cloth bags for veggies and fruits.

Planet Earth is our only home, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it. In doing so, we can ensure the care of our children and the coming generations. Reducing waste is beautiful and rewarding. It’s okay if you start small, but the important thing is to start today to make a difference.

See a video about how to make your own Toothpaste HERE

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