Do you know that the annual trash of some followers of zero waste does not exceed the size of a pot Masson a year? Without aiming for this ultimate goal, here are 30 actions that will help you reduce the amount of your waste.
First, what does “zero waste” mean?
The zero waste principle involves the whole community. The recycling is only part of it. Not only must we recycle, but we must also reuse, avoid unnecessary purchases, share, as the vision of the Association Quebecoise zero waste “which is that of a world in which each individual becomes aware of the impact and unsustainability of current consumer choices. “Every little bit counts!
Fill up with reusable containers
Start from the beginning: equip yourself with the reusable containers you need to start a new life with no cardboard, styrofoam or plastic products that go directly to the trash.
Do not buy baby clothes
Of course, you will have a gift at birth, but babies grow up fast! You probably know people around you who have young children, so pass!
Bring your utensils
Are you going to get a meal to go? Refuse utensils, napkins and other. Dare to even bring a dish to bring it home. At the office, have your own utensils, plate, cup, etc.
Replace cardboard coffee cups and water bottles with a travel coffee mug and a water bottle. Keep them with you at all times.
Prepare for your cinema outings
Bring your water in a gourd and prepare homemade “popcorn”, which you place in a lunch container, for example. Not only will you avoid participating in filling the garbage bags at the exit of the rooms, but you will save enough for a small trip to Europe.
Buy in bulk
It’s obvious … and it’s very economical. Bring your own bags and containers (which you wash and reuse) and fill them with sugar, flour, spices and everything else you need. The same goes for oil, honey, etc. Identify the small bulk shops in your area and your shopping will never be the same again … and will be so much more enjoyable!
Buy a cow
Well, the idea is not very viable especially if you live in downtown, but instead of buying your milk in cardboard containers, buy it in bottles, which are then reused. We are starting to see more and more on the grocery store!
On birthdays and other celebrations, replace gifts purchased and packaged with service offers, outing, preparing a good meal, etc. If you want to buy a gift – for example a child – use what you have at home as a packaging – why not in fabric – that you can reuse afterwards. Or, hide the unpackaged gift and make it a little treasure hunt.
Do not buy anymore and then throw
How many pens, razors and other disposable products do you have after a few home uses? Invest in a real fountain pen or razor. You will then only have to buy, occasionally and according to use, ink or blades.
If this is available in your area, subscribe to an organic fruit and vegetable basket service. Go get it and avoid the packaged products. In addition, you contribute to the local economy and your health.
Aim for local
Zero waste is a whole, and the concept also incorporates the carbon trace that is left behind. Buying local is avoiding encouraging the long haul of goods – be it land, air or sea – and instead turn to the producers and artisans who are part of your community . It is also that, to be zero waste.
Dress with second hand clothes
It is far, the time when second-hand clothes meant for many “old and used”. The thrift stores are literally swarming in the city, and there are tons of beautiful clothes that will save you money. Offer clothes that you no longer wear to organizations such as Renaissance, the Chain or Father’s House.
Transform your leftovers
You throw the skin of your vegetables and your fruit peels? Turn the peelings into health potato chips, and use what you do not keep vegetables to create soups, soups and broths.
No need for a large yard to garden. Many do it on their balcony (if it is sunny) by growing some vegetables in bins or boilers. Do you have neighbors or friends who have a yard? Offer to share the creation or management of a garden that will become collective. Your municipality may offer places in a community garden. The wait can be a little long before getting a lot, but register now!
Save water from the bowl
The toilet bowl spends 6 to 20 liters of water with each use. To remedy this, a volume cutter (a Masson jar for example) can be installed in a part of the tank. This way of proceeding will prevent, each time, a portion of the water to be evacuated, thus reduce the volume necessary to fill the tank.
Save hot water
The CAA Quebec site tells us that a bath requires an average of 150 liters of water (a large percentage of which is heated) and that a shower of 5 minutes requires half of it. The choice is obvious. Even better, but this will require a lot of willpower: turn off the water when you soap.
Receive and be received
Four people who prepare and eat their supper alone, each of them, is a lot of energy. Invite your friends , organize dinners together as often as possible and focus your efforts – and your energy costs – in one place. The more we cook for many, the less expensive it is and the fewer the losses. And everyone leaves with a container (reusable) of remaining.
Let your cock blow a little
You want a glass of water and you let your tap run for 1 to 2 minutes to get it to the desired temperature? Still according to CAA Quebec, it will take 10 liters of water to satisfy your desire for a liter of fresh water. That’s 9 liters of unused water. Fill up a pitcher of water that will stay in the fridge. In addition, you will not wait any longer.
Your house, your condo or your apartment needs to be refreshed? Before you go to the hardware store to fill up, clearly identify your needs and see if there is not a way to reuse what is in your garage … at the neighbor’s or at your friends’. Feel free to re-use materials that you already have, in the most original way possible. Need a contractor for important work? Know that there are green entrepreneurs.
Say no to ads in your mailbox
Do you still receive Publisac and other circulars? Communicate with the company’s management and demand to stop receiving it. Put the necessary stickers on your door to send the message clearly.
Receive your bills online
Credit cards, electricity and telephone bills, notice of assessment, payroll … all this can be sent to you by e-mail, all you have to do is ask for it and it will simplify your life. Put your mailbox out of business, except for those postcards and scented love letters you will receive on occasion.
No more chemicals bought, which are then thrown away. To wash tub and sinks, mix water with baking soda . For windows, mirrors and other surfaces of this type, water and vinegar will do. Do an online search for a ton of homemade recipes to make your own cleaning products.
Recycle your damaged clothes
Some shirts, jackets or others have died and can not be given? Turn them into rags of all kinds for your housework, painting, etc.
Defrip without ironing
Do you have some crumpled shirts or blouses? Leave the iron aside and hang them in the bathroom during your next shower. The hot steam will do the work for you.
Use your clothesline
Did you know that you can extend your laundry even in winter? The secret: the air must be dry. Use the dryer at a minimum. No clothesline? So, get a big rack and put your clothes on it to dry. Even better, do it on the balcony!
Carry the same clothes
We’re not talking about underwear here, but do you always have to put everything in the laundry basket today? Use your eyes and nose to find out if this sweater worn over the shirt will do the job very well tomorrow or another day, without going through a much useless wash and drying.
It is sometimes difficult to refuse what our friends or family members offer us. But announce your colors quickly. If you have a minimalist and eco-friendly lifestyle, say so (and invite them to do so). Are you offered this disposable capsule coffee machine? Say “no thanks” by explaining why. The person who appreciates you will understand and will be reimbursed.
Create an exchange community
Bring together your trusted friends and create an exchange group for useful but non-essential items in everyday life: some tools, a raclette oven, sporting goods, etc. Share your goods to avoid purchases of (often expensive) items that are not used in the end.
Talk it over
The zero waste lifestyle animates you? It’s perfect! Talk it over! Convince with concrete examples, bringing friends with you to a bulk shop for example, or exchanging objects with them. Do not fall into morality or judgment. To change one’s habits is to make small gestures, one at a time, and that can take time. A ripple effect is always desirable, but should not be imposed.