Zero-waste week takes place from the 3rd to the 7th this September. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness to the environmental impact of waste and encourage people to find ways to reduce their footprint, while also creating lifelong eco-conscious habits. We’ve outlined a few habits you can incorporate into your routine that are #zerowaste friendly!
Starting a compost bin in your backyard is a great first step in your zero-waste journey. Compost is created by combining organic waste, such as food, yard trimmings, and manure in the right ratios. Adding items like wood chips can help accelerate the breakdown of organic materials and help the final compost. Compostable packaging can be extremely beneficial when it comes to overall composting. A lot of plastics and disposable takeaway containers cannot be properly recycled because they contain food waste - therefore they end up in landfills. Using packaging that is fully compostable can help the composting process, as food remnants will actually help the material to break dow
Start with your morning coffee
Making your coffee at home can actually be one of the top things you can do to help cultivate a #zerowaste lifestyle. Most coffee cups you find at fast-food coffee chains and stores have a polyethylene lining - which means the cups can’t be recycled into either paper or plastic and end up in the landfill.
Consider making coffee at home, bringing your own thermos to your favourite coffee joint, or opt for a compostable coffee cup made with natural materials like bamboo fiber, wood fiber and starch. Always make sure they are 100% compostable, disposable and PFAs free (no cancer-causing chemicals).
Your shopping habits
Aside from bringing cotton or canvas bags to pack up your purchases, another way to reduce waste is to bring your own reusable produce bags to the grocery store. Opt for produce that doesn’t come pre-wrapped in plastic (these also contain harmful chemicals). When buying grains, sugars, spices or snacks - buy in the bulk section using reusable containers made of glass or other eco-friendly materials.
40 billion pieces of plastic cutlery are thrown away every year. Even if the cutlery is made from bioplastic, or considered recyclable - most end up in the landfills because they cannot be properly sorted and recycled at facilities. A great way to go zero-waste would be to bring your own cutlery from home when you know you’ll be eating meals on the go or at work. Or consider birch cutlery, which is 100% compostable. Always look for Birch from sustainably managed forests when purchasing birch or wood products.
When hosting (or even attending) a party, provide guests with fully compostable tableware. Most single-use molded fiber tableware contains PFAs, which are linked to cancer. It is also considered a “forever chemical” which means it can accumulate in the environment and permeate food, air, soil, and water.
Opt for disposable and compostable plant fiber tableware that is guaranteed to be free of fluorinated chemicals. These natural materials are fully compostable and a great option to serve food on for your next party.
Thrifting & secondhand
Before running out and purchasing something brand new - try a local thrift store. They’re great for home goods, clothing, books, and decor! Not only are you helping prevent something from possibly going to the landfill - you’ll be saving money and making a conscious choice to reuse what’s already in existence before adding brand new items into your home.
Single-use plastic bans have been slowly coming into effect across Canada, and this includes items like plastic straws. It’s always handy to carry around a straw made out of metal or bamboo wood, but also consider a wheat straw. Wheat straws are made from 100% wheat, meaning they are fully compostable and biodegradable. Plus, unlike paper straws - they won’t get soggy.
While sometimes going completely zero-waste can be challenging, it’s important to cultivate healthy eco-habits that fit into your lifestyle. Small changes can help make a big impact over time!