Living a low-waste lifestyle is something I’m striving for. But it’s definitely something that takes some effort and focus…and that’s because we live in a very wasteful and consumerist society. It’s a common thing to go into a store and see individually wrapped products or one-use products. Everything today is made to make things easier for us — but what’s convenient and easy for us, is destroying our environment. The amount of waste we, as a society, makes is simply not sustainable. The sad thing is that it’s not always easy to live a very low-waste lifestyle …and living a completely zero-waste lifestyle is virtually impossible for many (including myself). But there are small changes that we all can make to help create a difference. Today I thought I’d share with you some of the easy changes I’ve made to my lifestyle that are helping to create less waste — and, in turn, helping our environment!
One of the best changes I’ve made is switching to a menstrual cup earlier this year. Tampons and pads create so much waste…plus they can actually be quite expensive. A menstrual cup eliminates the waste and, even though there’s more of an upfront cost, it saves money in the long run. I’m so glad I made the switch! It’s been better for my health, my wallet, and the environment. (Note: I just want to add that not everyone can use a menstrual cup for any given reason, so there’s nothing to feel bad about if it doesn’t work for you.)
I’ve eliminated many of the beauty products I was using. This, again, has saved me a lot of money and has been way less wasteful. I will say that as much as I’m all about living low waste, being frugal is also extremely important to me. So what products I do buy, I ensure the packaging is recyclable or reusable in some cases. I could definitely continue to make improvements, but I’ve made changes that I’m proud of.
I also hardly wear makeup anymore, which has been great for my skin in addition to creating less waste. For when I do decide to wear it, I no longer use makeup removing wipes or anything like that. Last year, I decided to purchase an “erase your face” reusable makeup removing cloth instead of constantly buying wasteful makeup removers. All that’s needed to remove my makeup is warm water and it does just as good a job as any makeup remover. I definitely would like to get more.
I’ve really been working at choosing to thrift before I shop new — for clothes, household items, movies, books, etc. Sometimes I’m not able to find what I’m looking for second hand, but many times I am. Thrifting is a great way of living low-waste because you’re buying stuff that others no longer want. This gives items a second home instead of going into the garbage.
I went vegan earlier this year, but over the last few months, I’ve been eating mostly plant-based, whole foods — which, many times, comes with little to no packaging. This isn’t always the case, but it’s been better than buying processed foods that are individually wrapped and come with lots of packaging.
I’ve stopped using straws all together because, for me, they’re not needed …so why create useless waste? I’m thinking I would like to get myself a reusable straw, though!
I also make sure to bring reusable fabric bags with me everywhere I go. This was probably the easiest change I’ve made…and probably one of the first changes I made! I think a lot of people have started doing this…especially because you have to pay for plastic bags most places you go now. Why waste money on useless plastic bags that are just going to end up in the garbage?
Plastic water bottles are another item I no longer use anymore. They just seem way too wasteful when it’s so easy to fill my own water bottle!
And lastly, over the last few months I’ve made the decision to try to reuse glass jars for the purpose of holding dry foods like beans, rice, etc. Finding a second use for packaging (where you can) is a better decision than simply recycling or throwing in the garbage.
I would like to, over time, switch to a bamboo toothbrush, start using a safety razor rather than disposable ones (I don’t always use them; I also epilate), and continue to further reduce my use of products that create waste. I’m all about making changes where I can. I definitely plan to take baby steps toward living a more low-waste life. A completely zero-waste lifestyle is just not feasible for me right now, but it’s something I aspire to — to live as waste-free as I can.
Living a low-waste lifestyle is not about perfection — it’s about trying to reduce our own impact on our planet. Please don’t ever think that any small changes you’re making don’t make a difference, because they do! If we all make small changes where we can, it will create a huge positive change for the environment!