The easiest ways to reduce your single use waste
The word on everybody’s lips is “sustainability” – and rightly so. The only way to protect our planet and our own health is through adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Less waste going to our landfills means less pollution, healthier air, better soil and more.
When you start looking into a sustainable lifestyle, it can seem overwhelming. Suddenly you’re aware of every little bit of waste that you produce – and it’s terrifying. But thankfully, every little bit helps. To quote zero-waste advocate Anne-Marie Bonneau, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
The hardest part in adopting a low-waste, sustainable lifestyle is starting it! That’s why we’ve rounded up four of our favourite first-steps on your eco-friendly journey. Read on to find out what works, and let us know what you’re doing to reduce your footprint by commenting on our Facebook and Instagram.
Straws became public enemy number one of the sustainability movement, especially after that video of the poor turtle with one up his nose went viral. They’re an easy thing to give up, because they’re largely unnecessary. Unless you’re a small child or someone with a developmental disability, it’s pretty easy to make the swap – just sip straight from the cup! If you have sensitive teeth and don’t want to give up the luxury, invest in a sustainable option like stainless steel, paper or bamboo straws. After a few weeks of using it, it’ll become second nature.
Read more: How to Live Zero Waste in Hong Kong
Bottle it Up
This season’s hottest accessory? A re-usable water bottle of course! Single use plastic bottles, like the kind you grab quickly from a 7-11 are so out of date. Stay planet-friendly and fashion forward with a cool water bottle. It’ll show everyone you care about the environment, while showing off your own unique tastes. With so many options on the market, there’s something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with a classic Swell bottle or crystal-infused VitaJuwels.
Another eco faux pas is plastic bags, like the ones you get from every grocery store, restaurant and retailer. While they might seem small, they add up – in landfills, in the ocean, and even in the bellies of our precious wildlife. When plastic bags float in the ocean, they look just like jellyfish and hungry whales are getting sick in record numbers because of it. Do yourself and your planet a favour: bring your own reusable bag. They fold up small so you can keep them in your purse, backpack, gym bag or desk for easy use.
If you never forget your reusable straw, and wouldn’t be caught outside without your water bottle and reusable bag, you’re ready for the final beginner’s swap: packing your own lunches and snacks. Not only is this one good for the Earth—because you’re avoiding harmful packaging like plastic bags and Styrofoam—it’s good for you too! You’ll save money and get healthier when you make your own food. Plus, you get to practice those kitchen skills, and nothing screams ‘adult’ like the ability to make a delicious meal.
Ready to start making your easy swaps? Shop around your flat to see what you already have. Most of us have a spare tote or two and a few mismatched food containers lying around – put them to good use! If you need to invest in some new accessories, Live Zero is a great place to start. Hong Kong’s first zero waste store will point you in the right direction for everything from bulk grocery purchases to zero-waste cleaning products and so much more.
G/F 20 High Street, Sai Ying Pun; +852 9433 3394
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