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I don’t know about you but the concept of ZERO waste can be really overwhelming at times. Even though I tell you guys again and again it’s not about perfection, I still get caught up in my own thoughts. It’s easy to get discouraged on a journey where the end result seems impossible. Especially with how strange and anti zero waste 2020 has been. That’s why today we are gonna keep it simple.

9 Eco Friendly Steps You Can Take TODAY!

1. Make your coffee at home

Unfortunately most coffee shops are not allowing you to refill your reusable mugs right now. That makes things tricky especially when you need your Starbucks fix.

What we have been doing is buying good coffee for at home that we actually want to drink ( Starbucks ). The coffee we buy does come in a bag but it is better than the alternative of countless one time use coffee cups.

Before COVID we were able to get our coffee beans zero waste by bringing our own container to Starbucks or to a bulk store… But that feels like a different life now.

So go out and splurge on some good coffee, in the end it will save you money and will help you reduce waste.

2. Pack Your Lunch

If you are still going into work every day why not pack your lunch?

It may seem like a lot of work at the time but it is a great way to reduce waste. Eating out ( especially fast food) creates a lot of waste.

Packing a lunch will also give you more time to enjoy your lunch break. No one wants to spend their free time waiting in line or stuck in traffic.

3. Sign Up For a Meal Plan

There are tons of meal plans out there. I do not mean Hello Fresh or other meal subscription boxes that come with overly packages items. I mean meal plans like Clean Food Dirty Girl , Cook Smarts, and Forks Meal Planner. All 3 of these meal plans and many others offer meal plans and grocery lists done for you. Not only does this reduce your mental load but it s a great way to reduce food waste. Because the grocery lists are done for you, you only buy the food you need. Gone are the days of finding rotting vegetables in the back of your fridge.

4. Carry a reusable water bottle

Keep one in your car, carry one in your purse, have a stash of them at home. I try to be minimal with what I have in my home but when it comes to reusable water bottles and mugs their is no amount that is too many. ( My husband sees it differently. lol)

Even if you only remember your reusable water bottles once or twice a week you are still helping reduce the demand for plastic water bottles.

Even if you are one of the few that recycles every bit of plastic that has ever been created is still on our earth.

5. Turn off the water when its not in use

Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving your legs, or doing the dishes remember to turn off the water when it’s not in use. Conserving water is a great way to save energy.

Our populations continue to grow but our water does not.

Humans need water to survive and grow food but there are a huge number of people who do not have access to this basic necessity.

So next time you’re shaving your legs why not try turning off the water.

6. Use a blanket

As the weather gets colder the need to turn our heat on increases. Guys I live in Canada so I’m not saying you should’t heat your house. But If you’re feeling a tad chilli why not try a sweater or a blanket before you turn up the heat. Little things like this save lots of energy.

7. Eat less animal products

It is argued that eating less animal products or no animal products at all is the best thing you can do for the planet.

Understandably not everyone can switch to a vegetarian or even vegan lifestyle but everyone can reduce their animal intake.

Cattle create methane gas through their digestion and their waste, because of this the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport. The demand for meat and dairy products is increasing causing more and more deforestation and pollution.

According to PETA.org:

  • Cows need to eat 16 pounds of vegetation for us to get 1 pound of meat .
  • A city containing 12 thousand people creates as much waste as a typical pig factory .
  • In order to feed animals raised for human consumption 260 million acres of forest have been cleared.
  • Cattle consume enough food to feed more than the entire human population!

So why not opt for no animal products at dinner tonight?

Related: How The Zero Waste Movement and Vegan Lifestyle are Connected

8. Recycle

Recycling an item gives it a new life which uses less resources than creating an item from new materials. Items like aluminum cans can be reused infinitely as long as they are recycled. Sadly the majority of people cannot be bothered to properly dispose of items.

It wasn’t until I educated myself on what can be recycled that I realized it is actually really simple.

It is so important that each of us takes the time to learn what is recyclable in our areas.

Once an item is sent to a landfill it is there to stay.

Click HERE to learn what is recyclable in Calgary Alberta.

If you live elsewhere why not take 15 mins and look into the recycling policies where you are?

9. Shop Local

Shopping local does not only help your economy it also cuts down on fuel consumption and air pollution.

If you need clothing or other items try a store owned by someone in your community ( or Thrift).

When grocery shopping try buying items that were made or grown in your area or country. Even just buying a bottle of ketchup from a Canadian brand ( If you’re Canadian) instead of one produced elsewhere makes a difference!

These 9 Simple steps can help you reduce your footprint today and everyday!

Switching to a more eco friendly life isn’t just one and done, it’s a constant journey. Some things will come easier to you than others. For instance I find using a reusable water bottles a lot easier than giving up certain overly packaged foods. There will always be some things we aren’t willing to or ready to give up on…. But that’s OKAY! Just do what you can each day and remember no one is perfect.