Going zero waste: a guide to help you get started

Going zero waste: a guide to help you get started

Following on from last week being Zero Waste Week (7th-11th September), here at Goodery we’re passionate about helping our customers and community make more considered choices and reduce waste wherever possible. So, we thought we'd share some tips and hints on how you can join us.

Zero waste. It’s probably a term you’ve been hearing recently, but what does it mean? How can you make simple switches in order to cut down on waste in your household?

It's an increasingly popular lifestyle movement where individuals make the conscious choice to avoid, reduce, and eliminate waste from their home and their habits. Going zero waste is about lessening our impact through being mindful of our consumption and the waste it causes.

“No-one can do everything, everyone can do something, together we can do anything.”
- (Rachelle Strauss, founder of Zero Waste Week)

5 steps you can take towards zero waste living:

  1. Refuse what you don't need
  2. Reduce what you do use
  3. Reuse whatever you can
  4. Recycle what you can't refuse or reduce
  5. Rot whatever else remains 

Getting started

Look at your daily habits and try to change the ones that generate the most waste. What do you buy, what do you eat, how do you travel? Making simple changes in these areas will have an impact, and you’ll feel less overwhelmed than if you try to tackle everything at the same time!

Buy less, use more

The less we buy, the less we own, the less waste we cause. Being more mindful about everything we purchase, from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the appliances or furniture we use, can make such a difference to the amount of waste we generate. Streamlining what you bring into your home, and using up what you have is a central theme to what becoming zero waste is all about.

Eat more plants

What we eat can have a huge impact on the planet. There is so much compelling evidence to show that switching to a more plant-based diet is one of the leading ways we can combat climate change. It might feel difficult at first to "give up" the foods you've grown up eating, but you're not giving them up, you're just making switches. Finding alternative options for everyday items, such as trying plant-based milks or margarines to find one you like, is an easy way to change your habits, and experimenting with vegetarian or vegan versions of your favourite dishes can be really fun. A seasonal fruit and veg box delivered weekly is a great way to challenge yourself when it comes to finding new recipes and eating a more varied and exciting range of foods.

Switch transport

Look at how you travel and commute each day. Are there other ways you can get from A to B that don’t rely on using your car? Can you carpool with friends or co-workers, use public transport, ride a bike or walk? And if you do need to drive for work, are you able to leave the car at home for socialising and running errands? Also look at ways you can limit long distance travel, staycationing in the UK can be so much more relaxing and enjoyable than waiting around in airports and stressful rushing to catch planes! If you do have wanderlust and want to travel further afield, where possible avoid unnecessary flights and stopovers, and take fewer, longer trips rather than shorter more frequent ones. There are many apps or websites offering initiatives to help you offset your carbon footprint if you do decide to travel further afield.

Easy swaps to make: our top tips

Feeling like you want to get involved? Here are some easy swaps you can make on everyday household items and products to live a more waste free life:

  • Paper towels for washable cloths or towels
  • Disposable napkins for cloth napkins
  • Instant coffee in plastic pods for fine ground coffee in tins or glass jars that can be used in a cafetiere or stovetop
  • Plastic dish scrubs for wooden brushes and natural sponges/scourers
  • Aluminium foil for silicone mats or baking dishes
  • Cling film for reusable wraps made with beeswax, or soy wax if you’re vegan
  • Sandwich bags for stainless steel lunch boxes, waxed paper bags, or wraps
  • Plastic chopping boards for wooden or bamboo boards
  • Plastic utensils for wooden, bamboo, or metal utensils
  • Plastic storage containers for glass jars – even better if these are recycled jars from previously used food products
  • A reusable coffee cup for when you’re on the go, these can be made from bamboo, glass or metal, and there are so many brands to choose from
  • Cook from scratch and consider setting up a regular food delivery so you can plan your meals in advance with the ingredients you know you’ll be receiving in order to minimise on food waste
  • Store food correctly so it lasts longer. Eat leftovers, reuse scraps for other meals and freeze anything you haven’t eaten prior to the use by or best before dates
  • Use your food waste bin that you are given by your local council. If that isn’t available to you then consider getting a small kitchen compost bin
  • Research into whether there are local zero waste shopping options available so you can buy pantry items in reusable containers. These stores often sell organic produce and zero waste bathroom/health essentials too so you can get the majority of your weekly shop in one place and waste free!
  • Buy eco-friendly toilet paper where possible, brands such as Who Gives A Crap? and Cheeky Panda are widely available
  • There are so many zero waste health and beauty essentials on offer now, such as natural, plastic free deodorants, toothpaste, dental floss, menstrual products, body wash, haircare and make-up. LUSH and Holland & Barratt are convenient high street retailers who stock a wide range of plastic free toiletries, but also search online for small, independent local businesses you can support too – at Goodery we’ve partnered with ethical businesses such as Clay, Oathkin and Good Projects, and are working on having even more clean beauty options available to our customers soon!
  • Zero waste and organic cleaning products are becoming more available now, either in store or online, which you can buy in bulk and purchase refill options for as well. Or there are plenty of tutorials on how to make your own, try looking on Pinterest to get some inspiration.

We hope you’re excited to get started on your zero waste journey! If we’ve inspired you to change your shopping habits, feel free to let us know on our social channels.


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