-Shruthi & Ivan
Are you a responsible consumer? Do you think about the waste you throw away? How would you feel when the waste generated by you ends up in oceans entangling the turtles and dolphins?
The concept of Zero Waste is a minimalistic practice whereby you reduce, reuse, recycle and then rethink about our actions before you let it out into our environment. To be responsible for one's own waste generated and consumed is one aspect of reducing waste. If you are wondering where to begin your role, let's begin within your house by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle.
We hardly notice that in our everyday handling we come across plastics. May it be the packet of milk or our favourite biscuit packet. Our favourite of favourite chocolates wrapped beautifully inside colourful plastics which silently sleeps in the soil for thousands of years.
To carefully reduce the amount of waste we generate we must be aware of the products that involve plastic when we consume, for that one has to know shopping leaves footprints of plastics. So let us understand the stairway to“Zero Waste Shopping”.
1. Using Reusable Bags:
If you are given a choice to choose paper or plastic bags in a shopping counter? What would you choose?
PS: Whatever you choose just letting you know that you have an alternate option. The first weapon in the war against plastics is to carry a reusable bag while shopping; for it is the part and parcel to sustainable shopping.
Reusable bags include cloth bags, jute bags, and even reuse the plastic bags. We have to make sure that we have enough eco-friendly carry items to avoid additional carry bags. Even if you do not have a reusable carry bag, you can always recycle your Tshirt via through into a carry bag which. So, next time when you step out, always carry your own reusable bag.
2. Reusable Containers, Jars and Bottles:
How wonderful would it be if we all decide to take our own containers to fill the loose items into it?. We often face challenges when we want to buy liquid items and we tend to take our plastic bottles to fill them in.
The best alternative to this is using containers, jars and bottles made of glass, steel, etc., and even plastic is fine, but make sure that it is not a single-use plastic that is being reused. The containers can be used to buy products like cereals, masala powder and such. Glass bottles can be used to purchase liquid food and other grocery items which will be apt or fit in the containers you carry with you.
3. Zero Waste Shops:
Some shop hunts are worth the effort in finding, they may be plastic-free or encourage you to bring your own reusable bags.
Sometimes you come across shops which sell items loosely, that should be your “go-to” shop. In those shops, you are free to fill as much as you want in your reusable bag and not feel guilty about the plastic covers anymore.
You’ll be lucky if you can spot a shop in your city life, so make sure you mark the location and spread a word.
4. Rule of 10:
Let's be practical! It's hard to find some items without plastic or at least it's hard to find them easily. It could be your favourite chocolate or essential for baking or your favourite coffee powder. Keep in mind the rule of 10- i.e. pledge to buy only a maximum of 10 items a month in plastic. By doing that you can comfortably start your journey to becoming zero waste. Slowly you can set a higher target of eliminating plastics completely.
5. Avoid excess packaging
Not every item you can get loosely, but you can always choose the items that you go as an alternative. Go for the items which are not heavily packed with plastic covers, as packaging materials generate a good amount of waste.
6. Zero Waste Shopping Kit:
With all the pointers above said, you can easily make your zero waste shopping kit. Make sure you keep it in a place where you do not forget to take it for shopping and it is easily reachable. Plan yourself ahead before you go shopping, jot down the list of things needed so you will be able to have an idea on how many bags will be required, where to find them loosely etc.
6. Start making your own creams, jams and pickles
Pickles, jams, butter and several other food items that come in plastics make our life easier. But at the same time, they add to the global issue of accumulating plastic waste.
Peanut butter, almond butter, jams and pickles are easy to make and you could ensure its free of preservatives.
Whatever items we add to our cart has got an alternate sustainable option. Even when we have to print a copy of our bill while swiping our debit cards, we have an option not to have customer copy. Some small hacks are available all over the internet in turning your used clothes to sustainable alternatives, all it requires is a mind to start practising sustainable alternatives in our lifestyle. The sense of happiness one gets after shifting their lifestyle is worth feeling for. Reducing our share of waste generation in the global world makes you feel like a responsible leader.
It takes a lot of time and patience to identify the list of things which are involved with plastic at your house and to slowly eradicate the same or to find alternatives for the same. So let's not lose our hearts to this war against plastic, let's take out bits to regenerate life on this earth for a better tomorrow. . Let's be responsible consumers, Happy Shopping!! Join our upcoming workshops to learn more!