Interested in reducing your waste, minimizing, or becoming more intentional in your daily life but aren’t sure where to start? You are in the right place! If you are confused by the words zero waste, and minimalism and what exactly we do on this website, I encourage you to check out the FAQ page to hopefully answer some of your questions!
..Did you look at the FAQ page? Are you back? Ok great! Let’s get started.
Let’s get started: Zero Waste
The first step to reducing your trash is becoming one with your trash. I know, kind of weird, but totally effective. When have you ever looked at your trash, and I mean REALLY look at it? Every person has a different lifestyle, and understanding what you throw away the most will help you understand how you can easily and effectively cut your trash. Is your go to snack single portioned trail mix? Consider buying trail mix in your bulk section and portioning in reusable bags or glass. Constantly throwing away veggie scraps? Consider freezing and using it later to make a broth. Examine your trash, be the trash, and then reduce the trash!
The fast four simple switches.
- Plastic utensils: Instead of plastic utensils, carry around your own reusables! I carry mine with me wherever I go, and have saved so many plastic utensils from the landfill from this simple switch.
- Plastic Straws: Some places it’s simple to just not take a straw, but some give you a straw automatically, so it’s important to specify when you are ordering at a restaurant that you do not want a straw with your drink. Can’t live without one? Get reusable metal or glass straws to have on hand!
- Plastic Bags: Need I say more? The world will use 5 TRILLION plastic bags this year . Avoid plastic bags by having your own, reusable bags. Always forget them? I suggest chico bags or bag podz to help! Chico bags are able to hang onto your keys, or your purse. For those big shops, bag podz is a bag that holds 5 or 10 reusable bags inside of it so it’s convenient to keep in your car and grab.
- To go cups: The only good type of to go cup is the one you bring yourself! Paper disposable cups have plastic lining that makes them inefficient to be recycled, and styrofoam cannot be recycled at all. There are many options for your coffee cup- collapsible mugs, tumblers, even mason jars will do the trick.
Let’s Get Started: Minimalism
To begin working toward minimalism, start thinking about what you use every day. Understanding what you use on a day to day basis will help you see what things you keep in your life that are important to you. And the flip side of that is that you will also notice what you don’t use so often and is just taking up space.
- Start small. It is easy to suddenly become overwhelmed with all of the stuff that you somehow accumulated. Begin with one room, or even one dresser at a time. Declare that dresser as a “no clutter zone”. Minimize that one space and keep it that way until you feel comfortable until moving on to the next thing.
- Make it a game. I kicked off my minimalism with The Minimalism Game from The Minimalists. Every day you get rid of that amount of items, so the first day you get rid of one item, second day two items, third, three, etc. (Read about my experience here). You can also play the packing game: pack up your room, house, or apartment like you are moving away. Only unbox what you use for the whole month. Get rid of/donate the rest at the end of the month.
- Do one thing intentionally a day. You can do some meditation, but that’s also not necessary. Really think about one activity you do a day. If you are eating, eat slowly, chew often, think about the flavors in your mouth. It will make you more aware of your actions, and it’s healthier too.
These are all just some tips to get started that worked for me, but there is no right or wrong way to begin! Do what you feel most comfortable with, and hopefully this sparked an idea on how to make this a realistic and long term change for YOU!