I provide three “new” beginner sustainable tips for beginners that are extremely important but you don’t really hear about!
The reusable water bottle, straw and canvas bag are zero waste staples. But I also think there are three other impactful items that don’t even require a purchase. While I love the bottle, straw, and canvas in their own way, here are three other beginner zero waste options you can choose!
These sustainable beginner tips are more rudimentary and helpful for the environment than the trendy three above. Another reminder: you should not be going out and buying hundreds of new things, even if they are made from sustainable materials. The point of zero waste is to decrease your individual waste over time. Being more sustainable would include using that reusable plastic bottle or bag you already have in your home. If you need to buy one, try secondhand.
Zero Waste 2.0 Tip 1:
The first zero waste swap I recommend for a beginner is to buy and use a reusable thermos or coffee cup rather than a reusable water bottle. Plastic water bottles can be recycled, so if you absolutely have no other options, they aren’t a terrible choice. However, warm beverage containers are usually a mix material of paper and plastic and cannot be recycled. If you only have the opportunity to purchase a reusable water or a reusable thermos for hot liquids, I recommend buying the reusable thermos! Plenty of them are on the market and below is a picture of the one I personally use. Hydro Flasks are quality products and I love the durability! Unfortunately, the price reflects that, but you can often find them on sale, buy an off brand one, or thrift one.
Zero Waste 2.0 Tip 2:
The second “new” beginner zero waste swap I have is more of a habit and action. To go silverware with to go orders from restaurants are one of the most wasteful products. I have a habit of saving them, but there’s twenty sitting in a drawer in my kitchen! Always say no to single-use plastic to go ware. If you’re not actually going to take your food home, create your own to go ware kit! Even if you use a plastic zip-loc bag, this is less wasteful than using or saving those plastic utensils. Or if you really want to, you can buy a to go utensil kit. I use this spork combo from REI.
Zero Waste 2.0 Tip 3:
Last but not least, the most important thing for a beginner to a sustainable lifestyle is to remember the most important “R” – reuse. There are so many things we throw away that can be up-cycled and reused in our homes. Glass jars, plastic jugs, and milk cartons are only a few of the things you can reuse. I always refer back to this article from Pop Sugar of “185 Upcycling Ideas That Will Turn Your Trash Into Treasures”. I challenge you, before you go and start looking up new items to buy for your switch to zero waste, to look around your living space and find three things you can up-cycle to a pot, a container for your pantry, food for your plants, a dog toy, a rag, or anything else you find you need but don’t necessarily need to buy.
Whether you are new to sustainable living and needed some new beginner ideas or looking for your next steps on your journey, I hope you found these tips useful!