The Zero Waste movement is gaining in popularity as people around the globe are waking up to the impact that our overconsumption and throwaway mentality is having on our planet. There are a lot of incredibly inspirational people around the globe who can collect a whole year’s garbage in a single jar, so apparently, it’s not an impossible feat.
My family is still a long way off fitting a week’s worth of garbage in a single jar, but the baby steps I have been taking over the last two months of our journey are starting to become easier, so now I am tackling change in the kitchen.
Here are a few of the things I am trying to implement currently in the hope that one day our garbage cans will stop overflowing:
1. Stop using paper towels – hide them away under the sink or in a far away cupboard, as this will encourage you to grab kitchen cloths or tea towels instead. If you are a chronic paper towel user, try limiting their use to the really gross stuff like dropped eggs and cat hairballs. When they run out, don’t buy more.
2. Wash and reuse re-sealable plastic bags – yes my friends, don’t throw them out, wash them with the dishes and stick it to your wall or kitchen window to dry.
3. Keep a box of baking soda in the fridge to stop food going off as quickly – food waste is a huge problem in my house, we are yet to start composting, but I am hugely aware of how much food waste we have in our home. Keeping the baking soda in the fridge is helping my vegetables stay fresher longer.
4. Ditch the plastic bin liner – it took me awhile to get my head around doing this, but I’ve done it, and it’s not so bad. Trash goes into the bin, empty your bin into the shared apartment bin and rinse after. Easy!
5. Buy loofah’s (towel gourd/丝瓜瓤) instead of a scrubbing brush or scrubbing pad. These are cheap and GROW ON VINES locally (how did I not know that??), and so are technically a ‘food waste’ meaning you can compost them or just throw them into the garden!
Can you commit to doing one or two of these things and join me on this journey to produce less waste? Let me know in the comments!
Photos by: Carrie Yu, Krystal Scott, Rebecca Archer