Whenever I talk about Zero Waste with people, one of the first questions that pops up is 'How can I start with Zero Waste?'. So I was thinking hard about this question and finally came up with 3 easy ways to start.
1. BAGS, BAGS, BAGS
Always bring your own bag. When I go food shopping I always bring my own bag. If I forget it I try to carry everything with my hands or look for an alternative. Luckily most Austrian supermarkets don't offer single-use plastic bags at the cashier anymore, but reusable ones instead. So I just buy one of these. Do I have many cotton bags at home already? Yes, I do. But I love them and they always come in handy when I have to carry stuff or go shopping.
In case you have plastic bags at home, give them another purpose and turn them into a waste bin. They work perfectly fine for that and you don't have to buy any extra litter bags :)
Last year I did a promotion job for a huge cosmetics company and of course I took some of the products home. When my dear friend Aphrodite, an studied ecotoxicologist came over on day she showed me the ToxFox-App. The App was developed by the 'Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. (BUND) - Friends of the Earth Germany'.
ToxFox works really easy. After downloading the app you just scan the barcode of the product (in my case it was creams, face masks, shampoo, …) and see right away if the product contains contaminants, like cancer-causing substances or substances that can cause infertility.
So of course we tried the app and even tho it was a lot of fun to scan all the products, the results where catastrophic! I ended up throwing away most of the products.
It's not just that I don't want to use any products which contain contaminants. I also don't want to use any product where I don't even understand what's inside, like who knows what 'Sodium Methylparabene' or 'Polyquaternium-10' is? (except maybe you are a chemist) or which makes my skin look even worse than it actually is. I prefer natural products for my body.
The ToxFox-App was a great way to start cleaning out my bathroom and make it plastic free.
3. CLEAN OUT YOUR HOUSE
I know this sounds like a lot of work but in the end it is one of the most relieving activities ever. Every time I do it I feel much better and lighter and it also gives space for new things to happen again. All the things I sort out I either donate to organisations, sell them at flea markets, throw them away or give them to friends and family. It is always a great way to make other people happy and feel a bit lighter :)
Hey there, my name is Fiona. I love travelling and getting to know different cultures. Because of travelling I realised I don't need many things to live a happy life. My transformation started ten years ago with my first big trip to India, since then I live a very minimalistic lifestyle. For a couple of years now, it is not only minimalistic but also zero waste.
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