Lately, people became more and more aware of the downside of over-consumption. And throughout the minimalism journey for sure, you will stumble upon the zero waste movement. For me, it all started with watching Bea Johnson talk about her family of four having a mason jar worth of trash for a year. Followed by trash is for toasers company and I got hooked right away! But like everything in life, it takes a long time to change our habits and make a difference. And oh boy! I went back and forth many times. Especially when I moved from Berlin to a smaller city where the zero waste culture was not so embraced. So here I will share with you how you can start even when it's not that common in your city. As well as I will pour my favorite resources to give it a read.
Let's get started!
Start Switching only 5 items
Small changes that stay are way better than a huge switch that you keep going back and forth through! For me the items were: Shampoo bar, Menstrual cloth pads, To go cups, Bamboo tooth brush, and a collapsable tote bag. Make sure that things you change are not drastic and you feel more comfortable in.
Think bigger and buy bulk
If you have a product you love so much and can't give up it's ok to buy it but make sure to get it in bulk. So next time think how many packs from it you waste a year instead! So 4 big boxes of detergent is better than one monthly which will end up making 12 packs in the trash.
2 in 1 is your best friend
If you can make use of products for various needs you save how many products. For me I started with makeup buying a face palette instead of a bronzer, blusher, and highlighter! Morning cream with spf instead of a moisturizer and a sunscreen. Shave with conditioner and save yourself buying an additional product. This will insure that you consume less products which ends up reducing the amount of waste and also save you money!
Make things from scratch
Our generation lost the skill of making but in essence when you buy things in their simplest form you can get them unpackaged versus buying the processed item. And this contributes to the environment from different aspects not only the waste you produce.
Check the aisle for least harmful packaging
When you are buying something do your best to find what you're looking for in the least harmful packaging as possible. For example you need to buy honey, try to get a glass jar package with metal cap instead of an entire pack of plastic jar. Get package free fruits and veggies in the supermarket, ones you find package in plastic and you want get the freezer packaged one in paper instead. Get unpacked bread from the bakery and let them cut it for you instead of the plastic packaged one. So make smarter choices to achieve a major reduction in the bin.
Look for pack free shops in your area
When I found unverpackt shop in Berlin on google maps it made my day! I went happily to find a beautiful community that want to do same changes in their lifestyle. Look up google maps for package free shops in your area, google them, find facebook groups for people in the same city as you!
Never give up
If you don't reach picture perfect zero waste at least try to do it in various areas as much as possible a little change is better than no change! Always remember any lifestyle change is never easy. it will take time to manifest itself so take baby steps to achieve your goals.
And don't forget to have fun xx
Photography by Manuel Emad
Location Berlin, Germany