… is living a zero-waste lifestyle or rather trying to produce as less waste as possible. This topic is already for a long time on my mind and I would not say that I never thought about reducing my amount of waste, but I never really did it on purpose or thought about it as a real goal to achieve. Of course you can always start such things anytime of the year, but a new year gives you a fresh start and the opportunity to try new things.
If you’re wondering why I specifically chose that kind of goal or why reducing waste and in particular plastic is so extremely important, let me give you some facts to get a bit of an overview (these examples are from ecowatch.com but there are lots of other interesting sites who are providing stats and facts regarding this topic):
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
So what can we do about? Are there things anyone can do in their daily life without any massive effort? The answer is YES, everyone can contribute! I want to give some examples of the things I’m focusing on, in order to make my life a little less “trashy” ;-).
I recently bought these super cool lunch boxes from a german company called ECO Brotbox and they literally accompany me everywhere. I always take my breakfast with me to work as I’m not really hungry immediately after I woke up, therefore I need a sustainable non-plastic way of transporting my breakfast. The boxes are made of high-grade steel and fair produced by a family business in India. Important fact: The Tiffing Swing has sealing rings, so you can also use it for liquid food.
Here you can find the direct links to the products I use:
Always bring your own bags when you go to the supermarket, shopping etc. I always have a jute bag in my handbag in case I need to buy anything on the way spontaneously. It’s really not a great effort and saves a lot of money and plastic bags.
One very important item on my bucket list is a haversack, which helps you to avoid all these unnecessary packaging when buying bread, pastries, rolls etc. Here is an example of such an organic bag: Products by Naturtasche.
I came across something very interesting when browsing through fair fashion brands. The dutch company MUD jeans offers the option to lease one of their jeans for a year. After this year you can decide if you want to keep your jeans or if you want to switch to new pair of jeans. The “old” jeans are getting recycled and all their material reused.
Literature and Research
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
Zero Waste by Shia Su (German only)
Besser leben ohne Plastik by Nadine Schubert (German only)