Sustainability often gets mistaken for being expensive and only relatable to an upper class of people. Of course, there are things that are at the same time more sustainable and more expensive (Buying a Tesla for example), but most of the things aren’t. One of the most important and easiest things when starting a more sustainable life is to get some reusable products to reduce our plastic footprint. Most of the time you can get all sorts of reusable products for a fair price.
What exactly is sustainability?
According to the United Nations (UN) World Commission on Environment and Development, environmental sustainability is about acting in a way that ensures future generations have the natural resources available to live an equal, if not better, way of life as current generations. While it may not be accepted by everyone as a final definition, it is pretty standard and relatable. There are also some other alternate definitions such as “Environmental sustainability is the capacity to improve the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the earth’s supporting ecosystems.”
In simple words, sustainability is all about maintaining our plastic footprint, carbon footprint, and everything that can cause harm to the environment.
What about zero waste living?
Zero waste living obviously means to live a life by creating no waste at all. Zero waste lifestyle is one of the most sustainable ways of living. Producing as close to zero waste as possible has many benefits to society and the Earth as a whole. Not only is pollution reduced when we raise efforts to minimize waste production, but also less waste is being produced when the current amount of waste can be reused and recycled again!
If you were searching for swaps that you don’t have to spend money, there are plenty of zero waste swaps that require no money and that is exactly what we are going to tell you about in this article.
1. Buying less
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Buying less doesn’t mean to buy fewer things to eat and then stay hungry. Buying less means to buy only what you really need. Buy less clothes, less products, less food, etc.
Tap water is more regulated than bottled water. That may sound funny but it is actually true. Most of the water in the US is clean, drinkable and you don’t actually need bottled water. The average American spends about $260 per year on bottled water. How about you fill your own bottle and save all of that money every year?
3. Host a clothing swap “party”
This zero waste swap is also a fun thing to do. A clothing swap is a party where you and each of your attendees bring an agreed upon amount of clothing and accessories to the event. You can trade, barter, and donate clothes to your friends while snagging some new stuff to breathe new life into your closet. This is a great way to reduce the need for buying new clothes that you could probably get for free from your friends.
There are many items at the grocery store that come in glass jars. Instead of buying new empty glass jars, upcycle the jars you already have.
5. Don’t buy what is not necessary
Before you make a purchase think how often will you really use it. Don’t buy it if you won’t really need it, borrow it instead. If you don’t know anyone that might help you in finding the stuff you need there are plenty of websites, like Freecycle that help people borrow, rent, or just take whatever they might need.
6. Turn old clothes into cloths
When you think it is time to throw your old t-shirt, don’t do it. Turn them into cloths. You can easily make old t-shirts into new cloths by cutting them to the shape & size you like. The possibilities of using them are endless.
7. Make your food at home
Instead of eating out, make your own food. This will save you a ton of money. Pack a lunch, make your own breakfast, and brew your own coffee. Besides saving money, it also reduces a lot of waste.