We're trying to ease into a low waste / zero waste lifestyle. I think it really started, when I moved into the city and started to buy our produce at the local farmer markets all over the city. I felt weird, buying this local, organic food and it all got packed into plastic bags. So when Migros started selling their farbic bags for produce, I changed to them. After that, I saw a lot of little packaging that just gets thrown away so we started to think about where we could get around packaging. This is how we started our way of easing into a low waste lifestyle. Please note, we're far away from only having a mason jar full of a years worth of waste. We felt like it's best to start litte, you can't change our whole life to zero wast from one day to another. We're taking one step at the time. These are our 5 tipps to start your low waste / zero waste lifestyle.
1. Reuse the packaging you buy
The most important thing about low waste / zero waste is reusing the packaging you get while buying per example groceries. Use the jar you get from your pickled onions and store your chillies from the balcony garden of your friend in it.
2. Get a reusable cup if you drink coffee on the go
There are a lot of people who get a coffee to go every morning and every morning there will be a paper cup they throw away. Getting a reusable cup is the best way to prevent this waste. My beautiful cup is from Keep Cup (shop it online at rrrevolve.ch) and I got it from John Baker at Helvetiaplatz, Zurich. Even if you're a Starbucks addict and their particular sizes, they've got a huge selection of reusable cups. Und s'Beschte: Starbucks und au anderi Ort (zum Biispiel de John Baker) gäbed 50 Rappe Rabatt wemmer de eiged Bächer bringt.
3. Having fabric bags for your produce
This was one of the most simple steps that had a huge impact on our low waste lifestyle. Just having a few of these fabric bags for all your produce is amazing. I usually had a plastic bag for my carotts, one for my onions, one for my apples and so forth. These fabric bags are perfect for all the produce you'd usually put into plastic bags at your local Migros or Coop. If you don't one to invest in fabric bags, try to start putting as much different produce in one plastic bag as you can (sie werdet a de Kasse nöd hässig wenns 5 Zettli uf eim Sack scanne müend, ich mach das au so bi de Stoffseckli).
4. Drinking loose tea with a tea strainer
I drink up to 8 cup of teas a day and that meant up to over 50 tea bags a week. I found this cute little mug in my favourite little tea shop Pavaris in Konstanz and it already has a tea strainer in it. For me personally, this is already my favourite cup because it's just so cute but having this stainer already in it, makes it extremley practical too.
5. Don't feel bad if you want things to look pretty
Even though we should mostly reuse all the glass jars have, don't feel bad if you want the open spaces in your kitchen or your pantries to look pretty. I buy most of my spices in bulk, so I store them all in mason jars. Because I have them in an open space, I really like them to look neat so it doesn't start to feel cluttered. I have most of these jars for years now and I use my mason jar for almost everything, not only for storing my food in it.
If you're interested in this way of life, start with just one change and see how it goes. You won't believe how many times I forgot my fabric bags or my Keep Cup. First, I bought the produce or the coffee anyways but then I started to think about, if I really needed the coffee right now or if I can wait until I'm at work / home or at a coffee place where I drink the coffee there. If you start with one thing, you change your mindset and there most likely will be one little change after the other. I don't think that I will ever be one of the people that use cotton cloth as toilet paper but never say never, right?