zero waste earth day tips by bea johnson

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  • 7/28/2019 Zero Waste Earth Day Tips by Bea Johnson


    Here are 10 simple tips or making Earth Day everyday with the Zero Waste liestyle:

    1. Fight junk mail. When we recycle junk mail without taking action against it, we perpetuate thewasteul practice and silently ask or more to crowd our mailbox. Junk mail is not only a waste o resources; its awaste o our time and tax dollars! Dont throw it in the recycling without acting against it rst. Register to receiveless through,, and, adopt paper-

    less statements, write reused- take me o your mailing list on First Class mail, and open Tird Class mail tond a contact number and request that your name be taken o their mailing lists (and your inormation not beshared).

    2. Turn down freebies and single use plastics. In our consumerist society werepounded with ree goods. But every time we take a swag bag rom a conerence, a party avor rom a birthdaycelebration, or a ree pen rom a air, we create a demand to make more. When we accept that ree plastic pen,more oil will be rigged to make a replacement. Once brought into our homes, these items clutter our space andat the end o their useul lie, our landlls. Tink twice beore accepting a reebie. Do you really need anotherpen? Dont you have enough pens already? Stop clutter and waste rom coming in by graciously saying no on

    the spot: Tanks but I dont need one or Tanks but I am trying to simpliy my lie.

    3. Declutter your home. It seems natural to want to hold on to past purchases as to not wastethem. But decluttering is actually a more environmentally sound thing to do. When we let go, we put preciousresources back on the market and make them available to others, thereore boosting the secondhand market anddecreasing the depletion o natural resources. Its a win-win: Living with less makes housecleaning a breeze andopens time to do the things that matters most to us too. Question everything in your home. Do you need it? Doyou use it? Is it a duplicate? Can something else serve the same purpose?

    4. Reduce your shopping trips and keep a shopping list. Running errands

    Z E R O W A S T EE A R T H D A Y T I P S by Bea Johnson

    Earth Day is a great opportunity to take a moment out

    of our busy schedules to pay attention to Nature (and ourimpact on it). But why celebrate Earth only once a year

    when our survival depends on it daily? Earth Day should

    be every day and it can be with a Zero Waste lifestyle!

    Te zero in zero waste makes it sound depriving and

    hard to achieve. But such preconceptions could not

    be further from the truth. Waste free living is not

    only better for the environment; it improves

    health, and saves time and money.
  • 7/28/2019 Zero Waste Earth Day Tips by Bea Johnson


    separately and without a list is a waste o gas, time and money. Running all your errands on the same day is

    more ecient. And as simple as it seems, keeping a shopping list is a great way to control consumption andimpulse purchases. I you write those things that you wish to purchase on an errands list and run errands ona given day, by the time youre ready to go shopping, there is a good chance that youll have eliminated thatwant. Te less you bring home, the less waste youll have to deal with later!

    5. Swap disposables for reusables. Disposables are not only a waste o resources,theyre a waste o your time and money shopping or them. Keep your money out o the landll, invest inreusables instead. Youll be amazed how much youll save over time. Replace plastic bottles with a reusablestainless steel one, disposable razors with a straight or double edge model, tissues with handkerchies, papertowels with rags, paper napkins with cloth ones, etc. and watch your savings grow!

    6. Avoid grocery shopping waste. Eliminating ood packaging does not just make ob-vious environmental sense, it makes nancial sense. Did you know that when you purchase a packaged good15% o the price covers the packaging? Reducing your exposure to plastic leaching into your ood is better oryour health, too. Put together a shopping kit: a ew reusable totes, a handul o cloth bags (or dry good), andsome jars (or wet items) and head to the resh counters (meat, cheese, deli, baked goods), and the bulk andproduce aisles o the grocery store. You can also rell your egg carton at the armers market, your wine bottlesat local wineries, and growlers at breweries.

    7. Know your citys recycling policies and locations. Once youve reused,reduced and reused, youll be lef with little to recycle. But your city might be able to recycle those items thatall through the cracks. Know the materials that are accepted through your curbside recycling or your localrecycling center (and those that are not). Also look or or inquire about drop os or hard-to-recycle-items inyour area and allocate containers or each location. For example, Goodwill accepts worn-out clothing (labeledas scraps), participating Nike-Reuse-A-shoe locations your worn-out sneakers, your local BestBuy cords andcables.

    8. Choose glass, metal, or cardboard when you must buy new.Tese materials can be recycled over and over and locally. Plastics on the other hand rarely get recycled. Andwhen they do, they get shipped across the world and come back to us in the orm o products designed or thelandll. Shopping is voting. Vote or long lasting and easily recyclable materials, and stay away rom plastics.

    9. Find a compost system that works for your home. Composting is nolonger reserved or arms and gardens. Tere is a system out there to meet your specic living conditions(whether you are an urban, suburban, or rural dweller) and your diet (whether you produce meat or veg-

    gies scraps). Our amily uses both city compost (or meat and sh scraps) and vermicomposting (or veggiescraps). I ound the worm bin to be a great way to witness the cycle o nature and a convenient way to dis-pense worm tea, a soil amendment that has been most benecial to our garden. Get to know what yourcompost system will digest (dryer lint, hair, and nails are all compostable).

    10. Turn your home kitchen trash can into one large compost receptacle.No need to buy a small countertop receptacle as those advertised. For composting to be successul, make sureyour receptacle is aesthetically pleasing, within easy reach and large enough. Te bigger the compost recep-tacle, the more likely youll be to use it reely. We ound that an under counter trash can meet all those needsperectly. We only need to empty it once a week and it does not smell (we reeze bones and sh until pickup).

  • 7/28/2019 Zero Waste Earth Day Tips by Bea Johnson


    For hundreds more tips and how-tos,check out my book

    Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide

    to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing

    Your Waste,or join the community at