Simple ideas on how to reduce waste. In the spirit of Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Recover – as promised, I’m sharing with you my very personal bullet point list. Those are tools, activities and undertakings that I implemented into my own life in order to contribute.
Those ideas are aligned with my own lifestyle but I hope you find inspiration to adapt some of them into your own practices. Think about the huge impact we can generate if each of us shifts just a little, changes a notch. Step by step we make Mother Earth happy (again).
As I said in my previous article Less Waste – how to develop a responsible mindset ? it all starts in our heads. It’s about awareness and consciousness…and a tiny bit of effort.
Lifestyle & Minimalism
- embarking on minimalism & buying LESS stuff
- second hands & DIY crafts (giving objects a second life)
- cloth swapping events, book exchange points (traveling books)
- refurbishing old furniture. Grind down, repaint. Build your own/ upcycle (i.e. transforming old pallets or garden boxes into shelves, building a table out of a cool old wood panel). It’s creative, unique, cheap and reused !
- learning how to knit
- buying products from more organic materials (cotton, bamboo)
- supporting brands that produce from recycling goods/ resources
- not jumping on every trend. Especially in clothing. The fashion industry is the most destructive ones and fast-fashion is a real problem ! Vintage rocks : )
- practicing Mindfulness
- when thinking of a present (making or receiving), I prefer experiences and quality time (invitation to a meal, theater tickets, an excursion) rather than physical goods
Traveling & Community
- not printing of tickets, travel documents, visas, Covid-test results…
- not printing at all if not necessary ! (I got well trained in a paperless office – thank you Alberto)
- supporting local communities (come on people, isn’t that cute, artsy local coffee shop much cosier than Starbucks ?!)
- buying local products (i.e. cosmetics – I’m always buying them in my current destination rather than carrying them with me across the globe. The plane is lighter, you travel more comfortably, the products are cheaper on location and they are different, so it’s a new experience! One can only win if you ask me : ))
- I love farmers markets ! You interact with nice people, you try the product, you buy it fresh and you reduce packaging
- traveling with a reusable bottle / flask
- using the same towel during my whole hotel stay (if you throw it on the floor, it will be replaced by a new one. Thus, keep in on the hanger. Who needs a fresh towel every day ? How decadent and stupid is that ?!)
- participation in events such as beach cleaning or creating forest trails
Resources: Energy & Technology
- unplugging the charger if not in use
- switching off the lights when not in the room
- not using a dishwasher if not necessary
- hand-washing my clothes more often
- air drying my hair and my laundry
- multiple usage of the water glass on my desk (no constant washing up)
- using public transportation, carpooling, cycling
- walking whenever I can !!!!
Food & Consumption
- drinking more loose leaf tea. Or tea from plastic-free tea bags
- not using single use cups/ paper plates/ plastic cutlery (usually coming in handy at parties or outdoor pickings). Replacing them by reusable or multi-purpose options like wooden cutlery
- bringing your own cotton bag
- saying no to straw (actually I never understood why an adult needs a straw, unless it’s in a coconut. In Bali they often serve them with bamboo or a metal one ! Well done)
- trying to seek out food that is not wrapped in plastic. This is a though one but I’m doing my best
- using only half of a paper napkin (they are sooo big anyway ! LOL, that’s actually a very particular one of me, I admit. It caused many comments during the time I shared a household with my ex)
- I NEVER WASTE FOOD ! I buy/ cook only as much as I can eat. If not, I tupperware it/ freeze it /reheat it. If eating in a restaurant, I take a doggy bag. Food should never end up in a bin !
- SHARING FOOD with hungry people
- eating less meat
- growing my own food (this one is difficult for a digital nomad like myself, but when I can, I do it – like in my parents garden)
- using beeswax wrapping to store food
- trying not to waste anything in general. When finished painting and there is paint remaining I use it to prime another canvas with it. Old jars become a brush holder. I use paper cuts for collages, coffee grounds to fertilize the garden, old toothbrushes (bamboo) to clean my jewelry with…
- using up/ using a whole life cycle of a product. Replacing electronics only when they die. Repairing an old (and beloved) pair of shoes. Even an old sock can serve me – to clean the paint brushes with it. And when my fav shirt has a whole, I cut more holes in it, so it looks artistic instead of wretched ; )