Video Recipes, DIY's, Island Life, Natural Living & Minimalism

How to Minimize Waste – Zero Waste

DIY.  I’m a huge DIY lover as you can probably tell from my video recipes I’ve shared with you over the years.  However, beyond taking a more natural approach, it also dramatically cuts down on packaging.  It seriously pains me when I see elaborately packaged goods being torn into and tossed carelessly into a trash bin.  In my videos, you’ll often see containers being reused over and over again with raw materials like wax or essential oils getting repurposed into a multitude of ways.  As an added bonus, making your own products also saves a ton of money!

Take your own reusable bags or containers.  I’m happy to report that though our little island is still behind on recycling efforts, we no longer give away plastic bags at the grocery store.  This has encouraged our community to bring reusable bags.  If you live in a place that offers bulk foods, consider taking your own jars to fill.  When picking out fruit and veggies, they even make reusable produce bags for those as well.

Say no to straws.  Say no to plastic.  I hope to see a huge reduction of plastic use in my lifetime.  Not only does it take an eternity to break down or end up in our oceans, BPA’s are also a concern.  Even on our island, we have begun limiting straw use much like many cities around the states.  I think the many on-island workshops explaining how plastic can hurt our wildlife has finally begun resonating with people.  I recently met a local who brings her own utensils and cups to parties.  If you must use a straw, they make plenty of stainless steel, glass or bamboo ones that are reusable.

Recycle-Reduce-Reuse.  This goes without saying but in a society where the newest, most sparkly thing is the most coveted, think outside the box.  Consider purchasing second hand or stretching out the use of what you already have or repurposing it for something else.

Adopt a minimalist outlook.  I’m proud to say that minimalism has brought me more freedom than piles of things.  I think I own all of 10 outfits and I’m more than ok with that.  With my minimalist outlook, it’s supported my focus on the simpler joys in life.

L: egg fruit R: a collection of carambola, mango and avocado – all local fruits

Consume local.  Extra energy and resources go in to bringing you that apple from across the state.  Think about the emissions/packaging/pollution that go in to bringing these goods to you.  When you eat local, it’s the shortest field-to-fork journey while retaining more of the nutrients.  Plus, you’re reinvesting in your local economy.

Pick up trash whenever you see it.  I hate to see it, but there’s trash when you go anywhere.  It’s particularly heartbreaking when it’s on a beautiful hiking trail or beach, as is the case here.  My husband and I made a pact long ago that whenever we’re out, we’ll take as much trash with us as we can.

Collect gray water to reuse in your garden and grow your own food!  This has made a considerable difference as we do our best to grow as much as we can which takes a lot of water.  On our island, we solely depend on cistern {rain} water and it’s always been a smart practice to collect it and I’m happy to report that I’ve now finessed the sweet spot of being able to water my plants with mostly recaptured water.

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