Can you believe 2023 is almost here? The new year is the perfect time to make resolutions and commit to new habits or kick old ones. This year, do something good for yourself and your community by adding some zero-waste lifestyle habits to your list of resolutions.
Here are a few environmentally sustainable zero-waste lifestyle resolutions you could commit to implementing.
Commit to Compost Organic Waste
In Santa Rosa, 40% of what is thrown in the trash is compostable. We all need to do our part to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfill. A simple way to accomplish this is to divert organic waste into compost by placing organic waste into your green organics bin or your home composting bin. Proper sorting and composting of organic material can significantly reduce greenhouse gas production. Furthermore, when finished compost is applied on land, greenhouse gases are pulled from the atmosphere and into the soil (carbon sequestration).
In addition to yard clippings and leaves, organic materials also include kitchen food scraps such as eggshells, bones, apple cores, vegetable peelings, and even food soiled paper towels, unlined food soiled cardboard and paper. Basically, if it grows, then it goes in the green organics bin or home composting bin!
Whether you start a compost bin in your backyard or place organic waste in your green bin, this resolution will have a huge impact on turning your waste into a positive resource instead of contributing to more waste and emissions.
Bring Reusable Bags to the Market
By now, most of us already keep a stash of grocery bags in our car for when we go shopping to avoid the single-use bags stores provide. You should also consider including produce bags in your stash of reusable bags. There are so many non-plastic reusable bag options to choose from, such as large cotton tote and string bags to carry all your groceries home, to mesh bags for loose produce.
Reuse and Recycle Everything Possible
A key element of living a zero-waste lifestyle is valuing everything you already have. This means plastic packaging, old clothes, old linens, and basically anything you have lying around the house that is no longer used for its original purpose. Before you send something to the trash or recycle bin, think about how you can reuse that item. Can it be upcycled into something new? Can it be reused?
Some common examples include reusing glass jars and containers for food or household item storage, old sheets can be turned into reusable and washable cloth napkins, wine bottles can be used for home décor, and even plastic containers can be reused for storage. With a little bit of ingenuity, you often will realize that purchasing new materials and resources are not necessary and can be found with items you already have laying around your home!
Buy in Bulk to Reduce Packaging
Another way to reduce the amount of waste you produce is to start buying in bulk. This can greatly reduce the amount of packaging waste that you produce. Buying in bulk means you generally will be purchasing less often, helping to reduce the amount of waste that goes into your trash. Consumers often save money by buying in bulk since you get a discount when purchasing more items.
Purchase food in bulk, refill your household cleaning supplies, look for shops that allow you to bring your own containers for refill, etc.
Shopping vintage is in fashion, right? If you need something new, consider purchasing second-hand clothing and home goods – this is an excellent way toward living a more zero-waste lifestyle. Purchasing secondhand is more sustainable because there are no resources being used to create new items.
So, head to your local thrift shop when selecting holiday gifts for your loved ones, clothing, home décor, furniture and more.
Wishing you an environmentally sustainable zero-waste New Year!