You care about the environment, and want your life to reflect this. Literature offering tips on repurposing and reusing is proliferating, and recycling is more comprehensive and convenient than it was ten years ago. But opportunities to waste seem to also be rising in spades. If your sustainability goal is to ultimately live a zero-waste life in your apartment, here are some practices to adopt.
If you’re looking to kickstart your journey to waste-free living, there’s nothing like a large-scale decluttering of your apartment. Sort through your clothes and trinkets, setting aside things you rarely wear or use. Donate whatever you can. Use items you don’t think will make for good donations in DIY decor projects or as dust rags. Only throw away items that cannot be reused or repurposed.
Electronic junk mail is annoying. Physical junk mail is truly wasteful. Use websites like CatalogChoice.org and OptOutPreScreen.org to register to receive less junk mail. Take your accounts paperless if you handle most of your banking and other personal financial business online. And on a similar vein, start refusing advertising pamphlets and various freebies you pick up at events and while running errands. When you accept a freebie, you feed the demand for these objects. And how many free pens, plastic cups, beer mitts, and other objects have done anything other than sit unused in your apartment anyway?
Curb your fashion forwardness
Being fashion forward has its benefits, but resisting the urge to jump on the trendy fashion bandwagon is an under appreciated virtue. Most new fashion trends die quickly, meaning the trendiest are constantly updating their wardrobes. If you’re okay not being a trendsetter, stick to tried-and-true fashion styles that will work for you this season and for years to come.
Use reusable water bottle and thermos
For many, reusable water bottles and shopping totes are the first steps to a zero-waste life. If you haven’t yet forsaken plastic water bottles and plastic/paper bags for their reusable, sustainable counterparts, start. While you’re at it, pick up a heat-proof thermos for your morning coffee or tea. You can use it regardless of whether you make your own, use your apartment’s java bar, or visit a favorite coffee shop on your way to work.
Composting in an apartment is not as commonplace as composting in single-family homes, but it’s still doable. With the right container, composting requires little more effort than standard waste management. If you maintain a small herb garden on your balcony, you can use the decomposed material as soil for gardening. If you don’t, you can donate to a friend who gardens or a community garden nearby.
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