The truth is it’s not actually that easy to live a zero waste lifestyle. It takes thought, preparation and time investment. At CARMA we like to focus on the small wins, doing something is always better than doing nothing. Here are our simple hacks to be a little more green and conscious of your environmental impact everyday. We want to show you that making minimal changes to your day can make a huge difference.
1) Reusables: You can be a little more green starting with your morning tea/coffee.
Here in the UK we throw out almost 7 million coffee cups every single day. Sadly, most coffee shop cups are non recyclable as they are lined with a plastic polyethylene and so end up in landfill. This is an easy place to start to make a personal impact so invest in a reusable cup - not only are they a more sustainable we think your morning coffee will actually taste better!
If you are buying a reusable cup, look out for one produced from materials that are less damaging to the environment. Many reusable cups are made from environmentally toxic materials like plastics or silicone containing petrochemicals - this takes away a bit of the good from the effort you are making. Instead, look for reusable cups that are BPA free and made from more environmentally friendly materials - we love bamboo or porcelain. Similarly to reusable cups, you can also buy reusable cutlery, food containers, water bottles and more. Try and bring your own food container and cutlery when you pop out to lunch or pick up a take away to reduce the amount of disposables you use.
2) Grocery Choices: You can make a difference on an individual level.
18% of global emissions result from livestock. By choosing not to eat animals and dairy products, you are already contributing positively in reducing your carbon footprint. People who choose to eat meat daily produce 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide annually versus people who choose to eat plant-based who produce 1.1 tons per person.
As well as bringing your reusable bags with you to reduce plastic waste, a good hack when shopping for groceries, is to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season and local to help reduce transport costs from importing produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often cheaper, fresher and taste better. Try and find loose fruit and vegetables where possible instead of packaged. Most fruit and vegetables have natural skin that protects them and you can clean them by washing them at home.
Buy larger bags/packets of snacks and dried goods like porridge oats or crisps and seal the bag to keep them fresh instead of buying individually packaged products.
Finally look out for recycled household goods like toilet and kitchen roll it's often around the same price as non recycled and an easy quick swap to make.
You can download a free seasonal calendar from the New Covent Garden Market: Seasonal Fruit & Veg Calendar
3) Personal Care: You can make a few swaps and still stick to your daily routine.
Over the last few years you may have seen pretty gross images of “fatbergs” blocking sewage systems across the UK including London, Devon and Cardiff. Fatbergs are made of wet wipes, grease and other gunk. Water UK conducted a study in 2017 concluding that wet wipes cause 90% of the blockages in sewer systems. They also find their way into our seas and oceans, where they can cause long-term problems for sea creatures and the marine environment. In particular, many cosmetic and baby wet wipes are made with micro plastics and toxic materials like regenerated cellulose, polypropylene, polyester or polyethylene.
Instead, consider investing in reusable face-wipes as part of your beauty routine. Reusable wipes made of materials like organic cotton or hemp are machine washable and compostable when you need to replace them. Although they are an initial investment, they are a cheaper solution in the long run, containing no toxic chemicals and are better for the environment.
Remember, one small drop can still make a ripple in the water.