9 cheap solutions for people who want to waste less and wean themselves off single-use items
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- The world is facing an extreme trash crisis.
- Single-use plastic, including water bottles, straws, and bags, contribute to much of the pollution worldwide.
- Having a "zero waste starter kit" on hand can make it easier to say no to single-use items.
We are in the midst of a mega trash crisis. In 2016, more than 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide. Nearly 2 million plastic bags are used per minute. Takeout orders make up around 269,000 tons of plastic waste that's entered our oceans.While there's serious debate about who is responsible for this mess, there's no doubt that consumers can help to be part of the solution by consciously consuming less.
The zero-waste movement embodies this ideology; those who practice zero waste aim to use less, reuse what they have, and find alternatives to single-use products that have become ubiquitous around the world (hi, plastic straws). While any zero waster will tell you that it's impossible to be perfect - sometimes you simply can't avoid plastic packaging - the goal is to change everyday behaviors to become more sustainable.
Perhaps it's ironic to be sharing a guide of things to buy when the end goal is to be buying less, but consider this a beginner's manual to starting your zero-waste journey. You probably have many of the items listed below, and if that's the case, use them!
Hopefully this list will inspire you to set up your own "waste less" kit that you can keep close. When you go out into the world prepared, it'll be easier to use fewer single-use items while enjoying all the wonderful things this life has to offer.
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