Sustainability is about the long-term health of our planet, which in turn also directly relates to our own health. Our daily actions influence much more than we expect, so here are some handy tips to start changing your lifestyle.
What and how much do you trash?
Packaging is a huge contributor when it comes to what ends up in the landfill. Convenience items, such as ready-made foods and snacks that you pick up on your way to work, are often marketed as something healthy: they’re organic and natural, but they aren’t serving anyone other than your convenience. And, oftentimes, they aren’t even as good for you as advertised either.
What can I do?
1. Bring your own food to work
My favourite and super simple go tos are:
- Breakfast:Peanut Butter Overnight Oats (*instead of bananas, you can use any local fruit, like sliced or shredded apples)
- Lunch: 17 Vegetarian Pasta Dishes or Kale Sweet Potato Curry
2. Munch on real food
When you need a last-minute snack, pick up an apple or any unpackaged fruit you love. You can also buy bulk nuts and dried fruits and create your own trail mix! These options aren’t just healthier for you and the environment, they cost less, and you will definitely feel better after eating these as opposed to some processed, oily, packaged potatoes.
3. Pro tip for daredevils 😈
Bring your own container to the restaurant when you know you won’t be able to finish dinner.
#stopsucking - It’s time that we refuse straws at bars, restaurants, and cafes.
The US alone uses 500 million plastic straws every day (yikes), contributing to the pollution of our oceans. Straws are superfluous. We can all drink from a cup! If you love using straws, try one of the reusable ones: bamboo, stainless steel, or even glass ones. In Vancouver, you can purchase them at the Soap Dispensary on Main Street.
What and how much do you recycle?
Recycling is a magic word that makes us feel good. After all, by recycling, we’ve done what we could. For example, we can recycle our Starbucks plastic cup once we finished sipping that venti summer drink! But is that really the best we can do? The plastic cup that was used only one time, at best, will be downcycled into something of lesser quality and value or, at worst, will end up in the ocean. This is a huge waste and isn’t very efficient. Recycling is a great interim solution (better than trashing things), but it’s not a long-term option. We shouldn’t support the creation of virgin plastic, which is made out of fossil fuels, especially when we all have at least one reusable mug.
What can I do?
I take my to-go cup with me whenever I can. If I don’t have it with me, I don’t get a coffee. I will sit down and have it “for here” or I will take a cup from the office and bring it to the cafe. If I know that I want juice from Whole Foods for example, I’ll take my glass jar and they always happy to fill it with fresh juice! Yumm!
- Strawless Ocean | Campagne website #StopSucking
- Restricting use of plastic straws are the latest trend to clean up California beaches | The Mercury News article
- The Soap Dispensary | Refill shop for products that support a zero waste lifestyle in Vancouver, BC
Do also remember to follow all of the zero waste instagrammers in this post for daily inspiration 💚!
Rob Alberts says
By separating my trash I do something for the environment.
But I try to cut down my trash.
Good to hear you are reducing your trash and that you recycle what's left! Keep up the good work!
Jeremy Timus says
HOW AND WHEN TO USE WAQs
Maureen Dullas says
I'm exploring the zero-waste lifestyle and I'm wondering, what brand do you use for your to-go coffee cup? I stumbled upon this Keep Cup BPA-free cup when I was searching for zero-waste cups, do you think it's good for the environment or plastic is still plastic regardless what form?