I Lived Waste-Free For 1 Week — Here's What I Learned
In the United States, it has been reported that Americans generate about 254 million tons of waste annually with, on average, each person accumulating up to 4.4 pounds of trash daily. This same garbage, which eventually gets carted off to landfills, is the culprit behind the pollution of our oceans and even global warming. Living a more waste-free lifestyle not only helps lower these numbers, but also minimizes the negative effects garbage has on the environment.
Leading a waste-free lifestyle has always seemed, to me, equal parts amazing and difficult. But as someone who is more than embarrassed about the amount of waste I generate on a daily basis (hello, shipping boxes, takeout containers, and plastic grocery bags), I knew I was ready to make some changes.
"To us, living waste-free means making the best possible choices every day that are better for people and the planet," explains Koryn Olage, the marketing coordinator for Stasher, a company that creates plastic-free reusable storage bags made from food-grade silicone. "Going waste-free is not something that you do overnight, although kudos to you if you can do it! It can be very overwhelming to go waste-free 'cold turkey' and often leads people to just give up. Instead, you have to take small steps, one step at a time, to achieve a waste-free lifestyle. We like to say, 'If you can't choose perfect, choose better.'"
After experimenting with trying to live waste-free for a week, here are some tips that I have gathered that may also help you on the journey to a more waste-free lifestyle.