Going zero-waste is a life-changing decision with some real challenges at its heart – but don’t let that stop you from giving it a go yourself. Hip & Healthy contributor, Nadia Liu shares some major takeaways from setting herself the challenge!

★ It’s almost impossible to be 100% zero-waste. It’s easy to feel pressure when you first go zero waste and if you end up buying fruit with a sticker on it, you might feel angry with yourself. It is important to remember that making small steps is the best thing you can do and if you have a setback, acknowledge it and move forward. As long as you are reducing the amount of waste you produce each day, minimal waste will become habitual.

★ Everyday items are the easiest to replace with the zero waste version. Re-usable grocery and produce bags, coffee and tea cups, menstrual cups, non-plastic razors, and shampoo bars are the best things to replace first and will become second nature in your daily routines and you’ll wonder why there are disposable versions in the first place.

★ How to grow herbs at home. If you don’t have space or time for a full-fledged garden, a kitchen herb garden is perfect to reduce waste and to add freshness to your dinners.

★ What’s better for Mother Earth is better for you. Once you go zero waste, you’ll start to notice a lot of things about your own health especially when it comes to food. Buying fresh, unpackaged foods from the market is not only better for the environment, but also for your health.

★ Effortless style. Ever have those days where you just have absolutely nothing to wear even though you’ve thrown your entire wardrobe on the floor? Going zero waste with your wardrobe forces you to be a little bit more creative than you normally would be and it makes it easy to find an everyday uniform. Less time finding something to wear = more time to spend doing what you love!

★ Finding that most things can be multi-use is groundbreaking. For example, a mason jar can be used for not only coffee or green smoothies, but also for salads or as a vase for fresh flowers.

★ Other people care, too! The zero waste community is huge and finding new resources to learn more about how you can help is so easy. You might even experience one of those YouTube time warps. You know, when you start watching Britain’s Got Talent and before you know it, it’s 2:30 in the morning and you have seen every golden buzzer audition but this time, you will have seen every video on how to make your own all-purpose cleaner. Way more interesting!

★ How to vote with your money. There are so many companies that take the environment into consideration. By researching and supporting sustainable businesses, you have the power to influence the practices of other businesses.

★ One person can have an impact. If there is anything to take away from going zero waste, it’s that one person can have an impact. Friends and family will start to notice how and what they consume and from there, it has a ripple effect.

words by Nadia Liu

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