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Aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle seems simple enough, but have you ever actually stopped to think why taking a zero-waste approach might be better for more than just the environment?
Zero-waste is becoming a popular aspiration for many people, for a whole host of reasons. Whether it’s down to household numbers, ages, personal interests and beliefs or even cultural reasons, more and more people are aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle. Zero-waste focuses on minimising harmful environmental impacts caused by waste and flipping this, so that the amount of waste is reduced, thus lessening the impact on the environment. This way of living is in line with a minimalist lifestyle and is typically used as a way to save space, money and time.
Why Consider Zero-Waste?
The importance and benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle are becoming more and more obvious and are getting increasingly more difficult to ignore. It’s well recognised that, on the whole, the world generates far too much waste, from food and electronic waste to plastic and textile waste. The average person generates about 2kg of waste each and every day, so even just focusing on reducing your average waste generation can make all the difference. Waste in landfills around the world has been directly linked to climate change and pollution, so focusing on reducing your waste, or even aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle, has plenty of benefits.
But, whilst there is a lot out there about the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle on the environment and waste consumption, not many people are aware of the other advantages that a zero-waste lifestyle can bring. When it comes to your health and wellbeing, focusing on a zero-waste lifestyle can bring a whole host of benefits, too. Let’s take a look at why aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle is good for your health.
Improved Physical Health
Whilst packaged food doesn’t always mean that the food is unhealthy, unhealthy foods often come with a lot of packaging. Think about when you are shopping in the supermarket, healthier foods typically come in less, or more recyclable packaging, whereas unhealthy foods such as crisps, biscuits, chocolate and sweets use a lot of plastic, most of which can’t be recycled.
One of the benefits of taking a zero-waste approach is that you’re essentially being forced to shop healthier and make better food choices. When you’re making a conscious effort to take a zero-waste approach to your eating habits, you’re then going to make better decisions when it comes to the products you’re considering buying.
Develop Positive Habits
In the modern world, there are a lot of ways in which unsustainable and negative habits can form. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the desire for material items, even when you don’t particularly want them. By choosing to go zero-waste, you can work towards cutting out any unnecessary shopping or products, as well as the ever-growing pressure of having the latest and greatest products.
There are other ways in which you can also develop positive habits by looking to go zero-waste. Cutting down on your plastic use will inevitably mean that you are more likely to take a reusable bag when shopping, or using a refillable water bottle as opposed to single-use plastic. Other habits include drying clothes outside, using sustainable cleaning products and composting food waste.
Eat Healthier Foods
As mentioned briefly before, if you are looking to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, then you will find that you begin to make healthier food choices. Natural foods tend to use less plastic wrap and packaging and instead, will use recyclable or more sustainable, which are more appealing when you’re looking to create a zero-waste lifestyle. You may also find that you start to adopt a more organic lifestyle and begin cutting down on your meat consumption, all of which have their benefits to achieving a zero-waste lifestyle.
As a result of eating more natural, healthier foods, you will likely also begin to cut down on food waste, another benefit of following a zero-waste lifestyle. Food waste is a huge problem, not only for the resources it takes to dispose of the waste, but also the waste of materials that were used to grow and create the food products thrown away. If you do begin to eat healthier or change your diet, then you may notice that you become deficient in some vitamins or feel lethargic. These symptoms can settle after a short period of time, however, you might want to consider taking vitamins and supplements to support your health.
Value A Slower Pace Of Life
One thing about a zero-waste lifestyle is that you will need to take things at a much slower pace in order to fully consider items that you want to purchase or to read labels and packaging. As a result, you may find that you start becoming more relaxed as a follow on effect. This can greatly improve your health and wellbeing as you may notice that your stress levels reduce and you feel much calmer on the whole.
If you do start to notice a new calmness in your life, then you might also feel mentally clearer, too. Why not use this to your advantage and take up mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga? These can all have further benefits for your physical health, as well as your mental health. In a world where we are all so busy, all of the time, it can’t hurt to take things a little slower every now and then. It really can do wonders for your mental clarity and overall health and wellness.
It’s always an exciting process to try out something new and when it comes to challenging yourself with a zero-waste lifestyle, there’s no better feeling than knowing that you’re also making a difference to the world as a result. With a zero-waste lifestyle, you will be surprised at just how much it can impact your life for the better and how easy some of the transitions are.
The journey to a zero-waste lifestyle is one that does require some patience and commitment, but the drive that comes from changing some aspects of your life for all the right reasons is hugely powerful. A lot of people that are interested in adopting a zero-waste lifestyle are unsure exactly where to start, with some unsure as to whether their commitments will actually make much of a difference. But, trying to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle makes a difference to your life, as well as the greater picture of waste and sustainability on the whole. Going zero-waste can help reduce the huge amount of waste and pollution in our environment, plus it’s also good for your health and wellbeing.
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