I've mentioned before that my zero waste journey has been a long process. As a perfectionist, my initial urge was to go all out all at once which only took about five seconds to become immensely overwhelming. When you're on a budget it's not really realistic to just go out and buy a new version of everything you already own/use. Also starting small is 100% okay! That's how we create big change!
It may seem obvious to say this, but my method in deciding what products I want to try out next is usually dictated by what I'm running out of in my home -- what I'd need to replenish anyway. I also force myself to completely run out of the old version of my new products before I allow myself to try something new. This prevents me from creating additional needless waste by discarding partially-used items because when I find a better or more efficient way of doing something, I hate going back to my old ways. Following this line of thinking, it's clear why many of my first steps towards sustainable living were in switching out the most frequently used products in my home like personal care (hair, face, teeth, etc.) and cleaning supplies (laundry, dishes, household, etc.).
However, thinking back to before I was even considering making this low waste lifestyle switch, the first unintentional steps I took were investing in a sweet travel mug, water bottle, and a reusable bag. These are three simple changes that anyone can make today that will immediately cut out a decent percentage of your daily waste. If you buy coffee everyday, *today I challenge you to only do so if you brought your personal mug. If you go shopping *today, I challenge you to say no to a bag from the store and carry the items out if you forgot your reusable one. The first time you have to carry an armful of groceries home bagless, or the first time you go without coffee because you don't have your mug with you, will probably be one of the last. Implementing these three items into your life will train your brain to consider the environment on a daily basis which will get the ball rolling in other areas as well.
*Of course, these changes may need to wait until we are on the other side of COVID-19... but it's something to look forward to!
Then you can come back here to learn about more zero-waste products when you're ready to make those switches! Once again, it's okay to take a slow approach to this process. Small manageable steps are the best way to create sustainable lasting change.
What are some simple things you've done to reduce waste on a day-to-day basis? Let me know.