grüum’s guide to starting a zero-waste lifestyle
It’s no news that we’re committed to encouraging zero-waste living – it forms a part of the grüum ethos. So, to help you on your journey to becoming more environmentally friendly, we’ve put together a guide on how to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle.
It’s certainly no easy feat, but with a little bit of effort and some small changes to your daily habits, you can make a big difference. After all, every little bit counts when it comes to saving our planet.
- What is a zero-waste lifestyle?
- What are the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle?
- How to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle
- Is a 100% zero-waste lifestyle possible?
What is a zero-waste lifestyle?
Before diving into your zero-waste living, understanding what this movement is all about is key.
Taken straight from the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), the definition for zero-waste is…
“The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”
So essentially, a zero-waste lifestyle is about reducing, reusing and recycling to the maximum extent possible, with an overall goal of sending as little waste to landfill as possible.
And you’re certainly not alone in wanting to join the movement. With the rapidly increasing amount of waste production in the UK, there are calls for individuals, businesses and governments to take action towards a more sustainable way of living.
What are the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle?
There are lots of benefits that come with a zero-waste lifestyle, and it might be surprising to hear that some of these are direct benefits to you.
#1 Reduces landfill
Sending less waste to landfills by reusing and recycling means you’re saving space in our already overflowing landfills.
In 2021, England generated “79% of UK biodegradable municipal waste to landfill, generating 5.3 million tonnes of the 6.8 million tonnes UK total“, and this is only on the up as we increasingly consume products designed for single-use and quick disposal.
Going zero-waste is one way we can each help to reduce this pressure.
#2 Saves you money
With a zero-waste lifestyle, you’ll be buying less – and we all know that means spending less! By opting for reusable and refillable options, you won’t have to constantly fork out money for new products.
Using products that also last longer is a fantastic way to save money and reduce your waste.
A great example of this is our shampoo bars and conditioner bars. These incredible haircare products last up to 60 washes, which saves you from buying multiple bottles of traditional liquid shampoos and conditioners.
#3 Better for the environment
Reducing waste means less pollution, less carbon emissions and a healthier planet. End of.
But seriously, by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle, you’re helping to reduce harmful impacts on our planet. This includes things like plastic pollution in our oceans and the production of greenhouse gases from landfill sites.
#4 Promotes mindful consumption
Have you ever stopped to think about how much you consume on a daily basis?
A zero-waste lifestyle encourages you to be more mindful of your consumption habits, making you more aware of what and how much you’re buying. This can lead to less impulsive purchases and a shift towards more sustainable choices.
#5 Fosters a sense of community
The zero-waste movement is all about coming together to make a positive change. By adopting this lifestyle, you’re joining a community of like-minded individuals who are all working towards the same goal.
You’ll find support, inspiration and motivation in the zero-waste community, making your journey to zero-waste living even more enjoyable.
How to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle
Once you’ve made the decision to start a zero-waste journey, you’ll need to know where, when and how to get started.
The key is to recognise that this won’t be done with the flick of a switch but rather a conscious effort to make small changes in your daily habits and purchasing decisions.
We’ve rounded up 10 ways to help you adopt a zero-waste lifestyle that are within your reach:
Reduce your single-use plastic consumption
Start by reducing the amount of products you buy that are heavily packaged in plastic. Choose glass, paper or aluminium containers where possible and opt for items with less packaging than usual.
Our zero-plastic hair, skin and body care products make it super easy to make the switch. We only use recyclable cardboard to package up our self-care bars, so you can rest assured that you’re doing your part to reduce plastic waste.
Start using reusable shopping bags
Tote bags have become a huge hit in the last year or so, and not just because they offer a stylish way to carry your everyday items.
Reusable bags are a fantastic way to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your day-to-day life and create less waste – both for yourself and the environment!
Other storage items like wash bags are another area where you can make the switch and reduce your plastic consumption.
Make smarter fashion choices
The UK is notoriously bad for fast fashion – according to Oxfam, it’s estimated that more than two tonnes of clothing are bought each minute in the UK, which is more than any other country in the whole of Europe. This produces nearly 50 tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to driving 162,000 miles in a car.
And when the trend has passed, or we get bored of these clothes, we chuck them away – more than 300,000 tonnes of fashion waste is produced in the UK each year. That’s why it’s important to make smarter choices when buying clothes.
This could mean choosing to shop in charity shop branches more often, using second-hand clothing sites, or buying staple pieces. Shopping smarter can help reduce the amount of fashion waste produced and, at the same time, save your pocket money too!
Watch where you shop online
Many online shops are starting to offer more sustainable choices when it comes to packaging their products, like using cardboard boxes and biodegradable bubble wrap.
But some brands are still using plastic packaging, which can add up quickly if you’re an online shopper. Pay attention to the packaging materials when you shop online and opt for companies that offer more eco-friendly alternatives.
Shipping is also another big factor that comes into play when online shopping, and there are several steps you can take to reduce your impact. Look for companies that offer carbon offsets or calculate the emissions of your shipment so that you can offset them.
Here at grüum, we manufacture the majority of our products in the UK, and whenever we do need to source internationally, we only use shipping freight transport to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.
Say no to paper receipts
Digital receipts are a part of the new way of shopping, and they save a ton of paper. So rather than asking for a paper receipt because you don’t want to spell out your email address at the till, start saying yes to digital receipts.
They’re also easier to keep track of – you can’t ever lose them in the back of your car or accidentally put them through the washing machine.
Be more conscious of what’s in the products you’re using
Microplastics are a huge problem for our planet, and with each wash of synthetic clothing or use of beauty products, microplastics enter the water system. Look at what’s in your products and switch to more eco-conscious alternatives that are free from plastic particles.
We pack our products full of naturally derived ingredients are steer clear of chemical nasties, which can be damaging to both your skin and the environment. Swapping out your beauty routine for more natural alternatives helps keep our waterways clean and supports a healthier ecosystem for us all to enjoy.
Is a 100% zero-waste lifestyle even possible?
The conversation around whether a completely zero-waste lifestyle is possible is a valid one. There are most certainly situations where it would be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid using single-use plastic and other waste.
However, by making small changes to our daily habits and routines, we can cut out waste wherever and whenever possible.
Our promise to the planet & to you
From the very start of our manufacturing process to the product landing in your hands, we keep sustainability top of mind. While it’s near impossible to avoid using plastic or metal to store liquid, we work to use as little material as possible while also reducing our carbon footprint.
Our packaging is widely recycled at kerbside in the UK, and we strive to make sure that our products are not only sustainable but also good for you. We use only naturally-derived ingredients, with all of our products being cruelty-free and many being vegan.
Switch your routine self-care products for our plastic-free, natural alternatives, and you’ll be on your way to living a more sustainable lifestyle.
How do I start a zero-waste lifestyle?
Start by cutting down your purchasing of single-use plastics. Replace them with sustainable items, such as our plastic-free self-care bars, bamboo toothbrushes and eco-friendly wash bags. The products you use are the biggest way you can make a difference in your lifestyle.
Is zero waste the same as minimalism?
No, minimalism is the practice of living with only the essentials. Zero-waste focuses on eliminating all sources of waste and single-use plastics to help reduce our carbon footprint and protect the environment.
Are there any drawbacks of zero-waste living?
Some of the most common drawbacks are the lack of availability of zero-waste products, the cost associated with eco-friendly alternatives, and the time it takes to make sure you’re using sustainable options. That being said, the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks, as you’ll be helping to protect our planet and its inhabitants.
Is all of your packaging recyclable?
All of the different types of packaging we use can be recycled at various points across the UK. Make sure you’re correctly disposing of them at your local recycling centres and that you’re not mixing materials. Read our recycling information for specific info.