Zero Waste resolution for an entire year

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Zero Waste resolution for an entire year

Sisam Shrestha, [email protected]

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Imagine making less than a jar’s worth of trash each year.

The idea seems impossible but there are actual people who are living while making only a jar’s worth of trash in five years.

Each year in America alone, 30 million tons of plastic are discarded.

More than 90 perecent of it end up in landfills and the oceans.

The minimal waste or “Zero Waste” lifestyle has been emerging on various social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram for the past two years to combat this issue.

What was previously looked at as a “hippie thing” has now managed to claim dominance in many high end shops in major cities.

Here are seven resolutions to help start towards a “Zero Waste” 2018 that benefits not just one but many.

Bamboo utensils: According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, Americans use more than 100 million plastic utensils every day which can take thousands of years to properly decompose.

Instead, an eco-friendly alternative would be to carry bamboo spoons and forks while eating at outside.

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant.

Using utensils made out of bamboo are not only durable and organic but are also environmentally sustainable.

Felt dryer balls: Instead of using dryer sheets that are lined with plastics, try using felt dryer balls.

Dryer balls tumble around in the wash load and allow proper air circulation.

This reduces the drying time and minimizes friction.

A pack of dryer balls costs less than $10 and can be used for years until they fall apart.

Unlike scented dryer sheets, felt dryer balls do not contain any artificial chemicals that can damage towels’ absorbency or cause allergic reactions.

Tote bags: Living on-campus means unavoidable trips to the neighborhood Walmart for weekly groceries and midnight runs to fastfood driveways.

A single trip to Walmart adds an average of four plastic bags to the plastic pile below the sink.

Carrying a tote bag reduces the number of plastic bags brought into homes.

Totes can go as cheap as just a dollar and can last for a year’s worth of shopping.

They are also compact enough to be stashed inside everyday bags.

Etsy has a great selection of handmade customizable totes that are easy and fun to carry around.

Stainless steel bottle: Health authorities recommend drinking about two liters water daily.

It’s difficult to carry around a bunch of disposable bottles to class every day.

Also, buying water from the SUB each day is a waste of precious Flex dollars and unnecessary plastic.

Try investing in a stainless-steel bottle that costs as less as $15 and lasts for at least five years.

Some bottles also come double insulated and work great with both hot and cold drinks.

These can be refilled at the on-campus Starbucks, Schulze or the water fountains.

Additionally, carrying a bottle around acts as a reminder to keep drinking water.

Reusable straw: Ever seen those online videos of sea turtles with a plastic straw stuck up their noses?

According to Ocean Conservancy’s International Conservation Cleanup data, plastics have been on the top 10 found items’ list for the past three years.

Obviously, the main contributors are the millions of plastic straws used in to-go cups and restaurants.

Start by avoiding straws while dining outside.

Some drinks, however, like milkshakes and frappucinos do require a straw.

Carry a glass or a stainless straw.

These can be washed and reused for several years with proper care.

Unlike plastic straws, stainless steel straws do not contain BPA, making it safer to use.

Shampoo bars: Shampoo bar is a new sensation in the Zero Waste movement.

They look like soap bars and usually come unpackaged or packed in cardboard boxes.

An average shampoo bar lasts around 100 washes, outlasting two shampoo bottles.

More importantly, shampoo bars are organic, chemical free and do not strip necessary oils from the scalp.

Their compact size makes them perfect for travels.

LUSH is known for their variety of shampoo bars for different hair types.

They even have scented and oil infused shampoo bars for hair treatment and conditioning.

Regular use of chemical conditioner can prove harmful to hair.

Instead, try applying a bit of organic coconut oil before washing your hair.

Buy quality: College budget often compels students to buy cheap, disposable items.

These purchases don’t only add garbage in the landfill but also add up to a large amount at the end of four years.

Instead of buying a cheap nonstick pan that will probably break before graduation, invest in a cast iron pan that can last for years, even after college, and is a safer health choice.