Most people begin the new year with resolutions that revolve around doing and being better in different aspects of their lives. Each, for his/her own personal goals and ambitions. However, with 2020 almost threatening our existence, we have chosen to respect ourselves this year and include doing better for the environment in our resolution for 2021.
If you are thinking like us, looking to do better and be better for the environment; transitioning to a zero-waste, circular economy driven lifestyle is your best shot at being part of the solution and not the problem.
Not sure how that works? here are a few easy to do things to get you started on zero-waste living.
- Refuse/Avoid/Reduce waste
Since we live in a fast-paced world, most products are highly packaged and made for consumption on-the-go, making it easy to keep buying and stocking even when it is not necessary. The first pillar in the sustainable waste management hierarchy is REDUCE and the most effective way to reduce your waste is to not generate it in the first place. Buy only want you need, with minimal packaging and its better to keep a shopping list to buy in bulk.
- Join a zero-waste lifestyle community
It is important to join a community of like-minds to learn and share your experience. Ecobarter has a closed Facebook group for zero-waste enthusiasts that you should join here. Also, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter to get sustainability insights directly in your inbox.
- Buy only eco-friendly products
As consumers, we know little about the reality of how the products we consume get to the shelves and the carbon footprint involved. However, we can choose to buy only eco-friendly products. Products that are biodegradable/compostable, recycled or products with a transparent low-carbon supply chain network. Check Nigeria’s no.1 eco-shop here.
At end of designated life, before trashing that packaging item or furniture think of creative ways to reuse them in your homes, porch or garden.
- Find a local recycling collection centre
A whopping 30% of our household wastes are easily recyclable at a profit. An effective recycling system requires that you sort your wastes into the different acceptable streams at home or your office and you contact your partner recycling collection centre for pick-up or drop-off. There are a number of recycling collection centres across Nigeria, mostly collecting your plastics, paper, beverage cans and other metals for incentives such as cash, household gifts or shopping coupons. Ecobarter has a network of drop-off centres here. Other efficient recycling collection enterprises include Wecyclers (Lagos), Recyclepoints (Lagos), Vicfold Recyclers (Ilorin), PetPoints (Ibadan).
- Start composting
About 50% of your household wastes are organics, which can be composted right in your kitchen to get a rich soil for home gardening and herbs. Effectively killing two stones with one bird in these tough economic times that we’ve found ourselves.
- Get a zero-waste planner and/or Journal
Like most other journeys, this is poised to be such an interesting one. However, it requires daily deliberate actions that you need to track. To get you started on this journey and support you, we are launching an electronic zero-waste planner and journal. Click here to preview and pre-order.
Transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle is a life long journey and it is difficult to miss because any step that leads to waste prevention or reduction is a step in the right direction.