How to live a Zero waste lifestyle now
Zero waste in Hawaii sounds more like a catchy gimmick or advert more than reality of living healthy, better and with zero or minimal waste on the aina or environment. But it really is doable with actionable items to reuse, reduce and recycle as much as you can in your daily life and usage. With small starts and adapting with little steps to change your attitude and habits, you can be more resource about using, consuming, conserving and eventually get to a point of creating a zero-waste lifestyle in your household.
Why create a zero waste and low impact on the environment?
You can easily start by looking for easy things in your home and environment by making simple changes. Easy swaps like always having reusable bags in the car for going shopping, having a water flask for drinks you can have access to at all times or storing food in bulk containers instead of buying individual serving packs is an easy start.
With a few simple lifestyle shifts, you are on your way to making some headway and incremental changes to better the environment and making you feel positive for your contributions.
Here are some easy ways to live and use zero waste now
With over 80 percent of imports of foods and products to the islands, eating sustainably becomes even more crucial, if not more expensive in our daily life. Eating sustainability incorporates different aspects of what we can control around us by
Growing our own foods
There’s nothing like growing your own tomatoes, herbs and greens for every day consumption. You can start simple with one small container and maybe expand to an actual growing area when you are inclined to create more of your own food to eat. There are so many delicious and workable vegetables to get started in the garden and here’s an easy start up kit that you can use to get that garden jump started.
Planting your own fruits and vegetables – easy enough to plant fruit trees now that will end up feeding you and your neighbors for a long time. The main thing is to get the tree planted in the right environment and nutrients to get it started and maintaining the tree with the right organic nutrients that you can get here.
Having meatless days on the menu
Choosing a meatless meal is one of the simplest and impactful ways to a healthier lifestyle and also impacting the environment around us. You can opt for ingredients that are easy to make, use local ingredients and are healthy and filling instead of always relying on some meat as your main entree to a meal.
Don’t throw out your food after every meal
Why throw your leftovers when you can store or freeze dishes that you’ve made large servings for future meals when you are craving to eat the same dish. You can repurpose some of your dishes into other entrees or side dishes with a newer sauce or ingredient to give it a different look and taste so it can be reused for another meal. Even sauces, stock and leftover ingredients can be saved and reused for another meal for easy preparation.
Support those local restaurants and take out places that support local grown
IF you feel like eating out, why not support local restaurants and take out places that support sustainable farming, farm to table or organic farming principles. This is fantastic in knowing that you are also supporting a restaurant that follows eco-friendly trends, vendors and food preparation. And it’s fun to get out occasionally to enjoy a nice meal outside and be inspired with a delicious meal cooked for you.
Compost your leftovers
If you have excess food or scraps, save up any of the greens and start a compost bin. You can easily use compostable items in your dinners to help to create better soils to grow in which we typically lack good soil to grow in Hawaii. Composting can be started small and easy in a section of the garden or you can purchase a composting unit like this to help the process make compost faster to use in the garden.
Mindful transportation and getting around
One an island where people are so gas dependent to getting around, it is a real privilege to drive here on the islands. Here are some simple things to think about with mindful transportation
Gang up your chores and must do visits to town
If you’re visiting town to do errands, you can combine a series of tasks and places to visit town or ganging up your errands task list, then you are definitely being a mindful traveler
Picking up hitch hikers
A good feel way to help others that are in need of transport and are headed in the same directly and look friendly helps
Is it possible to actually walk, run or carpool
With just a little effort, you might be able to walk, run or do carpools in the area or maybe just wait unitl you have enough things in your checklist of places to go to make it all worthwhile doing a drive.
Each island has public transportation that services island wide travel at reasonable prices. If you are in an urban environment, this is probably more doable versus rural. But service is extensive at all island locations and even free on some of the islands for transportation
This is getting to be a popular way of traveling with bicycles that are electrified and priced reasonably so you can eliminate gasoline consumption. You and choose to go manual and do the actual biking part or opt for electric powered use with batteries that fully charged can get from 30 to 50 miles per charge and travel at a speed of 21 mph. Check out this electric bike package here for reference and information.
Think EV (electric vehicle)
Finally making more headway on the islands with charging stations more prevalent in all the major shopping venues. Think about transitioning to an electric vehicle if you have the means to afford this type of transportation mode.
Aiming for Zero Waste home
A good start to living a zero waste lifestyle starts at the home and can progress with easy starts and on to more conservation techniques along with healthier lifestyles in the hoe.
Learn how to compost with kitchen scraps
Get a compost bin and start composting all your food waste, recyclable garbage, glasses, paper and other materials that can be repurposed. You can get an easy kitchen compost bin to collect your kitchen scraps and bring out to the garden later when you are outside maintaining your veggie garden.
Don’t throw your stuff if it isn’t working – learn how to fix it
We live in a disposable society that just tosses anything that falls apart instead of trying to fix, glue or do an easy You Tube search to see if you can actually do the work yourself and save your appliances or stuff from being discarded because of age or somehow not working correctly. You might want to see if you can trouble shoot it yourself or ask a friend that is handy to look at it for you to see if it is salvageable.
Recycle your clothes, repurpose or give away
Recycle your clothes into rags, sell it or give it away instead of it just sitting in your closet getting old and musty. Some of your favorite old clothes maybe you can recycle them into quilts, pillow covers or other projects that needs materials that you can reuse.
Things you don’t use, have a garage sale or give to charity
Bazaars, swap meets and garage sales are very popular on the islands, so why not go through the house and collect things that you really don’t use any more and sell them? With so many swap meets happening, it’s an easy spring cleaning project to clear out the closets of clothes, collections and even gifts that you haven’t even opened to use.
Shop sustainably and do so conscientiously
When you do your shopping do you ever think about this in terms of an eco-zero waste mindset? Here are some tips on what you can do better when you shop
Think about buying ingredients in bulk instead of single use applications
Think about buying products or ingredients without excessive packaging and just the product itself
Look for eco friendly products and certified companies for lotions, beauty products, soaps and daily care
Also look for home care products that are eco friendly and have labeling/information that shares what they have actually done for the environment.
Shop at farmers markets
Now is a great time to shop at your local farmers market and puchase locally grown and sourced products and ingredients from dependable vendors. With so many farmers markets to choose from in Hawaii, it is a fun excursion to visit your local farmer’s market.
Here are other helpful ways to make those simple transitions to a zero waste lifestyle
Limit your single use of plastics like forks and knives and plate ware – clean and reuse them
Recycle those plastic water bottles into something fun, art or even pots for the garden
Love your coffee in the morning, recycle those coffee grinds and paper coffee filters into recycle bins
Use reusable containers instead of aluminum foil or plastic on foods you store or take out
Compost food scraps into compost bins for fertile organic matter that you can use in the garden
Use dish towels for everyday use and clean up instead of paper towels or paper napkins
Check out these other topics in eco lifestyle, gardening and growing
Conclusion to a zero-waste lifestyle
Reaching for zero waste lifestyle and consumption does happen over night but does require a diligent look at your habits and altering them to make positive changes that will make you feel better about what you can do here in Hawaii. Learning to avoid waste and saving money at the same time is a fantastic win win situation here on the islands.
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