For so long we’ve always been taught the 3 Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle. But it’s time to shake things up. We need new ideas and perspectives to combat the overflowing problem of waste.
Here at Tradle we are introducing the 7 Rs of zero waste: refuse, reduce, reuse, reimagine, repair, recycle and rot. This series explores each principle in a new post with tips, tricks and a good dose of humour.
Today we’re starting off with refuse. This idea is really at the core of zero waste. While it can apply to refusing material things, in the bigger picture it means to refuse the pressure of consumerism. We are often told that we can only help the environment by making different purchases - instead of the idea that we can just stop buying so much stuff!
Walking the other way when capitalism tells us to buy more can also actually do a lot for our health. Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reports that “clutter can cause feelings of stress, fatigue and depression.” It can even affect our sleep! Research shows that people who sleep in cluttered rooms are more likely to have sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep and being disturbed during the night.
Of course, there is also the obvious benefit of saving money when we reduce our consumption. To help get you started with embracing the idea of “refuse” we have gathered a list of things you don’t need to buy anymore with zero waste hacks!
Tupperware, glass jars, and cloth bags that most of us already have around the house can replace the old habit of keeping leftovers or to-go lunches in single-use ziploc bags.
Plastic water bottles
By replacing plastic bottles with a reusable water bottle, you can quickly cut down on waste while staying hydrated.
Many coffee machines that you can buy single use pods for now offer reusable options to put your grounds in. Even better, switch to a pour over or french press to eliminate the need for pods altogether.
Pads & tampons
This one is for the ladies, but switching to the reusable options of menstrual cups or period underwear ensures you’re never stuck running to the store when you unexpectedly run out of tampons and saves tons of money in the long run.
The inspiration for this hack can be attributed to my Grandma. She thought it was bananas to keep buying paper towels when we have perfectly good cloth rags for spills and household cleaning. Bonus points if you cut up old t-shirts to use as your rags.
Buying second hand clothing is an amazing way to save money and waste at the same time. Clothing rental and subscription services are another great way to use clothes for a period of time without having to worry about owning them long term. This is perfect for formal wear to a fancy event or items like baby clothes that will be quickly outgrown and unnecessary. Visit Tradle’s How It Works page to learn more about our baby clothes subscription service.
As the holiday season approaches, this one can be a great money-saving hack. Instead of stocking up on plastic bows and shiny paper, opt for reusable bags, boxes, cloth wrapping and even no wrapping! These swaps help you save a ton of time during a busy season that you will want to spend making memories with your family.
So there you have it folks! Seven items you’ll never need to buy again for the first post in our series on the 7 Rs of zero waste. As a reminder, each of our lifestyles are different and we support our community in making changes that work for them. Comment below with your own favourite “refuse” hack.