Simple guide to start a zero waste lifestyle

Simple guide to start a zero waste lifestyle

We created NO!W after reading Bea Johnson’s inspiring book Zero Waste Home, in which she describes how she and her family progressively adopted a zero waste lifestyle. Following her, a lot of people have started zero waste challenges around the world.

Are you ready to join the movement ? Here are the 5 easy steps to follow (the famous 5 Rs):

Refuse

Say no to things you don’t really need ! 

  • Freebies(yes it’s tempting, but you know it’s always useless!)
  • Single-use plastics like plastic bags or cups, always carry a reusable bag

Reduce

Some items cannot be refused, however you can always reduce:

  • Your consumption of water bottles
  • To start: buy minimum 1.5/5L water bottles
  • To go further: install a filter, drink from tap or from the numerous public water fountains in Hong Kong
  • Your unused clothes, toys, furnitures. Why not take the time to do a proper spring cleaning and donate them to the nearest thrift shop or charity ? Such as Friends of the earth for your clothes (here is the location of all their collection bins)
  • Your food waste.You can easily start reducing it by writing down a meal planning at the beginning of each week.

Reuse

Reuse or repurpose something you already have instead of buying again!

  • Change your meals habits
  • To start: bring your own mug (get your Ecoffee cup or Qwetch here) and get 3HKD discount at Starbucks or Pacific Coffee
  • To go further: get a lunchbox (like this one) and cook your own food
  • Always bring your reusable bags before going to the supermarket

In Hong Kong, there are many wet markets where you can buy veggies, fruits, nuts in bulk… You can also fill your containers directly at the counter in some shops like City Super or Edgar which just opened in K11 in TST. Great. But make sure that they don’t wrap the food in plastic before putting it in your bag!

Recycle

Recycling should alway come at last resort, for products that you couldn’t refuse or reuse. The objective is actually to recycle less.

  • Start buying compostable products instead of plastic ones such as a bamboo toothbrush or coconut fibre sponge (check here)
  • It is not always easy to find the closest recycling location in Hong Kong. However, the Environmental Protection Department created a useful app, Waste Less, which localizes all recyclable collection points in public places in the city

And for the most advanced...

Rot (compost)

Turning your kitchen trash into high quality fertilizer is the best form of recycling! It is quite easy to create a large compost receptacle on your rooftop or in your garden.

Follow Bea Johnson's guide to composting and decide which option suits you the best.

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