This is the first post on gestures & tips that you can easily put in place in your Zero Waste approach.
Some of them will only be simple reminders, others will already be familiar to you, but I hope that the others will give you new ideas and above all the motivation to get started, as it will be “not so complicated” to do 😉
Print only if necessary
That’s obvious, but many people still print papers unnecessarily (such as hotel reservations, travel itineraries, order confirmations, etc.).
With our smartphones, tablets and computers, everything (or almost everything) is on screen nowadays, no matter where you are! Use mobile applications such as Booking/Airbnb for accommodation reservations when you go away, Marmiton for recipes, Maps/Waze to find your way by car or feet, etc.
And if you have no choice but to print, don’t forget to reuse the printed paper (for draft, or to light the fireplace/barbecue) or recycle it.
Put a Stop Ad sign on your mail/letter box
Every year, a French* family receives an average of 40 kg of leaflets! But in all this, how many do you really read? Not to mention the risk of throwing an important piece of mail lost in the middle of this pile of useless advertising. And if you want to stay on top of trends and promotions, opt for online newsletters and catalogues, by subscribing directly on each site that really interests you.
Be aware that the Stop Ad will probably not be 100% effective unfortunately and some will continue to put a few ads in your mail/letter box despite your displayed refusal. Anyway, just don’t forget to throw these few flyers in the recycling bin.
Wrap your gifts in furoshikis
Huh? Furoshiwhat? Don’t panic, let me explain: Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese technique of folding and knotting fabric for transporting and wrapping various objects, including gifts!
For this, you will need fabrics (patterned, it’s prettier!) of different sizes, and follow tutorials – easily found online (I like this one: Les coupons de Saint Pierre) – for folding.
And believe me, the more you practice, the less tutorials you will need 😉
Once the gift has been offered and unwrapped, do not hesitate to ask the person who received the gift if they wish to keep the fabric, if not, ask for it back. If the person knows you and knows that you are in a Zero Waste process, they won’t be offended, don’t worry! And if not, just explain it to them 🙂.
And if you’re not enthusiastic about the idea of furoshikis, think about reusable gift packs (like the hard packs with handles) – again, don’t hesitate to ask the person to get it back if they don’t want to keep it.
And if you’re still a fan of gift wrap paper, then don’t forget that it’s recyclable, so put it in the recycling bin! Except those with a shiny “inside” side, as well as the gift ribbons… which are not recyclable. (At least ban these last two from your purchases).
* I am sure this is the same in many countries