3 EASY STEPS TOWARDS A LOW-WASTE LIFESTYLE

There is no denying it ⁠— the Earth is warming, water levels are rising, and entire species of animals are on the brink of extinction. While corporations and legislation have a huge role to play in driving climate change, our individual actions, considering there are 7 billion people on the planet, also have an impact. Here are three easy low-waste lifestyle hacks you can incorporate into your daily life.

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DITCH THE PLASTIC
We're talking more than just water bottles and straws. The majority of beauty products, skin care, clothing, homeware, and food packaging is made from single-use plastic (which can only be used once before it is disposed or recycled). Every year, we produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic and only 10-13% of it is recycled while over 8 million tons enters our oceans. Next time you're shopping, take note of how much single-use plastics you purchase and reconsider if you really need all of it. Opt for alternatives such as natural fibers like linen and cotton instead of polyester or rayon, beeswax paper over foil or plastic wrap, bamboo toothbrushes instead of disposable plastic ones, and glass containers or beauty bars. The list of simple low-waste options is truly endless!

BUY LESS, SAVE MORE
When transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle, resist the urge to purge! 80 to 90 percent of donated clothing in Canada isn't being resold — instead, they end up being repurposed as rags for industrial use, ground down and reprocessed as insulation or car-seating filling, or sent overseas to second-hand retailers. While you might think those are all worthy causes, exporting our discarded garments to developing countries not only destroys their textile industries but leaves them to clean up our mess. So what should you do with your unwanted items? Sell them, upcycle them, or host a clothing swap! But the best thing you can possibly do is cut down on your overall spending. Buying less means there is less to give away and always try to purchase secondhand or vintage, first.

EAT MORE GREENS
The planet is facing growing water constraints as our freshwater reservoirs and aquifers continue to dry up. It is estimated that farming accounts for up to 92% of water used globally with nearly one-third of that related to animal products. These numbers shouldn't come as a surprise. It takes a massive amount of land, food, energy, and water to raise animals for food. In fact, animal agriculture releases more greenhouse gases than all the world's transportation systems combined. We aren't saying you have to become a vegan in order to live low-waste, but we are saying you should incorporate more of a plant-based diet into your lifestyle.

Daryn Tessier