Deciding where to start with your zero waste journey is the first step—the second step is actually remembering your new habits! We have been there and understand how difficult it can be to break out of old habits and consistently practice your new sustainable goals.
Like all new habits, developing a system you’ll actually use is key to keeping up your hard work! We have four tips that we use to keep our eco-friendly practices on track.
Make it obvious
“Out of sight, out of mind” can truly be the death of new habits. Making sustainable practices visible in your home is one of the most important things you can do, especially when you’re first getting started.
Trying to remember to recycle? Print a list of recyclables and tape it to the top of your trash can. When you go to throw a plastic bottle away, it will cue you to put it in the recycling bin instead!
Other ideas include hanging your reusable bags in a place you’ll see them when walking out the door and keeping your compost bin on the counter during meal times.
One thing that really helped us when we were starting new eco-friendly habits was to make designated spaces in our home for them.
For example, we have a bin in our pantry specifically for collecting hard-to-recycle items such as beauty product and contact lens packaging. Before we made space for the bin, the items would float around our countertops and tables until they eventually went into the trash can (and ultimately to the landfill). Now when something is empty, we put it in the bin!
It’s so much easier to put something where it belongs when you give it a permanent place.
Develop a schedule
Doing certain tasks on certain days will help you get into a routine with your new habits. Integrating eco-friendly routines into your already-existing ones can help with this.
Take out the trash on Mondays? Empty your recycling and compost bins while you’re at it!
Meal plan for the week on Sunday evenings? Take stock of your refillable products while you’re in the planning mindset!
Eventually you’ll automatically think about doing these things along with your other household tasks.
Find yourself remembering you’re out of hand soap as you use up the last pump? Plastic purchases are often made when you’re unprepared and need the product—like now!
Take advantage of ways to remind yourself to check what you’re getting low on. Technology like calendar and reminder apps or old-school methods like sticky notes are both great ways to cue you to take inventory of your household supplies.
Starting eco-friendly habits can be especially difficult when our world is set up for the convenience of single-use plastics. Use these four tips to set yourself and the planet up for success!