At the beginning of May, Bratislava hosted a very inspirational conference: Slovakia going zero waste. The goal of the conference was to educate the public about the alternatives that have the power to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a society. And yes, the founder of the Zero Waste movement, Bea Johnson, attended as well!
We learned a lot during the conference. We will summarize the most interesting information and tips how to moves towards Zero waste and publish them via separate blog posts to share these inspirational ideas. This is the first one, and it introduces easy-to-apply zero waste tips to consider the next time you go shopping.
What does it mean Zero waste? “We aim to send nothing to a landfill. We reduce what we need, reuse as much as we can, send little to be recycled, and compost what we cannot, ” explains Going Zero Waste blog.
Zero waste tip 1 – Think before you buy new clothes
Did you know that the average person only wears approximately 20% of his or her wardrobe regularly? The rest is usually simply „lying in the closet“ and waiting for a moment that never arises. Most of us like to feel comfortable; that’s why we stick to our few favorite pieces. Think about this before buying a new garment – are you sure you don’t have a nearly identical item in your closet already? And why don’t you wear it?
Zero waste tip 2 – Second-hand things you don’t need
Have you noticed how liberal fashion is nowadays?
If you’ve always considered second-hand clothes to be second class clothes, browse a secondhand shop in your neighborhood. Have a look at the pieces they have on offer and imagine you are in a regular store – would you also doubt buying that red skirt so much if it has that well-known brand name on its label? Now you know what to do when you feel like shopping next time.
Something to keep in mind is that the clothes that people leave in second-hand shops were most likely worn a few times only (just like in your case – you remember cleaning out your closet, right)?
Zero waste tip 3 – Donate things you don’t need
A tip for those who like to feel good: Get rid of things you don’t need. Reorganising your closet will free your mind as well as space.
You’ll be surprised how many pieces you discover. Now face the truth – do you think you’ll wear this in the future even though you didn’t wear it when it was „trendy“? Look for people and organizations who are in need of these items in your neighborhood. Take a walk and make yourself feel good.
Did you know that Sensoneo waste monitoring sensors monitor fill-levels in clothes-collecting containers? Charity companies are hence notified when the content of containers require a disposal.
Zero waste tip 4 – Upcycle things you don’t need
If you are handy enough, you can upcycle the pieces that are made from high-quality materials. Upcycling sounds cool, and it is. Our grandmas were, for some reason, much handier than us and were used to „upcycling“ on a regular basis. Having a sewing machine at home was commonplace and they typically altered their clothes to keep them trendy.
I can imagine you have other things to do, so I’m pleased to let you know that there are already brands doing this for people like you and me. It is called Trashion. You can look for upcycle fashion brands near you and stop there to give your clothes another chance. (Well, right after buying that red skirt from the second-hand shop.)
Clothing can be used in ways other than wearing. Once they really reach the end of their lifecycles, consider using them as replacements for veggies storage bags, kitchen rolls, tea towels, cleaning accessories, or even a handkerchief. Once they get dirty, you can simply toss them into the washing machine and use them again and again. That’s cool, isn’t it?
Zero waste tip 5 – Organize a party and swap things you don’t need
Swap parties are a hot new trend as well. The principle is simple – you get as much as you bring. Bring redundant but still good quality clothes and you are eligible to pick the same number of garments. That means getting new pieces for no price – and that’s what we call good shopping! Search on Facebook for nearest swap events or organize your own!
How are you going to be zero waste?
We hope we managed to inspire you at least a little!
Our next article will be focused on zero waste and plastics – today’s waste nightmare that is becoming more and more prevalent.