#Voice: 8 ways to cut waste from our lives by Amna Haq

#Voice is GBox’s community content platform. This article has been written by a young environmentalist, Amna Haq. Amna is a third year BSc Environmental Sciences student at Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan. She wishes to bring about the environmental steward in herself and at least one more person during her graduate studies. More power to such leaders!

Each and every day we listen to the phrase, “live zero waste life”, “reduce garbage”, and “cut down waste” and so on. But the question is how can we actually achieve this? So, here are 8 easy ways that can help cutting waste from our lives.

Stop buying bottled water

Bottled water that we buy thinking of it to have a higher quality than regular water, almost every day is one of the greatest causes of marine pollution. More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day and this amount only keeps on increasing. So, rather than buying disposable water bottles each time when we go to markets, college, universities, offices it is better to buy a reusable water bottle. Reusable ones are not only cheaper, if we compare them to the everyday buying of bottled water. Not only that but the reusable ones  are improving their quality and have become trendy with attractive designs available in glass and stainless steel.

Disposable plates

Disposable plates, as their names suggest are used only once in their lives and then  mercilessly thrown away, and when millions of them end up in the trash at the end of the day ,it destroys the planet. Using reusable plates is not only environmental friendly but in gatherings and other events they also give off more of an elegant look.

Bring your own shopping bag

Bringing your own shopping bag while shopping is the easiest way to cut down the production of waste materials. Every year about billions of shopping bags are thrown away and each single use bag takes up to 1000 years to degrade. They not only cause land pollution when dumped but also cause severe damage to the marine life as they end up in their internal systems and end up poisoning them. Also, when incinerated they emit gases which causes ozone to deplete.

Buying in bulk

Doing grocery shopping once a month is both eco and wallet friendly. Buying in bulk can reduce packaging material and save some cash too.

Reuse glass jars

It’s better to buy sauces, jams, ketchup that come in glass packaging than ones in polybags as the glass jars can be reused for storage purposes. Glass jars can be turned from trash to amazing art projects if only one think outside the box, They can also serve as pots for succulents, cacti and small plants. Sometimes doing a bit of DIY can not only create a new use for the container but it can also serve as a therapy for stress, anxiety, and a few other illnesses.

Buy grocery that has less packaging

Buying grocery that comes in with less packaging for example preferring products available in glass jars than ones in polybags. It’s better to buy things in various deals, this can help ease both your wallet and environment.

Say no to straws

There is a saying that, plastic in water is far more dangerous than on land. Straws and plastic bags, bottles when dumped in ocean are a major source of extinction of marine life. Marine animals mistaking them for food eat it, this causes them to choke,  get poisoned or die from starvation.

 Using cloth shopping bags

Plastic shopping bags can take as long as millions of years to degrade since they are made from non-biodegradable material. Rather than increasing their amount it’s better to switch to biodegradable shoppers or cloth shopping bags. Biodegradable shoppers and garbage bags are now within everyone’s reach as they are available at various supermarkets. Also, one can go creative and make their own cloth shopping bags by recycling old t-shirts. Cloth bags are reusable and recyclable.

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