Simple living

Thoughts on Zero Waste

I have never really been one to draw a line between minimalism and zero waste, but the more I simplify and try to live more sustainable and eco-friendly, it gets difficult not to.

Becoming minimalist, and as such seeking to lead a simpler and more conscious lifestyle is for me a way to oppose the current over-consumerism in today’s society. It is, however, with a flair of optimism that I notice a shift. This shift marks a growing awareness of ethical and sustainable alternatives in terms of fashion, food and other products.

More and more people are beginning to open their eyes to what they can do to make a difference. They recycle, upcycle and re-use. They move from plastic to more sustainable materials, they care for the people, the environment, and the animals. As much bad as it is in the world, this noticeable shift is giving me renewed faith in humankind, as it were.

What I am doing

So, I’m already doing some things in order to reduce my environmental footprint:

  • I mainly use tote bags for shopping.
  • I use reusable boxes for storing opened food instead of wrapping it in plastic.
  • I recycle in terms of my city’s recycle program, sorting organic waste, plastic and paper.
  • I shop less unnecessary stuff.
  • I use a menstrual cup for my periods.
  • I look to sustainable brands for my next purchases.

What I can do

I realize of course that there are plenty of other measures I can take in order to reduce waste that I am currently not engaging in. A couple of places I find it harder to avoid plastic, for example, is when buying vegetables and other consumables.

Food are often wrapped in plastic, giving customers little to no way of choosing products without such wrapping. Although, package free stores are getting more and more recognition.

Things I’m considering:

  • Obtaining a zero waste kit for my grocery shopping. Either make or buy.
  • Swapping storage boxes in plastic for glass or other more sustainable materials.
  • Planning my shopping and meals better, as to reduce wasted food.
  • Stop using (plastic) straws when out. These might be an alternative.
  • Look for non-wrapped vegetables when I’m out buying groceries.
  • Buying secondhand furniture and clothing.
  • Buying more local produce.

In terms of the zero waste movement, there are plenty of other measures one can take to reduce waste and resources. But, I’m advocating both baby steps and the notion that “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something” when it comes to reducing one’s environmental footprint. In an ideal world, I’m using reusable cloths instead of paper wipers and buying all my food in package free stores. Realistically, I imply changes where I can and try my best to do my part.

What about you – are you planning any sustainable changes towards zero – or rather – less waste? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!




  • Ye Chen

    Great post! I’m trying to reduce my environtmental footprint as well, by being more consious about plastic waste and wasting food. Thanks for your tips! Going to zero waste is a long-term goal where multiple parties need to get involved. For now, less waste is good enough for me.

    • Anita Hvambsahl

      Yes, aiming for less waste rather than zero waste seems more doable, I agree. 🙂

  • Adam Brock

    Thanks for sharing optimistic view on the future of zero waste. The most challenging goals are usually the most worthy of our passion and dedication. Big goals like that also, as you have noted, take sustained effort and growth over time. I’m glad we are seeing people try to live more in harmony with nature.

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