Here's a list of ideas for your zero waste / sustainable journey. I hope this helps! As a preface:
- The most environmentally friendly thing you can do is to use what you already have; don't re-buy everything or throw something out because it doesn't align with your zero waste ethos. If it's harmful for your health, that's an exception.
- Shop secondhand first. There's no need to buy all of this new. Allow yourself to gradually transition.
- Everything listed is vegan. It isn't listed per item since that would be repetitive.
- Keep in mind the 5 Rs, as coined by Bea Johnson: "Refuse what you do not need, Reduce what you do need, Reuse what you consume, Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse, and Rot (Compost) the rest."
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- Above all else, reduce your consumption and avoid fast fashion.
- Shop at thrift stores, consignment stores, and used clothing apps like Depop, ThredUp, and Poshmark.
- If you do buy something new, look for manufactures that offer warranties.
- As your budget allows, try to opt for quality over quantity.
- Check out Good on You for brand ratings based on three factors: planet, people, and animals.
- Opt for natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and tencel over synthetic materials (polyester, nylon, spandex, etc.) which shed plastic fibers into the environment, especially when washing.
- Donate clothes to thrift stores. If it's too worn out for resale, put it in a fabric recycling bin. These can be found at some recycling centers.
- At its end-of-life, find a mattress recycling program in your area. Some cities have invested in these public programs for no or low cost.
- Darn (mend) holes in socks to extend their use.
- At their end-of-life, put them in a fabric recycling bin. These can be found at some recycling centers.
- When buying new underwear, opt for ethical brands. Check out Good on You for brand ratings.