What do the New Year and sustainability have in common?

They both represent opportunities for transitions and continual improvement. As you kick off  2019 New Years Resolutions with a fresh list of self-improvement strategies, don’t forget to consider resolutions to help improve the Earth as well. Strive for a year of zero waste by implementing these changes into your routine and help make 2019 waste free!

1. Create Less Waste: Re-purposing

The best way to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place. This year, practice asking yourself these questions before making any purchase:

  1. Do I need this?
  2. Can I buy this used?
  3. Can I repurpose something to serve the same purpose?

RepurposingIf the answer to the first question is “yes”, you can opt to purchase used and reduce the demand for resource processing and consumption. You can find almost anything used for sale on websites and apps such as Craigslist and Letgo, or you can peruse your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Repurposing is perhaps the most fun and creative option to avoid creating waste. For example, instead of purchasing a bird feeder form a home garden store, we made one out of a used soda bottle, talk about feeding two birds with one stone!

2. Going Paperless

This is an easy way to reduce waste that many of us know about, have been meaning to implement, but just can’t seem to find the time sign up for the paperless option for all of our regular mailings. But there is no better time than now to stop procrastinating sit down, bite the bullet and commit to paper free communications. You only have to do this once and you’re entire 2019 can be paper free. Just think, all year long with no piles of mail cluttering your household table tops!

Going paperless in 2019 is easier than ever with tools such as cloud storage, document scanners and e-signature services. Cloud storage platforms such as Microsoft OneDrive make it easy to securely save your files remotely and access them from all your devices, anytime, anywhere. You can easily download the software here and plans range from free to $99.99 per year. Wondering what to do with all your existing paperwork? You can scan them with almost any printer these days, save a digital copy to the cloud and recycle the originals to reduce waste and clutter. When it comes to new documents that require signatures, consider using e-signature options such as Adobe Sign to streamline the process and reduce the waste and hassle of physically signing paper copies.

Disposables

3. Leave all Disposables in 2018

Every minute, approximately 1 million plastic bottles are purchased, and 2 million plastic bags are used around the world . Currently, these numbers are expected to increase each year. However, we have the power to reverse this trend. Go out today and purchase three reusable shopping bags and a refillable water bottle and you can eliminate your contribution to plastic bag and bottle pollution in 2019. If you want to double down on your waste reduction efforts, you can purchase a 4ocean Reusable Bottle. Proceeds are used to remove plastics from the ocean (one pound for each bottle sold) and support the global 4ocean movement.

Sustainability is a journey and a process of continual improvement. The New Year is the perfect time to end procrastination and implement impactful changes. Ask yourself “if not now, when?” and implement these changes today to accelerate towards a Zero-waste New Year and New You!

Happy New Year from the ZWS family to yours!

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