Moving Toward a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Taking the steps toward a Zero Waste lifestyle can be a pretty hard thing to do.

I still remember my reaction when Naomi first suggested we start living a more sustainable life and cut back on our use of plastic. It was not a positive one.

Same thing with introducing reusable kitchen towels, using vinegar for cleaning purposes, and making homemade food products like almond milk and peanut butter. I had gotten so used to the convenience of a wasteful lifestyle, I had no interest in changing anything.

Along these lines, it seemed that every step along the journey towards Zero Waste involved at least a little bit of kicking and screaming on my end. But now here we are; we try to avoid needless plastic items, we bring reusable bags everywhere, and we’re even considering starting an indoor compost.

So how does one change from thinking recycling is nothing but a waste of time, to someone who genuinely cares about the impact he has on the environment?

Well, it hasn’t been easy, I can tell you that. But, as Naomi is fond of pointing out, I am living proof that it is possible to reform even the most stubborn polluter.

That said, both me and Naomi are far from perfect Zero Wasters. We still have to buy some items in single-use packaging, we use store-bought toothpaste, and I am certainly not ready to give up toilet paper. But the path towards Zero Waste is one of continuous improvement – not an all-or-nothing concept as so many seem to believe.

And this is what we want to promote here at WasteLess; the transition to a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle – no matter how small the individual steps may be.

And a big part of this involves providing the option to shop packaging-free. Because today, going Zero Waste can be a major hassle, if not downright impossible. If more people are to embrace this lifestyle, it needs to be made a lot easier.

That’s what we want to offer with WasteLess – and easy alternative to the wasteful shopping culture of today’s society.

The (missing) Swedish Zero Waste Movement

We Swedes certainly have a reputation for being eco-friendly. We’re a world leader when it comes to recycling, we have buses running off biofuel, we love buying ecological food, and only 1% of our waste ever ends up in landfills. [1]

But despite our tendency to top the list of the world’s greenest countries, there is one field in which Sweden has fallen behind the rest of the world when it comes to being green; the Zero Waste movement.

If you’ve visited any European capital city in the last few years, you might have come across the concept of Zero Waste – a philosophy that focuses on more than just recycling. Because although recycling and taking care of the waste we produce is a great start, the Zero Waste movement strives to eliminate that waste before it is even produced.

And where does the majority of that waste come from? Our food shopping. If you look in your waste bins, what will you see – unnecessary packaging waste.  Beans shipped from Kenya in a Styrofoam container, avocados in a plastic net all the way from Peru, cartons of juice made from Brazilian mangos, bananas in a single-use bag – the list goes on.

Household plastic waste alone amounts to over 96.000 tonnes per year – and that’s just in Sweden[2]. All those raw materials, all that energy – only for the vast majority of it to go straight in the trash! We are, quite literally, throwing money away.

The Zero Waste movement strives to remove ALL of this waste – and the primary weapon for achieving this; the packaging-free shop. These so-called Zero Waste shops have exploded in popularity over the last few years, with new ones popping up all over the world.

There’s Original Unverpackt in Berlin. Unpackaged in London. Day by Day in France, and Granel in Spain – and the list goes on! Even Norway and Denmark have beaten us to it with Råvarene and Loes Market. But where does Sweden fit into all of this?

Well, although it is unclear why we Swedes have been so slow on the uptake, we can thank Gram in Malmö and its daring (British!) owner Rowan for blazing the trail of package-free shopping in Sweden.

And now, Stockholmare, your time has come!

Introducing; WasteLess.

At WasteLess, we feel that it’s high time for Sweden to get in on the Zero Waste action. Starting in Stockholm, we want to provide a truly responsible, sustainable, eco-friendly way of shopping.  We are offering the chance to take back control over our environmental impact, by buying only the items we need, not the packaging we don’t.

It’s time for Sweden to catch up, and prove that we are still a world-leader when it comes to green innovation.

It’s time to build a Swedish Zero Waste community. And it has a home right here with WasteLess.

(Hey, thanks for sticking with us this far! If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to check out our website, www.WasteLess.se – or why not like our Facebook page for updates and news!)

[1] https://sweden.se/nature/sustainable-living/

[2]http://www.statistikdatabasen.scb.se/pxweb/sv/ssd/START__MI__MI0305/MI0305T01/table/tableViewLayout1/?rxid=cd9c1c70-563f-48de-a3c0-e73b76600cef