I know that most of you Pandas care about the environment and Planet Earth very deeply. After all, it’s not only our home but also where all those desperately cute animals we love to feature on Bored Panda live. From cats and dogs to every single wild floof that we’d adopt at the drop of a hat if only we could.
However, the climate crisis continues to ravage the planet. As politicians are calling for a global green deal, Europeans are reeling from the floods that devastated Germany, Belgium, and are now shifting to Austria. While we know that laws, international agreements, and changes to how major businesses operate are the main driving force in the fight against climate change, each of us also has a personal responsibility to move away from a wasteful life to one that has less of an impact on the environment.
That’s where the r/ZeroWaste subreddit comes in. The online community is dedicated to sharing everyday tips and tricks that help protect the environment and raise awareness about how we can all do our bit. Inch by inch. Step by small step. The end goal is to make sure that all discarded materials are reused. Ideally, absolutely nothing would be sent to landfills.
As you scroll down, remember to upvote the lifehacks that you found to be the most useful. We’d also love it if you share any of your own environmentally-friendly tips and tricks with all the other Pandas in the comments. Intrigued by a low-impact lifestyle? Thinking of joining the r/ZeroWaste community? Good on you! But first, you might want to check out their in-depth wiki. It’s incredibly informative.
I had a friendly chat about the subreddit's history, community, and how to convince people who are on the fence about doing more to protect the environment with moderator Inasaba. "/r/ZeroWaste was created in 2013, and I have personally been a part of the community since 2016, back when we only had around 5,000 subscribers. The sub really started growing in 2018, hitting 100k subscribers by the end of that year. The growth recently has been amazing!" they told Bored Panda about the subreddit's growth towards the 577k members it has now.
You can find the full interview below. I also reached out to the Greenpeace team for a few insights into how to tackle plastic pollution and move toward a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. You'll find their insights below, too.
Instead Of Polluting The Planet With Confetti, Hole Punch Leaves! Fully Biodegradable
My Christmas Present To My Mother In Law. (It Looks Like Her Dog.) I Used All Donated Scrap Fabric. I Throw Away Nothing When Trimming - I Keep Even The Tiniest, Weirdest Pieces When I’m Quilting My Big Quilts, Because You Never Know When Something Is Going To Need A Shadow, A Collar, Or A Nose
I was curious to find out more about the subreddit's expansive wiki and moderator Inasaba was more than happy to open up about it. "Our wiki is largely crowdsourced, especially the page with resources by city. If you view the edit history of each page, you can see which users have contributed edits. There are a few users who have done a lot of work on it, and we are very thankful to them! One of our moderators is also in the middle of some rewrites for clarity," they pointed out that the wiki is a project made by the 'Zero Waste' community, for the community.
One of the main challenges that r/ZeroWaste faces has to do with the quality and quantity of new content. Though, to be fair, it's a challenge any larger online community is bound to have at some point in their life cycle.
"As with any large subreddit, it can be a challenge to keep content relevant, interesting, and fresh. We deal with repost bots, spammers advertising greenwashed products, and a lot of other things that luckily our users never have to see. This is definitely not unique to /r/ZeroWaste, as these are problems that I see on every subreddit I help out with," moderator Inasaba said.
This Awesome Moroccan School Security Guard Wasted No Quarantine Time And Restored, Free Of Charge, These Benches That Were Supposed To End Up In The Trash So That They Can Be Reused This School Year
However, there are some other deeper issues at play in the community, too. "I would say that issues specific to our subreddit have been things such as the slow degradation of the ideals of 'zero waste.' A moving from an emphasis on the more important Rs (refusing and reducing,) to less important (recycling and reusing packaging.) We struggled for a long time with a lot of content that did not actually prevent waste, and that was more suited for crafting/upcycling subreddits than one where people strive for zero waste. We're working hard to try to steer the subreddit back to its roots: the goal of reducing the amount of waste that we produce as high up the chain as possible," they told Bored Panda what their current mission is.
"There has also been a bit of difficulty to expand some users' thinking with regards to their impact on the world outside of what they can directly see. The subreddit does focus a lot on packaging waste, but much of the waste in the food system occurs before the food reaches our markets. Much more impact can be made by shifting to a plant-based diet than to a local one, or a plastic-free one, for instance. But this is something that often faces harsh criticism when brought up in discussion," the mod added.
Turkish Garbage Collectors Open A Library For All Of The Books Citizens Discard In Their Trash
Italian Brand Barilla Removed The Plastic Window From Their Boxes (UK)
This Was Enough For Me To Finally Kick Starbucks For Good
I was also interested to learn how one would go about convincing someone to start walking down a more eco-friendly path in life. Moderator Inasaba pointed out that you'll only ever convince those who are on the fence on the issue; there's barely any convincing those who are set against climate change and protecting the planet.
"If someone isn't in the headspace to want to accept the facts of human-caused climate catastrophe, it will be very difficult to sway them. As for people who are more ambivalent, I believe that exposing them to the realities that are being faced in parts of the world that are more vulnerable to the early effects of climate change can be very powerful. The imagery of landfills overflowing with waste is very powerful, as well as that of the extreme weather effects, desertification, wildfires, and displacement caused by accelerating climate change," they said.
Toothbrush With Replaceable Bristles So You Don’t Have To Keep Buying A New Handle
I Just Finished My Latest Art Made Solely Put Of Recycled Wine Foils
Sunnybee, A Farmer's Market And Store In Chennai, India, Has Begun Wrapping Their Produce In Banana Leaves. Makes Me Glad That My Country Is Thinking Forward Like First World Countries
Meanwhile, Greenpeace noted that major corporations need to take responsibility for moving away from single-use plastics, thus helping to protect the environment. "To truly tackle the plastic pollution crisis big brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé need to eliminate single-use plastics from their business models and replace their packaging with systems of refill and reuse," a Greenpeace representative told Bored Panda.
"As we put pressure on these companies to make the switch (and you can help us by signing our petition!), we can cut down our personal plastic footprints by: refusing single-use plastic packaging, carrying reusable bags and reusable bottles/cups, saying no to plastic straws, and using refill stations if they are available in your country," they said.
"Together, we can do better. We can bring about a simpler life without endless waste. A life where people and the planet flourish. As the saying goes, 'It’s only one bottle said 8 billion people.'"
Greenpeace reiterated that it's multinational corporations that have the biggest responsibility to make the shift toward a more eco-friendly business model. Their impact could be the greatest in helping reduce plastic production that is said to triple by the middle of the century.
My Shopping Bag Has A Printed Holiday Pattern So It Can Be Reused As Wrapping Paper
This Week I Will Hit My 8000th Bag Of Trash Cleaned Up. I Love My Life, And I Encourage Others To Try This
This Is Completely Out Of Season And I Did It Four Years Ago, But I Work In A Bakery In A Health Food Store And This Is How I Evaded Throwing Away Broken But Otherwise Perfectly Fine Cookies That Didn't Make The Cut For Platters. Injure Bread Men!
The ‘Zero Waste’ subreddit currently has more than 577k members. It’s been around since early 2013 and has since then become one of the main environmentally-friendly subreddits on the site. Reddit’s full of these and you can always find the niche that you’re particularly interested in, whether it’s r/composting, r/Frugal (which we've written about recently on Bored Panda), r/minimalism, or others.
The r/ZeroWaste moderators and community members have a lot of great info to share in their wiki. One of these pearls of wisdom is Bea Johnson’s family’s ‘5 R’s’ which help move toward a lower-impact way of life. “REFUSE what you do not need. REDUCE what you do need. REUSE by using reusables. RECYCLE what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse. ROT (compost) the rest,” the subreddit explains in their wiki.
A Few Weeks Back I Put A Box Of Empty Candle Jars Out On My Verge For Giveaway - I Didn't Want To Throw Them Away - And Today I Found A Lil Box Of Candles In My Doorstep With Some Of The Jars Refilled With Lovely Scented Candles
Picked Up A Used Cardigan That Turned Out To Look Much Better In The Picture Than In Person, So I Turned It Back To Yarn And Crocheted The Yarn Into A Cat Bed
The subreddit suggests that people move toward a zero waste lifestyle “one small step at a time.” It’s about building a series of healthy and environmentally-friendly habits, so you can’t expect your entire philosophy to change immediately in one go. It’ll take patience, dedication, and you’ll have to overcome quite a few obstacles. Both within yourself and in your social circle.
“Start being more conscientious of what you're tossing into garbage and recycle bins. Then, identify one thing that you commonly throw away and could easily replace with a reusable item (such as replacing paper coffee cups with a travel mug),” r/ZeroWaste’s mods give newbies a sense of direction.
“As you continue making one change after another, you may find yourself considering a home composting setup, buying food in bulk, turning down free samples (and their associated packaging), taking steps to eliminate junk mail, and acquiring other reusable items to replace disposable products. Remember that each of these steps is only as sustainable as your willingness to stick with it long-term,” they explain.
We Need More Coffee Shops To Do This
You Can Grow Loofahs (They Are In The Cucumber Family), Dry Them And Use Them To Wash Dishes. 5 Plants Make Enough For About 2 Years In Our House. Fully Biodegradable When They're Worn Out
For Anyone Out There Who Has An Old Trampoline And Isn't Sure What To Do With It
“For example, purchasing reusable silverware for use away from home does no good if you never remember to use it and/or give up on it after a few months. (You might also ask yourself if purchasing a new item is really necessary or if you could instead use something you already own or can get from a friend or secondhand store.)”
According to the mods, when making any decision at all, you should evaluate how convenient something is for you, how expensive it is (not just in terms of money but also in terms of time), and what impact your choice will have on the environment.