You’ve heard it said before, “reduce, reuse, and recycle”, and this concept is still paramount to treating the earth and its resources kindly. This really is the right mindset to have when starting this journey.
But, what is the zero waste movement? The goal is to reduce waste as much as possible, including reusing what you can and sorting waste to promote recycling, but the very first step is awareness. In order to reduce waste, we all need to know where it is coming from in the first place. A helpful tip is to pay attention to your trash at the end of each week and see what is contributing to it the most. Is it food packaging? Paper towels? Beauty products?
Once you’re aware of where the majority of your household waste is coming from, you can make small changes that could have a big impact in reducing your environmental footprint. Here, we are aiming to share simple practices that when implemented consistently, can help reduce waste in our daily life and to help reduce the impact on the planet over time.
Are you as excited about this possibility as we are? Follow us as we work to meet our zero waste pledge*
Tips to start your Zero Waste journey
There are so many unique ways to reduce the amount of waste, great products you can reuse, and recyclable materials to reach for instead. If you’re wondering how to start your journey to Zero Waste, you could follow the tips below. The most important thing is to start, even if it’s small steps.
Invest in Reusable Containers
A key way to reduce waste is to keep reusing containers. The easiest one may be to switch from paper or styrofoam coffee cups to a reusable thermos.This will benefit you in more ways than one. Many coffee shops offer incentives such as discounts if you bring in your own mug or thermos, and your coffee will stay hotter for longer. It’s a win-win for everyone.
While you’re at it, if possible drink tap water or reduce the amount of plastic water bottles. Water bottles can typically be recycled, but could be more energy efficient to buy bigger water containers and drink from a sturdy reusable container that could be refilled. This could also be much cheaper in the long run…
Beyond water bottles and coffee cups, due to COVID-19, we are living in an age of takeaway orders that can produce so much excess waste. Ask restaurants if you could provide your own containers and refuse unnecessary extras such as disposable cutlery and napkins. If you have no choice but to take individually packaged sauces, make sure you get the ones you will use. In addition, you can also reduce waste by bringing a reusable bag instead of asking for a plastic bag at the restaurant or other stores.
At REN we are collaborating with Loop® to start promoting reusable and refillable containers for our products. REN was also one of the first brands to use the Loop® platform to help promote this initiative. Find more information about it here.
Buy in Bulk
We generally encourage buying only what you need, however we understand the varying needs of individual households, which can reap benefits from buying larger quantities. Where possible, buy products without packaging, for example individual bananas as opposed to pre-packaged bunches wrapped in plastic. Compile grocery lists so you’re less inclined to impulse purchase and research local stores that offer refills with reusable containers and bags that you bring yourself Always be careful - bulk purchases can also lead to waste if buying more than you need, especially with offers or limited-time deals that seem great at the time. An essential step towards Zero Waste is ensuring products like food and their packaging don’t end up in garbage or landfill, so be mindful and think, ‘do I need this?’ while shopping – if the answer’s no, save your money and you could help save the environment, too.
Shop Second- Hand
The journey to Zero Waste will eventually filter into every area of your life, including your closet. Second-hand and vintage stores could be great places to shop for clothing or other items to reduce waste. Besides buying only the clothing that you need, you could also continue the reuse cycle by donating or reselling the items that you are not really using anymore.
When you support stores and brands with your purchases, you support their practices as well.
The greater the demand for products that reduce waste, the more companies will deliver them, making them more affordable and accessible for all. You could support the restaurants, cafes, and stores that encourage you to bring your own containers or bags, and support the companies making significant efforts to produce recyclable packaging and reduce waste themselves.
At REN we are also consciously designing our products to be recyclable**, containing recycled plastic or being reusable by the end of 2021 in our journey to Zero Waste. Please check our zero waste skincare products to see our progress.
Every Effort Counts
We get it. Achieving Zero Waste is a highly ambitious goal. But, the Zero Waste movement is not about making you feel bad if you don’t succeed or if you use a plastic straw once a year. It’s about doing your best where you can and continuing to learn together on what options are available to ensure the beautiful planet we call home is here to last.
* Only using packaging designed to be recyclable, reusable or containing recycled materials by end 2021.
** Recycling is subject to local policies and facilities
About the Author
Camille Poggi is a doctor in Pharmacy (PharmD.) and is passionate about skincare and how the skin works in general. She specializes in the cosmetic industry and worked for renowned companies in France like L’Oréal and Chanel before moving to London. After being a training manager for 4 years, Camille is at ease with explaining how products work in the skin and how to adapt her speech according to the audience.
She joined REN in January 2020 as International Training Manager and moved to the Research & Development team earlier this year to be the new Scientific Education Manager. A tailored-made role where she assesses and leads all technical communication and ensures scientific compliance is always met. She’s also involved in new product development from the earliest stages. Finding a way to create sustainable skincare products and making sure the message is properly delivered and understood is definitely a big challenge but also her favourite part working for REN.