For some people Zero Waste just means reducing plastic and waste. It’s natural to assume that means you should buy less, which of course you should. So why not start thinking about how to achieve Zero Waste Only Buy Once.
But how do you do that in today’s disposable society. If you buy well in the first place you can buy products that will virtually last you a lifetime. That means buying good quality products that are built to last. They may cost a little bit extra but you wont need to replace them.
This Blog is about 5 of my favourite Zero Waste Only Buy Once items.
The simple answer: The aim is to send nothing to a landfill. Refuse what you don’t want, reduce what you need, reuse as much as you can, send as little as possible to be recycled, and compost whatever you can’t.
The less simple answer: It’s really about redefining the system. We currently live in a linear economy where we take resources from the earth and then dump them in a giant hole in the ground. The goal of zero waste is to move to a circular economy where we write rubbish out of existence. The circular economy mimics nature in that there is no rubbish in nature.
Instead of discarding resources, we should be aiming to create a system where all resources can be resumed fully back into the system.
A great way to think about how to reduce waste is to remember the 5 Rs
Refuse – Learn to say no! Say no to food wrapped in plastic, say no to that plastic straw, say no to that disposable item.
Reduce – Think before you buy. Look for good quality products that will last, only buy once, buy less.
Reuse – If things break, repair them or have them repaired. Upcycle items you would otherwise throw away, paint that old chair and give it a new lease of life. Buy second hand. You can find good quality products second hand.
Recycle – If you’ve managed to Refuse, Reduce and Reuse then you shouldn’t have a lot left but make sure you separate out your remaining rubbish and put the recycleable rubbish in the recycling bin.
Rot – Compost your food waste and use it to fertilise your plants and many grow a few veggies or salad leaves of your own.
Below are 5 of my favourite Zero Waste Only Buy Once items. They were all fairly expensive when they were bought new. However, I’ve had most of these items for years so haven’t had to replace them. If I’d bought cheap items in the first place I would probably have had to replace them at least once by now.
You may look at these boots and think they look like they’re falling apart! Well unfortunately they are. However, considering I have had these boots for over 20 Years, yes 20 Years! it’s no wonder they’re looking a little tired.
I love these boots and I’ve worn them every Autumn and Winter for the past 20 years. They are so comfy and with a bit of boot polish and elbow grease they look great with jeans.
I think I’ll have to invest in a new pair of boots this Autumn and it will definitely be another pair of R M Williams boots.
You should never buy cheap sunglasses that wont fully protect your eyes so it’s worth investing in a good pair. If you go for a classic design rather than the latest fashion then they can last for years if you look after them.
My favourite sunglasses are my classic Ray Ban Wayfarers.
We all need a good back that will hold plenty of stuff. If you buy a good quality leather bag it can last for years. I love my Radley bag which is big enough to fit everything I need into it including my reusable water bottle and coffee cup.
If you do buy a good quality leather bag make sure you look after it and clean the leather once in a while to keep it clean and soft to stop the leather cracking.
This pen was a present and I love it and it is so much better than a disposable Biro. When the ink runs out you can just buy a refill. It’s lovely to write with and creates so much less waste than a disposable pen. This pen will last a lifetime.
Le Crueset is a brand that’s built to last and you can feel how well they’re made when you pick one up. They’re certainly not light. We’ve had our Le Crueset pots for over 20 years and they still look like new. They are expensive but if you only have to buy them once rather than replacing cheaper saucepans every few years then over time you’ll actually save money.
This is what Le Crueset have to say about their products:
‘Why Le Creuset’ you may ask? It is simple: each Le Creuset piece is built to last, made to be passed from generation to generation, becoming part of your family story and seeing you through many wonderful times around the dinner table.
These are just some of my favourite items. When I was writing this Blog I also came across a great online shop called BUYmeOnce . Their online shop has lots of well made products which have all been researched to ensure they are long lasting and built for quality. And, they have a great philosophy.
If we exist for one reason, it is to disrupt the complacent and wasteful business practices ruling the planet.
What are your favourite “Buy Only Once” items or do you have any on your wishlist?