Living a zero-waste lifestyle means giving up heavily processed food and drink. Seems like a no-brainer when you think of the health benefits, doesn't it? It's a tricky process, but with a little forethought it's an easily achievable, rewarding endeavour.

Convenience is king in this day and age – but as long as we rely so heavily on convenience, there is little chance of reducing our waste and impact on the planet. But there's a solution: make 'planning and preparation' king and you can hack your way to a convenient lifestyle that is both more affordable and has a lower carbon footprint. Once your own zero-waste hacks are in place, even preparing your own food from scratch can be time-efficient, meaning zero-waste living doesn't rob you of time but instead improves your health and connects you with your food and the people who make it.

Reducing processed food and drink in your diet, zero-waste-style. Start by noticing what packaged foods and meals you eat regularly. It might be a sandwich, carbonated drink or bag of crisps.

Consider what these products might easily be replaced with or if you can do without them. Spend a few minutes coming up with solutions and figure out how they fit within your routine. For example I make a little extra dinner when I need a packed lunch to eat the next day, I carry a water bottle and brew kombucha or make barley water when I want something special, and have given up crisps unless it's a special occasion. You can see my barley water recipe here.

Finally, when you do have to buy something packaged, look for a recyclable logo on the packaging. If it can't be recycled, seriously consider whether you need to eat that product, or if there's an unpackaged alternative or recyclable option.

Tom Hunt is a chef, sustainability campaigner and patron of the charity Plan Zheroes. Find out more about Tom on Instagram at @cheftomhunt or online at