Currently, 7.6 billion people produce 2 billion tonnes of waste annually. A study published in the Science Advances found 91% of plastic in the world doesn’t get recycled, and around 79% is kept on landfills or other places of the environment.
If these rates don’t change, around 12,000 metric tons of plastic waste will crowd our planet by 2050. Based on this information, we might need 1.67 of Earths to continue our living if nothing has changed.
By the way, the Americans represent only 5% of the world’s population, but as a nation, we produce about 30% of the world’s trash.
Our society doesn’t see a problem in throwing things out when they break or stop working. The modern lifestyle concentrates our attention on consuming that’s why zero-waste living may seem something unusual.
The idea of consumerism makes us forget about something that is really important. We spend whole days working hard and don’t pay attention to people we love.
You will make an investment in ecology by reducing the amount of waste and your ecological footprint. And of course, saving money is one of pleasant benefits of living without trash 🙂
A Beginner’s Guide
Remember that serious changes don’t happen in a moment. Going reusable can be awkward (but worth it). If you try to make it immediately, chances are, it won’t stick. Zero waste is – it’s a slow process that requires a certain amount of time and planning.
Well if you are going to start a zero or less waste living, here are some key points to stick to.
Get and Write Down Your “Why”
What is the reason you’ve made a decision to go zero waste?
Most zero waste lifestyle followers have their own “why” behind their way of life. You must know your own “why” to keep it in mind and stay motivated.
- Are you tired of endless trash on the streets?
- Have you faced health issues after using cosmetics containing toxins?
- Is spending $6 on a cup of coffee every single day too much for you?
- Are you worried about your own ecological footprint and climate change?
- Do you just want to avoid the toxins found in plastics?
- Do you feel guilty each time you grab plastic knives forks, and paper containers at a cafeteria, only to throw them away an hour later
If you’re confident in your “why” zero waste living will be easy and natural for you. If you write it down it will solidify your resolve and give you something to reference when you need motivation.
Assess Your Trash & Prioritize
The easiest way to begin is understanding where you’re making a lot of trash and concentrating on it first. No one can start absolutely perfect zero waste living right away, but you can prioritize the steps you wanna take.
Observe yourself for a week and take a trash audit:
- If you realize you produce a lot of waste by taking to-go coffee, prioritize making coffee at home and taking it in a reusable cup.
- Maybe you realize you’re throwing away tons of lotion, shampoo, and shower gel bottles. In this case, pay attention to sustainably made products and bulk beauty items.
- Start using what you have, instead of buying new items. Plan your life the way to use up the old items and make better purchases in the future.
Taking a look at the whole picture of all the trash you produce can make you feel overwhelming, but after you break it down and concentrate on one area at a time, the task is getting much easier.
Find Your Support Team
It’s easy to give up if you feel you’re the only one out there trying to change something.
It is very important to have an opportunity to talk about zero waste with somebody. This may be online communities or your family and friends. Involve them and share your experience. Learn from the experience of those who went zero living long ago.
Powerful support provides a source of motivation and inspiration for every day.
But motivation is only one benefit. You may make the step further with your local community. Host a lection at the library or an earth day event, negotiate with your local government, organize a documentary viewing about zero waste.
Think about actions to inspire and involve the others and grow the movement.
Remember: It Will Not Happen At A Moment
The amount of trash you produce every day can be overwhelming. So, when it comes to lifestyle changes, making incremental steps and starting small is key, rather than going knee-deep all at once. Fully zero waste lifestyle may take 1 or 2 years. Don’t forget about the Domino Theory.
Everyone’s way is different, but every step you take that makes you closer to the goal is important.
Don’t compare yourself to the others, get inspiration and support from them and be somebody’s inspiration and you’ll achieve your goals! It’s within anyone’s reach, and change starts at home.
15 Ways To Live Waste-Free
Before we start, here are 3 main principles zero waste lifestyle based on:
- Waste prevention – refuse things you don’t need and reuse items if it’s possible.
- Separate collection.
- Reduction of residual waste – recycle and rot leftovers.
Let’s find out how everyone can do it! It’s time to break up with your trash!
1. Forget About Plastic and Ditch Disposable Paper Products
This is the first rule when we talk about going zero trash lifestyle.
The Guardian reported that 1000000 plastic bottles are bought around the world in a minute and the number will increase by 20% more by 2021.
Refusing to buy items packaged in single-use plastic, you help address our environment plastics problem and eliminate toxins and microplastic from your life.
There is a great variety of containers made from stainless steel and glass. You may find any size and shape you need and reuse them over and over again. They don’t emit microplastic particles into your food and sturdy enough to be transported anywhere.
Glass jars are a great solution for bulk loose products such as granola, rice, grains, oatmeal, beans, and dried fruit.
Try to avoid using plastic including Ziplock and Tupperware bags. Do shopping with big, mesh canvas, cloth bags. There are also recyclable/recycled plastic options or bags that clip onto your key ring and fold up.
You can find them at supermarkets for about $1. Anyway, package-free shopping is a whole art! Items from crackers to rotisserie chickens and gum are packaged in plastic.
If you are lucky to have a Zero Waste shop not far from youк home, you have an opportunity to choose from a wide variety of unpackaged products fermented foods, dry goods to hygiene products and soap.
In the other case, the easiest place to find products without a package is the produce aisle. One more trick is buying in bulk. The items are still packaged, but it’s often less than if they were wrapped individually.
Pay attention to eco-friendly stores:
- The Filling Station in New York
- Zero Market in Denver, Colorado
- Package Free Shop
- The Refill Shoppe in Ventura, California
Reusable cloth is a good alternative to paper napkins and towels. It saves your money and time.
2. Eliminate Styrofoam
Styrofoam is often used to make food containers for single servings, but it’s not a good idea, in fact. The thing is, it is a potentially toxic product. You may buy the largest portion available and divide it into smaller eco-smart reusable containers.
And if you need a disposable option, it’s much better to use certified compostable paper bowls, plates, napkins and cups.
3. Take Your Food Waste Under Control
40% of all food goes to a trash bin in the U.S. Meal planning is the key to stop it. Review leftovers and think about what products you really need and what is thrown away half eaten. Cook or buy only portion that is necessary.
4. A Composting Pile
Composting biodegrades organic waste and turns it into organic fertilizer. It not only reduces trash in landfills, but also improves your backyard at home. It is awesome for the environment.
You just need 3 sq. ft. of outdoor space and a closed bin if you think about the way your pile will smell or look.
Items You May Compost:
- vegetable and fruit parts
- coffee grounds
- unbleached paper
- disease-free houseplants
- tea bags
- yard trimmings
A countertop compost bin eases the process. When the small bin is full, move compost to an outdoor compost pile.
You may also try vermicomposting. It is a clean and efficient system where red wiggler worms speed up organic matter transformation into usable compost.
5. Municipal Composting
It is an alternative for those who don’t have an outdoor space for a compost pile. See if your community offers a drop-off or curbside composting program. Find a compost system that works for your home and what it digests.
If this opportunity exists, put your compostable waste into compostable trash bags and turn in to municipal compost centers.
If you live in an apartment, you may keep expired food and scraps in a reusable bag for organic garbage or place them into a jar and put them in your freezer. The bigger the compost receptacle, the more likely you’ll be to use it.
Drop it off at a compost collections site at a local farmer’s market. By the way, pay attention to Share Waste, maybe this is what you need.
Unfortunately, getting rid of extra cooking oil may be a difficult task. You can’t pour it in the drain as it causes clogs and it is not good for composting. Anyway, you can donate used oil for recycling into biodiesel fuel.
7. Use Multipurpose Cleaner
It is extremely easy to make:
- Mix a cup of water and 0.5 cup white distilled vinegar.
- Add 10-20 drops of tea tree, lemon, lavender or eucalyptus essential oil.
- Shake before using it.
8. Bring Your Water Bottles and Lunch
Traditional disposable to-go packaging and plastic bottles generate 100 pounds of waste per person every year. Take your food in a reusable lunch box and bring your own compostable cutlery!
Use glass or metal water bottles for your drinks.
9. Separate Your Trash
Keep kitchen and food scraps, recyclables, and garden trash separate. Separate collection is a strategy for categorizing waste to achieve high resource life cycle and recycle rate.
10. Recycle Everything
- unbroken glass
- some plastics
- cardboard and paper
- aluminum and tin cans
Some items can not be recycled indefinitely and will end up in the landfill in the end. Try to avoid them.
11. Replace Your Non-Zero Waste Items as They Run Out
I don’t need to buy all zero waste alternatives immediately. Of course, if you have money and feel the necessity to do a full overhaul at once, go for it! But I would advise buying reusable items as your non-zero waste items run out.
The logic is quite simple – purchasing something and throwing it out unused is also wasteful.
If you’ve just refilled your razor refills, use the blades up. There is no sense to throw out unused items. But after they are out, switch to a safety razor that is a great zero waste alternative.
12. Find Out How to Recycle, Sell, Donate or Up-Cycle Your Old Staff
You may take a little step on your zero waste way – just don’t throw out your old items if there is such opportunity. Recycle, compost, reuse, donate items. The point is to keep the staff out of landfills.
Find out your city’s recycling locations and policies.
By the way, pay attention to a TerraCycle program. These guys know how to recycle anything.
13. Buy SecondHand
If you need to buy something, look for what you want in the local thrift stores first. Items in these shops have already been made, so no new resources need to be spent on creating. As a rule, prices are also much lower there.
If there is nothing you need, check zero waste shops where all the items used to make zero waste lifestyle a little bit easier.
Every purchase you make is a vote for the type of world you want to live in. Your purchases should support your values and change the world for the best.
14. Create Things By Yourself
Most cosmetics, toiletries, and processed food are packaged in plastic. You can avoid it if learn how to create items. The less you bring home, the less you will have to waste.
Make a homemade meal for dinner, zero waste toothpaste or mouthwash or your own nut butter and almond milk.
The possibilities depend only on your imagination.
15. Eat Real Clean Food
Start eating real foods like vegetables, fruits, and anything that isn’t packaged. This strategy is good both for the environment and your health. Fresh clean food contains much less chemicals than processed foods do.
7 Lifehacks For Going Zero Trash Without Spending Money
Some misconceptions about zero waste living discourage people from taking the first step. One of them is that is it costs more than an average man’s lifestyle.
You may get closer to zero waste without extra spend as many things leading to this lifestyle can be done for free! It’s better to reuse something that already exists than create something new. You don’t need to buy new stuff to be zero trash – just be creative!
- Glass Jars. They are the best friends of zero waste followers, and what is important – they may be free! Rescue them out of your friend’s, restaurant or even your own recycling bin. Look for them on zero waste Facebook groups or your local Buy Nothing group. Place an ad on Craigslist or Gumtree asking for free glass jars.
Use them for:
- purchasing ingredients with no packaging
- food storage
- taking lunch to work
- organizing your pantry
- keeping cookies
- storing leftovers in the fridge or even freezer
- preserving chutneys and jams
- takeaway coffee or smoothies
- composting on the go
- storing pens or toothbrushes
- gifts packaging
- Use Zero Waste Solutions For Lining Your Bin. There is no necessity to buy special bin liners. You may replace them with plenty of absolutely free zero waste alternatives or do away with any liner at all. The opportunities depend only on the size of your bin and what you put in it. Separate your garbage into dry for paper or cloth liners and wet for plastic liners.
Here are some ideas:
- free community or just old newspapers
- an old jute coffee sack
- repurposed plastic food bucket
- old pillow case
- a cardboard box
- plastic bread bags or potato chip packets from your friends
- Eat Food Scraps. We don’t realize how much food we can eat is thrown away every day. And I’m not talking about products with past use-by date. There is a great variety of opportunities we just don’t know how to use them.
- Wash potato peelings, drizzle them with oil a little and then bake for 10 mins or so until crispy. Here are free potato chips!
- Cut the outer edges of the broccoli stalk off, and slice the soft core. Add it to pasta, curries or stir-fries.
- Cover outer cauliflower with olive oil, add garlic and roast until the stems are soft and outers are crispy. Or just chop them and add to curries.
- Make a veggie broth from saved onion skins, carrot shavings, the top green parts of leeks, zucchini tips and other vegetable scraps. You may do the same with animal bones to make fish or meat broth
- Apple peels and cores may be used to make apple cider vinegar in cooking. You can also cook a digestive tonic from them, use them for hair washing and even cleaning.
- Free Waste Composting. The second-hand buckets for composting are often given for free, on sites like Craigslist or Gumtree. It is also possible to make a worm farm from repurposed polystyrene boxes (ask for them a local supermarket). Most people with worm farms or community gardens will not have problems with giving you composting worms for free to support your beginning. Community compost hubs and community gardens are everywhere, and so are willing backyard composters.
- Cleaning Cloth. Repurpose old fabric like towels you don’t need anymore, bedding, work shirts or T-shirts. Use them instead of buying cleaning cloths, rags, wipes or paper towels. As a rule, natural fibres work even better than polyester fabric. Chop it with sharp scissors into squares for handkerchiefs and reusable towels and into strips for rags. You can also sew their edges up, to make them last and look better.
- Borrow, Not Buy. Usually, we don’t see that we need not an item but the result it gives. If you cook a puree once in a year, you don’t need a blender, you need a puree. If you wanna hang a picture, you don’t need a drill, you need a hole in the wall. Don’t be shy to ask your family, friends, neighbours or colleagues if they can borrow you something you need for some time. One more opportunity is communities where toys, books, music, games, movies, and tools may be borrowed.
- Look for Free. You don’t need to buy new or even second-hand staff when you can find it for free. Ask family, friends, colleagues or neighbours, put requests in Buy Nothing groups or find ads on online classifieds. Second-hand purchasing means absence of packaging and keeping existing staff in circulation that reduces demand for new products and saves resources.
Don’t believe the idea that zero trash living means spending a lot of money. It’s more about spending nothing at all and improving your financial situation. At least, it saves about 40 percent on overall budget.
64 Super Easy Zero Waste Lifehacks
Here are some short tips you can implement very quickly. These are small steps to begin your living without trash. You don’t have to do all points listed below, just choose what you like and try something new 🙂
- Don’t use a plastic straw. If you like straws, use reusable options from stainless steel, bamboo, glass, or silicone.
- Get a reusable water bottle made of glass or metal.
- Eliminate tissue paper, use handkerchiefs instead.
- Refuse free promotional stuff, as a rule, they break fastly.
- Get a library card to support your local sharing activities.
- Donate things you don’t need to a second-hand store.
- Change your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush.
- Cut your old towels and sheets into napkins and rags.
- Wash clothes only if they are really dirty, not only after one wear.
- Don’t use a conditioner, just open the window.
- Avoid packaged food.
- Do a workout instead of buying something.
- Cook something tasty from stale bread.
- Go to the store with your own reusable bags.
- Start canning to save food.
- Use bar soap, it requires less packaging than liquid soap.
- Change tampons and pads to a menstrual cup or cloth pads (for girls).
- Swap light bulbs for LEDs.
- Before turning up the heat put on a woolen sweater and socks.
- Stop the water flow while teeth brushing.
- Visit your local farmer’s market.
- Try cloth diapering if you have a baby.
- Get houseplants for air cleaning in your house.
- Plan your meal to avoid waste of food.
- Unplug electronic devices if not use.
- Make your own tooth powder not to buy toothpaste tubes.
- Buy more local products.
- Repair items if they break.
- If you need a special item for one-time use, like furniture for a party or camping gear, ask your friends if they can give you it for some time.
- Plant vegetables you like in the backyard.
- Freeze your food with no plastic.
- Start composting.
- Buy items and tools meant to last a lifetime.
- Store food properly for it doesn’t spoil for a long time.
- Find out the origin of food and things you buy – the way they’re produced is important.
- Ask for reused packaging materials or no package at all for online orders.
- Bring lunch from home instead of taking it to-go in a cafeteria.
- If you’re not a vegetarian, just try to eat less meat sometimes. Make one day in a week Meatless, Monday, for example.
- Start regrowing your food scarps.
- Avoid using a dryer.
- Use a bamboo bath brush instead of plastic shower loofahs.
- Don’t run a dishwasher or a washer if it is not full.
- If your final point is in a half of an hour or less walk, go there on foot instead of driving.
- Support the charity foundations for a better future.
- Bring your own reusable to-go cup for taking coffee (and get a discount maybe).
- Find out how to fix hem or buttons to extend your clothes life.
- Swap disposable batteries for rechargeable ones.
- Eat more local fruits and vegetables.
- Refuse wrapping presents.
- Concentrate your attention on getting experience rather than consumerism.
- Change a disposable razor made from plastic to a metal safety razor.
- If there’s such opportunity, wash your clothes in cold water.
- Eliminate getting spam mails by placing a sticker on your mail box or with the help of dmachoice.org
- Learn how to get rid of items like batteries, old cell phones, and unusable cords properly.
- Go paperless for your bills.
- Use a reusable filter or a french press for your morning coffee.
- Pick up garbage and utilize it properly.
- Use public transit instead of a personal car.
- Use both sides of the paper!
- Get involved with your community – plan a clothing swap or join a community garden.
- Change tea bags to leaf tea in a reusable metal strainer.
- Refuse little things like business cards, straws or disposable pens.
- Use less laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc. Advertisement encourages us to use more than we actually need, but it’s only up to you, to decide how much you need.
- Say “NO” to promotional items. As a rule, they are poorly constructed and made from cheap materials. Their lifetime is not long.
Of course, this is not the full list. Evolve and grow! Learn something new look for better solutions. Always strive for better.
Don’t forget! Small actions done by thousands s of people lead to massive impact!
Tips For Your Zero Waste Home And Office
This is the place where most of us produce the most waste.
Here are the ways to streamline your kitchen:
- Use alternative solutions to disposable paper towels, plastic plates, trash bin liners, etc. Change them to reusable cloth, glass or metal containers and other alternatives.
- Wash the dishes with earth-friendly sponges.
- Get a pressure cooker for faster and easier cooking.
- Buy in bulk and go shopping with your own reusable bottles and bags.
- Learn some recipes for leftovers and food scraps.
- Find a filter-free coffee-making alternative.
- Cook food by yourself, don’t buy it.
- A trash bin is only for dry garbage, use a compost keeper for the rest.
- Do shopping on local farmer’s markets. As a rule, fruits and vegetables are free from plastic and stickers there.
- Reduce meat consumption. It is very hard to find package-free meat or cheese. Reducing cheese and meat intake reduces the waste going with them.
- Buy dishwasher detergent in bulk or do it by yourself. Castille soap is a good alternative to a bunch of bottles of usual cleaners. It can also be used as body wash, shampoo.
- For tough cleaning, try a kitchen stone made from recycled glass recovered from landfills.
- Use tap water instead of bottled water.
- Oil the surface instead of using parchment paper.
- Freezing food in glass requires wide-mouthed glass jars or flat glass containers. Never fill them to the top especially if freezing liquids.
Wardrobe and Bedroom
- Stick to minimal accessories like purses or shoes.
- Simplify your clothing. Minimalists and zero waste followers advocate optimizing your wardrobe for sheer. Most people wear only about 20-30% of their clothing. Free up some space in the closet by taking a look at its content. Ask it if it makes you happier and if the answer is ‘no’, send it to the thrift shop.
- A capsule wardrobe is a small amount of well-made clothes that perfectly coordinate with one another. This way, you get numerous looks from a few pieces. Select pieces in neutral colors and 1-2 theme colors going together. Add 1-2 patterned and a few accessories. As, a rule, capsule wardrobes include less than 30 pieces (including accessories, shoes, and clothing).
- Use reusable bags not only for food but also while buying clothes.
- Eliminate compulsive purchasing, do shopping once in 6 months. You will also extend the usefulness of the items you already have.
- Donate things you don’t wear.
- Buy second-hand clothes. CO2 emissions associated with clothes shipping, drying, washing, and production is about 3% of global emissions. Second hand shopping prevents clothing from a trash bin and reduces the demand for production.
- If you purchase something new, pay attention to its warranty, it must be unconditional.
- You will wear clothes that fit you well, don’t buy unconvenient clothes. Make sure you are making a purchase that you’re absolutely satisfied with.
- Cut your worn-out clothes for rags and recycle the rest.
- Extend the life of your clothes. Apply sewing tricks to darn or shorten clothes or bring them to the tailor if you don’t learn them yet.
- When it’s time to replace pillows and bed linens choose compostable natural materials like cotton, wool, and bamboo.
Personal care products are likely to come in a wide array of plastics and many of them can be recycled only once.
- Use unbleached ad recycled toilet paper wrapped in paper or just use water instead.
- Install an electrical washlet if you have solar.
- As a deodorant, use straight baking soda or alum stone. The active ingredient in it is potassium alum that prevents bacteria causing odor.
- A safety razor and shaving soap are great for shaving.
- Eliminate plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles, using your own pop-top glass bottles. Refill old ones or use solid soap and conditioning bars or refuse conditioner at all.
- Cornstarch is a zero waste alternative to dry shampoo.
- Use unpackaged solid soap for face and body, baking soda – for exfoliating, bulk clays – for masks.
- A mix of jojoba oil or coconut oil and aloe vera gel works better than a shaving cream.
- Clean your teeth with a wooden or bamboo compostable toothbrush and baking soda. Add a little stevia powder or xylitol, if you don’t like the taste.
- Сonsider substitutes like cocoa powder as a bronzer and make a balm that for lips, nails, and hair.
- Most pads include 90% plastic and liners made from plastic and rayon. Swap disposable feminine products for reusable liners or a menstrual cup.
- Hair and nail clippings may be composted.
- Most cosmetics come in packaging that is non-compostible. Make your own cosmetics without spending extra money and avoiding harsh chemicals and plastic packagings. Learn how to create natural lip stains, shampoo, perfume, make-up remover, and more with less waste. For example, a simple moisturizer recipe: 1 part jojoba oil and 2 parts aloe vera gel.
- Water plants with water collected while the shower is heating.
- Remove mold with vinegar, clean the drain with a mix of vinegar and baking soda. These are natural solutions instead of dangerous chemical cleaners. They are effective, versatile, and help to avoid plastic bottle waste.
- Reducing the amount of laundry you wash is the basic action to produce less waste in the laundry. Review and optimize your laundry routine. Wash clothes one time a week, it will save dryer energy and your time. Use full loading, and cold water cycle if possible.
- Of course, natural cleaning solutions are prior – castile soap for sinks and floors, white vinegar mix as a cleaner for everything, vinegar to remove mildew, baking soda to scrub jobs.
- You may sweep the floor a boar bristle broom and wash with a wet rag and a drop of castile soap
- Zero waste cleaning tools are also welcome – a wooden brush for light scrubbing, a metal scourer for metal, an old toothbrush for narrow places and rags for counters, fridge, floors, mirrors, etc.
- Buy dishwasher detergent in bulk.
- The lowly soap nut is a great eco alternative to laundry detergent, it made for laundering everything from diapers to clothes.
- Lemon, chalk or vinegar eliminate stains easily. A mix of water, 1-2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, and castile soap is one more zero waste stain remover.
- Houseplants clean the air and remove toxins. For faster room refreshing just open a window instead of using an air purifier.
- Add 0.5 cup of white vinegar instead of fabric softener or just skip the fabric-softening step.
- Dry clothes on a line and iron fewer. Wool dryer balls also can save your electricity and money by absorbing water from your clothes in the dryer.
- If you don’t have enough time for this, look for a sustainable dry cleaner offering reusable garment bags and non-toxic cleaners.
Eating and Entertaining
- Take glass jars to the grocery and remember, when you buy for a company, you may need more jars than usual.
- Choose cafes restaurants offering real dishes to eliminate fast food waste.
- Decorate your table with seasonal fruit or napkins folded.
- If your children go to school, pack their lunches in beeswax wrap or reusable kits.
- Serve tap water with lemon for parties instead of cola and fizzy lemonades.
- Stream videos and musiс online.
- Take your own snack container and water bottle to the movie.
- Always use glass or ceramic dishes and cloth napkins.
- Share your experience with your friends about your zero trash lifestyle so they don’t take waste to your home.
- Don’t use serving platters not to waste water for cleaning.
- Use rechargeable batteries and try to reduce TV watching.
- Turn down freebies from conferences like free pen and pencil giveaways if you actually don’t need them.
- Bring your lunch. Plastic disposable to-go packagings generate 100 pounds of garbage per person every year. This is a great opportunity to save your money and the environment.
- Use only refillable or piston fountain pens, refillable board markers, mechanical pencils and donate extra pencils and paper for schools.
- If purchasing new paper, choose packaged in paper and recycled.
- Exclude paper junk mail, sign up for electronic statements and bills.
- Print one more time or make notes on single-side printed paper and hold documents by a metal clip.
- Swap simple trash can for compost and recycling bins.
- Use a return address stamp instead of stickers.
- Buy paper clips in bulk instead of stables and reuse them.
- Sell or donate books you’ve already read.
- Go digital! Use the cloud instead of external drivers or memory sticks.
- Recycle the material you receive. Place a recycling bin to your office, you can involve your colleagues making the process more interesting with the help of Recyclebank.
- Use native drought tolerant plants.
- Make a composting pile.
- Give away landscaping items and plants you don’t need anymore. Just make a post on Freecycle.
- Choose bulk seeds.
- Ask a bulk garden center for rocks, dirt, compost if you need it.
- Think about getting an irrigation controller with a rainwater sensor. It helps to save a lot of water.
- Collect rainwater with water catchments but check your city ordinances for the latter before.
- Don’t buy and keep extra medicines, they expire before you finish them
- If it’s legal in your state, ask your pharmacy to reuse your prescription jar.
- Avoid tablets individually packed in plastic or aluminum. Look for options in a glass or reusable material.
- A Neti pot is a great option to clean out your sinuses with sea salt and water only.
- Pay attention to natural cure alternatives: a senna leaf tea for constipation relief, a corn silk tea for prostate health or an oatmeal bath from skin irritation.
- Clean scrapes or small cuts with water and soap and just let them dry.
- Do not overuse antibacterial medicines, they may only make harmful bacteria stronger.
- Stick to a healthy varied diet and think about your true need for vitamins. Does your body really ask for them or it is just the influence of pharmaceutical companies’ promotion.
- Use quality tools made of wood and metal.
A zero trash living is not only about purging your plastic belongings and eating clean — it is about a more minimalistic and thoughtful approach to your life. Now I’d like to hear from you! Are there any zero waste tips I left out? Waiting for your experience in the comments.
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