Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Small Steps to a Zero Waste Life

Retro Housewife talks more about being zero waste.

Last week we "met" the Johnson and saw how they live a zero waste lifestyle. Many of you seemed to think this was a great idea but it seems so far out of reach. While I don't live a zero waste life, I did want to share some steps I have taken to reduce my waste.
  • Ditch paper towels. Paper towels are a waste of money and resources. Old t-shirts are great for cleaning and real hand towels work just fine for drying your hands. Skoy Cloths can also be helpful when ditching this habit.
  • Ditch paper napkins. This is another wasteful product. Cloth napkins are easy to make and find. Try darker shades for everyday use as they won't stain as badly.
  • Use real dishes. I think we all have real dishes so we should use them.
  • No more bottled water. Filling your own stainless steel bottle at home is cheaper and just as good for you. Use a filter if worried about water quality.
  • Skip straws or go reusable. If you enjoy using straws buy a set of glass straws from Glass Dharma. They are even dishwasher safe.
  • Make a waste-free lunch. Using reusable containers, napkins, lunch box and such you can easily have a waste-free lunch away from home.
  • Store food in glass and stainless steel containers. Pyrex and Anchor are great brands for glass storage.
  • Start composting. A compost bin will help reduce your waste and give you great compost for your garden.
  • Recycle as much as you can. Click here for a list of places to recycle things your city won't take.
  • Buy less! This is a huge one. If you don't buy as much you can't make as much waste. 

These are just a few of the ways you can reduce your waste. What are some ways you are reducing waste around your house?

Photo credit: DaddyCaptRon


Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

I buy a lot from the bulk bins at Whole Foods using my own containers and get as much produce as I can from the farmers market where it's not packaged in plastic. Both of those steps have made a huge difference to our trash.

Frances said...

Phase out the grocery store: by shopping at farmer's markets, produce stands, and health food stores with bulk spices, nuts, coffee, teas, grains, and so on, you can bring your own containers/bags instead of buying packaged food.
A CSA also helps reduce shopping trips and packaging.

Jessica said...

We got a pack of 16 wash cloths for under $5 that we use as napkins. There is no need for reusable dishes or napkins. Hello, what do you think dish washers were made for?!

Green Bean said...

Love that list! It is so easy.

For us, not buying new stuff really made the biggest dent.

Having city-wide compost is also super helpful. I generally stay away from disposables but if something creeps into the house, I can often stick it in the compost.

Condo Blues said...

I started using reusable produce bags. They baffle the cashier at the grocery store. Any tips on how I can make her job a little easier when it comes to ringing up stuff in my non see through produce bags? Farmers markets and CSAs don't open in my area until Memorial Day.

Green Bean said...

Oh, I forgot all about FREECYCLE!!! and the Free section of Craigslist. Great way to get rid of almost anything without sending it to the landfill.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas!

Check if there is a CSA in your area. Nothing like fresh, organic produce from a local farm.

I am just starting to bring my own containers to the bulk bin sections.

I am an on-again off-again composter. I'm just having trouble finding a routine. Any suggestions?

LilycWoo said...

Since I found out that I have stage 4 ovarian cancer, I have been growing my own garden and recycling all of the peels from my fruits and vegetables. I do not have time for a compost. I just take all of the peels to my garden and put it directly into the soil. Since we have wild rabbits and squirrels, I have to dig a hole and buried the peels. I also put shrimp shells and any fish bones in the ground. Used coffee grind are great for my roses, black berries, and any acid loving plants. These are cheap natural fertilizers that I learn from my father in law and my plants love it.

peter said...

Great site very interesting read thank you…cheers Peter


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