How to Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle at Home
The goal of a zero waste home is that you reuse as much as you can, you reduce the amount you need, you recycle everything that is recyclable and you compost when you can. The best part of following a zero waste lifestyle at home is that it not only helps to reduce your carbon footprint, but it also can save you money.
If every home reduced the amount of trash they created each day this would greatly help lower the carbon emissions released into the air from waste sites.
Reuse as much as you can.
Instead of purchasing food storage containers think about saving all of the glass jars you get from products like peanut butter, pickles and jams. All of these products come in reusable bottles or jars that you can use for storage in your cabinets or refrigerator.
Reduce the amount you need.
Don’t purchase anything unless you know for certain you will use it. Don’t just replace older products instead try to repurpose them or clean daily to make them last longer. If you have a dish rack that is rusting clean it with steel wool to make it last longer. Consider making pesto from arugula and basil that is wilting, freeze or dry fresh herbs before they go bad, or use the older apples to turn into a pie or a dessert.
Recycle everything that is recyclable.
This may sound like an easy thing, but not everything is recyclable. Be aware of products that are paper, yet also have plastic on them like tissue boxes. Make sure to recycle the plastic differently than the paper. Buy products that you know aren’t lined with wax so they can be recycled like milk cartons.
Compost when you can.
If you have a yard consider building a compost bin. They don’t have to be expensive or large. Make sure to compost the appropriate food scraps and if you live in an area that supplies compost make sure to know what can and can’t go into the compost. Keep your compost in a freezer bag in the freezer until the bag becomes full to eliminate any smells. Check out our previous blog on compost for more information.
Tips on how to live a zero waste lifestyle and saving money in the process:
Make your trash smaller than your recycling bin. Having a small trash helps to remind you to recycle or compost before throwing something in the trash.
Consider composting because it will help remove all food waste from your trash and will limit the amount of garbage you produce each day. If you save all the fall leaves that you collect in your yard, you can use them as the browns in your compost to keep the compost at the right wetness.
Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. This might seem obvious, but if you think about how often you use paper towels and paper napkins to clean up spills or while eating a meal it ends up being quite a lot. If you turn to using cloth towels for cleaning and cloth napkins for your meals you can save a lot of money and waste. Or purchase compostable products like Earth’s Natural Alternative’s products.
Consider making coffee with a french press or percolator because they don’t require a filter.
If you have clothing you want to get rid of consider bringing them to a clothing donation center or textile donation booth at your local farmers market.
Dispose of your seasonal waste properly. Things such as Christmas trees, wreaths and pumpkins don’t get disposed of properly and add a huge amount to your trash seasonally. If your area doesn’t supply a program where they turn your old Christmas trees into mulch consider getting one set up. You can use all of mulch from the trees to use on a local park or other areas in your neighborhood. Here is an article on other ways to reuse your Christmas tree.