Plastic waste is a growing environmental concern that is affecting our planet in ways that we might not even be aware of. Every year, around 8 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the ocean, which is equal to one garbage truck of plastic dumped into the ocean every minute. To minimize the impact of plastic waste on our planet, it’s essential to adopt sustainable practices, including zero waste at home. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of zero-waste tips that will help you make your home more sustainable.
Going Zero Waste at Home
The first step towards a zero-waste lifestyle is to assess your consumption habits and identify areas that need improvement. Take a mental note of the products you use at home and throw them away. Then, look for sustainable alternatives for these products to reduce waste.
Zero Waste Tips for the Kitchen
The kitchen is the hub of most households, and it’s where a lot of waste is generated. Here are some zero-waste tips to make your kitchen more sustainable:
- Compost your parchment paper or use reusable silicone baking sheets instead of disposable ones.
- Learn how to properly store your food to reduce waste.
- Use leftover vegetable scraps to make vegetable stock.
- Replace saran wrap with reusable wax food wraps or vegan wax food wraps.
- Use a reusable garbage bag or no garbage bag at all and wash the bin regularly.
- Save your pasta water to water your plants.
- Swap plastic sandwich bags out for reusable silicone bags or reusable glass containers.
- Replace freezer bags with mason jars or reusable silicone bags.
- Replace your dish brush with a replaceable and biodegradable brush head.
- Swap tea bags with loose-leaf tea to avoid plastic waste
Zero Waste Tips for the Bathroom
The bathroom is another area of the house where a lot of waste is generated. Here are some zero-waste tips to make your bathroom more eco-friendly:
- Use recycled toilet paper made from recycled materials.
- Swap a plastic dispenser bottle for a bar of soap.
- Use a cloth to dry your hands rather than paper towels.
Zero Waste Tips for the Bedroom
The bedroom is a space where you can implement sustainable practices to reduce waste. Here are some zero-waste tips for your bedroom:
- Use a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
- Invest in quality bedding made from organic materials to reduce waste.
- Buy second-hand furniture instead of new furniture to reduce waste.
Zero Waste Tips for the Laundry Room
The laundry room is where a lot of waste is generated. Here are some zero-waste tips to make your laundry room more sustainable:
- Use eco-friendly laundry detergents that are free of harsh chemicals and come in reusable packaging.
- Air-dry your clothes instead of using a dryer to reduce energy consumption.
- Repair your clothes instead of throwing them away.
Zero Waste Tips for the Games Room
The games room is another area of the house where a lot of waste is generated. Here are some zero-waste tips to make your games room more sustainable:
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries.
- Buy second-hand games and consoles instead of new ones.
Zero Waste Tips for the Dining Room
The dining room is where you can implement sustainable practices to reduce waste. Here are some zero waste tips for your dining room:
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
- Use reusable plates, cups, and utensils instead of disposable ones.
Zero Waste Tips for the Medicine Box
A zero-waste medicine box is a great way to reduce waste and live more sustainably. Here are some of my tips to reduce the amount of plastic and other waste generated by the healthcare industry:
- Keep a minimal supply of medication so you can easily see what you have and avoid wasting any.
- Ask your pharmacy if they can reuse your prescription jar. While it might be illegal to refill them in some states, others may allow it.
- Choose tablets in glass or plastic jars instead of individually wrapped tablets in aluminum or plastic.
- Avoid buying jumbo-sized medication jars, as they can expire before you finish them.
- Opt for metal tubes instead of plastic when possible.
- Clean cuts and scrapes with soap and water instead of plastic band-aids, and let them air-dry.
Zero Waste Gardening Tips
While gardening is an enjoyable activity, plastic is everywhere, from soil bags to hoses to pots for almost all seeds, flowers and trees for sale. Here are some tips to reduce waste when gardening:
- Choose drought-tolerant and native plants, and replace your lawn with short native grasses.
- Make room for compost and consider a worm composter or electric composter if you live in an apartment. You can also use a separate pet composter for your dog’s feces.
- Pee occasionally at the base of your citrus plants to help them thrive.
- Return plastic containers to the nursery, and find bulk seeds near you.
- Give away any plants or landscaping items you no longer want, and post them on free sections of websites like Craigslist or Freecycle.
- Find a bulk garden center and refill reusable sandbags with dirt, rocks, compost, and more.
I wanted to share my thoughts on creating a zero-waste home. It’s a journey I’ve been on for a while now, and I have to say, it’s been a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience.
Of course, there have been some bumps in the road along the way. It can be tough to resist the convenience of single-use products, and it can be hard to break old habits. But every time I make a small change, I feel like I’m making a positive impact on the planet and setting a good example for others.