Take a look around you right now. How many disposable things can you see from where you’re sitting?
I asked myself this question a few weeks ago and was astonished and disturbed by how “disposable” my home was. It was at that exact moment that I began my zero waste journey. I know everyone goes about becoming zero waste in different ways. The journey can be overwhelming if you look around your home, but it doesn’t have to be. For me, this is a VERY gradual process. I’m talking years! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t simple steps I can take to produce less waste right now!
In this post, I’m sharing the quick and easy ways I started my zero waste journey that you, too, can do right now.
1. Start using your formal cloth napkins
When I made this switch, it made me feel so fancy! You’ll eventually probably have to purchase a few more cloth napkins so you’re not doing laundry every day, but you can start this one at dinner tonight!
2. Start using old socks for cleaning
Instead of using sponges or scrubbies, sort through your sock drawer and find the socks with no mate. Turned inside out, these make great rags for household cleaning.
3. Start saving glass jars for food storage
For this one, you might need to start by clearing out a shelf in your pantry to store old glass jars. Once you’ve got a bit of space, use old pasta sauce jars as freezer storage, a place to put uncooked noodles, or put the salad you’re bringing to work in one…the possibilities are endless.
4. Start using essential oils for cleaning
For this, you’ll need a spray bottle (preferably glass, but use what you have on hand for now) and some essential oils. A few that are great for cleaning include tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus, orange, rosemary, peppermint, and cinnamon leaf. There are tons of recipes for natural cleaning solutions, but for a simple all-purpose cleaner try this:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
5. Start a no shampoo routine
Unfamiliar with the no ‘poo routine? Check out my method for eliminating harsh shampoo from your beauty routine. Not only will you save your hair, but you’ll be helping to save the planet.
6. Start making your own sauces
Have a ton of veggies you never used that are about to go bad? Cook ’em up and blend together with spices of your choosing (oregano + salt + pepper is a pretty safe combination) to create a unique, nutritious pasta sauce. Use or store in the freezer in one of the glass containers you saved!
7. Start using that dusty travel mug
Coffee addiction? Drive-thru enthusiast? Dig out that old travel mug and keep it in the car so you can get your on-the-go coffee fix without the disposable cup and plastic lid.
8. Start wrapping gifts with clothes you no longer wear
Unpack the bag of clothes that’s been in your trunk for weeks, waiting to be dropped off at a donation center. Repurpose old clothes with cute patterns or interesting fabrics as wrapping paper for birthday and wedding gifts. Check out Hippie in Disguise’s tutorial here.
There you have it. 8 simple zero waste things you can do RIGHT NOW! You got this!
What other easy zero waste hacks helped you on your journey? Share in the comments below!