Luckily reducing our carbon footprint is an easy reality in our modern world. With a few small switches and mindful motions, we can help save the planet. I've compiled a list of the 50 easiest and best tips for going zero waste, pick a couple of things and give them a try! Everyone starts somewhere and the small things add up!
Ask for no straw in your drink when out.
Always travel with a reusable straw and cutlery set.
Bring your own containers to restaurants for to-go food and leftovers.
Ugly food is edible food- reduce grocery store food waste by buying the ugly (but perfectly fine) produce.
Buy bulk foods without packaging or minimal packaging.
Commit to bringing your reusable bags, produce bags, and mason jars to the store. If you don't have them already, what are you waiting for?
Check out your local farmers market if you have one available to you.
Meal plan to avoid food waste.
Start a backyard compost or invest in a local composting service to reduce food waste.
Pack a daily lunch and snacks in a reusable lunchbox.
Reduce your meat consumption. If you're not ready to go vegetarian or vegan start small: try Meatless Monday, weekday vegetarian, or even weekday vegan.
Ask for a real mug at the coffee shop when staying in and bring your own to-go cup when getting to-go.
Keep a stocked pantry to avoid getting takeout on busy nights.
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush.
Ditch paper products by turning old sheets, t-shirts, and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, non-cotton rounds, and cloth produce bags.
Wash clothes when they are actually dirty, instead of after only one wear.
Look into making your own cosmetics, toiletries, and cleaning products. It’s shockingly cheap and easy and Pinterest is here is help.
For products you have trouble making or finding, Etsy has almost everything.
Use bar soap/shampoo/conditioner instead of liquid, it tends to come with less packaging.
Swap disposable pads and tampons for cloth pads or menstrual cup.
Change light bulbs to LEDs.
Unplug electronics when not in use.
Ditch plastic shower loofahs for a real loofah or a bamboo bath brush.
Always run a full dishwasher or load of clothes.
Look into tree-free TP.
Ditch plastic q-tips for plastic-free or reusable.
Ditch sponges for compostable scrubs or brushes.
Swap tea bags for loose leaf tea in a reusable strainer.
Switch from a plastic disposable razor to a metal safety razor.
Wash your clothes in cold water when you can.
Most sunscreen causes coral bleaching, look into coral friendly options!
Avoid junk mail by placing a sticker on your box or going to dmachoice.org
Go paperless for all your bills and receipts!
Shop and donate to second-hand stores.
Avoid impulse shopping and fast fashion.
Swap don't shop! Host a clothing swap with friends or ask to borrow clothing for specific events instead of buying new for a one time use.
Buy quality over quantity. Surround yourself with multipurpose objects that will last a lifetime so they only have to be purchased once
Ask for no plastic and reused packaging materials for online orders.
Look into reusable notebooks like Rocketbook's Wave
Learn where to properly dispose of items like gift cards, old cell phones, batteries and unusable cords. Most can be turned into best buy, etc.
Look into rechargeable batteries instead of disposables.
Always say no thank you to free promotional items. They tend to be cheap and break easily.
Don't leave your house without a full reusable water bottle.
Beware of greenwashing, always do your research.
If it's a 30 minute or less walk, get outside instead of driving.
Use your vote to help promote candidates that support a sustainable future.
Pick up litter when you're out and dispose of it properly.
Wrap presents in newspaper or ditch the wrapping altogether!
Take public transit if available or carpool.
Try to shrink the amount you recycle in addition to shrinking what you throw away. Zero waste is about recycling less not more.