If you want a practical guide for reducing your waste where there’s even more tips and information be sure to check out this book by Kathryn Kellogg: 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste (you can order it at Chaucer's) !
Every day we have a choice to make this world a little wasteful. What can you do today?
Ask for no straw in your drink order when out.
Don’t leave your house without a full reusable water bottle.
Ditch tissues for handkerchiefs.
Pick up a lonely banana.
Always say no thank you to free promotional items. They tend to be cheap and break easily.
Get a library card to support your local sharing economy.
Donate unused items in good condition to support the second-hand market.
Think second-hand first when purchasing something.
Try elderberry syrup if you feel a cold coming on instead of immediately reaching for a plastic pill bottle.
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush.
Turn old sheets and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, and cloth produce bags.
Build a zero waste kit and put in the trunk of your car or carry it with you when you’ll be out so you’ll always be prepared. It doesn’t have to be large just a few items!
Wash clothes when they are actually dirty, instead of after only one wear.
Open a window to cool down your home or air it out.
Try to avoid palm oil.
Buy food without packaging or minimal packaging.
Instead of buying something when you’re having a bad day, do something. I.e. go on a walk, take a yoga class, meet up with a friend.
Repurpose stale bread.
Make dry shampoo to stretch between washes.
Surround yourself with items that serve multiple purposes to streamline and cut excess junk.
Commit to bringing your reusable bags to the store. If you don’t have them, turn around and go get them! After forgetting them once, you won’t do it again.
Try canning to preserve food.
Use bar soap instead of liquid soap, it tends to come with less packaging.
Swap disposable pads and tampons for cloth pads or a menstrual cup.
Change light bulbs to LEDs.
Be mindful when using technology.
Bring reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies.
Put on a sweater and socks before turning up the heat.
Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
Don’t buy anything impulsively!
Try making your own lotion.
Check out your farmers market.
Make your own face mask from stuff in your pantry.
Try cloth diapering.
Get some houseplants at a local nursery to purify your air, don’t forget to return the little plastic pots!
Get rid of pests naturally.
Meal plan to avoid food waste.
Unplug electronics when not in use.
Try making tooth powder to avoid unrecyclable toothpaste tubes.
Buy more locally made goods.
Repair something when it breaks.
If you’re looking for a specialty item, like camping gear or an extra table for a party, ask a friend if you can borrow one before making a purchase.
Plant a small garden.
Learn how to freeze your food without plastic so it doesn’t go to waste.
Make your own febreze spray to freshen your room for pennies!
Start a backyard compost.
Swap little plastic chapstick tubes for DIY lip balm.
Surround yourself with tools and items that are meant to last a lifetime. Try to only buy objects once.
Try your hand at an easy all-purpose cleaning spray.
Look into collecting rainwater or a greywater system.
Store your food properly to make it last longer.
Find your local cobbler to repair tired shoes.
Know where everything you buy comes from whether it be food, clothing, or other household goods
Ask for no plastic and reused packaging materials for online orders.
Pack your lunch instead of eating out every day.
Reduce your meat consumption. If you’re not ready to go vegetarian start small: try Meatless Monday, weekday vegetarian, or even weekday vegan.
Learn to regrow kitchen scraps.
Line dry a load instead of using the dryer.
Try homemade mouthwash.
Ditch plastic shower loofahs for a real loofah or a bamboo bath brush.
Ask for a real mug at the coffee shop when staying in.
Always run a full dishwasher or load of clothes.
Most sunscreen causes coral bleaching, go coral friendly!
Bring your own container for to-go food and leftovers.
Ditch paper towels and use tea towels and rags.
Beware of greenwashing, always do your research.
Make your own deodorant.
If it’s a 30 minute or less walk, get outside instead of driving.
Vote with your dollars for a sustainable future.
Bring your own to-go cup when getting coffee on the run.
Look into tree-free TP.
Learn how to repair a button or hem to extend the life of your clothing.
Look into rechargeable batteries instead of disposables.
Serve dinner with cloth napkins.
Eat more vegetables and legumes.
Keep a bucket in the shower to water plants or flush the toilet.
Wrap presents in newsprint or not at all!
Swap cotton rounds for reusable rounds.
Focus on experiences rather than things.
Switch from a plastic disposable razor to a metal safety razor.
Wash your clothes in cold water when you can.
Make homemade gifts to give to friends and family.
Try Wheatless Wednesdays to cut back on intensive grain farming.
Avoid junk mail by placing a sticker on your box or going to dmachoice.org
Keep a stocked pantry to avoid getting takeout on busy nights.
Learn where to properly dispose of items like gift cards, old cell phones, batteries and unusable cords can be turned in at best buy etc.
Find your local tailor to help with clothing repairs.
Ask yourself if you truly need it before making any purchases.
Go paperless for all your bills!
Swap don’t shop! Host a clothing swap with friends.
Pick up litter when you’re out and dispose of it properly.
Make your morning cup of coffee with a french press or pour over with a reusable filter to avoid extra waste.
Ditch plastic q-tips for plastic-free or reusable.
Ditch sponges in lieu of compostable scrubs or brushes.
Try to shrink the amount you recycle. Zero waste is about recycling less not more.
Use both sides of the paper!
Avoid receipts when out, ask if one has to be printed. Sometimes they do, but not always!
Take public transit if available or carpool.
Join a community garden.
Swap tea bags for loose leaf tea in a reusable strainer.
Make my favorite zero waste switch: look at installing a bidet attachment.