getting closer to zero waste...5 ways to start

Happy Earth Day All!  Did anyone see the story on the Today Show about the family in California who lives a zero waste life?  They literally have less than a lunch bag sized amount of trash in 1 month (and they have 2 school aged boys).  If you haven't seen it, you can check it out here.  Well, they've inspired me to create less waste in our home...especially after taking out two heaping piles of recycling this morning.  Sure, it's recyclable, but it's still waste that requires energy to produce and repurpose.

The zero waste family has a blog where they list their tips for getting started and maintaining this kind of lifestyle.  Whether or not you think some of this is over the top, you can hardly deny their motivations: help the environment and free up time and money to spend enjoying healthier and more satisfying experiences that don't revolve around "things".

So we already use reusable water bottles and bags and clean with vinegar and baking soda (sometimes), but there is a lot more I could do!  Here's my list, created from the zero waste families tips, that will help me reduce my waste and footprint for Earth Day. 

1.  Use mesh bags for produce and small cloth bags for bulk items.  Which leads me to...
2.  Don't buy produce in plastic (or any) packaging and buy from the bulk section (beans, lentils, oats, quinoa etc) instead of buying cans or boxes of these items.
3.  Get a resealable glass jar (or use an old glass jar I already have) for use at the cheese and butcher counter...this may cause some funny looks, but hey, maybe it will also cause some inspiration.
4.  Collect the shower water in a bucket for watering plants while waiting for the shower to heat up.
5.  Use a reusable tea mug not only at home, but for filling at the local coffee/tea shop.  Now I just need to find a glass or stainless steel reusable with a straw for my summer iced teas...suggestions?

While I'm not ready to start making my own deodorant just yet, (or totally give up certain packaged items like wine, mascara or toothpaste),  I can totally do the above things...maybe you'll be inspired too.


  1. You had me at Earth Day!
    I was just reading over at Food in Jars about her reusable bags for the bulk section.. it took me to a link on Etsy:

    Neat bags and this post made me think of that.

    I haven't done as much as you have but I am inspired! We recycle and re-use but there are some things I just can't change yet but I'm working on it.

    We don't have as many shopping options in our small town. Because of this, bulk shopping is only offered at two places. This is better than nothing but it is a way of life change that we are growing into.
    Happy Earth Day friend and thanks for the inspiration!


  2. Hello,

    I am currently becoming zero waste and saw your question about glass straws. I use Straws By Carli:

    *All straws are microwave and dishwasher safe (handwashing reccomended), are digitally kiln annealed for strength and durability, and are guaranteed for normal usage FOR LIFE.

    Can't get any better than that!

    Thanks for the tips... I'll be using them!



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