The 10-step zero waste beginner guide

Starting a journey towards zero waste can seem overwhelming at the beginning! Rather than tackling the concept as a whole, I found it helpful to break zero waste down into little chunks.

Zero waste for beginners doesn’t have to be information overload. Enter this zero waste beginner guide.

I’ve compiled the ten most helpful steps for beginners to get a handle on their zero waste practices. Try one or two each week until you feel comfortable with that step – then move on to the next. Along the way you’ll find other questions or practices you want to explore too! read more

Tips on staying zero waste when it seems too hard

That feeling when you’re so tired you’re not sure you can do what you need to do, much less deal with living zero waste.

I’m sure we’ve all felt it anecdotally, but science actually backs those feelings up with cold, hard facts. Studies show that sleep deprivation “lowers inhibition and enhances impulsivity to negative stimuli”. Basically, when you’re tired it’s much easier to make poor choices you wouldn’t otherwise.

In zero waste terms, I’m sure we can all think of an example. Buying a plastic-wrapped ready meal on a 15 minute lunch break. Forgetting your reusable mug and getting a single-use cup because you need caffeine. Making an impulse purchase we later regret because we were too tired to do proper research. read more

Single-use alternatives: ideas for cloth produce bags

Cloth produce bags: the simple answer to making your grocery shopping much more plastic free. When I first started zero waste, I purchased six mesh bags which I still use to this day. Not the best idea since they won’t decompose, but you live and you learn, eh?

Since then I’ve moved on to experimenting with brands making cloth produce bags with 100% natural fibers as well as making my own with second hand fabrics. The longer you do stuff, the smarter you get!

Whatever option you choose, switching to cloth produce bags is an incredibly simple way to do what we should all know better by now: single-use plastic bags are choking our waterways and clogging the stomachs of our wildlife. read more

Zero waste period options (that aren’t just menstrual cups)

There’s a lot of talk about zero waste period options out there already, but what I think a lot miss is the emphasis on why we should switch to more sustainable options beyond a nebulous “it’s better for the environment!” angle.

Sure the environment is important, but providing access to period products (and better yet, long-lasting, not single-use ones) go far beyond that. Adequate period protection can foster educational opportunities for girls as well as provide very basic health and safety options. read more

Zero waste isn’t zero – and here’s why

Are you a self-sustaining homesteader with absolutely no ties to the outside work? Great, this post is not for you.

For everyone else, this may be helpful.

So often I hear people become upset because they can’t find unpackaged options or they unwittingly bring home trash despite their best efforts. I’m here to tell you A) it’s OK and B) it’s not you – it’s the system. We live and operate in a linear economy whereas zero waste advocates for a circular economy.

To expect individual perfection when a perfect system doesn’t exist is silly; zero waste is a catchy term for an eco-movement, not a statement of reality. read more