Participate in the zero waste movement for free

Zero waste life can often seem like an upper-middle class white girl’s dreamland. Full of high-end products and white walls aplenty, many of us are complicit in presenting zero waste as some exciting fantasy world.

This trend can feel isolating. I’ve felt it and I am a middle class white girl. But in fact zero waste doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy or high-end to be valid. Participating in the zero waste movement isn’t limited to a certain income and it certainly doesn’t hinge on fitting all your trash for years into a Mason jar. read more

Zero waste budget: money spent and trash made in January 2018

Sometimes I look at our finances and wonder what’s going on. From freelancing to hourly work to variable expenses as we get settled in our house, every month is a bit of a guessing game as to where we’ll end up. Luckily, we manage to save and thrive as a small zero waste budget household. We practice the first R of zero waste – refuse – heavily and that’s really helped us manage a small budget.

I almost didn’t post the promised January zero waste budget overview simply because the month was so different than usual. We both brought in and spent way more money than we usually do; and basically broke even. But I figured a strange month is a month of budgeting after all, so have a look. read more

How to go zero waste on a budget

When most people think about the zero waste movement, they think of ultra-privileged folks with a massive amount of expendable income to spend on fancy products. Zero waste on a budget is simply an ihmpossibility.

Is that a fair assessment?

To a large degree, yes. People can only participate in the zero waste movement because their basic needs have already been met. People can only participate in the zero waste movement because they have access to stores with plentiful options. People can only participate in the zero waste movement if they have a surplus of money and time at their disposal. Of course there’s inherent privilege in all of that. read more

Are zero waste groceries expensive?: bulk vs Walmart comparison

One of the big complaints I hear about zero waste grocery shopping – aside from lack of access to bulk – is how expensive it is. I always just sort of assumed that was true, but then realized I was making a 90% zero waste shop each week while staying under $40 (for two people).

So if I – person on an extreme budget living in Indiana in a county with less than 180,000 people – can make it happen, chances are zero waste groceries are more accessible and more economical than you might expect. read more

A zero waste guide to thrift shopping

I put together this zero waste guide to thrift shopping because I think – too often – people are put off by buying second hand. It can be seen as dirty or below someone, when in fact it’s an amazing way to get what you need without wasting more resources. This guide will address three types of things people commonly thrift and some tips on how to find quality items.

But first, I’d like to address a few of the questions people often have when thinking about thrift shopping and zero waste. read more