Send companies this zero waste feedback letter

Do you ever feel like the world is out to conspire against your zero waste ambitions?

(It is. Here’s why.)

One way of feeling less helpless in the unending fight against plastic is to reach out to people in a position of power and let them know your thoughts by sending a letter. Sending a zero waste feedback letter alone may not get anything changed, but hey: if you get enough people to do so, you may have some momentum. Even making companies aware that people are interested in no-waste solutions can be really valuable. 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 in a food desert: how I shopped

This is an updated version of a previously published post.

I vividly remember one of the most miserable experiences of my first few months in Indy. Neither my husband nor I had snagged a job yet, and we were coming to the end of our savings. We lived close to downtown but the nearest grocery store was 1.2 miles away. We needed food but really couldn’t spare money for an Uber (nor was there a direct bus route).

So my husband and I walked to and from the store, the cold November wind whipping past us. On the way back we were burdened by bags heavier than we could really carry, but we couldn’t imagine doing this again before it was absolutely necessary. read more

Is shopping online more eco-friendly than shopping local?

Since buying a house in a mid-sized Midwestern town, I’ve been doing more buying than normal. I don’t feel bad about it as we’re all going to consume at some point (even though keeping refuse is always at the forefront of my mind!).

But the big lingering question I have – while picking up things I’ve never before considered like smoke detectors – remains: is shopping online more eco-friendly than shopping local?

A lot of people – myself included – wonder as they don’t have low-waste options where they are. To purchase in bulk or to find items that will help them in their zero waste journey, they’ve either got to travel to a physical store or order online. read more

Zero waste gifts: experiences

One of the big online trends in minimalism is experiences over gifts. It goes that most people don’t need more stuff; the memories and knowledge gained from your experiences will last far longer than the typical gift-wrapped item. As it so happens, I think experiences as zero waste gifts is a pretty perfect fit.

What better way to reduce your impact on the planet than by eschewing presents bought just to fill up the space under the tree and instead giving thoughtful, experience-based gifts instead?

Experiences, just like physical gifts, are endlessly customizable based on who you’re buying for, so here are just a few ideas to get you started on these zero waste gifts.