7 Easy Ways to Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle [LIST]

Play your part in learning how to reduce waste and consumption in your everyday life.

Dec 17, 2014
Green house made of grass

How green are you living? [Shutterstock]

Imagine going through your daily life and not throwing out a single piece of trash. Does that even seem possible? We have become accustomed to using plastic bags to carry our groceries, buying products that are fully packaged and performing the daily ritual of throwing out the junk mail that fills our mailboxes. All of that waste has a significant effect, with an average person in the U.S. creating enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks a day. We are happy to break down this seemingly new zero waste trend for you, and present seven easy ways that eliminating waste can be implemented into your daily life.

1. CARRY YOUR GROCERIES 

Bring several canvas totes with you to transport your groceries home, instead of using plastic bags. Canvas totes can be washed and reused, and they’re also a lot sturdier for heavy loads.
INSIDER’S TIP: Plastic bags found freely at grocery stores are on their way to being phased out. Many states and countries are in the process of passing legislation to remove them from stores or place a tax on their use.

A close up of a canvas tote for grocery food shopping

Don't forget to bring your canvas tote when you head off to do your food shopping.[Shutterstock]

2.TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE  

Leftover food scraps don’t need to be added to the trash bin, they can be easily composted indoors. Composting organic materials prevents them from going to the landfill, and using them in your garden minimizes the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides.
INSIDER’S TIP: Get started with some easy composting options from an indoor compost bin to an outdoor composting area to properly dispose of food scraps.  

outdoor compost

Composting easy - whether outdoors or inside. [Shutterstock]

3. GROCERY STORE VENUE CHANGE 

Make it a point to go to your local farmer’s market to buy fresh food and goods. It’s a win-win situation - you both support independent businesses, and reduce your environmental impact by purchasing foods that are in season and grown close by.
INSIDER’S TIP: Most farmer’s markets accept old egg cartons and berry baskets that they later reuse to transport their food. Here are some suggestions of fresh food initiatives that might be active in your area.

The Jean-Talon Market in Montreal, Canada

The Jean-Talon Market in Montreal, Canada is aflutter with fresh and tasty food. Where is your closest farmer's market? [Shutterstock]

4. SOAK UP SPILLS AT HOME   

Skip the paper towels and use washable rags to clean up any spills.
INSIDER’S TIP: Upcycle your old clothes and towels by converting them into soft reusable rags to use around the house.

Cleaning up a liquid spill on a kitchen counter

Spills soak up faster with reusable rags and create less waste. [Shutterstock]

6. CLEAN THE HOUSE 

Get your house sparkling clean without using store bought cleaning products that are full of chemicals and come in bulky packaging.
INSIDER’S TIP: Consult this list of 5 DIY cleaning products that are au naturel, and easy to make.

Mom and daughter having fun cleaning the house

Organic cleaning products are safer for all members of the family. [Shutterstock]

7. SHOP YOUR CLOSET 

Textiles are one of the least recycled materials with a whopping 10.5 million tons of clothes being sent to landfills. When was the last time you saw what was in your closet? Go through your wardrobe to see what you still wear, what can be donated and what may be turned into reusable cleaning rags. If you are still in need of some new threads, browse local second hand clothing shops to see what you can find.
INSIDER’S TIP: Sometimes a piece of clothing is missing a button or has a small hole which makes it unwearable. Teach yourself the basics of sewing and make it a point to mend old clothes before you discard them.

Closet full of clothes on different colored hangers

When was the last time you went through your closet? [Shutterstock]