2. Turn down freebies from conferences, fairs, and parties. Every time you take one, you create a demand to make more. Do you really need another “free” pen?
3. Declutter your home, and donate to your local thrift shop. You’ll lighten your load and make precious resources available to those looking to buy secondhand. [Yes, I couldn't agree more! See my article on the Anatomy of Clutter.]
4. Reduce your shopping trips and keep a shopping list. The less you bring home, the less waste you’ll have to deal with.
5. Swap disposables for reusables (start using handkerchiefs, refillable bottles, shopping totes, cloth napkins, rags, etc.). You might find that you don’t miss your paper towels, but rather enjoy the savings. [Noted!]
6. Avoid grocery shopping waste: Bring reusable totes, cloth bags (for bulk aisles), and jars (for wet items like cheese and deli foods) to the store and farmers market. [I always keep reusable totes in my car.]
7. Know your city’s recycling policies and locations—but think of recycling as a last resort. Have you refused, reduced, or reused first? Question the need and life-cycle of your purchases. Shopping is voting.
8. Buy primarily in bulk or secondhand, but if you must buy new, choose glass, metal, or cardboard. Avoid plastic: Much of it gets shipped across the world for recycling and often ends up in the landfill (or worse yet, the ocean).
10. Turn your home kitchen trash can into one large compost receptacle. The bigger the compost the more people will use it. [I will add that you want to have a bin that has a lid and is an attractive receptacle.]
I hope you will join me in working toward these zero waste goals in your own household. I am going to start today with stopping the junk mail, which has been a goal of mine for ages and I am ashamed that I haven’t gotten around to it….Done!
What zero waste ideas do you have? Please share your ideas and goals with our readers!
You can follow Bea’s wonderful blog The Zero Waste Home by clicking here.
Read more Green Living and Feng Shui articles by Erica Sofrina here.
Erica Sofrina is a Feng Shui and Green Design specialist, teacher, speaker, author and Founder of the Academy of Feng Shui which offers Feng Shui and Green Design programs and seminars.