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10 Tips for Creating a Zero Waste Home


1. Fight junk mail. It’s not just a waste of resources, but also of time. Register to receive less at, and

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 locationsóbut 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).


9. Find a compost system that works for your home and get to know what it will digest (dryer lint, hair, and nails are all compostable).

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.

The Green Home Remodel
Eco Friendly Fire Places
Eco Window Coverings
Eco Friendly Wall Finishes
Eco Friendly Flooring
Eco Friendly Counter Tops

Read more: Conservation, Eco-friendly tips, Feng Shui & Organizing, Green, Home, Household Hints, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , , , ,

By Erica Sofrina, Author of Small Changes Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

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Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina is an Internationally recognized Speaker and Teacher and Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker and is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. She has run a successful business as a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Consultant for over a decade and resides on the charming coastal town of Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Find out more at†

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Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

By Erica Sofrina A Simple Guide to Feng Shui for our Western Lifestylesbuy now


+ add your own
12:20PM PDT on May 31, 2014

Very good tips. I'm started limiting my out of house shopping trips to two a month, which helps a great deal. You'd be amazed what you can live without if you have to, and once you've done without it for a period of time, you figure out how to do without it forever often.

2:19AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

It would be nice to have a character counter so we could know when we are running out of space... :)

- As for pens, we keep only those which can be refilled. Even some free of promotional pens are refillable. Long ago, we used up and recycled those that weren't, and nowadays we have only 5-8 refillable pens around the house, and won't buy or accept one which isn'r refillable.

There always different ways to improve and I'm always looking for them! :)

2:18AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

I have to admit I have a hard time with the "refuse" part. I have no problem in refusing flyers and any piece of paper that is handed to me in the street. I signed to a list to reduce junk mail years ago (and it worked - we barely get junk mail any more). But I will always accept free samples or gifts, since I know they are going to be used and appreciated. I will use them myself or give them to friends. For people that lives on a low budget, even a free pen or cosmetic sample means a saving, so I won't refuse what I know I can use or give to another.

Here are some of my tips:

- I receive many imitation jewellery as "free with your purchase" gifts. Most times I have the chance to refuse it or exchange for a more interesting freebie, but, when I accept it, I give to my young students which are very fond of them (and this way, they won't risk to bring real, expensive jewelry to the school, when it can easily get lost or even stolen).

- Same applies to products I don't personally use. Many times I have got a free eye mask or eye liner, and I have handed it unopened to friends or older students. Recently I was offered some free coffee capsules. I don't have a capsule coffee- maker, but accepted them and gave them to a friend who has one.

- Pet food companies are usually fond of giving away samples or even full-sized products. It's been a long time since I haven't bought snacks for my dogs and cats, since I've been able to get them for free.

- As for pens, we ke

8:25AM PST on Jan 27, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

3:56AM PST on Nov 24, 2013

The start of loving our home and ourselves

12:41PM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Good to see details - I appreciate the addition of ROT for composting to the standard advice.

3:16AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Rrrrrrrr.....the R list is noted. Thanks!

3:12AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Like those ideas!

4:38AM PDT on Aug 10, 2013

Thanks for the tips; I do most of these already, but there's always room for improvement!

1:24PM PDT on Aug 8, 2013

Great tips!

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people are talking

Best way to recycle packing peanuts that I've seen. adorable.

not very surprising

Thank you for the info.

Spread a little happiness today please. Thank you.

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