18 tips for low waste living

By: Dayna Jackson

Life is fast-paced! Part of our low waste revolution includes slowing down and making choices, setting priorities, and not having everything the day before we want it.

Here’s a list of investments to ease the transition into low waste living:

  1. A water bottle.
  2. Chopsticks or utensil of choice: You’ll be surprised at how many things you can shovel into your gaping mouth hole with two sticks.
  3. A container: If you’re going out to eat, bring a container for your leftovers. Some restaurants offer discounts for this initiative, and if they don’t, please suggest it. I’ve received only compliments anytime I’ve done this so get ready to feel like the King/Queen that you are!

COVID dependant pro-tip: Use a container to buy cheese and meats at delis.

  1. Bulk containers: Dish soap, shampoo, hand/body soap bars, dry goods, beans, spices, nuts, condiments, tofu, dips, spreads, cheese, etc. Ask your local grocery store to stock options you wish to see. The beauty of bulk is that you can buy a little and see if you like it or not. If that isn’t a YOLO move, I don’t know what is.
  2. (COVID dependant) Mesh bulk bags: Use em’ for fruits and veg, for bread from bakeries, for bulk nuts, pretzels, and corn nuts, for chocolate covered almonds and candy, for flour, cocoa powder, and spices, etc.
  3. Fruits and veggies not wrapped in plastic: You just tried chard for the first time, and it was great? That was easy.
  4. Recycled toilet paper: Le duh. And less of it!
  5. Organic food: My mom always says, “Pay for it now or pay for it later.” It’s worth every cent knowing you’re feeding your body to the best of your abilities. I spend about $400 on high-quality organic groceries every month which is about $13/day, for 3 meals and countless snacks (I’m a big, hungry, active gal)! Good luck beating that with 7/11 grab and go’s.
  6. Food from farmers, if you can: support local, eat in season, reduce transportation.
  7. Pick textiles carefully: Share clothes or do thrifty shops. When buying new, pay some attention to the materials used and opt for hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester (made from water bottles), etc.
  8. “Crystal Wash” or “Eco Egg”: Reusable laundry balls can be used for up to +1000 washes and work out to as low as $1-$4/year for about 30 years of clean clothes if you do laundry once a week (but you don’t cause you nasty). I have yet to try Tru Earth detergent strips which seem like a lovely alternative.
  9. Freeze your own food: Homemade burgers, sauces, corn, berries, bananas.Pro-tip: peel and chop bananas, freeze, remove and blend with cocoa powder and maple syrup, SHAZAM you made yourself a healthy ice cream
  10. Make broth from scraps: Keep scraps from onion, garlic, carrot, celery, pepper, and tomato without the tops, herbs, bones, and more in the freezer and make a huge batch of free broth which is shelf-stable when properly pressure cooked. Or can and keep them in the fridge
  11. Walk, bike, and use public transportation: I promise your ass will be so firm!
  12. Wrap gifts in old paper, newspaper, tax paper, whatever paper, just please stop with the wrapping paper.
  13. Read the resin code: A. Find out what numbers can and cannot be recycled in your community. B. Avoid products wrapped in plastics not accepted in your local recycling program. Buying in glass jars is always best if possible. Wash EVERYTHING before recycling, ALWAYS, like no exceptions, sister.
  14. Read and understand the ingredients: Boycott Monsanto and Nestle by stepping away from the high fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch and say goodbye to the palm oil if it’s not RSPO while you’re at it. We talk about these super corporations destroying our planet yet we keep buying their products. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is.

BONUS

  1. Set aside one day a week to GYLT: “Get Your Life Together.” Seriously y’all: do your laundry, meal prep, make homemade snacks and food, read a book, call a loved one. Slow down, make choices, and set priorities.

Though most importantly, just keep trying, failing, and learning. Know that you are amazing for even reading to the end of this list.

Zero Waste: An Inspiring Journey

How it all started

If you ask my family and friends back East to describe me when I was younger in one word, they would say green, Lyne the green girl. 

In 1995, I studied ecological waste management. I worked for a Montreal Ecosociety and my job was to help businesses on Mont-Royal street reduce their waste. I was mostly introducing recycling as it was a new concept for everyone. If you ask my family and friend at that time they would say: green with a grunt, as they were resisting recycling.

Many years later, I saw a video of a mother holding a glass jar, claiming this was the family garbage for one year. Uh…I was completely puzzled. How could this even BE possible? The woman didn’t inspire me that day but a zero waste seed stayed in me. It was now me, the green girl, resisting a new concept.

Later, I saw many disturbing videos about tons of plastic floating in the ocean, animals dying, filled with or caught up in plastic, beaches covered in plastic. I cried. I felt how big the problem was. I HAD to have less plastic in my family life. I decided to start the zero waste journey along with creating this blog. This is where the fun began!

WHAT IS ZERO WASTE?

Zero Waste is rethinking the way we do things. Yep! That’s it! Continue reading “Zero Waste: An Inspiring Journey”