Where to find plastic free, zero waste home essentials

It seems a little counter-intuitive, but for many people setting up a zero waste home requires buying or somehow acquiring a few new items. You might have been relying on plastic or disposable items and in order to reduce your trash, reusable alternatives need to be found. Everyone’s trash output is different. Look inside your trash bin and see what kinds of things you are throwing away and find reusable alternatives or ways to avoid those things.

For me, I first needed reusable cloth “un paper” towels and cloth napkins, glass food storage containers, reusable “going out” items like utensils and straws and cloth bags to use for produce and buying items from the bulk/loose bins. While I did have to buy some new things, these tools and products are “essentials” in my mind, and will be used for years.

Where to buy plastic free home goods

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Refill options means less plastic in the landfills

Why we need refill options everywhere

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for We Want Refill but I only share products and campaigns I really believe in.  Since committing to a low-waste home, I’ve often dreamed of a time when everyone, everywhere has access to good bulk and refillable options. Imagine walking in to any supermarket, grocery store or co-op and bringing your reusable container to a refill station to fill … Continue reading Why we need refill options everywhere

Bring your own reusable straw and protective case by StrawSleeves

Reduce Your Trash with StrawSleeves

I realized early on in my journey to be more environmentally conscious that single-use plastics are one of the biggest hazards to our planet. From plastic bags at the grocery store to a plastic cup at the coffee shop, we’re offered single-use plastics regularly. Seriously, back off, plastic pushers!

80% of all marine debris found in the ocean is land based, and 80-90% of the marine debris is made from plastic (source.) Not only that, single-use plastics aren’t actually that necessary in our daily lives. Plastics can be really cool and have some innovative and incredible uses in the medical field, etc. A single-use plastic cup that I can easily avoid by bringing my own jar/mug/cup isn’t one of those “excellent uses.” Far, far from it.

One of the biggest culprits of beach and ocean trash is plastic straws. Straws are a nice way to drink a beverage but there’s no need to accept a plastic straw. They are resource-intensive to produce, are used for a few minutes, and then become a burden on the planet and harm marine life. The solution is wonderfully simple: Bring your own straw!

If you don’t think bringing your own straw will make a difference to the planet, consider this: In the United States alone, we discard 500 million straws A DAY. It seems like that number is too big, but imagine how many coffee shops are in every city and town in America and how many of them offer a plastic straw with nearly every beverage. U.S. consumption of plastic disposable straws would fill Yankee Stadium 9 times a year.

Every time you choose to do something nice for the earth, it’s a good choice. No matter how small it might seem.

how to avoid trash on the go

StrawSleeves is a lovely shop and, I’ve found, a great resource for information about plastic pollution and practical, easy ways to avoid it. I’ve been following StrawSleeves on Instagram for a while and I appreciate seeing the information they share and the photos of their products “in the wild” showcasing individuals across the globe choosing to bring their own reusable items.

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Zero Waste Baby Led Weaning

Baby led weaning (BLW) is a slightly odd phrase I’ve never gotten over but it basically refers to letting your baby (6 months + but please talk to your pediatrician for individualized recommendations) eat solids right away. You side-step the puree phase. It’s baby-led eating versus a parent using a spoon to feed the baby. For expert advice on this subject, refer to this excellent book … Continue reading Zero Waste Baby Led Weaning

family living zero waste, zero trash with kids

One year of living zero waste

In some ways it’s impossible for me to look back at a full 12 months of time passing and distill my zero waste/trash free learnings into black and white words. I am a different person now than I was at the beginning of 2016. My family has completely embraced the changes we’ve made to drastically reduce our household trash, but our journey to understanding and … Continue reading One year of living zero waste

tips for zero trash waste

Tough love: The 5 easiest ways to reduce your waste right now

There are aspects of drastically reducing your personal garbage that frankly take some coordination and dedication to the cause. I know that for some, the whole idea of “zero trash” might make you want to stop before you even begin. …Wait! Come back! Instead of starting with the hardest thing for you – I’m sure you can easily conjure up what this is in your life – … Continue reading Tough love: The 5 easiest ways to reduce your waste right now

c section minimalist zero waste birth hospital bag packing list

Minimal and Zero Waste Hospital Birth Bag Packing List: Gentle C-Section Edition

Here’s what I packed and will bring with me to the hospital for my gentle c-section with my second baby. I realize there are a lot of labels on this post (“minimalism” “zero waste” “gentle”), but they all give some insight as to why I packed my bag this way. This list is focused on zero waste or low-waste and being minimal, since that’s my current … Continue reading Minimal and Zero Waste Hospital Birth Bag Packing List: Gentle C-Section Edition

10 ways to have an eco-friendly, zero waste holiday

Tis the season for festive fun, parties, spending time with family and friends and trying to bring lots of light and spirit to a dark cold season. It’s also the season to produce more trash than ever! Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans (and I’m sure this applies to other countries as well) contribute an astounding amount of trash to landfills. Specifically, during December, the US produces … Continue reading 10 ways to have an eco-friendly, zero waste holiday

how to throw a zero waste, garbage free kids birthday party

Zero Waste Kids’ Birthday Party

I recently threw my daughter a small party to celebrate her 2nd birthday. Here are a few details about that party alongside more ideas to help you reduce trash and be more eco-friendly at your next celebration. Aim to do the best you can without getting more stressed than necessary. Sure, push yourself to make great choices but also let it slide if you’re unable … Continue reading Zero Waste Kids’ Birthday Party

I’m quitting the jar (sort-of)

Having a visual representation of trash we produce can be powerful and compelling. It can showcase just how much trash is produced by a single person or action, as is the case with these examples: 1 million disposable cups – the amount used by airline flights in the US every six hours Rob Greenfield wore his trash around NYC for 30 days A local Vermont student … Continue reading I’m quitting the jar (sort-of)