Pro Tips: Small Ways to Reduce Waste at Home

The benefits of going trash-free are endless. Aside from the positive effects on the environment, you may also find yourself eating healthier, saving money and feeling great.

Related To:

Lauren Singer, author of Trash is for Tossers and devoted zero-waste advocate, shares her down-to-earth advice on a topic that may seem unattainable.

BEAUTY

682257672

682257672

Stack of soap bars with sponge and bottles on light background

Photo by: iStock/tashka2000

iStock/tashka2000

One of the biggest worries when it comes to waste reduction is how to incorporate a typical beauty routine into a trash-free lifestyle. Fortunately, there are more options than you might think. Use washcloths instead of makeup removing wipes, and use bar soaps instead of shower gels in plastic bottles. Opt for products with reusable or recyclable packaging. Lush Cosmetics has a variety of organic toiletry items that can be purchased package-free. Also, consider making your own soaps or visiting the local farmer's market.

When it comes to makeup, there are a host of products available that come in packaging that is completely recyclable, too. Lauren recommends a brand of makeup called Kjaer Weis because it comes in refillable packaging.

FOOD

638547578

638547578

Modern kitchen shelves with various food ingredients on white background

Photo by: iStock/didecs

iStock/didecs

Grocery shopping trash-free can be daunting, but one of the best, unexpected perks of the lifestyle is that it keeps you away from the temptation of processed foods that come in plastic packaging. You can use small, cotton bags or glass jars for items like nuts and honey and bring your own bags for fresh veggies. Also, consider investing in large, canvas tote bags to bring your groceries home instead of using plastic grocery bags.

CLEANING

Photo by: iStock

iStock

When it comes to trash-free cleaning, vinegar is the name of the game. Use vinegar combined with other household ingredients you likely already have, like oranges and herbs. Plus, all-natural cleaning products mean you don't have to worry about the harmful effects of chemical fumes. Just store them in glass jars, and use them around the house as needed. Lauren says she uses Castille soap for lots of cleaning needs, as well. Click here for a how-to video with helpful recipes for DIY cleaning products.

On her blog, Lauren says it's important to remember that switching to a zero-waste lifestyle takes time. Don't fret if you don't have the money to invest into making the switch overnight.

More Pro Tips

Learn new habits that'll make a positive impact on the environment (and save money, too).

Try a No-Waste Life
Keep Reading

Next Up

Quick and Dirty: Sustainable Landscaping Made Simple

These sustainable ideas are cheap and easy, whether you have acres of land or a few patio plants.

Sustainable Landscape Design

Sustainable landscaping pairs plants that benefit each other – and you.

10 Ways to Green Your Garden for Earth Day

Creating a more eco-friendly garden is easy. Try these simple ideas for celebrating Earth Day by creating a more sustainable yard.

Keyhole Gardening Tips

Try this inexpensive, green solution to growing food in drought-prone terrain.

Sustainability Drives Kitchen Remodel

A Seattle couple minimizes waste by finding ways to reuse materials throughout their kitchen.

What Is Permaculture?

Find out about this holistic approach to sustainable growing.

4 All-Natural Vinegar Cleaners That Smell Good + Work Hard

Infuse vinegar with fruits, herbs and more to make safe, scented cleaners for the entire house.

Stop Buying Cleaning Sprays (Really!) With 3 All-Natural Swaps You Can DIY

Ditch the chemicals with these easy-to-make, all-natural versions of cleaners you use on the reg.

Three 3-Ingredient Cleaners You Can Make in Seconds

Safer, cheaper and just as clean. And you're still buying cleaner, why?

Three 3-Ingredient Cleaners for the Whole House

You'll say bye-bye to store-bought cleaners once you give our all-natural, three-ingredient versions a try. 

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.