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.

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.




Stack of soap bars with sponge and bottles on light background

Photo by: 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.




Modern kitchen shelves with various food ingredients on white background

Photo by: 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.


Photo by: 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.

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