101 Easy Eco Friendly, Zero Waste Tips

I thought it would be a lot of fun to compose over 100 easy tips for going zero waste that you could implement relatively quickly. You might not be able to implement all of the today, but you can definitely get a jump start on a lot! 

101 easy eco friendly, zero waste tips that you can implement today! From www.goingzerowaste.com

A lot of these things are SUPER easy to do, it just takes a little bit of commitment. Obviously, you don't have to do everything on this list. Going zero waste is a journey, and a lot of times there is more than one option.

There is no one correct way to do something. Rather there is a multitude of ways ranging from best to better to not so good. Weigh all of your options and be a conscious consumer. Reducing your consumption is the most important thing you can do.

But, in the meantime, pick a couple of things and give something new a try! You have to start somewhere. And, don't let only being able to do a little prevent you from doing anything. All the little things add up to massive impact! 

Every day we have a choice to make this world a little wasteful. What can you do today?

  1. Ask for no straw in your drink order when out. 
  2. Don't leave your house without a full reusable water bottle.
  3. Ditch tissues for handkerchiefs. 
  4. Pick up a lonely banana.
  5. Always say no thank you to free promotional items. They tend to be cheap and break easily.
  6. Get a library card to support your local sharing economy. 
  7. Donate unused items in good condition to support the second-hand market. 
  8. Think second-hand first when purchasing something.
  9. Try elderberry syrup if you feel a cold coming on instead of immediately reaching for a plastic pill bottle. 
  10. Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush.
  11. Turn old sheets and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, and cloth produce bags. 
  12. Build a zero waste kit and put in the trunk of your car or carry it with you when you'll be out so you'll always be prepared. It doesn't have to be large just a few items!
  13. Wash clothes when they are actually dirty, instead of after only one wear. 
  14. Open a window to cool down your home or air it out. 
  15. Try to avoid palm oil.
  16. Buy food without packaging or minimal packaging
  17. Instead of buying something when you're having a bad day, do something. I.e. go on a walk, take a yoga class, meet up with a friend. 
  18. Repurpose stale bread
  19. Make dry shampoo to stretch between washes.
  20. Surround yourself with items that serve multiple purposes to streamline and cut excess junk.
  21. Commit to bringing your reusable bags to the store. If you don't have them, turn around and go get them! After forgetting them once, you won't do it again. 
  22. Try canning to preserve food
  23. Use bar soap instead of liquid soap, it tends to come with less packaging. 
  24. Swap disposable pads and tampons for cloth pads or a menstrual cup. 
  25. Change light bulbs to LEDs. 
  26. Be mindful when using technology
  27. Bring reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies. 
  28. Put on a sweater and socks before turning up the heat. 
  29. Turn the water off while brushing your teeth. 
  30. Don't buy anything impulsively! 
  31. Try making your own lotion
  32. Check out your farmers market.
  33. Make your own face mask from stuff in your pantry. 
  34. Try cloth diapering
  35. Get some houseplants at a local nursery to purify your air, don't forget to return the little plastic pots! 
  36. Get rid of pests naturally. 
  37. Meal plan to avoid food waste.
  38. Unplug electronics when not in use. 
  39. Try making tooth powder to avoid unrecyclable toothpaste tubes. 
  40. Buy more locally made goods. 
  41. Repair something when it breaks.
  42. If you're looking for a specialty item, like camping gear or an extra table for a party, ask a friend if you can borrow one before making a purchase. 
  43. Plant a small garden.
  44. Learn how to freeze your food without plastic so it doesn't go to waste. 
  45. Make your own febreze spray to freshen your room for pennies! 
  46. Start a backyard compost.
  47. Swap little plastic chapstick tubes for DIY lip balm.
  48. Surround yourself with tools and items that are meant to last a lifetime. Try to only buy objects once. 
  49. Try your hand at an easy all-purpose cleaning spray
  50. Look into collecting rainwater or a greywater system. 
  51. Store your food properly to make it last longer.
  52. Find your local cobbler to repair tired shoes.
  53.  Know where everything you buy comes from whether it be food, clothing, or other household goods
  54. Ask for no plastic and reused packaging materials for online orders
  55. Pack your lunch instead of eating out every day. 
  56. Reduce your meat consumption. If you're not ready to go vegetarian start small: try Meatless Monday, weekday vegetarian, or even weekday vegan. 
  57. Learn to regrow kitchen scraps
  58. Line dry a load instead of using the dryer. 
  59. Try homemade mouthwash
  60. Ditch plastic shower loofahs for a real loofah or a bamboo bath brush
  61. Ask for a real mug at the coffee shop when staying in.
  62. Always run a full dishwasher or load of clothes. 
  63. Most sunscreen causes coral bleaching, go coral friendly!
  64. Bring your own container for to-go food and leftovers. 
  65. Ditch paper towels and use tea towels and rags. 
  66. Beware of greenwashing, always do your research. 
  67. Make your own deodorant.
  68. If it's a 30 minute or less walk, get outside instead of driving. 
  69. Vote with your dollars for a sustainable future. 
  70. Bring your own to-go cup when getting coffee on the run. 
  71. Look into tree-free TP. 
  72. Learn how to repair a button or hem to extend the life of your clothing. 
  73. Look into rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. 
  74. Serve dinner with cloth napkins. 
  75. Eat more vegetables and legumes. 
  76. Keep a bucket in the shower to water plants or flush the toilet. 
  77. Wrap presents in newsprint or not at all! 
  78. Swap cotton rounds for reusable rounds
  79. Focus on experiences rather than things. 
  80. Switch from a plastic disposable razor to a metal safety razor. 
  81. Wash your clothes in cold water when you can. 
  82. Make homemade gifts to give to friends and family. 
  83. Try Wheatless Wednesdays to cut back on intensive grain farming.  
  84. Avoid junk mail by placing a sticker on your box or going to dmachoice.org
  85. Keep a stocked pantry to avoid getting takeout on busy nights. 
  86. Learn where to properly dispose of items like gift cards, old cell phones, batteries and unusable cords can be turned in at best buy etc.
  87. Find your local tailor to help with clothing repairs. 
  88. Ask yourself if you truly need it before making any purchases. 
  89. Go paperless for all your bills! 
  90. Swap don't shop! Host a clothing swap with friends. 
  91. Pick up litter when you're out and dispose of it properly. 
  92. Make your morning cup of coffee with a french press or pour over with a reusable filter to avoid extra waste. 
  93. Ditch plastic q-tips for plastic-free or reusable
  94. Ditch sponges in lieu of compostable scrubs or brushes
  95. Try to shrink the amount you recycle. Zero waste is about recycling less not more. 
  96. Use both sides of the paper! 
  97. Avoid receipts when out, ask if one has to be printed. Sometimes they do, but not always! 
  98. Take public transit if available or carpool. 
  99. Join a community garden. 
  100. Swap tea bags for loose leaf tea in a reusable strainer. 
  101. Make my favorite zero waste switch: look at installing a bidet attachment

Are there any zero waste tips I left out? What would add to the list or tell someone who's just starting the zero waste journey? 

This post may contain affiliate linking you can read more on my disclosure page. Thank you for your support.

What's in a zero waster's bag!?

This post was crafted with Pela Case

What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com

What do zero waster's carry in their bag? Depending on the day this can drastically change, but this is what you'll find in my bag 90% of the time. 

I go to work Monday-Friday, so this is the best look at what I have on me. Specifically on Tuesdays, because sometimes I'll stop at the store on the way home from work. There's a teeny-tiny bulk section full of all the necessities... like rice, oats, quinoa, and chocolate! 

the bag itself: 

I've had this bag a long time! In fact, when I first started blogging I wrote a tag post about it. It was a lot of fun. 

What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com

This isn't the most fashionable bag in the world. I would love to find one that would function as a bag in all/most situations. One that's not as casual. I've been looking for a year, but I've yet to find anything. 

One thing I've learned in this zero waste journey is to settle for nothing. Always wait for the perfect item to come along. It's out there somewhere. 

cloth napkin and cloth bulk bags: 

Cloth napkins have so many uses. I wrote a great post about how waste can be prevented in almost every situation with a cloth napkin and a 16oz mason jar. 

What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com

I always keep a cloth napkin in my bag for work. I typically eat a snack and lunch while there. I don't keep cloth napkins at work, but I do keep other reusables like forks, plates, and mugs etc. 

I really like these organic cloth draw string bags. They're small, but the perfect size to bring home veggies or large bulk items like chocolate covered almonds or just regular almonds. 

a 16 oz mason jar: 

This item is so versatile. I typically tote a green smoothie in one for breakfast. I'll wash it at work and drink water out of it throughout the day. If I'm going out with friends after work I can get drinks, coffee, or tea to go.  

a wallet: 

I don't know of many people that don't carry a wallet around with them. This is mine. It was a present a couple of years ago from my grandmother, and I love it. 

What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com

Before I went off to my first professional acting gig in PA, she gave me this tiny card with an angel pin on it. She said it was my guardian angel. I keep it with me to remind me of her. She is definitely one of my personal heroes. I'll try not to get too sappy, but I love her very much. 

I also keep compostable business cards with me. You can see from the back, it says to plant them. There are also all sorts of ideas to reduce your trash and waste on the back of each one. Business cards aren't perfect, but sometimes necessary. 

cell phone: 

I am on my cell phone far too often for social media purposes. But, I do love getting to keep in touch with all of my followers. If you aren't following me on twitter, insta, youtube, pinterest, or facebook you totally should! I write new content on each platform. 

I was struggling to find an eco case for my phone. Especially because my phone is old! I have a 5c from almost 5 years ago. I'm so thankful Pela Case reached out to me, and didn't give me a hard time for having a dinosaur of a phone.

I plan on keeping this phone as long as possible. Keeping true to that zero waste mentality. Pela is an awesome company! I drop my phone a lot. A LOT so having a sturdy phone case is must for me! 

What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com

Not only are their cases super sturdy, they're made from a waste by-product. They're made with flax straw waste. They're compostable when they're at the end of their life. But, before that, you can send the phone cases back where they'll turn them into yoga mats or flip flops! Which is so awesome!

We need more companies to think about the full lifespan of their product in every stage of it's life. And, I really want one of their yoga mats. If you're in the market for a new phone case, I would definitely give Pela a look. 

lunch:

My favorite part of the day! Lunch, lunch, lunch. If you want to know how to pack a zero waste lunch or looking for some quick easy zero waste lunch ideas check out this post

Today I have veggie stir fry in a two-tiered tiffin. These tiffins are the perfect size! 

What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com
What's in my bag? What does a zero waster carry with them on an almost daily basis to avoid trash and waste while out? Find out at www.goingzerowaste.com

This is what I normally keep in my bag on a daily basis! What do you keep in your bag that helps you fight waste? 

*This post may contain affiliate linking you can read more on my disclosure page. Thank you for your support.

Interdietary Relationships: How to Cook for Different Dietary Restrictions

You're a vegetarian, your partner was raised meat and potatoes (and not changing anytime soon), your son has a peanut allergy and your daughter is allergic to dairy. How do accommodate all of these different dietary restrictions without losing your mind? 

What if you're a vegetarian and you significant other eats meat? What if you or your kids have an allergy? You don't have to make separate meals. Learn how to streamline meal planning and how to cook for different dietary restrictions or what I like to call interdietary relationships from www.goingzerowaste.com

How do you do it without cooking four different meals? Which sounds absolutely exhausting by the way. I could definitely see the appeal of eating out, but man that would get expensive.

Plus you really wouldn't have control of what you were eating or the amount of waste being produced. Growing up allergic to dairy and now not eating meat, I have always had dietary restrictions. 

Justin is a pretty picky eater. He was raised meat and potatoes, and I avoid meat and dairy. As you can see, we have a dietary gap. 

related: The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

Sitting down to a shared meal is something very important to me. Eating good, wholesome food is really important to me too. I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen making two separate meals, so I had to learn how to make us both happy, full, and nourished. 

That is something I refuse to compromise on... so here it is the ONE and only rule for making interdietary relationships work effortlessly.

It's so simple. After you read it, you're going to be like, "Why is this so obvious!? Why haven't I implemented this before?" 

"the base of the meal should be something you both can eat, garnish with preference." 

Boom.

Life changing.

No lie.

I have a list of a whole bunch of meals we both like on my five-minute meal plan post. Which you should definitely check out. (It's a completely different way to meal plan based on frequency of cravings.)

related: Dating with Lifestyle Differences

1. agree on flavor preference:   

Justin doesn't particularly like Indian or Thai food. I LOVE both especially because they so easily lend themselves to vegetarian and dairy free. He prefers Italian and American food. Both of those are very dairy and meat heavy. 

But, we can always meet in the middle over Mexican food. It's definitely tex mex, but why does this combo work so well? 

2. use the same base:

It works so well because our main components of the cuisine are the same. We can both agree on beans, rice, and tortillas. 

3. garnish with preference: 

Here's where you get to be creative. Let's say we're making tacos. I'll sautee some bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and garlic in the skillet. After they've finished, I'll add in some ground beef and sprinkle with a little bit of cheese.

Justin will get a little bit of veggies, the meat and the cheese. I'll get a WHOLE bunch of veggies. Just the way I like it. We'll both top with plenty of guac and salsa.

We both have something we love to eat in a timely manner. Sometimes, I bring out the big 15" skillet and do half and half on the skillet to save time.  

4. other examples:

Here's a list of some other things we like to make if you're looking for inspiration. 

Spaghetti is the easiest. We can easily agree on a base of sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and garlic. Add parm and a little ground beef for him. 

Chicken parm for him and eggplant parm (without the parm) for me! The same steps are happening with the breading, frying, and saucing. It only takes probably a minute more to slice the eggplant. 

We both love fried rice. It can easily be packed full of veggies. We both like eggs, so this is perfect for us.

Sometimes, you find really great recipes that work for everyone, but it's not a dealbreaker if you don't.

By using this method and changing garnishes, you're not severely limiting yourself to only the recipes you both like. If that were the case, we'd eat nothing but PB&J and fried rice. 

It's not that Justin has to have meat or dairy, but it can be difficult to find recipes that he really likes that don't involve those ingredients. 

By making the same bases and changing the garnishes, we're eating a fuller diet. He's eating more vegetables and less meat and dairy. Which is great for the environment and our health. Wins all the way around! 

Are you in an interdietary relationship? What are some of the meals you can agree on?