Zero-waste is a big word. Becoming conscious about it isn’t enough. If you can’t apply what you learned in your life, it’s actually nothing. The problem is that most people don’t know where to start. Let’s take your first step to create a zero-waste home with these 10 super easy steps.

Zero-waste is about minimizing the amount of waste we send to landfills. By recycling, exchanging, buying durable goods, and upcycling, you can experience a zero-waste lifestyle. Besides, after a while, you’ll learn new practices. 

Step 1: How much waste do you produce a day? 

People produce 2 kg of waste in a day. So, observe your waste cycle. Too much packaging? Or plastic cups or plates? Paper? Food waste? This way, you’ll see clearly which one you need to reduce.

Step 2: Learn how to recycle

Unfortunately, not every plastic or cardboard can be recycled. That’s why find out which materials are recyclable or not.

Have waste bins

Put bins separately for your home’s food, plastic, paper, and glass waste. If your neighborhoods have recycling bins, you can put your recycled waste in these containers. If not, you can leave them near any waste bin. In some countries, workers collect these wastes. In this way, you can make their job easier. As a third way, some recycling companies and municipalities have services to collect from homes. 

Here are zero-waste examples instead of sending your waste to recycling bins: 

  • Use leftover fruit peels to make homemade jam.
  • Use lemon peel waste to remove oil.
  • Learn how to compost.

Step 3: Replace non-reusable items

First, finish the products that you already have in your home. Then, replace them with recyclable or reusable options. Research alternative products on the internet. If you find local ones, consider buying them. 

Step 4: Use less of everything

Companies want us to buy more of their products. That’s why they manipulate our brains through advertisements, media, etc. Firstly, you should learn to control yourselves. 

Before buying something, you can ask yourselves some questions: 

  • Do I really need it? 
  • Can I find it second-hand?
  • Can I borrow it?
  • Is this an ecological product?

Step 5: Use solid

You can switch to bar soap instead of liquid soap stored in plastic containers. Alternatively, you can also make liquid soap from bar soap. This way, you’ll eliminate the plastic boxes of ready-made liquid soaps.

Zero-waste home
An example of a zero-waste home. Photo by Sylvie Michel on Unsplash.

How should you choose eco-friendly cleaning products?

Cider vinegar, white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda work well in cleaning while preventing dangerous and useless chemicals.

Ok. You have two options. First, you can make homemade eco-friendly cleaning products. Or you can buy it from eco-friendly cleaning brands. Sure, homemade ones are more affordable, but some people can be busy. However, vinegar, lemon, and baking soda are enough and easy combinations for many cleaning.

Although branded products have eco-friendly ingredients, they use plastic for packaging because glass packaging affects the prices. You can have an idea by reading the “What do the numbers on plastic products mean?” article. 

Step 6: Avoid using plastic bags and bottles

Always keep a cloth bag when you’re out. Moreover, you can bring your cloth bags on your food shopping day (no matter the market or bazaar). By the way, bags don’t have to be “cloth”; you can reuse plastic bags many times. 

For tap water, you can use a purifier. In our home, we use Brita’s filtering jug and are happy. In addition, if you put ice in your thermos and add some water, you’ll have access to cold water throughout the day. At least, it works for us.

When going shopping:

  • Avoid produce wrapped in plastic
  • Support your local farmer

Step 7: Hello, zero waste period products

Do you know that tampons and pads are the fifth-biggest pollutant in the world? It’s time to switch to menstrual cups instead of traditional pads and tampons. It may be difficult initially, but you’ll be comfortable once you get used to it. Of course, you don’t have to use menstrual cups. Some people don’t like using them. So, consider buying reusable pads.

Step 8: Reduce food waste

Observe your food waste and calculate how much you need. Therefore, prepare a weekly meal plan and list before shopping. Besides, learn how to effective storage food to eliminate food waste.

Step: 9 Cook at home

Cooking at home is another way to reduce waste. Prepared and packaged foods, unfortunately, lead to a lot of packaging waste. Don’t panic. It’s understandable, you may want to order a pizza when you feel tired or are busy. However, some restaurants can be more sensitive about footprints and use eco-friendly packaging. Discover these restaurants near you. 

Step 10: Avoid using the tea bags

Most tea bags contain microplastics. Instead, brew up your tea. Hey, it takes just a couple of minutes. Still, insist on using tea bags. Consider buying cloth tea bags.

Step 11: Use digital instead of print

Printed documents waste paper and ink. Also, receipts are coated with BPA and BPS. To avoid these, opt for digital alternatives. For example, you can use digital invoices sent to your e-mail address instead of paper.

Step 12: Reuse or upcycle your clothes

You can donate or resell your old clothes. If they’re threadbare, turn them into cleaning clothes or cloth bags.

These are simple practices, but getting into the way of a zero-waste home lifestyle takes time. Just try them and do what you can. Learn. 

Changing habits means being honest with ourselves because the real pollutants come from big companies. However, our actions can pressure companies and governments to bring changes.

The 5-Rs of zero-waste principles

Refuse what you don’t need. 

Reduce what you need. 

Reuse items instead of disposing of them.

Recycle/Repair your possessions instead of buying new ones.

Rot (compost) the rest.