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Click the image below to listen to this segment of the Environmental Moment with tips about Zero-Waste:


What is Zero-Waste?

Zero-Waste is our goal to try to live by: to be as least wasteful as possible. Ultimately, we do not want to not send anything to the landfill. On average, each person creates 4.4 lbs of waste, but we can do better!

How Can We Go Zero-Waste?

One of the ways to start thinking about Zero-Waste is to go room by room in your house to eliminate any excess/waste. Think about what you use and throw away. Do you need to use it? Is there a better alternative? Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Kitchen
    • Food Waste: One of the biggest sources of waste is food. A large portion of all trash in the United States is made up of food waste: scraps, leftovers, and spoiled food. But you don't have to throw any of that in the trash: you can compost it. Composting allows the unused food to be turned into nutritious soil for plants and eliminates a large source of waste.

    • Plastic Bags: Did you know that you can recycle plastic bags? Grocery stores such as Kroger and Meijer have bins near the front door to accept plastic bags for recycling. Unfortunately, you cannot recycle plastic bags in your regular recycling bin at home--in fact, doing so can actually cause even more waste at the recycling plant because bags get tangled up in the equipment or take extra time to sort out from acceptable materials.

    • Trash Bags: A more sustainable alternative to plastic trash bags is biodegradable bags--trash bags that break down much faster and easier and reduce waste.

    • Saran Warp: A good way to cut into food waste is by storing and eating leftovers--but storing food can also be a source of waste due to materials like aluminum foil and saran wrap. But there are sustainable alternatives, including beeswax wrap. Beeswax wrap is reusable and made out of natural materials. 

  • Laundry Room
    • Dryer Sheets: Instead of using disposable, single-use dryer sheets, try using reusable wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls are made from a renewable source and are reusable. Not only do they help reduce static, they also help soften your clothes and make your towels fluffier.

    • Laundry Soap/Detergent: Look for soaps/detergents that come in reusable or recyclable containers and are produced sustainably. Some detergents are better than others when it comes to the environment. Look for eco-friendly products that are biodegradable or made from natural products. 

  • Bathroom
    • Toothpaste: Most toothpastes come in tubes that are not recyclable. But did you know that there is a sustainable alternative? Sustainably packaged toothpaste comes in pill form--each pill of toothpaste is the amount you need to brush your teeth; just add water! The bottle can be recycled or reused when you're finished. 

    • Shampoo/Conditioner/Soaps: While these bottles are usually recyclable, there is another step you can--bars. You can make or purchase bars of shampoo/conditioner/soap to use in the shower instead. And when you're finished, there is no packaging to worry about! You can find DIY tutorials on making your own bars online, or you can purchase them online or at a local store.

  • Other Resources

Living consciously is the best thing you can do! Keep trying: every little bit helps! 

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