5 Simple Zero Waste Options

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fruit arranged in a rainbow on a shelf
Photo: @zerowastehome

In honor of Plastic Free July, we’re dedicating this post to a few small changes you can make this month to help save the planet. You can learn more at www.plasticfreejuly.org and on Instagram @plasticfreejuly

When it comes to living a zero waste life, we’re a work in progress. We’d like to think that we’ll never throw away another piece of plastic and that our homes will always be perfectly eco-friendly. But unfortunately, that is way harder than it seems (as many of you may know!).

While perfection is unlikely, it doesn’t mean we can’t do our best and try hard every day to make responsible choices. Of course, there are things you can do in other areas of your life, but for this post, we’re just going to focus on simple changes you can make in your kitchen.

Switch To Glass

glass jars for reusable food storage and a zero waste kitchen
Photo: @thrivingonplants

We discussed this briefly in our post about food waste last week, and it’s really a pretty easy switch that doesn’t have to cost much. Recycling food jars is a win win, although if you want a more aesthetic look, we love these clamp-lid jars. And when a jar isn’t the right shape and you need a square container, we’re big fans of the Good Grips line from The Container Store.

Since switching to glass containers and thinking ahead, we’ve been able to a stop using plastic bags for any kind of food storage.

Avoid Plastic In The Produce Section

This may seem obvious but one very simple way to cut down on single use plastic is to take advantage of reusable produce bags. Most groceries stores are more than accommodating and this one change can make a big difference! Additionally, try to avoid produce that is packaged in plastic. We’ve recently seen things like peppers, kiwis and apples in plastic bags or boxes and by choosing to buy them loose and in bulk you will be making a statement with your money.

zero waste mesh reusable produce bags
Reusable produce bags from The Container Store

Switch To A Reusable Water Bottle

Ok, this is not an earth-shattering piece of advice, and yet we still see single use bottles of water everywhere! Always commit to carrying a reusable bottle with you – when you walk out of your house, when you’re working out, when you’re in your car, and when you’re at work. Challenge yourself to give up single use beverage bottles of all types for a week, then a month, then a year. This is such a simple step to living a zero waste lifestyle!

Give Up To-Go Boxes

This one may be a bit harder to implement. Not because it’s difficult or expensive but because it may make you feel a bit uncomfortable. But how many times have you gone out to eat only to end up with a to-go box made of plastic, styrofoam or a cardboard box lined with plastic? With a little forethought, you can completely eliminate the need for any of those options. We recommend a divided container to keep any leftovers separate. If you’re concerned about carrying glass around, a metal tiffin box might be more to your liking.

metal tiffin lunch box for reusable food storage
Metal Tiffin Lunch Box

Kick The K Cup Habit

We know, we know. You love your K Cup coffee. We do too. They’re so convenient, the flavors are amazing, and the little pods look so nice all color coded in your drawer. Yeaaaaah. The problem is that even if you can recycle number 5 (a lot of areas don’t), you still have to go through several steps to get your pods acceptable for the landfill.

A simple fix is to buy a reusable filter. Granted, you may have to adjust your flavor assortment, but even if you save the pods for special occasions (like Saturday mornings) you could still cut your use of pods significantly by using your filter.

zero waste quote
Photo: @zero.waste.collective

As we said at the beginning, our zero waste journey is nowhere near perfect. We can still make improvements in so many areas of our lives but we try our best to live and buy intentionally. That being said, we fully recognize that everyone’s circumstances are different. We hope that the simple steps we’ve outlined are accessible to everyone and that you can implement them in your life.