Zero- waste products

Conservation, zero waste and sustainability—OH MY!

Talk of climate change and the amount of waste we create has fostered a level of fear, much like what Dorothy experienced during the tornado in the Wizard of Oz. But rather than worrying about lions, tigers, and bears, the stakes seem even greater given the fact that we are not only concerned with saving ourselves, but the planet we share with billions of others.

Realistically speaking, there is little chance that we will ever be able to live completely waste-free. That said, there are many ways in key parts of our homes and lives, where we can get as close as possible to zero- waste status.

Conserving in The Kitchen
We spend a good deal of time in our kitchens, cooking, cleaning, and preparing meals. And considering how much garbage we dispose of while performing these tasks, perhaps we ought do things a little differently when we are in the kitchen.

  • Create a composting system in which food waste is used as a nutrient-rich, soil conditioner rather than throwing away fruit and vegetable refuse.
  • Boil and puree vegetable scraps such as celery leaves and cabbage cores, and use them either as a thick broth or base for another dish. 
  • Use real cutlery, plates, cups, and bowls rather than plasticware. 
  • Store spices, coffee, tea, sugar and the like, in reusable glass containers.

Decreasing Decor 

Whether creating a festive, holiday environment or wrapping a birthday gift, there are a number of creative, natural, and innovative ways of celebrating your holidays and loved ones.

  • Instead of buying rolls of plastic coated wrapping paper, present gifts in a cloth bag or decorative box that can be used again. 
  • Create unique decorations made from materials found in nature, and save money at the same time. 
  • Alternately, buy sturdy, even pricey decorations that you will be able to reuse year after year. 
  • Create an ornament swap with friends that allows you to try out others’ decorations. Then imagine celebrations that are both unique and communal at the same time! 
  • Use newspapers or grocery store circulars as gift wrapping paper. While you will end up throwing the papers out eventually, you can at the very least get a few uses out of them first. 

Reducing Resources 
Natural resources are in high demand no matter where you live, what you do professionally, and how mindful you are of waste. Reality dictates that we regularly use water, energy, air, and gas, in addition to other types of resources. While we cannot avoid using them, there are indeed ways we can enjoy them more judiciously.

  • Turn off the water when it is not actually being used, especially when you wash the dishes, shower, or brush your teeth. You can soap up the dishes and then wash them, turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth, and even turn off the water when lathering your hair and body. 
  • Walk when you can and carpool when you cannot, rather than driving everywhere. That will save gas and minimize air pollution. 
  • Save electricity by turning lights off when you are not using them. 
  • Unplug electronics such as computers, cell phones, other devices  when they are fully charged. 
  • Use dishwashers and washing machines only when they are full in order to prevent water waste.
  • Use LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs rather than incandescent ones, as they last longer by requiring less power, allowing you to save money because you are not replacing them as often. 

Living in a zero-waste world encourages us to engage in ingenuity, time management, and planetary mindfulness. The good news is that being creative does not have to break the bank. The even better news though is that we are truly all in this together.


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