Tips for Getting Started with Zero Waste:
☆ Do a home audit!
Start by looking in your trash and recycle bins. What do you see the most of? What can be reduced or eliminated to save time, money and resources?
☆ Small steps add up!
It is easy to get overwhelmed. Set attainable goals. In the beginning, this might look like one step per month, and that's ok! Zero waste is not about perfection or keeping all your trash in a mason jar. Do what you can as you can. Those small steps add up to real change!
☆ Eliminate single-use disposables!
Want to quickly see cost savings for your household? Eliminate bottled water, plastic ware, zip top plastic bags, paper towels and similar items. Replace them with reusable alternatives. Ordering takeout? Just say “No!” to plastic utensils and napkins.
☆ Use what you have!
You don't have to buy new to achieve zero waste. Use up products and tools you already have. When those are gone or are no longer useful, consider if they need to be replaced. If so, be intentional with their replacements by choosing durable, plastic-free options.
Kitchen towels looking sad? They can have a second life as cleaning cloths! Empty glass food jar? Before recycling, turn it into an on-the-go cup for water or cold brew, a food storage container, or even a planter. Odd silverware pieces? Wrap them up in a cloth and stash in your bag, bike or vehicle for plastic-free options when away from home.
Look for refill stations and bulk bins in your community to refill household essentials, body care products, food and beverages. Refilling containers you already have reduces plastic pollution and can save money!
Did you find food scraps during your self-audit? If you're not ready to tackle home composting, check for community composters in your area. An easier first step is collecting food scraps in a bowl or container and storing in your fridge or freezer until pick up or drop off can happen. This eliminates a lot of the "yuck" from your garbage can AND keeps methane-making organics out of landfills.
☆ Get involved!
Our individual actions make a difference, but we also need smart policies from our elected officials. Find a few organizations fighting for environmental justice and plastic pollution solutions that you respect and trust. They can help you make educated decisions when voting (especially locally) and help you know when to use your voice and call representatives.
Zero Waste is a journey. You've got this!
Learn more about SustainLA