Have you been wondering how to do your little bit toward the environment? Now you can go eco-friendly in simple ways. A zero-waste lifestyle aims to reduce garbage and instead incorporate all ‘waste’ back into nature. This directly reduces the load in landfills that are filling up fast with toxic waste. Keep reading to find out the 106 best zero waste lifestyle tips & products to save the landfills.
What is a zero-waste lifestyle?
Ideally, in nature, there is no waste. However, ever since humans created materials like plastic, it has become incredibly difficult to incorporate them back into nature. But a zero-waste lifestyle aims to do the impossible by reducing toxic waste by re-using, recycling, and upcycling products back into the cycle of resources until the optimum level of consumption is reached.
Not only does this reduce waste and pollution, but also reduces the costs of raw materials. By adopting the zero-waste lifestyle, you could be securing a future with more resources and greener earth for your children and future generations. This article will be a perfect guide to getting started on this journey.
How to get started with a zero-waste lifestyle?
Start your journey by learning the principles of the zero waste movement online and take small steps towards the big move. You can begin by learning to reuse house products, giving up plastic bag use and carrying a jute bag to the grocery store, or simply starting a compost pile. It will take time to unlearn the habits of a lifetime, so be patient with yourself and ease into the process. Take a look at the following tips to learn more.
1. Stores near you
Find a zero waste organic store near you. This is a great way to not only start shopping organic but also meet others from the zero waste community! Meeting individuals on the same journey as you can guide you to become better at what may seem like a daunting task at first.
You can also find plenty of zero-waste stores online. However, if you’re shopping offline, remember to take your bag and containers when you go!
2. The silent environment killer: Your toothpaste and toothbrush
Did you know that each year about 1 billion tons of toxic waste is only composed of toothpaste packaging? You can significantly lower this statistic by not only replacing your plastic toothbrush with a wooden one but also swapping for a zero-waste toothpaste brand that you can refill in compostable pouches!
These brands typically sell toothpaste that doesn’t include fluoride in the ingredients. This is because not only can long-term exposure and consumption of fluoride be harmful to your body, but also the environment. Fluoride leftover in plastic tubes can interfere with plant growth and yield when it is absorbed through groundwater in landfills.
With a simple step of changing your morning routine products, you could be helping to protect the yield of flora and fauna in your state.
3. Wash away wasteful habits with eco-friendly laundry detergent
You could be thinking how is the innocent act of washing clothes depleting our marine life? Most laundry detergents are made with phosphates and surfactants. While phosphates directly cause marine life to die, surfactants result in the lowering of surface tension water in aquatic bodies. This eventually depletes marine life directly but also indirectly reduces the mucus coating on the bodies of fish which makes them more vulnerable to parasites and bacteria.
Therefore, it’s important to use a detergent that does not contain unnatural substances like artificial fragrances, dyes, colorants and also comes in plastic-free packaging. Some popular brands include Ethique, Ecos, Dropps, Tru Earth, and Meliora.
ECOS is a brand that we have great experience with, so check them out for yourself.
4. Ditch dangerous deodorants
Perhaps some of the most innocent-looking and sweetest smelling product that produces the most dangerous volatile organic compounds are antiperspirants and spray deodorants. With each spray, you are directly injecting pollutants into the atmosphere that heavily harm the ozone.
We know it’s hard to ditch the deodorants, especially if you want to keep away the B.O. That’s why you can opt for zero waste and completely organic deodorants. Not only are they naturally scented with ingredients from the lap of nature, but also come in smart plastic-free packaging. Some popular brands include Bai-Li deodorant, Fat and the Moon deodorant cream, and Meow Meow Tweet deodorant sticks.
5. Makeup brands striving to make the world greener
The ugly side of the beauty industry is filled with harmful chemicals that are breaking our planet’s back. The unchecked use of palm oil in cosmetics is causing massive deforestation. Microbeads and microplastic are landing in oceans and killing marine life. Tourists wearing sunscreens that contain chemicals like avobenzone are directly depleting coral reefs.
And let’s not forget the plastic waste that will end up clogging our landfills – 120 billion units of plastic packaging annually. That number includes all the lipsticks, hand cream, makeup remover, face wash, and multi-step skincare routine products that you owned in only one year of your life. Imagine the plastic waste generated by a single individual in one lifetime and it’ll cause you to shiver.
That’s why the move to makeup brands that are zero waste and organic is not only healthy for you but also healthy for the planet.
If you’re following the zero-waste lifestyle, the first step is to use what you currently own and only restock when needed. You can also use the natural ingredient to create your makeup for instance blush from beetroot juice.
But if you must buy, go for brands like River Organics, Zao organic makeup, ATHR beauty, Clean faced Cosmetics, and Axiology that is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, use plastic-free packaging, and also incorporate ethically-sourced mica.
6. Shampoo and Conditioners that make nature feel cute too
All those stacked-up bottles in your bathroom shelf are going to end up someplace – the landfill sites. Plastic takes approximately one thousand years to decompose and the worst part – this plastic will absorb any toxins from its environment, thereby polluting the natural cycle. Any poor furry animal consuming from this polluted soil will be severely affected.
To make matters worse, it’s not just the packaging that’s bad for the earth, it’s also the stuff inside. The cleaning agents in most shampoos are sulfates which may give you a squeaky clean scalp but can cause rashes, cancer, eye damage, and more when it ends up in our rivers and oceans.
Dimethicone is the substance in conditioners that creates a plastic-like layer on your hair making it feel soft and smooth. But when this non-degradable chemical goes down the drain however it clogs and clutters our oceans, making our marine life choke.
That’s why environment-conscious users are switching to better alternatives that not only contain truly natural substances but also come in bio-degradable packaging. For example, EcoRoots shampoo rounds are not only made from natural ingredients like lemon peels and coconut oils but also come in bright fun packaging that is plastic-free and made from natural colorants from flowers. Butter Me Up organics also features cruelty-free, plastic-free, and sulfate-free shampoos that look and smell good enough to be eaten. They even have a range for baby shampoos, so the whole family can go zero-waste!
Other popular organic and plastic-free shampoo brands include Plaine Products, Andreas Organic Market, Battle Green, and Ethique.
7. Groom yourself with sustainable razors
Ladies, think back on those quick shaves before a spontaneous party. Gents, it’s probably impossible to count the razors you’ve used in this lifetime. Now let this fact sink in – for every ton of disposable razors produced, 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide is released into the air, each day. Disposable razors contribute to 80% of marine wastage. 2 billion razors are going to be thrown away each year in the United States with no hope of being recycled as municipal recycling programs do not accept sharp objects made of combined materials. So do we stop shaving altogether to save the earth?
Safety razors are making a comeback and they are the best alternative for disposable ones. Safety razors are double-edged and made of steel or chrome, so they can last for several years. The disposable blades that are used in these razors are actually recycled by some municipalities, so it’s a win-win for all.
Oui shave produces safety razors for women while Bevel and Bombay Shaving Company are some of the brands making safety razors for men. Leaf Shave makes it easy to recycle blades as you can mail them back to the company in a tin box and let them finish the job.
8. Go all out with Zero-waste chicken feeders
If you’ve got chicken’s to raise and feed, you’re probably having a hard time keeping up with the mess anyway. But you can keep away the mess, the rats, and the waste with zero-waste chicken feeders that you can make yourself. Materials like PVC, wood, Tupperware bins, metal, and rubber are all good options to upcycle into a wonderful chicken feeder. There are plenty of simple DIY tutorials online to guide your process of building your own feeder.
9. Dish soaps that keep both your dishes and the planet clean
Dish soaps are notably one of the easiest switches you can make on your zero waste journey. It only involves crossing out previous dish soaps in your shopping list and adding non-toxic ones. The best non-toxic and completely eco-friendly soap brands include Etee, No Tox Life, Castile soap, and Meliora.
10. Switch to natural Sunscreens
It’s not a surprise that whenever summer comes around and beach lovers head to their favorite sunny spot, their sunscreens often end up in the ocean or landfills. This waste of sunscreen bottles alone comes out to a whopping 4000-6000 tons of plastic. Along with that, when swimmers end up in the ocean, the chemicals in their sunscreen end up damaging our coral reefs too. That’s why conscious users are making the switch to natural biodegradable options like ByRobin Creations, a completely vegan and no wastage brand, and Empire Squid, a plastic-free range of sunblock and after sun spray. Herbal Chest, Raw Elements, All Good, Bee You Organics, and SurfDurt are some other no wastage and non-toxic brands you can check out.
11. Gift ideas and wrapping in a sustainable manner
When it comes to the holiday season, new members of the zero-waste community might have a harder time paying to give and wrapping gifts. That’s why we suggest sustainable gift ideas and wrapping like a scrapbook made out of old photos and materials you have lying around. The wrapping can be done in a potato chip bag, newspaper, magazines and maps, butcher paper, and some string. You can buy and gift any products of the no-waste brands we’ve listed in this article too.
12. Mascara that’s bold and biodegradable
Beauty products can be difficult to let go of, especially when you’ve got favorites. But don’t worry. Other brands like Zao Organic Volume mascara and Elate Essential Mascara, BeeYou Organics, Endlessly Beautiful, and Dirty Hippie are some cruelty-free, palm-oil free and ethically sourced options with non-plastic packaging. Get ready in style without harming the environment any longer!
13. Skincare brands that make the earth smile
If you hear people still not switching to green brands in their skincare, it’s just not true. Recently so many brands have come up with ethically sourced goods and completely eco-conscious packaging that it’ll make you wonder why you didn’t switch earlier. And if you’re worried about the quality, these products are tried and tested by several zero-waste influencers and rated A for awesome. Dew Mighty, Blue Heron Botanicals, Osea, Marla Rene, and Activist are some of the best nonwastage brands that exist in skincare.
14. Earth-Cleansing Handsoap
Ever since the pandemic people have opted for the most effective handsoaps to stay safe and sanitized. But long before the pandemic, the earth has already been suffocating with tons of landfill trash. Blueland and Method are refillable handsoap brands that encourage plastic-free and safe handsoaps. Three main dish, Clean Cult, and Plaine Products are some other brands.
15. Pamper your pout with sustainable Lip balms
Although we quickly use and empty containers of lip balm, it’s tough to imagine these tiny bottles causing disastrous results for the planet. With thousands of years before they decompose, it’s likely your seemingly harmless lip balm is likely to outlive several of your future generations. That’s why you should switch to organic brands like Eco people and Freewhilin’ Market that have no-plastic packaging and fresh natural ingredients to keep that pout healthy.
16. Envirosafe Body washes that make you glow
Your bath time includes several plastic products that can be replaced with more conscious options. The body wash Plus comes in dissolvable packaging or you can opt for refillable alternatives like Plaine, Public Goods, and Attitude eco fill.
17. Natural Makeup to accentuate your looks
Makeup that makes you look great on your night out or just for everyday office touch-ups can now be plastic-free with a range of eco-friendly products. It’s not just the plastic, but the preservatives and chemicals you’ll be letting go of with this switch. Nudi Goods, Axiology, Neek Skin Organics and Dirty Hippie are some no waste good makeup brands we can swear by.
18. Hydrate your skin with a organic face moisturizer
These luscious ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba, grapeseed extract, pink rose clay and tea tree are sure to hit the add to cart button fast. And the fact that they are ethically sourced, palm oil-free and cruelty-free is a an added plus. Indulge in a creamy soft skin with Meow Meow Tweet, Raw Elements and Empire Squid organic face moisturizers for an eco-conscious skincare routine.
19. Save the earth with dissolvable Shampoo Bars
There’s a reason we’ve got a separate category for these smart products. Not only do they use less water and last twice as long, but they also have a smaller carbon footprint on the planet. So you’ll be saving both the planet and some extra bucks!
Morrisons, KinKind, Beauty Kitchen, and Ethique are some shampoo bars you can stock up on without feeling guilty.
20. Paper towel swaps
One of the easiest to look over in your kitchen is the paper towel you instinctively reach out for after doing the dishes or washing your hands in the kitchen. But if you’re going zero waste, you can reach out for Not Paper Towels by Well Earth Goods or Three BlueBirds that not only sell cotton reusable towels but also give back to the planet through their profits.
21. Avoid fast fashion Clothing
It’s difficult to let go of the unsaid never-show-up-in-the-same-outfit rule but you can’t ignore the fact that approximately 60% of consumers throw away their clothes within the first year of buying. This amounts to 18.6 million tonnes of clothing trash in the landfill. By 2050, this figure will rise to 150 million if we don’t change our ways now. One of those many ways mean upcycling your clothes into new ones in innovative ways. Turn those jeans into shorts or let that skirt become a tablecloth or wall hanging after some nifty crafting.
If you can’t afford the time to upcycle yourself, you can check the brand’s Christy Dawn, Green Market Vintage, Anian, or Mud Jeans for some sustainable shopping. Pantee is a circular fashion brand that reworks old t shirts into bras and underwear.
22. Curly hair products that won’t make the landfills rollover
Curly-haired women are likely to spend much more on hair products than other women. Going on zero waste products could end up being even more of a challenge for them. But luckily brands like Simple Planet, Plaine Products and Dr. Bronner are making a step to change that with their range of plastic-free, natural and non-toxic range of curly hair products.
23. Earth-friendly Makeup Remover
Create your own makeup remover that saves you on plastic waste with equal parts of water, safflower oil and witch hazel. Other popular things you can use to remove makeup are grapeseed oil, hempseed oil, or coconut oil. Or you skip on the remover entirely and opt for the double cleansing option that’s trending these days.
24. Stock up easily with no waste Online stores
If you think all of the DIY is getting to you, there’s a quick fix. Zero waste brands have gone online and now you can shop right on your couch and get products at your doorstep., regardless of whether you’re in San Diego, San Francisco or Brooklyn, New York. Whether you want kitchen products or reusable menstrual cup, online stores are a neat way to bring these earthy goods home quickly. The Zero Waste Store is a well-known online store. Other alternatives include Well Earth Goods, Etee, Earth Hero and Zero Market. Mos
25. Trade your Sponge
You’re probably wondering what’s wrong with sponges? Well even though disposable sponges last long, they still leave residues of microplastic with each use that ends up in the option. Their plastic packaging is also a major issue for the landfills. There are alternatives that you can use which last unbelievably longer than disposable sponges and can even prove to be more effective. Swedish dishcloths from Tare’s Market, Eco sponge from Two Acre Farm and Marley’s Monsters Washable sponge are some options you order online easily.
26. Cat litter
It’s probably much easier to raise zero waste pets than convincing your neighbor to go eco-friendly since our furry friends don’t understand plastic anyway. One of the ways you can do this is by finishing up the clay litter and never buying it again. Use non- GMO grass seed or recycled newspaper and pine instead. You can bring in this greener option by BecoThings when your current tray gets too scratched up by your cat.
27. Sip soothing and eco-conscious Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea lovers can’t get enough of their favorite cuppa. That’s probably why they might have a tough time letting go of old habits when switching to greener options. But a little change of taste is a small price to pay for the longevity of the planet. These brands of coffee and tea will quickly make you forget your old brands with their great taste and even greater initiative for the planet. Pukka, Yogi, and Arbor Teas are some great brands for tea lovers. For coffee lovers, a French press, a drip coffee machine and Turkish coffee produce some of the least amounts of waste.
28. Zero-waste cookbooks and recipes
One of the skills you’ll have to pick up on quickly on your sustainable journey is zero-waste cooking. And that’s where cookbooks and recipes can come in handy with simple instructions and ingredients. The Zero-waste cookbook, the Zero Waste Chef, and Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook are some guides to help you make delicious and green dishes for you and your loved ones.
29. Choose clean water and clean earth with plastic-free water filters
Clean water is a basic necessity and even a privilege that not everyone around the world has access to. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a running tap, the least you can do is switch to a plastic-free water filter and do you bit towards the earth. Big Berkey, PUR and ZeroWater bring you some great options so you just have to hit the buy button and do your bit!
30. Beautiful and clean eyeliners
Eyeliner counts as essentials for most ladies. Not only can you create heart eyes, but also grow wildflowers with eyeliner like Sprout world’s. Aether Beauty, Kjaer Wais Elate cosmetics are some other brands you can swear by to create a great winged or goth look while being eco-conscious. They ship everywhere from arizona to Los Angeles.
31. Dispose responsibly with these trash bags
Now you’re going to be generating some amount of waste, no matter how hard you try to go zero-waste. But you don’t have to feel guilty with biodegradable trash bags. Use plant-based bags and compost bags to take out the trash so it doesn’t end up decomposing in a thousand years even when it does land in the landfill. After consulting your local trash collector truck, you can even skip the liner to go plastic-free.
32. Facial cleanser that makes the oceans smile
Microbeads in many regular cleansers can clog up the ocean while microplastic will pollute the land. Plaine Products, WithSimplicity and Ethique facial cleanser and soap bars are some of the best ways to refresh your face and not let any toxins into the water. If you’re enthusiastic about skincare, you can even create your own DIY soap for skipping the plastic packaging and delivery waiting time.
33. Get started easily with zero-waste subscription boxes
Now you don’t have to feel like you’re all alone in this journey! Sustainable Home, Kiwi Eco and Earth Love are some subscription boxes that deliver goodies that can be incorporated around the house and ease you into a sustainable lifestyle. Each box contains something for different parts of the house and comes in biodegradable packaging.
34. Set an example for your little ones with zero-waste school supplies
Whether it’s plantable pencils or metal sharpeners, you can teach your kids about sustainability with these school supplies. Michael Roger Inc makes all types of sustainable stationery from decomposition books to greeting cards. Now that’ll make your little one smile with glee!
35. Educate yourself and other with these Documentaries
It can be difficult and overwhelming to understand all about sustainability at once. An even tougher challenge is to make your family and friends understand your passion project. A simple way to do this is to make them watch documentaries that quite literally show them the waste humans have created on the planet. While this is no romcom like sleepless in seattle, it’ll still have you hooked. Some amazing choices are Plastic Paradise, The Clean Bin Project, Just Eat it, Blue Planet II, Wasted, and No Impact Man.
36. Get a sparkling smile with earth-friendly dental floss
Switch up your PFC- coated floss for something more natural since your old one is more dangerous than you think. Not only is that Teflon coated string causing the most greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s also putting toxins in your body that can cause birth defects, cancer and even dementia. You can opt for tooth powder or Water pik-ing your teeth over flossing, which are all just as hygienic alternatives. But if you still love your dental floss routine, opt for Eco Roots, Etee, and Dental Lace “Original” Zero Waste Floss. Take it up a notch with this Bambaw glass floss dispenser.
37. Store responsibly with plastic-free Food storage boxes
If you think Tupperware is the only way to go when storing your leftover Christmas pie or that creamy mac and cheese, think again. You can go for glass jars, glass containers or even stainless steel containers. Stashable Bags from Earthhero are also great plastic-free options that are transparent and let you see what’s inside.
38. Books to wrap your head around the zero waste concept
A good read is more than just entertaining, it can be life-saving and earth-cleansing too! Get to know more with books like How to Give Up Plastic, Live Green, Bare Necessities, and (Im)Perfectly Zero Waste. You’ll be surprised and extremely informed on how to lead a better lifestyle by the end of these books!
39. Clean your home and the planet with zero-wastage cleaning products
This step may seem like a difficult one to incorporate into your zero-waste journey but it becomes easy when you find the right brands. The problem with your conventional cleaning products isn’t just the plastic waste, it’s also the harsh toxic chemicals including volatile organic compounds that can end up choking our waterways and atmosphere with smog.
Since US companies are not legally bound to disclose their ingredients, it makes shopping for truly green and eco-friendly products tough. But here’s the words that should stand out for zero-waste community members: Biodegradable, non-toxic, eco-friendly.
Dropps is one such brand that has minimal plastic packaging and has plant-derived ingredients that don’t make our aquatic buddies feel nauseous. PurHome is also cruelty-free, completely natural, and biodegradable. Grove Collaborative, Earthhero, Ecos, and Blueland are some other options you can try out.
There are some tips you can use to initially ease into this difficult but rewarding lifestyle.
40. Ditch your plastic bags for a jute bag.
41. Let go of disposable products for cloth versions like cloth napkins or a hand towel instead of tissue paper.
42. Put paper waste into the recycle bin.
43. Reuse outgrown and out-of-fashion clothes for other things around the house like a dusting cloth, a mop or upcycle into another fashionable piece of clothing!
44. Avoid food waste by only cooking the portion you need, and leaving leftovers for compost.
Other Simple Zero waste swaps
You can try out these simple swaps to create a more earth-friendly home.
- Ask for no straw when you go for a drink outside with your friends.
- Stock up on handkerchiefs and carry them instead of tissues.
- These silicone cupcake liners will replace your paper and plastic ones easily for a guilt-free baking session.
- Keep a cup at the office because 500 billion disposable cups are produced annually and most can’t be recycled since they’re lined with plastic.
- Baby waste is a whole new ball game that you can avoid with these smart cloth diapers.
- Step away from the Tupperware and paper bags with these metal tiffins to take your lunch to the office.
- Make your own trendy face mask with old clothes.
- Buy these natural and organic loofahs instead of plastic ones.
- Ask for a ceramic cup at the coffee shop instead of a paper one if u plan to sit and sip.
- Place a sticker on your mailbox to avoid junk mail and save paper!
- Don’t throw out clothes when they’re torn or a little loose. Instead, find a tailor who’ll do the repair work for a minimum fee.
- Ditch Q-tips for this reusable tool to clean your ears.
- Join a carpool or use public transport to save up on gas and money.
- For the ladies, opt for a zero-waste period with period panties!
- Start your own little herb garden to avoid runs to the market and never run out!
- Begin composting in your very own backyard.
- Old shoes that are little frayed but look good can be done up by a cobbler to look as good as new.
- Start walking or cycling to work for a good session of exercise and no wastage of gas or money.
- Do a clothing swap with your friends for a sustainable style makeover.
- Use menstrual cups and cloth pads to avoid the plastic waste of a regular pad. Each pad uses the plastic of four plastic bags.
- Try to recycle less and not more, that’s the true spirit of zero-waste.
- Use a reusable strainer with loose leaf tea to save on the waste of teabags.
- Change up notebooks for scrap paper when you’re brainstorming.
- Pay and receive bills online instead of receiving paper mail.
- Keep a metal bucket in the shower to stock extra water to water the plants.
- Never run the dishwasher or washing machine at half capacity when you can wait and a full load.
- Use this amazing invention of dryer balls that not only save dryer time and money but also support minorities in Nepal.
- Make your own makeup with vegetables, flowers, and fruits!
- Make your own bleach and cleaning products at home and reuse your plastic spray bottles too!
- Use this bamboo hairbrush when your old one wears out.
- Opt for natural bug repellants when traveling and trekking in mosquito-prone areas.
- Long-haired peeps can now order organic hair ties online.
- Use recycled toilet paper or install a bid attachment.
- Opt for a wooden or metal toilet brush.
- Use silicone baking mats instead of aluminum foil.
- Coffee-lovers! Use reusable K-cups for coffee instead of regular ones.
- Get a charcoal water stick instead of a plastic filter.
- Carry a reusable water bottle instead of buying one when you’re out.
- Opt for a latex-free eraser when choosing office supplies.
- Order judiciously to avoid returns and exchanges when shopping online.
- If you’re worried about staining your teeth, opt for a reusable straw.
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.
- Use cold water when you can.
- Save up on the water with a bucket bath instead of a shower.
- Avoid receipts when out until you really need one.
- Use a vegan wax wrap instead of cling foil to keep food fresh.
- Take your own bag or trolley bag to grocery stores and the farmers market and stock up on fresh produce for the whole week.
- Use a cutting board made of bamboo or wood instead of plastic ones.
- When hosting a party, use recycled paper cups or bring in trendy glass cups for drinks that you can reuse.
- Make your own mouthwash with a little DIY tutorial online.
- Feed your food scraps to stray animals.
- Learn to freeze your food so it can last longer in the fridge.
- Use a meal plan to avoid overshopping of produce and reduce food wastage.
- Plan a fun crafts day a month where the kids turn some waste into usable goods with their friends.
- Use heat only when you have to. Wear sweaters indoors instead!
- Invest in solar power panels.
- Join a library to reduce wastage of paper. Share and donate books instead!
- Donate unused items and clothes to stores.
- Make your own face mask with ingredients in the kitchen.
- Use these reusable makeup remover pads.
- Invest in a kindle to avoid paper books.
- Buy something only when you need it.
That’s it, folks!
With our full list of 106 tips and tricks, you can change your whole lifestyle into a sustainable one. Always remember to do a patch test when trying out new products. If you’ve got any more tricks up your sleeve, let us know!