After taking out what feels like the 7th bag of trash this week, I’m calling for a zero waste challenge in our house. Now, I understand that it’s hard to go from 100% using paper towels to dry everything (*ahem husband*) to absolutely zero waste, but the point of this challenge is to be more mindful of the waste we create and reduce as much as we can. In essence – I want this to challenge us to reduce as much waste as we possibly can, and get creative in the process! I hope you’ll take the challenge with me (details below)! I’ll be sharing our successes (and struggles) via Instagram stories (@rosemaryandryeblog) so I hope you’ll follow along and DM me your zero waste secrets! Looking forward to hearing from you!
Starting August 1, we’ll be doing a 31 day zero waste challenge! To participate:
- Take stock of what items you throw away, waste, spoil, or in general use too much of every day.
- Take intentional steps to reduce your waste (ideally, have no waste at all – but hey, baby steps are just as important).
- Share your successes or struggles with me via Instagram Stories! Don’t forget to tag me @rosemaryandryeblog!
- Feel great about helping the environment, and having to take less trips to the garbage bin.
10 Easy Changes to Kick off the Zero Waste Challenge
Here are 10 ways I’m going to start to reduce waste in our house:
- Use a rag instead of paper towels. I bought a few colorful dishtowels for $1-2 each and I’ve color coded each. Yellow towels for wiping surfaces, red for drying dishes, beige for wiping hands, green for wiping up spills. Each towel is washed with soap and microwaved for 30 seconds after each use to keep them clean and sanitary!
- Stash reusable bags EVERYWHERE. I’ve been rolling up reusable bags and stashing them everywhere – my purse, work bag, in the glove compartment of the car, in the center console in the car – no excuses to “forget” my reusable bag.
- Hang reusable bags by the garage or front door. Seriously, no excuses! After using my bags, I return the bags to either their stashed location or I hang them on the front or garage door. This way they never stay inside the house for too long!
- Keep a cooler in the car. This is a new method I’m trying for the summer. I’m stashing a small cooler in my car for grocery trips. This ensures my produce stays cool and fresh, limiting food spoilage and waste! Plus, ice cream stays icy during the summer. Winner.
- Plan grocery trips ahead of time. To limit food waste – we’re planning our trips to the store ahead of time. This will help us reduce food waste while also helping limit our carbon footprint.
- Keep reusable containers on hand. They are great for leftovers, or for buying things from bulk bins at the grocery store. I found a few airtight bowls at Costco and often I’ll save old pasta sauce jars to store bulk items like beans. Just remove the label with hot water and soap and you’re ready to go!
- Buy in bulk. Bulk bins might look daunting but they are typically cheaper and reduce waste from packaging.
- Eat less takeout. Take out containers are so wasteful (and not to mention unhealthy).
- Ditch the water bottles and use a personal cup for coffee. Plastic bottles are a no go. We found big 40 oz. Thermoflasks on sale. They keep water cool ALL day and eliminate plastic waste. Also, did you know that Starbucks plastic cups aren’t recyclable? I’m limiting my coffee intake to days when I have my own personal cup handy.
- Use stainless steel or reusable straws. Straws are terrible for the environment. I’m cutting the habit by using reusable stainless steel straws.
Let me know what you’re doing to reduce waste in the comments and be sure to follow me on Insta Stories!