April 24, 2019

Easy Tips to Reduce Your Waste

In honor of Earth Day I thought this week would be the perfect time to share my “lazy person’s low waste tips.” In all seriousness, I’ve become increasingly more aware of my consumption patterns the last year or so and doing my part to be more mindful of the waste I’m creating, while still being a modern gal in the world

Low waste (the new term for the movement to reduce, reuse and recycle) is becoming more and more popular, which is great because it means there are more resources, products and information out there on how to reduce your waste and be kinder to our planet.

Today I’m sharing my personal top tips on reducing your waste, as well as some products and resources that have been essential in my journey to reducing my consumption.

Tips for starting with reducing your waste:

  • With Amazon ordering – Wait until you have at least 3 items in your cart before placing your order and then select the option to ship items together (often slower, but one box versus multiple). And always before you buy, ask yourself: is there a way I can get this locally? Support your local stores and reduce waste at the same time!
  • Skip plastic offerings whenever possible – When grocery shopping, you can put your veggies right in your cart or basket and then into your shopping tote. You really don’t need the plastic bags! Buy in bulk or larger packages, store in glass jars and portion items out into individual servings (nuts, grains and beans, kiddo snacks, etc).
  • With Instacart ordering –  Message your shopper and tell them to skip plastic bags (see above). I also put a note in my account.
  • Create your own low waste kit – See my favorite products below! Most of these I have in my backpack or bag at any time.
  • Buy second hand – Shopping at thrift and consignment stores can be fun, almost like a treasure hunt! While I love fresh fashion, the fashion industry is notoriously harsh on both people and the environment so I’ve been shopping more and more second hand to reduce my impact on the planet.
  • Ask yourself: Where will this be in 10 years? It’s a powerful question to get you thinking long term about the impact of your purchases.

Me at Coachella this weekend, in a *mostly* secondhand outfit!

Here are my top eco-friendly products – things that have made my low waste efforts so much easier:

  • To-go ware – Bamboo cutlery (including chopsticks!) so you can pass on plastic utensils when you’re out and about. Bonus: You’ll never be without a spoon or fork or knife when you need one!
  • Travel mug – You can still enjoy your favorite coffee shop creations. I love this Stojo travel mug because 1) it collapses so it’s easy to carry in any bag or purse and 2) there are measurements on the inside of the cup so it’s easy for your barista to make your favorite drink without wasting a paper cup.
  • Water bottle – I’m pretty much never without my water bottle. And if I do find myself without it, I’ll ask for a glass of water or wait until I’m home (versus buying a bottle of water).
  • Metal straw – I suggest buying a pack of these and then sticking on in your to-go ware pouch. Straws are one of the most wasted plastics and it’s SO easy to just carry your own. Tip: Many people aren’t as aware of low waste efforts yet and automatically will put a plastic straw in your drink (I find this is especially true at restaurants with kids). Make a habit of saying: no straw please! whenever you’re out to eat or ordering a drink to go.
  • Stasher bag – Reusable silicone bag for all your snack (or stashing) needs!
  • Snack cups – These little cups are made for kids but I use them too! Bonus: The smaller ones make for great portion control with things like nuts and nut butter.
  • Collapsible tupperware – For packing lunches or food you’ve meal prepped for the week. Many places will also allow you to take your leftovers home in these containers!

Matcha tastes delicious in my Stojo collapsible mug!

And here are some additional resources for learning more about the low waste conversation:

  • Follow my friend Sara Weinreb on Instagram – Sara provides information and tips on how to be more sustainable with everything from food to fashion, in a way that is totally non judgemental.
  • Check out The Good Trade for tons of tips and recommendations, specifically with being more conscious in your fashion and home choices.
  • Package Free – An awesome shop (Brooklyn location but also online retailer) for all things low waste.
  • Follow Lauren Singer on Instagram – besides being the founder of Package Free, she’s insta famous for being #zerowaste so shares all about that on her account.

This is just the beginning – I’d love for us to continue this conversation below. Leave a comment with something you’re doing (or not doing) to show your love for our planet, or something new you learned and are going to implement from my tips!

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