13 Simple Steps To Kickstart A Zero Waste Lifestyle At Home

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13 Simple Steps to Kickstart A Zero Waste Lifestyle at Home

13 Simple Steps to Kickstart A Zero Waste Lifestyle at Home

Ever thought about how much waste we generate as a society and the role we play? The statistics are shocking yet thought-provoking: only 9% of global plastic waste has ever been recycled. So, if you've been asking how we can make zero waste at home or how a zero-waste lifestyle can save you money, you're about to get your answers in this easy-to-follow guide.

What is Zero Waste Lifestyle?

The zero-waste lifestyle is more than just a buzzword—it's a commitment to live in a way that produces as little waste as possible. It's about finding ways to reduce waste, reuse items, and recycle what we can't reuse. 

But it's not only eco-friendly—it's economical too. You'd be surprised how a zero-waste lifestyle can save you money and contribute to your personal development. 

So, how to have a zero-waste lifestyle with minimum effort? Here are 13 zero-waste lifestyle tips that can jumpstart your journey.

1. Start small.

Like any other lifestyle change, it's best to start small. Begin by identifying easy waste to reduce in your daily routine. It could be that plastic water bottle you buy every day or the disposable coffee cups you use. If you're cooking with veggies. Instead of throwing the peels away, use them as compost or a veggie broth. Remember, every little bit counts. 

2. Bring your own bags.

Plastic bags contribute significantly to waste. A simple switch to reusable bags can drastically cut down on this. Reusable bags aren't just for groceries—they're also great for all shopping.

Zero waste lifestyle eco bag

3. Switch to reusable water bottles and coffee cups.

Consider investing in a good-quality water bottle and coffee cup. You'll reduce waste and save money in the long run. For example, Super Sparrow is a certified Climate Pledge-friendly insulated water bottle with a beautiful design. It's great for when you travel or work out.

4. Buy in bulk.

Buying in bulk can significantly reduce packaging waste. Choose stores that offer bulk goods, and remember to bring your reusable containers.

5. Switch to loose-leaf tea.

Did you know some tea bags contain plastic? Make a more sustainable choice by opting for loose-leaf tea. Or choose tea brands that use plastic-free and compostable materials, such as:

  • Art of Tea
  • Loose Leaf Tea Market
  • Numi Tea
  • Yogi Tea

6. Consider using menstrual cups.

Ladies, it's time to consider menstrual cups. They're not only reusable but also a healthier alternative to disposable products.

menstrual cups for zero waste lifestyle

7. Make your own cleaning products.

It is common for cleaning products to be contained in plastic packaging that may contain harmful chemicals. 

Making your own can be cheaper, healthier, and less wasteful. 

Here are three DIY cleaning products that are sustainable and easy to make at home with simple ingredients. 

All-Purpose Cleaner


1 cup of white vinegar
1 cup of water
Lemon rind
Rosemary sprigs

Instructions: Combine the vinegar, water, and enough lemon rind and rosemary sprigs to create a pleasant scent in a spray bottle. Let the solution infuse for a week before using it. Shake the bottle before each use. You can use it on almost any surface but avoid using it on granite and marble, as vinegar can etch these surfaces.

Glass Cleaner


2 cups of water
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of dish soap

Instructions: Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake the solution vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed for optimal results. Next, apply the solution evenly onto glass surfaces and use a dry cloth or newspaper to wipe away the solution and achieve a flawless, streak-free shine.

Grease Cleaner


2 cups of hot water
1 tablespoon of baking soda
20 drops of lemon essential oil

Instructions: Combine the hot water and baking soda, then add the lemon oil. Mix well until the baking soda dissolves, then transfer the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray the solution on greasy surfaces, leave it on for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Each of these DIY cleaning products is not only effective but also contributes to a zero-waste lifestyle. They're made from natural ingredients, which are better for the environment and your health. 

Plus, by using reusable spray bottles, you're helping to cut down on plastic waste. So, not only are you keeping your home clean, but you're also doing your part for the environment.

8. Go digital.

Opt for digital versions, from books to bills, whenever possible. It's one of the simplest ways to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle. Paying for your bills online is more convenient and quicker. 

I shifted to Kindle Paperwhite (thanks to my amazing and thoughtful husband!), and I've read 90 books this year. That's a significant difference from the 45 books I read last year. So, I've been shopping less, reading more, and helping the environment simultaneously. It's a win-win! 

9. Say "no" to unnecessary packaging.

Whether ordering takeout or buying groceries, it's not for you if it's wrapped in too much plastic. It's surprising how many products are over-packaged, resulting in unnecessary waste. Here are four examples:

  • Individually Wrapped Items: Whether it's fruit, vegetables, or baked goods, individually wrapped items constitute a significant source of unnecessary packaging. For instance, a single banana or potato wrapped in a plastic film contributes to plastic waste and seems redundant since these items come with their own natural packaging.
  • Multi-Layered Packaging: Many products come with multiple layers of packaging. For instance, a cereal box might come in a plastic bag, inside a cardboard box, wrapped in plastic again. The inner plastic bag and outer plastic wrap are usually unnecessary.
  • Single-Serve Packages: While single-serve packages of snacks, drinks, or meals might be convenient, they contribute significantly to waste. For example, a bag of single-serve chips has much more packaging waste than a giant bag of the same product.
  • Over-Packaged Online Deliveries: With the rise of e-commerce, the over-packaging of online orders has become quite common. Often, small items are shipped in large boxes filled with plastic air pillows or bubble wrap, which is excessive and wasteful.

10. Repair, don't replace.

Next time something breaks, try to repair it before replacing it. It can save you money and reduce waste. 

For example, before you discard that shirt with a missing button or those pants with a small tear, consider mending them. Basic sewing skills can save you a lot of money over time and reduce waste. You can even re-style older clothes to give them a fresh look.

11. Compost.

Food waste is a big part of household waste. Composting is an eco-friendly way to utilize this waste, and it's great for your plants. Here's a quick and easy way to compost kitchen scraps from the Washington Department of Ecology.

12. Shop secondhand.

Secondhand items are often just as good as new ones. Plus, they come without all the excessive packaging and cost less.

13. Educate yourself and others.

The more you know about the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle, the easier it is to stick with it. Share your knowledge with others to help them understand why it's crucial.

Why is Zero Waste Lifestyle Important?

Zero waste living is not only about reducing waste—it's about contributing to a more sustainable future. 

With the zero-waste packaging market expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% from 2021 to 2026, it's evident that more businesses are catching onto the trend and acknowledging the need for change. 

But why is it so crucial that we all embrace this concept? Here are five benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle:

Environmental Impact

A zero-waste lifestyle is vital for our planet. The vast amount of waste we generate is wreaking havoc on our environment. Overfilled landfills leak harmful chemicals into our soil and waterways, while garbage in our oceans threatens marine life. By committing to reducing waste, we can directly combat these environmental threats. 

Resource Conservation

A lot of resources go into making the products we use every day. When we throw away things, we also throw away the elements and energy used to make them. By embracing zero waste, we make more sustainable use of these resources. 

Financial Benefits

Embracing a zero-waste lifestyle can be a boon for your wallet too. Consider buying less, repairing more, and reducing consumption, which can lead to significant savings. Also, many steps you can take to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, such as buying in bulk or reusing items, often lead to cost savings over time. 

Promotes Creativity and Mindfulness

Living a zero-waste lifestyle encourages creativity and mindfulness. You become more aware of your consumption habits and learn to find innovative ways to reduce waste. 

It prompts you to ask before each purchase: "Do I really need this?" This mindful consumption can enrich your life unexpectedly, helping you appreciate what you have and reduce clutter. 

Before throwing anything away or replacing it, you can let your imagination go wild about how to repurpose or reuse it. 

Here are 32 creative ways you can recycle plastic from 5-Minute Crafts PLAY.

Community Building

When we engage in zero-waste living, we often connect with like-minded individuals, creating a community of people striving to make a difference. This can lead to increased social interaction and a sense of belonging, both beneficial for our mental health.

This post contains affiliate links, so we'd get a commission if you purchase through the links at no additional cost. Thank you!

You Can Lead a Zero-Waste Lifestyle at Home

How to live a zero-waste lifestyle? It's easier than you think. 

Beyond reducing waste, it's about contributing to a healthier planet, conserving resources, saving money, fostering creativity, and building a better community. 

So, if you've been contemplating how to practice a zero-waste lifestyle, the answer lies in these 13 simple steps. I'm sure you can find more, but these are great ways to start! 

How will you practice a zero-waste lifestyle?

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  1. Hi Lux, this is a very informative post. I do some of the things suggested here and the recycling here is very good.

  2. Thanks for the practical advice! Thanks also for your comment on my blog. As a sister in Christ, I invite you to my Bible study blog: https://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/
    May God bless you and yours, Laurie

  3. This was an amazing article and so timely for today.

  4. This is an amazing article and very timely for our climate.

  5. This is very informative and useful, thanks for sharing.

    The Style Fanatic

  6. Great suggestions. I do most of these, but not without challenges. "Say "no" to unnecessary packaging."--I cannot believe how crazy packaging for mail order has become. They should be embarassed.

  7. This is all really good tips and info.

  8. Great post and creative ideas ~ all make sense ~

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  9. Some great tips there.

  10. Hello!
    Inspirational post, only good tips. I think it's worth taking them to heart and applying in life :)
    Greetings from Poland!

  11. Love this, Lux! We're bringing our own bags so we don't have to pay 10 cents a piece for the store's. I love my compost pile and am buying more in bulk online. Lots of little choices add up to bring peace of mind and a bit of a healthier lifestyle.

  12. All some excellent tips -- and I love seeing some that I already implement (along with a few that I will add!) Thanks for coming over!

  13. This is a very helpful post, and I agree with all you have said. I hope that many people will come over and read what you have written and act upon it. God bless.

  14. Nice! It was sad during covid that shops no longer allowed you to bring your own bags, but we are back to normal