Googling “how to make a zero-waste home” will give an average internet user more than 231 million results. In other words, there are plenty of people out there who would like to help save the planet and reduce the amount of waste they contribute. And that number continues to grow as the years pass.
So, is there a way that homeowners can make their homes zero-waste? Obviously, the first thing many think about is literally changing the home by adding solar panels or double-glazed windows. And while that is an excellent solution, it’s also one that costs a lot of money. Most people want to get a zero-waste home on a budget, and that’s definitely possible.
This article will deal with the basics of making one’s home zero-waste. It might sound difficult at first, but with some effort, everyone can live a clean, green, pristine life without pollutants.
Benefits of Zero-Waste Living
But what is zero waste? What exactly does that lifestyle entail? And more importantly, are there any benefits a person might get by switching to it?
Zero-waste is a philosophy that is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s a way of life that aims to reduce a person’s waste to zero. In other words, someone abiding by this lifestyle conserves, reuses, and recycles everything and contributes next to nothing to the tons of landfills that pollute our planet.
Of course, zero-waste living is incredibly beneficial for our planet and everything that lives on it. A plastic-free ocean can help conserve lots of endangered species, and so can clean forests and trash-free rivers.
But there are plenty of benefits that directly impact the person living this type of life. They are as follows:
- By buying ingredients and preparing meals at home, people will eat food that’s of higher quality than takeout meals and they will remain in overall good health
- Zero-waste folks reuse most of their containers, dishes, and clothes, which saves them money they would otherwise spend on single-use plastic items
- By giving away excess items and shopping second-hand, people directly help out small businesses and the local community.
What Makes a Zero-Waste Home?
Zero-waste living comes with a set of changes, and we’re not just talking about changes in habits. In fact, it’s a whole process of transforming the home so that no corner of it will produce or contain any waste. With that in mind, here are a few key areas where every homeowner should start their zero-waste home transformation.
In a typical zero-waste kitchen, no item gets thrown away or wasted. For example, all food that a person wants to store will go in glass jars or hard plastic containers with lids. In addition, there are no plastic utensils or glasses. Everything is made out of wood, rubber, glass, or metal, i.e. materials that people don’t throw away after use.
Another key detail in zero-waste kitchens is lots of ingredients in bulk. That’s right, buying in bulk will reduce the number of single-use items that end up in landfills. Moreover, it saves people time and lets them stay prepared for any future meal.
With bathrooms, the main idea is to go with organic and recyclable materials. Here’s a handy list that includes some of the most popular options for zero-waste hygiene:
- Biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes (with charcoal bristles)
- Biodegradable floss
- Organic toothpaste (or toothpaste tablets)
- DIY natural, vegan toothpaste
- DIY soap
- Certified organic shampoos, conditioners, and body washes
- Stainless-steel shavers (with replaceable razors)
- Plastic-free toilet paper
- Eco-friendly menstrual products.
Every item listed here has a few common features.
The first and most important is the fact that all of them are made from natural, organic, non-artificial products. In other words, you can throw most of them away and they won’t pollute the environment. Next, some of these products have lots of reusability to them. For example, you can use a stainless-steel shaver or a menstrual cup for months before you need to change it.
Finally, nearly everything listed above either comes in eco-friendly packaging or is homemade. Either way, we eliminate the need to buy any of them in plastic containers that can’t be recycled properly.
Most people will look at this heading with some visible confusion. After all, the bedroom is that one room where we create next to no waste, right?
Well, yes, that is true. However, there are still some important methods of making a bedroom greener than it already is. In fact, a lot of those methods will help cut down on certain expenses along the way.
Firstly, homeowners should take inventory of their bedrooms. If they happen to have a lot of extra clothing or furniture, they can get rid of them without throwing them away. For instance, they can donate old clothes to charity or host a yard sale for the items that they don’t need.
Next, there are old, worn clothes and busted furniture. Once again, an average person doesn’t have to throw them out. They can use old clothes to make DIY tote bags or cleaning cloths. In addition, a bit of tinkering can make any old piece of bedroom furniture stand out and repurpose it for something else.
Zero-Waste Day-to-Day Living
In addition to rearranging rooms, homeowners can do a few more things to prepare their home for zero-waste living. Here are a few important options to consider:
- Compost in your home if you can
- Use DIY zero-waste cleaning products
- Avoid picking up junk mail
- Cook at home and try not to order takeout
- Research your local shops for eco-friendly packaged goods
- Water your plants with the same water you used to wash fruit and vegetables
Zero-waste homes do not happen overnight. In fact, it’s quite a slow process that takes some getting used to, and the key is not to rush things. Even the smallest changes will help.
However, the effort will definitely be worth it, and the more zero-waste homes we have, the cleaner and less polluted our planet will be.