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18 Eco-Friendly Living Tips to Ring in the New Year

Why You Should Consider Going Zero Waste at Home

The average American sends 1,606 pounds of trash to the landfill each year. Meanwhile, making, using, throwing away and hauling that waste contributes significantly to United States greenhouse gas emissions. The 3,091 active American landfills each work to limit their ecological impact as much as possible, but what can we do to help?

To counter our “throw-away culture,” zero waste bloggers are taking the movement mainstream, sharing their eco-friendly habits and success stories online. Many cities are also implementing zero waste programs to make a city-wide impact on the issue.

“In Phoenix, Zero Waste is a goal that was set by the Mayor and City Council to reduce waste going to landfills and incinerators to as little as possible, with zero waste (or approximately 90% diversion) being the ultimate goal. It is a design principle and philosophy that strives to transform the current industrial system to one that models a more sustainable natural cycle.”

Lucas Mariacher | Phoenix Public Works Department

How to Become Zero Waste in 2018

So, what can you do to go zero waste at home? We collected zero waste tips from expert bloggers like Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home and Megean Weldon of Zero Waste Nerd. We also consulted Lucas Mariacher, a Zero Waste Coordinator at Phoenix Public Works Department.

Get inspired to go green in 2018 with these easy ways to be more eco-friendly.

Simple Ways to Start Going Zero Waste at Home

1. Drink from a glass or stainless-steel water bottle instead of disposable plastic bottles.

2. Bring your own coffee mug to your local coffee shop or to work.

3. Wipe your face with a handkerchief or cloth instead of paper towels or tissues.

4. Pack homemade lunches and leftovers in glass containers instead of plastic.

5. Say no to flyers, freebies, pamphlets, business cards and other items commonly handed out at events.

“Accepting these things not only creates a demand to make more, they are a waste of resources and once they are brought into our homes, they add to the clutter and require effort to dispose of them later.”

Bea Johnson | Zero Waste Home

6. Donate clothing and household items to non-profit organizations.

7. Clean your home with old t-shirts cut into rags instead of paper towels or disposable wipes.

8. Buy food in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Bring your own glass jar to bulk foods counters.

9. Bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.

10. Invest in a reusable safety razor. 

“According to the EPA, about 2 billion disposable razors are discarded every year. A safety razor will last you a lifetime and most blades, if properly taken care of, will last up to a year!”

Megean Weldon | Zero Waste Nerd

11. Buy fresh produce from local farmers’ markets or start a community garden.

12. Start a compost pile in your backyard for kitchen scraps.

13. Buy clothing from secondhand sources. 

“Buying secondhand not only takes new clothing out of the waste cycle, it saves you hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars!”

Megean Weldon | Zero Waste Nerd

14. Enroll in online billing and opt out of junk mail.

15. Repair ripped clothing, broken appliances or outdated furniture before replacing.

16. Go zero waste in the kitchen with weekly meal plans to cut back on food waste.

17. Rent one-time outfits for formal events from websites like Rent the Runway.

18. Cook more food at home and eat out less. 

“With takeout comes an abundance of disposable waste including bags, plastic cutlery, napkins, cups, straws, and little packets of condiments. By cooking more at home, you not only make less waste overall, you save money.”

Megean Weldon | Zero Waste Nerd

At, we love to hear about zero waste initiatives at home, at work and in your community. Do you plan to cut back on your waste in 2018? Let us know any zero waste tips you have in the comments below!

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