How to Create a Low-Waste Home: A Room-by-Room Guide

Cutting down on your waste becomes simple and routine when your home is designed for a low waste lifestyle. If you are transitioning to a low-waste lifestyle, start equipping each room of your house with low-waste essentials and making a few changes in each room to make reducing waste second nature.

The tips in this guide range from incredibly simple to more advanced. You can select the changes that make sense for you and implement as many or as few of these suggestions as you would like.

The important thing to remember is that a low-waste lifestyle is an ongoing process and improvement is continually occurring. Start with simple changes and work your way to more difficult ones. 

Bathroom

 

  • Buy shampoo/conditioner/any bottled products in the largest size possible

    Use bar soap rather than bottled soap
    Use bar soap rather than bottled soap
  • Put a glass by the sink for rinsing, rather than using disposable paper cups
  • Swap makeup remover wipes for a natural oil of your choice (like coconut or oilve oil) and reusable cotton rounds

  • Swap disposable razors for razors with only disposable heads; or take it a step further and switch to a safety razor

  • Simplify your beauty regimen/skincare routine/makeup routine

    Toothpaste ads show a strip of toothpaste to get you to use more
    Toothpaste ads show a strip of toothpaste to get you to use more
  • Use bar soap rather than bottled body wash

  • Buy toothpaste in the largest size possible and use only a dab rather than a long strip of toothpaste

  • Use a dry brush or a natural body scrub rather then exfoliants containing plastic microbeads

  • Install Water Sense fixtures (shower head, toilet, faucet)

  • Buy hand soap in bulk and refill a soap pump, rather than buying small bottles of hand soap

    Simplify your beauty routine and use only products you really need
    Simplify your beauty routine and use only products you really need
  • Use bar shaving cream, rather than shaving cream from a can

  • Swap disposable feminine hygiene products for a menstrual cup and/or reusable liners

  • Make your own beauty products (toothpaste, deodorant, lotion) at home

  • Use microfiber cloths for cleaning rather than paper towels

  • Buy washable shower curtain liners

Living Room

 

  • Use reusable microfiber cloths for cleaning/dusting

    Use a Kindle for reading, rather than buying books
    Use a Kindle for reading, rather than buying books
  • Or, cut up old clothes and linens and use them as cleaning rags

  • Use On Demand, Netflix, or another digital version of movie/tv show viewing rather than purchasing DVDs

  • Read the digital verisons of your favorite magazines/newspapers on your Kindle or other tablet

  • Switch to LED blubs and motion sensor light swtiches

  • Use library books for reading rather than purchasing new books

Bedroom/Closet/Laundry Room

 

  • Minimalist wardrobe
    A minimalist wardrobe creates less waste and saves you money

    Minimize your wardrobe

  • Buy high quality clothing that will last longer
  • Donate clothing when you are finished with it, rather than throwing it out

  • Shop for clothes at second hand stores

  • Swap single use dryer sheets for reusable wool dryer balls

  • Buy detergent in the largest size bottle possible

  • Buy concentrated detergent and use as little as possible for each load

  • Learn to sew and focus on fixing damaged clothing rather than tossing it

 

Kitchen

 

  • Start an herb garden

    10-Easy-Ways-to-Upcycle-Mason-Jars
    Easily start an herb garden by using items that you already have in your home
  • Stock up on reusable glass jars and fill them from bulk bins at the grocery store

  • Swap disposable Ziploc bags for reusable containers for packing lunches and storing leftovers

  • Use reusable cloths for cleaning rather than paper towels

  • Use tap water and a filtering pitcher rather than bottled water

  • Set up a composting system and compost your food waste

  • pack-a-waste-free-lunch-537x358
    Store food in reusable containers

    Eat all your leftovers

  • Invest in a set of cloth napkins
  • Cut down on how much food you purchase at the grocery store to reduce food waste

  • Keep your food organized and easily displayed in your fridge so hidden items do not become forgotten and spoil

  • Use reusable stainless steel straws rather than disposable plastic straws

    mbd105166_1109_fridge6_xl
    Keep your fridge organized so nothing gets forgotten
  • Purchase dish detergent and dish soap in the largest quantities possible; avoid individually wrapped dishwasher pods

  • Go digital: write your grocery list in a note on your phone, pull up digital versions of recipes on your tablet rather than using recipe books

  • Learn unique recipes that use food parts that you would normally throw out (like pickled watermelon rind)

  • Use a french press or refillable K-Cup to cut down on coffee waste

Office

 

  • Sign up for electronic bill paying

    Go digital and you will not need as many office supplies
    Go digital and you will not need as many office supplies
  • When printing, use both sides of the paper

  • Use refillable pens and mechanical pencils
  • Use refillable ink cartridges for your printer

  • Go digital; use email, text, electronic notepads, etc. and use paper as infrequently as possible

 

 

Let me know what changes you have made in your home to reduce your waste. And leave a comment below for me and other readers if you have suggestions for other simple changes that can be made to reduce changes in the home.

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