30 Days to Zero-Waste Challenge

30 Days to Zero-Waste
reusable shopping bags
Reusable Water Bottle
reduce fast food
What is a majority of the litter you see alongside highways? Fast Food waste. everything from the bags,condiments, napkins, wrappers boxes, to the plastic straws and Styrofoam cups/ containers. We may not be able to completely eliminate take out but here are a few tips and tricks:
-Try and avoid fast food
-Pack your own food
-Dine in
-Bring your own reusable utensils, napkins etc...
-Refuse plastic lids and straws
-Order items that have less packaging.
zero waste challenge
The convenience that paper towels provided is no doubt great, but did you know that you CAN ditch them and still have convenience?

Just clean, wipe, and absorbed as you would with a paper towel then simply put them in a basket and wash one load at the end of every week. Repeat.

you can use old rags, cut shirts, or socks. You can buy fancy rolled ones, get towels from a thrift store or buy ZippNada's reusable "unpaper" towels.

The amount of water to wash them is nothing in comparison to how much water is used to manufacture paper towels.
zero waste
We drink A LOT of coffee/tea therefor we toss A LOT of disposable coffee cups out.

Next time you order your cup of joe:
-Ask for it in a cup to stay
-bring your own to-go cup
or better yet.... make it at home!

Don’t have a mug? Recycled jars with ruberbands for a grip works amazing! or check out the ZippNada insulated thermal mug.

If saving the planet isn’t good enough reason to ditch the disposable coffee cups, then how about this:

Most places give you a discount for bringing your own cup!
zero waste
Cloth produce bags are a lifesaver when shopping zero waste. They allow you skip out on those pesky plastic bags at the end of every aisle.

You can skip the bags altogether and toss your fruit/ veggies in the cart or you can get a reusable produce bag!

These are handy for:
-Bulk food
-bakery goods
-leftovers at a restaurant (chips, sandwich etc...)
-unpackaged soaps

These bags can be bought (click link for more detail) or you can use scrap fabrics to create your own.
zero waste
Out and about when you decide to grab a meal, ditch those flimsy plastic cutleries!

Use your stainless-steel utensils from your kitchen or ZippNada's bamboo utensils set! whichever the case keep a set on hand for those spontaneous meals out!
Drop a pic of what you use on the go!
zero waste
Buying in bulk is amazing! Not only does it eliminates waste and saves money but buying in bulk means you can buy only what you need thus helping to reduce food waste.

Smiths in Lake Havasu offers a variety of bulk goods including various flours, sugars, spices/ teas, snacks, cereals, honey and nut butter that can all be purchased in your own containers!

How to use your own jars: you can utilize the TARE option on the scale OR write the weight of your empty container for the cashier to deduct at checkout.
zero waste
Food waste is a MASSIVE global problem. This wasteful practice tosses 2/3 of food which wastes valuable resources in the process.

What are steps we can all take? For starters, we can re-purpose food by creating meals with ingredients we already have, utilize leftover (or share if you just can not stand to eat the same thing again) and freeze what you can to preserve for later.

What are some ways you combat food waste?
zero waste
Say NO to free promotional pens,bags, letter openers, koozies, party favors, cups, mugs, shirts, bottles of water, stress balls etc...

Avoid the stuff you do not NEED
zero waste toothbrush
Bamboo toothbrushes are a simple eco-friendly swap! When your old plastic toothbrush has seen better days, it can be reused as a cleaning bush.Bamboo toothbrushes are a wonderful alternative because the base is 100% compostable!
zero waste
So many products make their home in the bathroom! Unfortunately most of these are not recyclable and will be tossed. If you are unable to find some of these products in eco-friendly packaging, make them yourself! It takes five minutes and is souper simple. Don't have the time? No worries there are now some amazing companies that cater to zero waste (it is always better to shop local)
Makeup remover wipes? Try ZippNada’s cotton rounds or cut some fabric into circles (washcloths work great as well!)

Toothpaste: Baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oil.

Scrubs: Coconut oil and sugar, or olive oil and coffee.

Moisturizer: coconut , almond oil or Shea butter work wonders.

There are a ton of recipes online the possibilities are endless! What's your favorite zero waste toiletries?
zero waste pads
There are now a ton of reusable or environmentally friendly options; period underwear, cups, cloth pads just to name a few. Not digging the idea of reusable products? No biggie- it's not for everyone- but there are still better products! Look for organic cotton pads and tampons there are several affordable companies now.
zero waste
Stop throwing your food scraps into the bin! It is so so simple to get started on composting, this will allow those scraps to naturally decompose (food doesn't compose properly in the landfill causing methane gas ).You can start a compost bin in your yard, house, apartment, anywhere and everywhere!

Composting is such an important part of waste reduction!
zero waste local food
Did you know that we have several "local" farms in the area? By purchasing your food directly from growers helps to avoid unnecessary packaging, creates a circular economy, reduces food mileage and most importantly is fresher and tastier! — with Joel Holmes and Triple Farms Produce.
zero waste mail
Flyers, insurance,marketing, ads and other junk litters the mailbox. Most often than not they all end up in the landfill if not recycled! Think of all those tree’s wasted.
How do we stop getting so much junk mail to begin with?Thankfully there are a few websites that can aid in junk mail reduction:
-offers a free service to stop unwanted mail and magazines. Create an account and select what companies you want to stop getting mail from
-This will stop 80%-95% of junk mail but cost $35 ($10 is donated to a charity of choice)
-Allows you to opt out of insurance and credit card offers
-Removes you from certain mailing list
zero waste soap
A Lot of the soaps ( hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, face wash etc...) tend to generate a ton of garbage! ditch the wasteful containers and opt for bulk or package free soaps! 

zero waste straws
Straws have been a big topic last year (which is wonderful!) We throw out 500 MILLION a DAY yea you read that right, a DAY. Ask for no straw at restaurants, or if you need/really want a straw opt for reusable materials (stainless-steel, bamboo, glass, silicone if you need a soft straw)
These are also amazing conversation starters to let other become aware of the plastic catastrophe we are facing.

Are you ready to give up single use straws?
zero waste second hand
Fast fashion is the second leading polluters in the world! We live in a consumer society, spending billions of dollars to attain something only to discard it.

More information about these issues on out blog post about fast fashion linked here

Just like other aspects of zero waste it starts with the way you view things. Make sure when you buy clothing that it is good quality, meaning it will last you a lifetime (I'm still wearing a well made pair of shoes I’v had since the eighth grade! ) buy natural materials when possible. Synthetic fabrics shed micro fibers! Shop second hand first: did you know that you can get name brand items at thrift stores!?
zero waste
Holidays and other celebratory events are the most wasteful time of year. Gifts are sometimes not needed (although thoughtful) and are wrapped in disposable packaging

Here are some tips to create less waste while not compromising the meaning behind showing those you love that you care.

Bulk candy
plants/ flowers
homemade baked goods
secondhand items
experiences: Dance lessons, yoga, movies, massage etc...

These can be wrapped in reusable alternatives such as cloth, or a reusable gift bag or wrapped up using compostable materials such as post-consumer paper or newspaper!
Food simply taste better when you've grown it yourself! Add that compost you've been brewing up and plant some seeds!

This will save both plastic and money.

If you live in an apartment this still applies you can easily grow herbs in a windowsill or grow food from scraps like celery, green onions, and lettuce!
zero waste shaving

I received a wonderful question a while back about ways to keep up with hair removal without creating a ton of waste from disposable razors and waxing products.

Early on in my own zero waste journey I purchased a safety razor. This razor has lasted 5+ years and counting. Most people get intimidated by safety razors, but they offer many benefits including:
-a closer shave
- saves you money
-aesthetically pleasing
-Helps to saves the environment

Not a fan of the razor? there is a method of hair removal called sugar waxing. You could shave less often (making your razor last longer) or chose to go all natural! Whatever you decide, just know there are options!
zero waste cleaning
Cleaning products are FULL of toxic chemicals. Now there is a different cleaner for everything. Have to have one for the counter, bathroom, tub, mirrors etc...

When I used to use those cleaners I would have to hold my breath because the smell was suffocating. Ditch the irritants! You can still sanitize and have a squeaky clean home. Try Vinegar, baking Soda, soap/ essential oils , and hot water, they can clean ANYTHING.
meatless Monday
Let's talk about meatless Monday! (No judgement on how you choose to eat). Animal agriculture puts a strain on land, water, and energy resources. The 70 billion animals a year raised for human consumption use up a third of the planet's land surface, sixteen percent of global freshwater and a third of the worlds grain production. Not to mention that meat is typically wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic. Eating less meat helps to reduces these impacts. There are a ton of delicious meat free recipes to try! Whichever you chose try incorporating one day a week to plant based meals!
zero waste
This one is an easy swap! You can simply cut up old shirts/ soft fabric or you can purchase a hankie book (my personal favorite). Once used just throw them in the wash! This will save you money, trees, and will be much gentler on your nose.

Let's bring the hankies back!
zero waste
We can't forget the amount of energy and resources it takes to keep a home running. Let's be mindful of how much energy and water we use and ways that we can help minimize this waste, which would help save both the environment and your wallet!
zero waste plastic wrap
Ah the covenants of plastic wrap. Rip off what you need cover and discard.

There are several alternatives to this wasteful practice:
- Wax Wraps
- cloth ot plate over container
- reusable silicone toppers

I have never really grown up with saran wrap. I’ve mostly used Tupperware or plastic baggies to store items like cheese and avocados. Now I only use bee's wax wraps and glass Tupperware to keep my food fresh and help keep the environment clean
zero waste sewing
Manufacturers have made a fortune off our throwaway mentality. They make it increasingly more difficult (and in some cases illegal) to repair items then it is to replace them. Now items are mass produced with poor quality, polluting and depleting our resources, and using unethical practices such as slave labor.

Let's start taking care of what we already own. If you NEED to make a new purchase choose high quality over the “cheap” version, it may seem like a steep price up front but it will save you time and money in the long run where as you will spend more money having to continually replace the cheaper low quality version.

I bring this practice most notably to my clothing. I am fortunate to have two grandmothers who are incredible seamstresses and can mend and make alterations to my clothing. I also had the same pair of boots since the eighth grade until a week ago. I could no longer repair them so I opted to buy more expensive well made boots that have a thirty year warranty. More money upfront but in the long run it will save me because they will last me 30+ years.
zero waste buy less
We buy SO much stuff. We are bombarded with messages everywhere we turn of new exciting items! Buy this! Then you'll be happy! Get that! Then you'll be attractive and so on and so fourth. But the truth is we can actually benefit a lot by consuming less.

Ask yourself "Do I really need this?" wait a week and see if you still like/ need it. Chose other activities besides shopping to spend time with others

Try a no spend challenge and see how much you can save!
You made it to day 30! Congrats!

Lastly is recycling, would you believe that we should be recycling less? That's right recycling should be a last resort, we need to start by bringing less packaging into our lives. Although recycling is better then ending up in the bin, it is not a solve all be all solution to our waste problem.

That being said check with you local city to see what is accepted (not just anything can go in the recycling bin).

Now that the 30 Days to Zero Waste Challenge is to an end don't that this be your stopping point, it is only the beginning!

Just a reminder if you are curious about how much and what kind of waste I produce in 30 days check out my 30 days of trash videos!

As always, Best Wishes!