Many people associate sustainable living with keeping your trash in a tiny jar, expensive canisters with homegrown ingredients, and saying goodbye to all of your favorite packaged foods. However, this is a very narrow view of environmentalism that comes from the aestheticized, white-washed sustainability on social media.
There is nothing wrong with keeping your trash in a jar or growing your food, of course. It’s amazing if you’re able to do that! However, not everyone has the time or resources to adopt a completely zero-waste lifestyle. There are so many ways to be sustainable and create a more sustainable world that may not make for a beautiful Instagram photo. Even though many people think of sustainable items as expensive, sustainability at its core actually saves money because it all is about reducing consumption and reusing what we already.
For some tips on how to make your life a little bit more eco-friendly, check out some of our favorite waste-reducing guides below!
1. Follow These 5 Tips and Live Waste-Free Nearly Every Day
Source: Chlot’s Run/Flickr
This guide gives you five of the top picks that will help you on your sustainability journey. If you keep these tips in mind, the amount of waste that you produce will drastically change. From avoiding disposable packaging, to repurposing and reusing, to the last resort of recycling, you will get so much inspiration for your own zero waste or low waste journey! Check out Follow These 5 Tips and Live Waste-Free Nearly Every Day to learn how to be more sustainable!
2. 10 Low-Waste Recipes Using Stems, Stalks, and Leaves
Source: Banana Peel Stir Fry
This roundup is so helpful for reducing your food waste! If you typically throw away or compost, stalks, stems, peels, and other totally usable parts of ingredients, these tips will be super helpful! From Broccoli Stem Noodles to a classic vegetable stock, to Roasted Cauliflower Leaves, there are so many recipes that use the parts of fruits and veggies that most people usually get rid of! You have to check out these 10 Low-Waste Recipes Using Stems, Stalks, and Leaves!
3. 7 Low-Waste Replacements for Household Items That Are Usually Plastic
There are so many wasteful products that exist and are commonplace in most people’s homes. It can be overwhelming to remember to replace them all once they are at the end of their lives. This list of 7 Low-Waste Replacements for Household Items That Are Usually Plastic is great to keep bookmarked for the next time a cooking utensil breaks, your razer gets dull, or you need more Tupperware. These replacements will help you transition your home to a more sustainable and eco-friendly environment!
4. 10 Creative Ways to Use Spent Coffee Grounds
Source: David Joyce/Flickr
Before recycling or composting something, it’s always great to see if you can get another use out of it! If you’re a coffee-lover, you not only have a delicious and energizing drink ingredient in your pantry, you also have a natural pest-repellant, odor neutralizer, scrub, and dye! Spent coffee grounds have so many uses and it’s a shame not to take advantage of them! Check out these 10 Creative Ways to Use Spent Coffee Grounds!
5. 7 Crafty Things to Do With Plant-Based Milk Cartons
When it comes to sustainability and reducing our waste, sometimes we have to get a little creative. Sustainability isn’t about fancy, expensive products; it’s about living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. That can look so many different ways. Sometimes you end up with something disposable and that is okay. We all should try our best, but also recognize that the way society is structured makes being completely waste-free extremely difficult. When you end up with disposable products, it’s great to try to reuse them and make new items out of them! If you buy plant-based milk, you may be wondering how to deal with all the cartons. This list of 7 Crafty Things to Do With Plant-Based Milk Cartons is here to help! It includes such fun activities that are fun for adults and kids alike!
6. 8 Creative DIY Ideas for Old Clothes
Donating your old clothes is always a great idea; however, sometimes they might not have their matching pair, be a little too beaten up, or be sentimental. When you can’t or don’t want to Donate old clothing, it’s a great idea to upcycle your garments! The idea of cutting into old clothes and making something new is super exciting, but can also be a little intimidating. If you need some inspiration, check out these 8 Creative DIY Ideas for Old Clothes! They are really creative and fun to make!
7. Crush Plastic in the Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to Storing Food Without Plastic
Source: Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock
This guide is so thorough! If your kitchen is filled with single-use plastic containers, packaging, and so on, don’t worry. These tips will help create a much more sustainable kitchen. Don’t feel the need to get rid of everything in order to get glass jars and other eco-friendly products right away though! Make sure to finish up what you have and see if you can repurpose any of the containers. Then, once you really need a new item, choose the eco-friendly version. It will make the planet happy (and your wallet happy too!) For tips on how to have the ultimate sustainable kitchen, check out Crush Plastic in the Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to Storing Food Without Plastic
8. How to Clean Your House With Trash
Source: M. Show/Shutterstock
Yes, you read that right. Cleaning your home with trash might bring to mind a certain green, swamp-dwelling ogre along with many disgusting images; however, you’re in for a surprise. This guide for How to Clean Your House With Trash teaches you how to make an amazing cleaner from citrus peels! Not only will your home be so clean, but it will also smell fantastic!
9. How to Host a Zero-Waste Party
Source: Gingo Scott/Shutterstock
“Party” and “zero-waste” don’t exactly seem like they belong together. Parties usually evoke the images of plastic utensils and cups, food from packages, and paper napkins. Being zero-waste on one’s own is challenging enough. How could one have a party and keep everyone else from producing waste too? Believe it or not, a zero-waste party is totally possible. It’s all about knowing what you have, being a little crafty, providing reusable utensils and dishware, as well as encouraging others to be mindful of what they are using. This guide will help you learn How to Host a Zero-Waste Party, and an amazing one at that!
10. How to Reuse Leftovers to Create New Dishes and Reduce Waste
Source: Polenta Bake With Caramelized Onions and Portobello Bacon
Throwing away food because it wasn’t enough to eat on its own is honestly sadder than one might expect. Each scrape into the trash or compost breaks your heart just a little bit more. Well, this guide is here to help. Gone are the days, when leftovers would consistently be disposed of. Gone are the days of wasting perfectly good food! Learn How to Reuse Leftovers to Create New Dishes and Reduce Waste, so that you never have to waste your leftovers again. It will save you money and is so much better for the environment. Plus, it’s so fun to get a little creative with your foods!
We hope you gained some inspiration from these guides that will help you live a life that is less harmful for the planet and the beings that live one it. As you make changes to live more sustainably, also remember to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make along the way. No one is perfect and while we should be trying our hardest to save our planet, everyone makes mistakes.
The Carbon Majors Report in 2017 found that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Thus, it’s also important to focus on change on the macro scale. Rather than viewing this data as a statistic that absolves individuals of all guilt for the climate crisis, let’s use it to motivate us. Attend protests, teach your friends and family about Climate change, call your representatives. By making changes in our own lives and encouraging others to do the same, companies will see that sustainability matters to their consumers and thus, will make sustainability more of a priority. The same holds true for governmental officials. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world.
These guides just scratch the surface of the content we have to help you live a more eco-friendly life. Check out some more sustainability content below:
- How to Compost Without a Compost Bin
- YouTuber Talks Zero Waste Lifestyle During Pandemic
- 5 Ways to Repurpose Old Coats and Jackets
- 6 Amazing Homemade DIY Exfoliating Face Scrubs You Have to Try!
- 15 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste and Dive Into DIY This Year!
- 7 Recycled Woodworking Projects You Can Do Indoors
- How to Repair, Maintain, and Repurpose Garden Tools
- 10 Unconventional Ways to Use Old Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls Around the House
- 10 Things You Should Make Yourself Instead of Buying (Your Wallet and Health Will Thank You!)
- Cans, Bottles, Boxes and Utensils: How to Properly Dispose and Recycle Your Party Waste
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast Fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!