is a movement that's rapidly gaining in popularity. It's a lifestyle
that embraces minimalism; rejects the ubiquitous disposable items that
are everywhere in our society; challenges mainstream consumerism; and
encourages people to come up with alternative reusable solutions to
In this article,"waste" refers to municipal solid
waste (MSW). MSW is the kind of trash that gets hauled to landfills.
This also includes recycling, which may seem like a good thing, but
has its own share of problems.
No household is perfect, but
small changes can yield big results. I still take out a bag of trash
each week, but each time it's a bit smaller. Instead of putting out an
overflowing box of recycling every other week, I now do it only once a
month. Hopefully these tips can guide and encourage you to pare down
your household needs and to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle
whenever you can.Make your bedroom a sanctuary of simplicity and relaxation with the following zero waste tips.
Reduce the total number of clothes you keep. Choose the ones you love
wearing and are comfortable, and get rid of superfluous ones crammed
in the closet.
2. Wear out those clothes before you pitch
them. Mend holes or have pieces fixed by a seamstress before tossing
them in the trash. Take shoes to a cobbler before tossing.
Shop only once or twice a year, with a specific list of items you
need. This will reduce the likelihood of compulsive buys. Always take a
reusable shopping bag!
4. Give priority to thrift stores and
second hand stores. Some will even pay you for mildly worn clothes!
Have a clothes swap with friends or neighbors!
Next, visit local
retailers and clothes designers. Try to avoid "fast fashion" chains as
much as possible. Buying fewer and higher quality items is better in
the long run than cheap "disposable" clothes, as they will last longer
and are easier to repair.
5. When clothes reach their end of
life, donate all wearable ones to thrift stores. For those that are
beyond use, find a textile recycler such as Planet Aid
that will turn your old clothes into paving materials, paper money, ball stuffing, and carpets.
Look for natural fiber bedding at thrift stores, where it comes
without excess plastic packaging and tags. I have found many fabulous
designer sheets with high cotton thread counts for mere dollars.
Reduce the amount of furniture in the bedroom. You don't need more
than a bed, reading light, and possibly a dresser. Less furniture means
less to clean, organize, and dispose if it breaks.
3. Buy used or antique items if you are buying furniture. Their carbon footprint per year of use is much less than anything new.
Make a headboard from something old, i.e. an old door, scrap wood, an
iron gate. It's fun to get creative and know you're helping reduce your
5. Keep a stack of handkerchiefs handy at all times, instead of Kleenex. Then you can wash and reuse!