Room by Room Guide to a Zero Waste Home
When I first started learning about zero waste several years ago, the whole concept was a little overwhelming. I started carrying reusable shopping bags at the grocery store and learned about composting in my backyard. As I read about different waste reducing ideas, I tried them out. But what I really would have loved at the time would be to have a clear and organized room by room guide to a zero waste home. This way, I could refer back to the guide and see my growth and where I could continue to move towards zero waste.
Are you interested in the zero waste lifestyle but feeling stuck on how that would work in your own home? If you are a notorious to do list maker like me, I think you will love this guide I’ve whipped up for you. You can check off these zero waste swaps as you start implementing them in your home. Going zero waste doesn’t happen in a day, it’s a process for sure. Hopefully, this guide can help you stay on track with your zero waste goals!
For me, the toughest zero waste transition was and continues to be in the kitchen. Not every zero waster has access to large grocery stores with tons of bulk bins. I still have to buy a lot of food in packaging for my family and that’s ok. Even if you don’t have bulk shopping available in your town, there are still changes you can make in your kitchen that will reduce your household waste. My favorite way to reduce waste in the kitchen is with composting! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my beginner’s guide to composting. You can find all the details on how to get started on your own compost pile. You will be so surprised at how much waste you can reduce by just composting your kitchen scraps! I realized early on that a large portion of our household waste was scraps from cooking. These scraps that would’ve normally been thrown in the trash can, now go in our compost bin which eventually decomposes into nutrient rich compost for our backyard garden!
Also, here’s my zero waste kitchen check list to help you stay on track when making sustainable kitchen swaps. Hey, don’t forget that you can find a lot of these zero waste alternatives in the Tiny Yellow Bungalow online zero waste store.
My zero waste laundry routine is super simple. Let me just say that I’m really glad I missed out on the DIY laundry detergent zero waste phase. I came across a fantastic zero waste laundry paste pretty early on and have been using it ever since. My laundry routine has changed a little bit since baby Vasco came along. We now have a few extra loads of laundry every week for cloth diapers. Head over to Cloth Diapering 101 if you want to learn more! I’ve got another check list for you here if you want to start your own zero waste laundry routine:
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*We have a clothes line in our backyard but a wooden drying rack is a useful household tool for sure. It’s really great if you don’t have a backyard for line drying. We also like to use ours if it’s raining outside; we just dry clothes on the rack instead of outside. Don’t get me wrong, we still use our dryer! But we do line dry a lot of our clothes. This helps our clothes to last longer and saves energy. Win win!
Making the transition to a zero waste bathroom is so fun! Yep I said it. It’s fun because you’ve got a lot of options. You can try DIY recipes, toothpaste in glass jars, toothpaste in aluminum tubes, compostable dental floss, water picks, etc. Seriously, there are so many different ways to go zero waste in the bathroom; I love it!! Yes, most bathrooms are conventionally filled with lots of plastic containers, but we are so lucky to have many new zero waste companies popping up that offer plastic free alternatives for bathroom products. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different zero waste toiletries. You can find my favorites in the Tiny Yellow Bungalow online zero waste store of course!
Luckily, the bedroom is easier to tackle when it comes to the zero waste lifestyle. Single use plastics and plastic packaging are pretty common in the kitchen and bathroom, but a zero waste bedroom is more about making conscious decisions on larger purchases. I mean to say choosing ecofriendly furniture! Furniture is something you won’t need to purchase often but when you do, try your best to purchase intentionally. See if you can find furniture secondhand and for things like pillows and mattresses, do your research to find the most environmentally friendly products on the market.
A zero waste living room follows similar guidelines to a zero waste bedroom honestly, making conscious furniture purchases! We do our best to shop secondhand for furniture and only buy what we really need. We also try to make do with what we already have. Repurposing furniture can actually be fun! We needed a new couch when we moved to Athens from Houston and instead of purchasing a brand new couch, we jazzed up a twin bed to make a couch for our living room. It was the cutest thing and really functional because our guests could use it as a bed when visiting. Sometimes you just have to get creative with what you already have at your house.