Spending more time at home, I’ve taken stock of ways that I may be wasteful, and I am getting more creative with reusing and recycling what I have on hand. For me, that also means rethinking how to make my home life more sustainable, with the ultimate–and extremely challenging!–goal of zero waste. Here are a few really small tips that will make a big impact on the environment.
Avoid single-use plastic bags or water bottles. If you need to use a plastic bag, wash it when you’re done and reuse it many times. Invest in a reusable bottle and keep it alongside your desk as a reminder to refill it, which will also help you drink more water!
Join a local CSA By signing up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you will not only be supporting local growers, you will have fresh local produce delivered to your door.
Save water Look for beauty products that reduce water: shampoo bars like Kenza Artisanal Shampoo Soap. And turn off the water while you brush your teeth, don’t keep it running. Leaving the water running while brushing your teeth wastes an average of four gallons each time. In a four-person household, where each person brushes twice a day, you waste 32 gallons of water.
Regrow and Regenerate Regenerative agriculture, as a sustainable practice, is growing–excuse the pun! This is the ultimate regenerative practice at home. Here’s how: Use your vegetable stems to regrow vegetables. It works really well with lettuce: Cut off the bottom of a head of romaine. Place it upright in a bowl of water that’s been filled to cover the bottom. Place in a sunny spot, and in a couple of days, you will see the center starting to sprout new baby lettuce.
Reuse jars and containers that come with food or beauty products. The pretty frosted glass jar that used to hold your moisturizer sure would make a lovely holder for a votive candle! And the small mustard jar is perfect for storing sesame seeds or dried herbs and flowers!
Learn to compost Compost is made from food scraps, for the most part, and yard waste, like dead leaves, which, when composted, will make the soil more fertile. Whenever you cut the top or ends from vegetables, or peel them, those bits are ripe for composting. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away, and could be composted instead.” Composting isn’t easy in the city–it can make the kitchen a bit pungent! Though if you do, you can drop your compost off at local greenmarkets, and they will be very appreciative.