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Some Tips for Living Closer to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle!

Some Tips for Living Closer to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle!

Living a zero-waste lifestyle involves minimizing waste in all aspects of daily life, from food  packaging to clothing. Here are some practical tips to reduce your household waste effectively: 

  1. Shopping: Bring Your Own Reusable Bags 

Utilize reusable bags not only for carrying groceries home but also for collecting bulk items. Purchasing in bulk significantly reduces packaging waste. Instead of buying pre-packaged  items like rice, nuts, or peanut butter, bring your own containers to fill in the bulk section of your  grocery store. Many grocery stores, such as Whole Foods and Fresh Thyme, offer bulk sections. In the Chicagoland area, shops like "The Eco Flamingo" and "Tiny shop Grocer" provide extensive bulk options for a zero-waste shopping experience. 

Consider making your own products that typically come in plastic containers. Simple items to  prepare at home include hummus, granola, soup, and salad dressing. You can find easy recipes  online. Not only does this reduce plastic but it’s a healthier option. 

  1. Cleaning Products: Go Plastic-Free 

Reduce waste by switching to reusable cleaning products. "Dropps" offers plastic-free pods for  cleaning solutions, delivered to your door, suitable for refillable spray bottles. Additionally, "TheRefillery" provides a bulk shopping experience for soaps, detergents, and cleaning products.  Bring your own containers to refill in-store. 

You can also create effective homemade cleaners. A mixture of white vinegar, water, and lemon  juice works well for cleaning surfaces and floors. 

  1. Clothing Shopping: Buy Less and Second-Hand 

Purchase only what you need. Reducing consumption and ensuring that you buy items you will  use is crucial in lowering waste. For items you no longer use, consider consigning them with North Shore Exchange. 

North Shore Exchange is an excellent option for purchasing second-hand goods. If you cannot  find what you need there, explore other second-hand retailers before opting for new items. This  practice reduces emissions, waste, and resource usage. Avoid online shopping, when possible, to eliminate the need for packaging materials. 

In Chicago and the surrounding area, there is a $0.07 bag tax for each bag used when shopping in-store. You can avoid this fee and contribute to a zero-waste lifestyle by bringing your own reusable bags. 

  1. Compost

Composting is an effective way to convert food waste into valuable compost. "Waste Not  Compost" offers a convenient service for residents of Chicago, collecting food scraps and  turning them into compost. Simply gather food scraps in a provided bucket and schedule a pickup, which can be done weekly or twice a month. Their pickup service uses electric vehicles, further reducing environmental impact. Additionally, you can receive a free annual distribution  of compost if you have a garden or backyard. 

Ensure you follow proper sorting guidelines for the recycling system. Refer to the Recycling A-Z Guidelines for detailed instructions. 

By incorporating these practices, you can significantly reduce your household waste and contribute to a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle. For more tips, continue following our blog!