Zero waste intentions are bound to fail unless they become habits. Here are 42 zero waste habits for green living that will save you money — for the win.
We all have good intentions, but many zero waste, living green goals are bound to fail unless they become habits. Very often I go to the grocery store and come home with my groceries in plastic bags, while I have a dozen cloth bags hanging on a hook right inside the back door, on the way to the carport.
You see, I forgot to take them to the store with me. Have you done that, too? Don’t beat yourself up about it. It takes time to develop sustainable habits.
Develop Zero Waste Habits
As we develop the new habits to match our living green intentions we’ll find success. Instead of trying to remember to take my cloth bags into the store, I’m growing a habit of returning the cloth bags to the car, after each shopping trip. This way, if I forget to take them into the store, I only have to go back to the car to get them.
Of course, the goal is to live a zero waste, sustainable, living green, and self-sufficient lifestyle. But you can’t get there by genie blinking. You must form new zero waste habits to create a zero waste lifestyle. And the best way to form new habits is to pick just one behaviour and focus on it intentionally until it becomes a habit. Then pick another one and focus on that one until it is a new zero waste habit.
Before you know it you’ll have made some big living green lifestyle changes, one habit at a time.
Here are 42 zero-waste habits to help you live sustainably. And the bonus – you’ll save money as you make each of these a habit in your living green, self-sufficient life. Why 42? Well, because it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Google it, if you doubt me.
Zero waste shopping
1. Take cloth bags to the store and say no to plastic shopping bags.
2. Take smaller cloth bags to the grocery store for produce, too. You can make them out of thrift shop sheer curtains. Sheer cloth bags allow fresh produce to breathe and keep your purchase visible at the till.
3. Use even smaller cloth bags for the bulk food bins, too. Just fill them and close them with a twist tie, just as you would the plastic bags near the bulk bins. Write the bin code on the twist tie as you normally would. You can weigh them before you fill them and the person at the till will subtract the weight from your purchase price.
4. Buy your rice, quinoa, beans, and grains in the bulk food bins or large 25# paper bags, and store them in metal bins and glass jars at home. Skip the boxes and plastic bags.
5. Buy fresh local produce from a farm or the farmer’s market. You’ll be able to buy it without plastic, and it will be fresh and in season. That makes it healthier and since it won’t have travelled as far as the produce at the grocery store, it should last longer, too. Remember to take a shopping basket or shopping bags with you to the market.
6. Buy your eggs from a local farmer or get your own laying hens. The eggs get stored in egg cartons but you’ll get to reuse the cartons week after week, instead of tossing the cartons and getting a new one each week.
Your zero-waste kitchen
7. Use unpaper towels or cloth towels and reduce your paper towel use.
8. Use linen napkins instead of paper napkins or paper towels at the dinner table.
9. Bake your own bread at home and you’ll save money, control the ingredients, and you won’t need the plastic bag that bread comes in. Instead, store it in a bread bin like grandma used to do.
10. Use a linen bread bag instead of a plastic or paper bag to keep your homemade bread fresh longer.
11. Store your leftovers in glass Mason jars instead of plastic bins or plastic bags.
12. Bake cookies, cakes, and muffins at home, from scratch, and store them in a reusable tin, and you’ll have healthier baked goods and less packaging.
13. Make your own ice cream and popsicles at home for those hot summer days, using real fruit, and raw milk and eggs and you’ll have a healthier snack and you’ll eliminate the packaging from the commercial product.
14. Can your own tomatoes, vegetables, and fruit instead of buying your fruit and vegetables frozen or in cans, You’ll buy it at the peak of the season when prices are lower. You’ll control the end product and save on packaging. See Food preservation – summer’s bounty for winter’s scarcity
15. Make ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce at home, from scratch. Store it in glass jars and glass bottles, instead of buying the kind in plastic bottles at the store.
16. Make your own salad dressing at home, fresh as you need it. It only takes a few minutes, and you can avoid GMO oils like soy oil and canola oil, and you can vary the spices and flavour to keep the salad bright and fresh tasting. You’ll save money and break the salad boredom.
17. Skip the organic spring green salad mix in its plastic clamshell and grow mesclun mix at home. You can have a fresh salad growing and ready to harvest in about 40 days, and you can cut it up to 4 times before you’ll have to dig it out and replant. Your salad will be fresher tasting, with more vitamins and minerals than the store-bought kind that had to travel by truck to get to you.
18. Make waxed cloth wraps to use instead of plastic wrap or waxed paper for food storage. Use a combination of jojoba oil, beeswax, and a bit of pine resin for the most flexible cloth wraps. These beeswax wraps are simple and easy to make.
19. Buy tea in bulk instead of getting tea bags, many of which are made of polymers, and use a reusable tea ball or a teapot with an integrated tea strainer. Bulk tea is less expensive than individual tea bags. Bulk tea is often better quality tea, too. The average box of 20 tea bags costs $3+ and contains only 20 grams of tea or a whopping $70 per lb. And it’s not even organic. A full pound of quality organic tea from Mountain Rose Herbs, my favourite source for organic bulk tea, is only $20. (I used peppermint tea for this comparison.) Or better yet, grow your own herbs and dry them for tea. If you prefer black tea learn how to ferment your own tea from tannin-rich herbs like fireweed and raspberry leaf for an even smaller footprint. Make bedtime tea as a natural sleep aid. It’s not rocket science or alchemy. If you have a garden you have a source of tea.
20. Use a food dehydrator and dry leftovers and the smaller bits of vegetables and fruit before they go bad in your fridge. Dried vegetables can be used in soup stock and gravies to add flavour and nutrition. Dried grains like rice and quinoa make instant soup mixes for quick lunches. Celery that’s going limp, the last few leaves from cabbage or lettuce can all be dried for use in soup and stock. Dried fruit is a good addition to homemade yogurt, muffins, or cookies. This way you won’t throw them out and you won’t need to buy instant packaged mixes at the grocery store for those times when you need a lunch to go, in a hurry. Hint: when you fully cook rice and then dehydrate it you make instant rice, which will reconstitute just by adding boiling water.
Zero waste personal hygiene
21. Make your own deodorant, toothpaste, moisturizer, beard balm, and shaving soap. Store each one in a small glass jar instead of buying these products, in their plastic containers at the store.
22. Buy a wooden toothbrush with BPA-free bristles instead of a plastic toothbrush. This one might cost a little more but you won’t be ingesting plastic bits and chemical dyes as you brush your teeth. Bonus: the toothbrushes with charcoal bristles whiten your teeth, too.
23. Make your own herbal supplements and herbal vitamins using real food and skip the chemical vitamins and OTC drugs in their plastic bottles.
24. Use a menstrual cup instead of paper tampons for feminine hygiene. You’ll experience less cramping, reduce your toxic exposure to dioxins, and have a healthier cycle. And you won’t have to forgo swimming and sports activities during your monthly period.
25. Use washable cloth pads instead of disposable sanitary napkins for your monthly cycle. You’ll experience less cramping and reduce your toxic exposure to dioxins. When we switched to cloth pads from the commercial disposable pads, we also had a reduction in heavy menstrual periods and less cramping. The improvement was immediate.
Cloth pads breathe so you’ll also reduce your body odour during your period. While cloth pads may seem expensive initially, you’ll need about 10, including 3 overnight pads, to get started, they will pay for themselves in the first year of use. If you combine cloth pads and a silicone menstrual cup you won’t need as many cloth pads to get through a cycle. And you can even make your own from cotton flannel using a disposable sanitary pad as a pattern. Remember to add a seam allowance.
26. Use cotton handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues. They are softer on your nose and washable.
In your home
27. Switch to e-bills for your utility bills and bank statements but remember to save them to a thumb drive so you don’t misplace them. Often you’ll save in fees, and you won’t have to print them at home if you save them to a thumb drive. Keep two copies one on your computer and one on the thumb drive so you’ll have a backup if your computer malfunctions.
28. Use your worn-out clothing to make dusting rags, and cleaning cloths. You avoid using paper towels and you’ll add another level of usefulness to worn-out clothing.
29. For greasy or noxious messes, use cloth scraps from your worn clothing that are not good enough to reuse for other purposes. Keep a basket of clean but worn clothing pieces that can be tossed into the compost when they’ve done their job degreasing bacon or cleaning up cat vomit, for instance. Cotton and other plant fibres are best for this use. Polyesters and other man made fibres, like plastic, will not break down in the compost, nor will they be absorbent enough for the gross jobs.
30. Make your own laundry detergent, washing soda, and nonchlorine bleach and save money and packaging trash.
In your closet
31. Buy your clothing and household textiles at thrift stores, second-hand stores, or antique shops. You’ll find quality products that will express your unique style and taste, and you’ll be preventing textiles from going to the landfill.
32. Steam press your woollen suits and jackets instead of dry cleaning them. You’ll reduce the toxic chemicals going into your clothes, and into the water table. You won’t be bringing home clingy plastic, and your clothes will be just as fresh and clean. Spot clean your garment though before you steam press it so that you don’t set the dirt permanently.
Babies and Children
33. Practice elimination communication from birth and get rid of disposable diapers, while you reduce your need for cloth diapers.
34. If that sounds like too much work, use cloth diapers and wool soaker pants instead of disposable diapers.
Zero waste lunch to go
34. Take your lunch with you and package it in glass jars or bento boxes instead of single-use plastic or Mylar bags.
35. Take your glass, reusable coffee cup with you to the coffee shop and get a refill instead of a takeout cup. Cups like the KeepCup and Joco Cup match the usual coffee shop sizes so your take out coffee is perfect every time. No more litter to carry with you.
36. Use a cotton or linen table cloth on the picnic table instead of paper or plastic table cloths. Weight it down with table clips or rocks tied with string on the corners. The cloth table cloth is easier to clean and you can pick one up at a thrift shop for a few bucks.
37. Use a refillable copper water bottle and always take it with you when you leave home. You won’t be tempted to buy a soda or bottled water when you are out, and you’ll save money, too. Plus in the summertime pure copper actively keeps water clean of microbes.
38. Don’t buy individually wrapped snack foods, protein bars, and breakfast bars. Instead, make them from scratch at home where you control the ingredients, and store them in a reusable tin. Packaged them individually using reusable beeswax cloth wraps, glass jars, or bento boxes on the day you need to serve them for lunch or breakfast.
Zero waste leisure
40. Read your local newspaper online and skip buying the print version. You’ll reduce the wasted newsprint, and get your news earlier.
41. Make your own wine or mead and bottle it in refillable wine bottles and you won’t be tempted to buy wine at the store. Use a wine kit with real fruit for an exceptional bottle of wine, or make your own wine with fruit from your homestead.
42. Instead of paper or mylar gift wrap or reusable paper gift bags, that eventually wear out and get tossed, wrap your gifts in a cloth napkin, a cotton tea towel, or piece of fabric using Furoshiki gift wrapping techniques. Your recipient will be delighted. Brightly coloured napkins, tea towels, and fabric remnants suitable for gift wrap can be found inexpensively at garage sales and thrift stores. Find more zero-waste gift wrap ideas here.
There’s the answer to creating zero waste habits to help you triumph at living green. Don’t try to do them all at once. Pick one thing and make it a habit. Then pick another and make that one a habit. One habit at a time is how we change the world.
How are you doing so far with your zero waste habits? What is the easiest habit you’ve adopted, the hardest? I’ve got a ways to go. But yes, my cloth shopping bags are in the car. Are yours?
More Zero Waste Articles from Joybilee Farm:
20 Ways to Make 2020 Your Zero Waste Lifestyle Year
25+ Easy Swaps for Your Zero Waste Kitchen
The Zero Waste Home: One Step at a Time
Debt Free Living: 50 Strategies to Save Money and Get Out of Debt
Great ideas—I became vegan to cut back on waste. I make oat milk and I must say, I really like it, and I like making it instead of having to run out to the store at 10 at night. I found a great recipe and would share if anyone is interested. I also saw a post (diff site) for making a bidet with a kitchen water sprayer from Home Depot, but attaching to toilet water pipe. It looked easy and would be much cheaper. It’s on my list. Also, if you don’t know–sign up for the FB group, “Buy Nothing Project.” It’s fantastic to gift away things you don’t want, and get things you need. I try that first, then the thrift store, then finally buy new if I absolutely must. Learn to sew–I have saved so much waste and money. I contact companies 3-5x a week to ask them to package more sustainably. If more people did that, they’d hear us. There are companies that sell items in cellulose rather than plastic bags.
I’ve recently been researching zero waste living and enjoyed your article. The amazing thing I have learned is…I have always lived this way. I counted only 6 things out of your 42 that I have not done my whole life, having been raised on a small farm. Three of those, I now also do regularly.
That said, I am still astonished by how much trash leaves my home. My husband was not raised like I. He is a brand-loyal, full-on soda drinking, snack eating, “Recycle? I’m not a hippie.” consumer.
However, I have converted him to paperless bills, using cloth towels in the kitchen, recycling everything our service accepts and the really, really BIG ONE…purchasing second-hand furnishings and clothing. No luck with breaking the Downy fabric softener habit or sending his dress clothes to the dry cleaners. But, I’m trying.
Joybilee Farm says
It sounds like you are the queen of zero waste! Good work!
I definitely want to get to a zero-waste lifestyle at some point, but I’m starting with going plastic free. I though I was pretty green, but with research, I have found out that a lot of things have plastic in it, and I didn’t even know (LIKE TEA BAGS???) It’s crazy. I love thrifting for my clothes, so I have started to thrift for other things, like soap dishes, rather than buying it on Amazon. Considering cancelling my Amazon Prime account. Thanks for the great post, if you have some time, consider looking at my blog! sunshinelanding.com … I write about travel and vegan food, and I am getting into learning how to be more green.
We have been taking our own bags shopping for years, but I’m getting really serious now & have made my own produce bags & am trying to avoid buying too much packaged food. I also try to make all of our meals from scratch. Bread, desserts, muesli, evening meals, sometimes cookies & bars when I’m not too busy. I have a food dehydrator, but got out of the habit of using it. I also make DIY cleaning products & use essential oils for health & Well being.
Hopefully when we move to the home we are building in a semi rural area, we will be more self sufficient with an acre block. We have already planted our orchard & citrus grove & have a small veggie plot that we tend to each Sunday.
Thank you for the tips. I’ve got heavy periods and don’t normally wake up in the night. I was wondering how the cloth sanitary towels fare with heavy flow + in duration. Anyone have experience?
I also have heavy periods and the overnight pads work great! I bought mine off Amazon.
K Poppen says
Try Naturally Cozy…a home based business with a large variety of cotton pads…they are great!! Naturallycozy.com.
I bought mine from Etsy. Wish I started sooner! There are a ton of vids to view and get more info on transitioning.
I also use Thinx (https://www.shethinx.com/), and the heavier days ones hold so much more than I thought – I’m good to go overnight. For super heavy days, try a cloth pad over these! You won’t have to worry about leakage or anything! I love them so much (I still end up using disposable pads or tampons during the day at work every so often, but only need 1-2 instead of 3-5 when I pair it with Thinx!)
Hannahpads are great too.
A lot of great tips, I especially like all the simple DIY stuff (baking, planting, giftwrapping etc. ) But… there is one thing that I have noticed with many Zero Waste how-to-lists, which concerns me.
It seems like plastic becomes The Great Enemy (And I totally agree on that), but most people already own a lot of reusable plastic stuff (lunchbox, water bottle, food containers, sturdy plastic bags). It might be worth mentioning that the best solution isn’t to throw away all of your plastic, but keep what you have and use it until it breaks instead of replacing it with “infinitely” reusable things immediately. Personally, number 2,3,4,21,37 would require that I buy glass/metal/cotton things, where I already have a plastic alternatives that I can keep on reusing until they break.
I guess my #1 habit/rule would be not to replace something that isn’t broken.
I have to agree with this. The absolute BEST way to be environmentally friendly is to not buy anything new at all and rather use what you have even if it’s plastic. And another “fun” fact: in order to be “green” the entire life cycle of the product needs to be considered – from material production to end of life – and a reusable cotton bag needs to be used 100 times before it is equally environmentally friendly as a planstic bag used once. You can use a sturdy plastic bag several times, say 4 as an example – that would mean you needed to use your cloth bag 400 times! And that’s just to equal the status.
Now, if you already have a cloth bag or can make one, no excuses. Use them, make them out of old clothes, and wear. Them. Out. Pass them on to the next generation. If you can avoid plastic, do so, but if you need to purchase something else to do it, maybe stop and reconsider.
Well said Maria!
If you are worried about waste,think of the wastethst comes from hospitals and other medical facilities. What they use and dispose of is truly amazing, And they have quite a carbon footprint, too. Much larger than yours, I think.
That is not a good reason not to care about your carbon footprint. Every little bit helps and the more individual households who care, the bigger reduction of waste.
I guess that is one of the reasons we have to have healthy lifestyle so we would end up in hospital as little as possible.
Perhaps I missed it, but I have been using family cloths for a couple years. I bought a yard of flannel fabric and cut it into 7-inch squares. I used my pinking shears to avoid hemming the cloths (fraying has been minimal). I use them for “wet clean up” only. The clean ones are stored in a basket hanging over the TP holder. Used ones are stored in a vintage enamelware chamber pot and washed in a lingerie bag with whatever white load of laundry is being bleached (towels or underwear). Heaven only knows how much toilet paper hasn’t been 1) purchased and 2) flushed to our septic tank.
Great, I used old frotee towels but I like the flanell way! It may be more soft. I use now since mor than one year and I never had infections or whatever people could imagine…
Wow! I am impressed. I had no idea anyone did that, not sure if I could.
I have heard of a woman who has placed few car tyres at the top of each other and she uses it as a toilet. She grows soft leaved plants around it for toilet paper. I have got a lot of room to improve.
We started with cloth wipes for the babies and just kept going. The cloth is used by us all now and we just have toilet roll for guests.
Carole Fearon says
All great ideas. I recently decided to come off dairy milk and have soy milk instead. I bought a soy milk maker. I buy the soy beans from our co-op bulk store (no packaging) and they are certified non GMO and I bought a soy milk maker. So far I have made about 24 litres of soy milk. This means 24 soy milk cartons that have plastic twist off tops were avoided. I put the milk into a jug in the fridge when it is done. Wash up the milk maker and that is it. I run the milk maker during the day (takes 25 mins and make about 1.5 litres) so that we are using our solar electricity instead of grid electricity.
What a fantastic list! I bought my husband 2 stainless steel bento boxes to alternate as his lunch boxes – best investment ever. He was using a mason jar, but he kept smashing them! We are going to swap our plates over to stainless steel too – not the prettiest looking things, but I am so sick of buying replacement crockery for all the bowl dropping that goes on here 😀
Joybilee Farm says
I know what you mean. I stopped buying glasses for the same reason, but now I use mason jars and mugs. I’m just butter fingers when it comes to handling wet glasses.
I love this list!!!! So many people want the convenience of having everything at their fingertips. Nobody wants to do a little bit of work to save hundreds of dollars. Society is getting so lazy thus in turn turning our world into a huge trash can. It makes me so sick to see all the trash strung about the beautiful rural back roads and streams of West Virginia where I’m from. People need to start learning new ways of saving our environment and this list is a great start for everyone. So kudos to you for sharing and please people take the hint and start helping our environment. Thanks again for sharing
Donna Yarbrough says
I live making my own yogurt and butter. I get lots of jars from thrift shops and tag sales. and use them for food storage. I also use them with my Foodsaver.
Before discarding old clothes and worn out shoes, always remove and keep all buttons and shoe laces for repurposing. Button cans at estate sales sometimes have great vintage buttons! My grandmother even kept the zippers. She also saved shortening and margarine wrappers in the freezer to grease her bread and cake pans.
Elisa Hernandez says
Thanks!! That sounds like a great idea! 🙂
Well I’m happy to report I definitely do a lot of these already. Cloth bags instead of plastic, mesh for fruits and veggies and some ripstop nylon ones for flour/rice/beans etc. I had a whole shelf constructed on display in my kitchen to store all my pretty jars of bulk foods, too. I think making your own milk could be added to the list. Nut milk, anyway. I have a milk bag for just that purpose. Buying the nuts in bulk then making just the amount you know you’ll drink in the week saves money, too. I always use a refillable water bottle or coffee mug, cloth towels for cleaning, old laundry for rags and upcycle what I think can be used differently.
Cara @ Fashionably Frugal says
I am glad to see I am not the only one who does some of these. I get funny looks at the grocery store when I pull out my produce bags, but I have people ask me all the time where I bought them. My shopping bags are old t-shirts that became grocery bags. They may not be pretty, but they work and I can throw everything in the wash when it gets dirty.
Jennifer Kim says
In place of toilet paper. We bought a bidet that connects to the toilet bowl seat and use wash rags for drying (specifically used for the body… White tags for cleaning the house and brown rags for cleaning/drying the body). I use to get really bad UTIs growing up (multiple times a year. Since using this method, I haven’t had any. I feel much cleaner afterwards too!
The majority of them on your list I am already doing (because I’m cheap and don’t trust a lot of these companies anymore! Lol) but found a few more ideas from your list. Thank you for this list!! I’m also trying to go vegan, due to the large amount of waste and damage to the earth commercial farming is causing, but it’s so hard with every one else in the house eating it. Anyways, thank you again.
Elisa Hernandez says
HI, I was the only vegan in my house for a long time. I think it helps a lot to keep lots of information around you about the importance of Veganism, health benefits, Youtubers who are vegan, and about how to be Vegan Environmentally. It can really help. DOn’t give up!!!!!
I struggled until I found 4 or 5 recipes everyone would eat. Now they are more adventurous. It helped that pizza and pasta can be made vegan lol.
My family uses an old fitted twin sheet to cover picnic benches when we eat in the park. It fits perfectly over the table and under the corners so that the wind doesn’t blow it up. Much easier than trying to weight the corners!
Joybilee Farm says
Awesome idea. Thanks for commenting.
All great ideas! I have made so many changes this past year so far ^_^ ! Love useing my dehydrator to use up older fruit (my kids love it) and looking forward to trying to and make herbal teas this year. Do you have any recipes or links for using dehydrated vegetables for soups?
If you don’t mind beef it makes great jerky when seasoned right. Instead of the smoker or oven.
Janet Fazio says
Great tips for leaving the planet cleaner than our parents did.
Edith Campbell says
My Parents and grandparents left the planet much cleaner than the present generation is leaving it. They were poor farmers and most everything was hand and home made. We have raised our own vegetables, some fruit and meat all along. Mom made our clothes and knitted our toques, mitts and socks as well as 3 generations of our family have homemade quilts. Many in our 4th generation are carrying on many of the recipes and traditions. My family in the Ottawa Valley are not the only ones to be able to boast of this.
Anne O'Sullivan says
Wow! What a great list! Freezing leftovers in jars is popular at my office but I use ice cube trays to freeze them at my house. It started as a way to feed my daughter healthy food when she was a baby (she is now 20) and continued from there. Everything from left over canned items to crock pot stews (my fave!) to spaghetti (you have to ‘spin’ it to fit) can be frozen into an ice cube. For example, when I make butter chicken I will freeze the rice and the butter chicken separately. When it comes time to pack a lunch I take 4-6 rice cubes and 2-4 butter chicken cubes in a reuse able bag and et voila! Butter chicken for lunch! My freezer is full of reuseable bags full of cubes of reheatable food for lunches, dinner after a long day and lazy weekends.It works well for me!
Joybilee Farm says
That’s a wonderful idea, Anne. Thanks for sharing.
Wonderful list! I never thought to make produce bags out of sheer curtains. Genius! There is never a shortage of those at yard sales! THanks for the awesome ideas <3
Terrie Coleman says
I love Mason / Ball jars. I’m single (as is my brother who lives next door). Every couple of months I make a huge pot of soup and put it in pint Ball jars with the date taped on the top and put them in the freezer (and my brother’s freezer). Then, when either of us wants a warm meal and doesn’t want to cook much, we take one out, thaw it enough to get it out of the jar (wide mouth jar) and warm it up on the stove. I like to use my Ball jars for freezing food whenever possible.
Thanks for all your posts. I enjoy them.
Joybilee Farm says
Excellent idea. And that is also very thoughtful of you to take such good care of your brother.
In regards to #29…cat vomit and bacon grease are both things I would avoid putting in my compost bin. Cat vomit can contain roundworm eggs and grease of any kind is not compostable.
Pam DuTemple says
In our area we are able to put any grease, be it bacon, oil or fat into our compost bin.
Janice Boling says
Disconnect your clothes dryer so you won’t be tempted to use it and hang your clothes on a line (inside or outside depending on weather).
Alternatively, if you have to dry your clothes chuck in a dry tea towel. It reduces drying time by a third.
I keep our oldest, most frayed towel in the dryer all the time. That’s where it lives to reduce drying time. I bought a collapsible drying rack and a little contraption that has a lot of clips that hangs from a hook to dry sock and lingerie. The only things at my house that regularly get dried are towels. And always wash cold. Save the planet and the dollars!
Wool dryer balls are better. And they look so pretty in the dryer where they live! They absorb the moisture and fluff your clothes – reduced dryer time and reduced ironing! Win Win
Barb Smuland says
I have really learnt alot from your postings. This is what i do to help stay green. I bought and old blender at a yard sale and I keep it outside by my green house. I take all my kitchen waste, coffee grounds and filters, egg shells, peelings, watermelon rind, even paper napkins and blend them up with water and pour it around my tomato and pepper plants or just add it to my barrel composter.
Joybilee Farm says
That’s a great idea, Barb. Thanks for posting.
Greener Daddy says
“You must form new zero waste habits to create a zero waste lifestyle. And the best way to form new habits is to pick just one behavior and focus on it intentionally until it becomes a habit” – so inspiring
We are trying step by step.
Thanks for this 42 reminder’s list. It helps
Joybilee Farm says
I’m glad you found it inspiring. It’s true just one habit at a time and you’ll succeed.
I have started using a growler to refill and have beer when I want eliminating bottles and cans. Also there are natural sea sponges that can be used for menstration
Joybilee Farm says
I’ve seen the natural sea sponges advertised for menses, good idea. What’s a growler?
A growler is a 32 or 64 oz. container that holds primarily beer of cider. More and more places are allowing you to bring one and and have it refilled. Most of these are glass but there are stainless steel and ceramic ones out there.
Joybilee Farm says
Thanks. Good to know.
Hello. I love the lit. My question is what do you use instead of paper towel to rub in a layer of olive oil in your cast iron frying pan? I do this every time after I cook in my pan and I’m looking for an alternative that will add the layer, but not soak up the entire splash of oil.
Joybilee Farm says
Kaleigh, I use a silicone pastry brush to apply the oil and a piece of scrap cotton to absorb the excess. You can use the scrap of cotton several times before you toss it or use it as fire starter.
This is genius! Ive been using old wash rags but they dont wash very well so ive been trying to figure out someting to do instead. One thing I do though is store my used grease rag for iron pans in the freezer in a small cup so it stays fresh between usage. I try to wash it about every 2 weeks.
Lydia Creech says
use the same piece of cloth every time to oil your pan keep it in a jar its fine to do that so your cloth is still oiled all the time
Lisa Burke says
I just put one drop of oil and rub it around with my finger. There usually isn’t any excess and I don’t have to worry about an oily cloth.
Thanks for the great tips, I just checked out Diaper Free Baby from the public library. I’m 5 months pregnant and I’m excited to read about this.
This was a great list, I do most of these things because I like to save money and resources. I wouldn’t have imagined that I’d be interested in “living green” I guess I just have some kind of negative association with the term “living green.” Which is really funny because apparently I am green. Ha
Joybilee Farm says
I know. Me, too. My son and his wife raised their two daughters with elimination communication. They weren’t without the occasional mess, but it worked well for them, and way less laundry.
I did elimination communication with both my kids. My 2nd child I started at birth. By 5 days old, she would grunt when she needed to eliminate and I would hold her on her potty. She almost never used her diaper except at night or on long car rides. She also fully potty trained in thr day by 22 months. It’s a bit of work but definitely worth it.