Photo: How to go zero waste

Everything here belongs in a bin, not the garbage, with the exception of straws. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

Garbage day needs another name...

Bins in every colour help us sort organics from recyclables from items landfill-bound. And then there are the zero wasters who only fill a mason jar with trash each year!

I aspire to zero waste. I'm not there — yet. But these tips help me get closer:

Tip 1: Use a hankie and blow off facial tissue.

Tip 2: Choose reusable produce bags instead of plastic.

Tip 3: Choose cloth diapers AND make your own baby wipes and solution.

Tip 4: Compost.

Tip 5: Have an eco-friendly period.

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Tip 6: Consume fewer toys: trade instead.

Tip 7: Attend a Repair Café!

Tip 8: Don't treat "best before" as "expiry" dates.

Tip 9: Create an "Eat-me-first bin" for your fridge.

Tip 10: Shop in thrift and consignment stores.

Tip 11: Reuse silica gel packs (part one and part two).

Tip 12: Make a "waste-less air travel kit"

Tip 13: Throw a "green" birthday party!

Tip 14: Use reusable wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

Tip 15: Pack litter-less lunches.

Tip 16: Compost dog doo.

Tip 17: Pack smart for camping.

Already doing all those? Then try these:

What tips did I miss that have helped you on your zero-waste journey?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

January 20, 2017

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Feb 28, 2017
1:56 AM

Let’s start save the environment. Don’t just throw things in the bin and think it’s ok. I think everything that can be reused or recycled should take its chance.


Feb 15, 2017
7:45 PM

Love your blog and ideas for zero waste! We are aspiring to reach this every day. The biggest change we made in our home is how we clean. We use engineered fibres and water. This system is made and hand sewn in Austria with a zero carbon footprint. The raw materials are sourced from Italy, Germany and Austria. Then years later when the working and cleaning fibres are finished, they get recycled. By only putting water down our septic system to clean means that the Eco system of the septic system isn’t compromised. We also don’t purchase any products to clean, including vinegar. By using the Austrian cleaning system our surfaces are scientifically proven to be 6 times cleaner. When using a product to clean (even vinegar and baking soda) I used to leave a residue on the surfaces which the bacteria that wasn’t “killed” uses as food. This is how stains and smells come back quickly after cleaning. The Austrian system actually picks up all the dirt, grime, residue and bacteria into the engineered fibre and will not transfer it from surface to surface as we clean with cool to cold water which leaves a clean surface. Then we just dry the surface to remove the moisture that is left behind. Cleaning with these 2 steps ensures that the food and moisture is taken away so the bacteria won’t reproduce as quickly. Our home stays cleaner longer which means we clean less. We have also been able to teach our kids how to clean because we just use water with the engineered fibres. To clean the fibres we use a small amount of plant based soap. This system has allowed us to get our carbon footprint to Zero when cleaning. I have cleaned with everything out there and this is hands down the best and most environmentally system in the World. This is mechanical cleaning. As a Dental Hygienist, this is how I clean teeth every day and how I teach my clients how to clean their own mouths-mechanically with no products. I would love to send you something to try for yourself. Let me know if you would be up to trying cleaning the modern European way! Laurie Convay

Feb 12, 2017
1:59 PM

When we go to a restaurant, we bring a container or two so we can bring home any left overs (doggy bag) and not use the restaurant’s styrofoam containers.

Feb 12, 2017
11:10 AM

When you say compost less, I’m wondering how that could be done? When we peel veggies and fruits — such as watermelons and cantaloupes — it’s impossible not to compost.

Jan 23, 2017
4:32 PM

Hello, How can I get my whole class involved? We’re in Victoria BC

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