Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Home

Zero Waste

Did you know that you can easily start making difference for the environment and the earth from your home? All you have to do is to make some tweaks here and there around your house and turn it into a zero waste home. Zero waste home is a great way to be part of the zero waste community and make a difference for the environment. There are so many ways of converting your house into a zero waste home and here is the ultimate guide to zero waste home. Keep on reading to start making your house a zero waste home!

What is Zero Waste Home

Before we get into the good part, let’s make sure we understand what zero waste home is. Zero waste home is a rather simple and straightforward idea, create a home or lifestyle that reproduces close to zero waste. Waste meaning trash that will end up in the landfill or combusted. The idea of zero waste home started with one of the leading zero waste advocates Bea Johnson, she started out as a blogger on how to minimalize her family’s trash to a single jar, to be the image of zero waste movement. Through her own experience, she was able to reduce a family of 4’s annual trash to a single jar in 1 year single 2008. Her house is the definition of Zero waste home, where every part is Reduced or Replaced with zero waste products. Instead of choosing products that can end up as waste at the end of the product life cycle, choose a product that can constantly be reused or even repurposed is the goal. In addition, buying products that come with recyclable or no packaging is another important point of zero waste home.

How to Achieve Zero Waste Home

You must be wondering, so how do I start my zero waste home? Or is it possible for my house to become a zero waste home? The answer is yes, changing you house to a zero waste home is a process that you can do at your own pace and can start for very simple steps and cost very little money. Anyone can achieve zero waste home and if you are not sure, you are at the right place. This article will help you understand where to begin and give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to start your zero waste home journey.

One way that I recommend you to have a zero waste home is to understand what products you are currently using, whether they are recyclable, reusable, able to be repurposed or not? Are their zero waste options available and so on. And then pick a few things you want to start changing, let’s start small, 2~3 tasks at once is recommended. Once you are used to those 3 changes, you can then tackle the next, and then slowly your house will be zero waste.

Also it is important to understand the Rs, key principles of zero waste. Which are Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot, and depending on some people they would include Repurpose, Repair. These are very important to achieve zero waste in general. For further information about zero waste and the Rs.

This zero waste home guide with broken down based on the room in your house. You can either selected 2~3 tasks in one area or room of your house to focus on or 1 from each area. That is entirely up to you, the most important is that you are trying to make a difference and remember to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then when you accomplish a change.

Zero Waste Kitchen

Zero waste home - kitchen items
There are a lot of ways to change your kitchen into a zero waste kitchen. Once you realized what products you are using, you can’t unsee how much plastic or waste you are actually producing. Some of these task, you might be already doing it partially, like storing leftover in containers instead of using plastic wraps. Not you just need to entirely convert yourself.

  1. Always have a folded grocery bag just in case of sudden shopping
  2. Shop at local farmers markets with your own produce bags, jars and container
  3. Look for food/produce that are not plastic packaging, such as paper carton for eggs
  4. Buy in bulk to reduce individual packaging
  5. Replace your plastic washing sponge with biodegradable or compostable sponges/brushes
  6. Make your own cleaning solution with lemons and baking soda
  7. Stop buying bottled water if possible and try tap water or get a water filter
  8. Consider having your own compost bin
  9. Have a mini herb garden, not only you can save some money, you can also reduce the waste that is possible when buying packaged herbs.
  10. Replace plastic wraps with reusable honey beeswax wraps
  11. If you love to bake, use reusable baking mats and silicone cupcake molds instead of disposable ones
  12. Keep and freeze your vegetable scraps (skins, stem, roots) in your freezer and once you have enough, use them to make vegetable soup stock. Store them in a glass jar or freeze them as soup cubes. Be sure not include any mold or rotten vegetables.

These are just a few tasks you can choose for your zero waste home transformation.

Zero Waste Bathroom

Zero waste bathroom items
Now, let’s take a look at what we can do in the bathroom to transform it into a zero waste home. You will be surprised by the options there are for transforming your bathroom into zero waste.

  1. Try solid soaps that are package free, such as hand soap, body soap, face soap, or even shampoo!
  2. Stop using makeup removing wipes and use reusable makeup pads, round or cotton pads
  3. Try out compostable bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic toothbrushes
  4. Try toothpaste tablets that comes in metal tins, or glass containers
  5. Replace your single-use disposable razors, with some nice long lasting metal razors
  6. Try period pants or menstrual cups instead of pads and tampons.
  7. Check out some reusable Q-tip
  8. If possible, reduce your makeup or skincare items, and once you are done with them, properly cleanse and recycle them if possible.
  9. Some makeup and skincare brands would be happy to trade in empty bottle and products, thus they can be recycled or repurpose industrially
  10. Buy laundry detergent that can be refilled if possible.
  11. Make your own hair masks, face masks and so on.
  12. Replace your plastic brush with wooden brush that’s much long lasting and maybe even compostable.

For the bathroom, there are many plastic free and zero waste products that you can look into.

Zero Waste Bedroom

Zero Waste home - reduce your closet
Last but not the least, the bedroom. You must be thinking, what can be replace or reduced in the bedroom to be zero waste. Although it is a short list, but I think for some people, it might be the hardest.

  1. Minimalize your closet, meaning donate, recycle, repurpose, sell those clothes you are no longer wearing.
  2. Thrift or buy second hand or even vintage.
  3. Stop buying from fast fashion or shopping sprees. This one is something that was really hard for me, but it is possible!
  4. Stop buying plastic hangers, slowly replace them with wooden one if possible.
  5. Diy some scent packet or sachet that will make your room smell amazing.

  6. Zero waste is a lifestyle

    I hope you enjoy this guide for zero waste home. Remember, you don’t need to rush or stress out about this change, in fact, it is better to do it at your own pace, thus it is easier for you to adapt and continue to changes in the long term.
    If you are looking for easy and straight for zero waste hacks or tips.
    Or curious to see what are some zero waste products we recommend?

Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!