If you are new to our blog, we are a homeschooling minimalist family of five building an off-grid self-sufficient homestead from scratch in the beautiful province of New Brunswick. We have a plan, and so far we have downsized from a 1300 square foot house to a 700 square foot apartment, sold our second car and have adopted a minimalist lifestyle.
*Update* We've recently sold our first family car, too. Read why here!
One of our primary goals, before moving onto our raw land, is to reduce our consumer waste or the garbage we create from buying "stuff".
Have you noticed when you come home from the grocery store, plastic shopping bags litter your kitchen floor and your garbage suddenly needs to be changed? We did.. So disappointing to see what we end up with when we go get groceries to feed our family for a week. We certainly were not helping our planet and I wanted that to change!
Now, I am not living a waste free life, as much as we try, we to be zero, we still produce some un-recyclable trash that gets put out for roadside pick up every two weeks. We aren't perfect and the point of living a zero waste lifestyle isn't to not put trash out every week, but to make better choices, more responsible choices for the items we bring into our possession, limiting your impact on our planet. But, it is a start.
15 Tips to adapt to a Zero Waste Life!
Ditch disposable plastic bags! Always bring with you a canvas or other reusable shopping bags with you when you leave the house!
When grocery shopping, place your produce in reusable mesh bags rather than grabbing disposable bags produce bags and choose naked vegetables, without shrink wrap.
Consider using grocery bin or laundry basket to carry your items home!
Make use of large glass storage containers or canning jars to store items that can be bought in bulk in less packaging.
Stop using paper towels and use rags and towels to clean up!
Visit a local farmers market for produce, often it doesn't come in shrink wrap. Shop local to support your community!
Shop for used clothing or items for around the home at second hand stores or online classifieds, or repair what you already have!
If you still need to shop at a supermarket, try to shop smart and choose reusable or recyclable packaging like jars and cans! We can't always be perfect!
Make your own cleaning products and reuse the spray bottles, this is better for your health as well!
If your community doesn't offer road side pick up, consider taking your recyclables to a drop off centre or use them around the homestead.
Paper and cardboard can be used as landscape paper, composted or made into a paper wood burning blocks for the wood stove.
Sign up for online billing to stop receiving paper mail.
Pack a lunch in a lunchbox to avoid eating out and creating waste from the restaurant, bring reusable drinking glasses and jars!
Compost everything you can!
Opt out of the print newspaper for the online edition, also sign up for online billing!
We have managed to reduce our garbage by about half, we still have a child in diapers, but once potty training is complete, our trash will be reduced greatly! *Update* Both our children are potty trained and our household waste is so minimal that if we are living in a rural area without garbage pick up, it won't accumulate!