Creating a Zero Waste Home
Zero Waste

open

17.04.2015

Creating a Zero Waste Home

Spring is here! Along with the season comes everyone’s favorite post-winter activity, spring cleaning (cue menacing music). This spring we wanted to provide some helpful hints on how to not only effectively clean your house, but provide a layout, room by room, to make your house as close to zero waste as possible.

 

The Kitchen

Recycling is a must! Find out what you can recycle locally and do it. Every city’s specifications for what they can accept is different, but all of them want to collect as much as possible. If you are “on the fence” as to whether or not an item can be recycled; try to recycle it. They will sort it at their collection site and if it can’t be recycled they will dispose of it.

 

recycle-number-symbols

TIP #1 = Know your recycling symbols. The number inside the circling arrows means a lot. Most of them can be recycled through your curbside pickup, but some cannot.

 

Important: Having a number does not mean the product is recyclable. It only indicates from what material the product is made.

For example #3 products such as medical equipment and piping are rarely recycled. We advise you to double check with your recycling provider to verify their capabilities.

 

 

Composting is a must! Designate a container and collect your extra food scraps. Many cities have programs that will take your compost materials or you can use it in your personal garden or potted plants. Not only can you compost lots of different food waste, but also paper towels, toilet paper and dryer lint are all compostable materials.

kitchen compost bin

Tip #2 = Bokashi Composting is a process in which you can compost almost anything including meat, oily foods, bones and dairy. All you need is a bucket (with lid), organic waste and some bokashi mix.

 

Living Room/Bed Room/Office

There is not a lot of waste generated in these rooms, but there is still some waste saving information to contemplate.

  • Consider buying from a second hand store before buying new.
  • Donate used clothes and linens
  • Mattresses are recyclable. Most cities have mattress recycling programs setup. If still in useable condition donate it so it can be reused.
  • Get rid of junk mail.

 

Bathroom/Laundry room

Cleaning products can be expensive and often times contain toxic ingredients. Do it yourself or DIY products are a great way to save money and make sure your family is protected from toxic chemical exposure. All you need are a few simple ingredients and you can make almost any personal care or cleaning product.

There are a plethora of recipes online, but here are a couple that I got at a zero waste workshop to get you started:

spray bottle

DIY All-purpose cleaner

    • Spray bottle
    • ½ cup white vinegar
    • 1Tbsp dish soap or castile soap
    • 2 cups water
    • Essential oils (optional)

Add ingredients to spray bottle. Add essential oils (about 20 drops) if using. Shake well. Use on hard surfaces. Great for kitchen and bathroom counters, mirrors and windows, and to disinfect toys.

 

 

detergent cutter

DIY Laundry Detergent

    • 1 bar of soap
    • 1 cup Borax
    • 1 cup washing soda

Shave the soap with a cheese grater or food processor. Combine all ingredients and put in airtight container. Add 1 TBSP per load.

 

 

Tip #3 = Recycling is important in the bathroom. Be sure to recycle all empty shampoo and conditioner bottles. Also consider buying products made from already recycled materials such as recycled toilet paper or paper towels.

 

Garage/Yard

  • Start a personal compost bin. There are a lot of bins you can purchase or you can create your own. Dead leaves, straw, wood chips, sawdust (from untreated wood) and grass clippings (from lawns not treated with a herbicide) are great ingredients for your compost bin.
  • Re-sell or fix old machinery. Lots of people have old or broken machinery that usually end up getting thrown out. Instead of disposing of the machine try to re-sell it if it works; otherwise there are general fix it clinics for learning how to fix up and use broken machinery.

Let us know if you found these tips to be helpful. We would love to hear your experiences and other ways you're being part of the HoneyLove solution.

Here are additional resources to help you make your home zero waste.

Photo credit: Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: elecnix / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Arria Belli / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: blacktsuba / Foter / CC BY-SA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *