Media Zero Waste

“We don’t need a handful of people doing Zero Waste perfectly.  We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”  –Anne-Marie Bonneau, “Zero Waste Chef”


The Media Recyles Team offers up its latest tips for Zero Waste living:

Tip #1:  Shampoo Bars

Last month we mentioned shampoo bars in the column, in the context of wanting to go Zero Waste, but not wanting to spend a lot of money to do so.  I found a shampoo bar for $3.98 online, which is about what I spend on my (admittedly economical) liquid shampoo in a big SUP bottle.  I used it. My hair looks exactly like it does when I use the liquid shampoo.  The only difference is that it took just a little bit longer to lather it up and get my hair really sudsy.  Next up:  a hair conditioner bar.  

Tip #2:  Mail Order Packaging Waste:

BTW, if you order a lot from Amazon and are not in too much of a hurry, you can choose an “Amazon Day” whereby all your purchases arrive on the same day.  Amazon’s selling point is that you can “rest easy knowing that your packages will all arrive on the same day each week,”  but for me it is that they also attempt to package the your weekly orders in as few boxes as possible, thus reducing the amount of SUP plastic packaging used, as well as cardboard boxes.

Tip #3:  Plastic Bags  

Create a plastic bag collection site at work and ask co-workers to bring them in rather than throw them out at home.  Take them to the bag recycling station at your grocery store on a weekly or monthly basis.  The store ships the bags on to companies who use them to manufacture park benches.

Tip #4:  Reduce 

Reduce the number of products you buy that HAVE unrecyclable packaging in the first place.  Avoid buying stuff that is over-packaged.  Buy sodas in cans or glass bottles rather than in plastic, which is limited in the number of times it can be recycled;  glass and aluminum are almost endlessly recyclable.

Tip #5:  Reuse 

Reuse the containers that the products you purchase come in, and repurpose them for various types of storage containers, rather than buying new storage containers.  Plastic containers and glass jars with lids work wonderfully for food storage.   Wash ziplock bags and reuse them.  Low boxes make great drawer organizers.  

Pandemic Zero Waste Tip of the Month—The Windowed Face Mask:

Save the heavy plastic zippered packages that sheets and blankets come in.  If you don’t use them for storage, they can be used to make a “windowed” face mask that allows for the mouth to be seen. This is ideal for teachers, nurses and those who work with hearing impaired people and others who rely on lip reading and facial expression to communicate.  Click here for instructions on how to make one.