Zero Waste Tips, Waste Not Everyday

“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


Last month we presented the Zero Waste Hierarchy, an inverted pyramid illustrating the 4 R’s of Zero Waste, plus best waste management practices.  This month we are suggesting small steps Media residents can take toward these practices.  Many of these products can be easily found online at a cost equal to store purchase, and some can be made at home.


Rethink/redesign:  Can we look for products that are designed to be recycled at the end of their life cycle?  Yet are also designed to be lighter and more easily shipped, to save on transportation cost and carbon footprint?

  • Toothpaste tablets design out plastic waste by creating an alternative to plastic toothpaste tubes.
  • Laundry strips sold in cardboard boxes instead of heavy plastic single-use bottles.
  • Shampoo bars, also sold in small cardboard boxes.

Reduce:  Buy less.  Purchase items with recyclable packaging.

  • Toilet paper:  I used to think it could only come wrapped in plastic.  Then I found a site where I could order Zero Waste Toilet Paper in boxes—no plastic whatsoever.  And it is made from bamboo—a quick-growing, easy to cultivate plant that saves forests.
  • Tissue paper:  Surely, even if it comes in a box, it would still have to have plastic around the mouth of the box, right?  Nope.  Found several types that work just fine with no plastic at all.  Again—a bamboo product.


  • Reusable produce bags:  Purchase them or make them yourself out of fabric remnants or old T-shirts  Bring them along to grocery store along with your reusable grocery bags.
  • Cloth napkins instead of paper.
  • Bees wax wraps:  For storing food.  Buy or make your own.
  • Learn how to solder???  I am considering this.  At home we try to repair things that break down and sew things that rip.  But many times I have to throw things out because of a broken metal joint or bracket.  

Recycle:  Don’t throw out things that could be used by others!  Instead donate them to:

  • The Media Free Store at first United Methodist Church, 350 W State Street.  It has been closed during the pandemic but has started covid-safe pop-up events on the lawn.  
  • Green Drop, 350 W State Street.
  • Advertise them on social media sites like:
  • Nextdoor Media 
  • Facebook Marketplace