25 More Zero Waste Living Tips for Families
Living a zero waste lifestyle can take a lot of work, especially when you have a family. But once you get started, it becomes second nature. Not only are you reducing your waste and helping the environment, but you’re also passing on good habits to your children. If you want to get rid of as much waste as possible by reducing, reusing and recycling, there are many things that you can do to achieve your goals. Here are 25 more useful zero waste living tips for families to help you continue to make changes.
You can read the first 25 ideas here:
Here’s the next 25 on our list –
26. Stop using cotton buds
Cotton buds are usually made with plastic, and they’re single use too. They’re not actually particularly good for your ears anyway, so giving them up is best.
27. Swap to bamboo toothbrushes
Instead of using plastic toothbrushes, consider switching to bamboo brushes. They’re much more eco-friendly, especially as you should get a new brush every few months. Recycled plastic is another alternative.
28. Buy loose fruit and veg
Instead of buying fruit and vegetables in packaging, get them loose. You can take small bags shopping with you and bag up what you need to avoid using plastic bags.
29. Use cloth napkins
Whether you’re having a dinner party or just a normal family dinner, get a set of reusable cloth napkins and placemats, instead of using disposable paper ones.
30. Keep kids clothes
Are you planning on having more children? If your family isn’t complete just yet or your kids are still growing, keep clothes that are still in good condition to be handed down.
31. Make water more exciting
Drinking tap water is OK here in most parts of Australia, and it’s way better than better than buying bottled which almost always comes in plastic! But water can sometimes be boring. Grab a filter and fill your own bottles. Or make it even more interesting by using a SodaStream or adding fruit and other infusions.
32. Keep a reusable safety razor
Use a safety razor in the bathroom, instead of plastic razors. It will last a lot longer, and you can replace or even sharpen the blades to keep them going.
33. Flush less
Avoid using too much water in the bathroom by flushing your toilet less. You can install a double flush button or reduce the amount of water used in each flush by installing a gadget in the tank – or just a plastic bottle filled with water.
34. Plan your meals
Meal planning helps you to reduce waste and shop smartly. If you know what you’re making, you know exactly what to buy. You can also avoid giving into getting a takeaway.
35. Share baths and showers
Conserving water by sharing baths and showers can be a great way for young families to reduce waste. Of course, at some point, the kids are no longer going to want to share with either you or each other! But the grey water can often be used for other things afterwards.
36. Use refillable pens
Disposable plastic pens aren’t necessary when you can get fountain pens and refillable ballpoint pens. Some use cartridges, but others can be filled straight from a bottle of ink.
37. Get rid of junk mail
Start saying no to junk mail by removing your address from mailing lists. Even just a sticker that asks for no junk mail can work – if it’s ignored, don’t hesitate to contact the people responsible.
38. Compost garden waste
After you’ve been gardening, make sure your garden waste goes on a compost pile or bin. You can then use the compost to fertilise your garden and keep the circle of life going.
39. Give up single-use straws
Straws might be convenient to have, but many people don’t really need them. Unless you have a medical use for them, plastic straws can be replaced with alternative materials or ditched altogether.
40. Swap out plastic lunch boxes
Taking a packed lunch to school or work is a good first step. Go even further by replacing plastic lunch boxes with alternatives, such as bamboo and other sustainable materials.
41. Store food properly
Storing your fresh food in the right way should help it to last longer so that you end up with less food waste. Some things should go in the fridge, while others might need to be stored somewhere cool and dark.
42. Get multi-purpose items
Having items in the house that serve more than one purpose can help you reduce how much stuff you have. A canvas shopping bag might also work for storing some produce, for example.
43. Ditch wrapping paper and birthday cards
Instead of using wrapping paper, you could reuse newspaper and packing paper. Gift bags are also a good idea because they can be reused. You might even want to consider no longer giving birthday cards or buying recycled ones.
44. Use makeup remover pads
Rather than cotton wool or makeup removing wipes, you can get reusable pads or cloths that help you remove your makeup without the waste. You just need to wash them before you reuse them.
45. Buy biodegradable poop bags
Pets are part of the family too. If you have a dog, you can buy bags for picking up their waste made from biodegradable materials.
46. Get pet food and materials in bulk
Another tip for pet owners is to buy food, litter, bedding, and other materials in bulk. Try looking for a bulk store where you can refill containers.
47. Ask for alternatives to material gifts
When gift-giving occasions roll around, consider alternatives to material gifts and ask friends and family to do the same. An experience or time with someone you love is even better. Last birthday I received 4 tonnes of dirt for my veggie garden. Gorgeous!
48. Reuse packaging
If you can’t avoid buying a product with packaging, or you get a gift or delivery with excess packaging, see if you can find a way to reuse it.
49. Upcycle broken items
If you’ve broken something and it can’t be repaired, you might not have to throw it away. You could give it new life if you’re creative enough.
50. Turn down receipts
Refuse receipts when you shop, unless you really need one for a big purchase. Some stores will now email you your receipt for large purchases, so you don’t need a paper one. Add these zero waste tips to your lifestyle, and you can start living a greener lifestyle.