Zero Waste (well, less waste)

By Jen Lewis

I’ve been interested in the Zero Waste movement since I saw that first jar of garbage… over six months of waste that could fit in a single 12oz glass jar. I live alone, so I already produce a smaller amount of trash than most homes. My steps toward producing less trash haven’t been radical, but it’s helping me move toward one bag of trash per two month period. Here’s what I’m doing...

Bee’s Wrap

Okay, I’m a sucker for anything with bees on it period, but this stuff is so cool. It lasts for about a year, and works as plastic wrap… on anything! Every half-used vegetable that I would have dropped in a plastic bag? Wrap it up. Bowl of soup I didn’t finish? The Bee’s Wrap goes over the top and seals on the container. Once you don’t need it anymore, wash it off with cold water, and put it back in the drawer. 

Reusable ​Vegetable/​Fruit ​Bags

I can’t even imagine how many plastic bags I’ve taken home from the grocery store, and kept stored away in my drawers. It’s ridiculous. I ordered a batch of cute color-coded mesh ones from Amazon, which was probably unnecessary. But sometimes you need cute things to keep you going. 

Compost Through the City

I don’t have the space for my own composting, but the city of Fort Bragg has a great green waste system. I’m finally being consistent about composting my food scraps, and using potato-based bags to hold them before I bring them out to the bin. The fact that I eat mostly fruits, veggies and meats makes composting hella easy. 

No Straw, Please

This one has been so much harder. I have such a hard time remembering to ask for NO STRAW when I have a drink out!

Thrift Shopping

Thankfully, this area has a lot of great thrift shops. I’d say about 90% of my clothing comes from thrift shops these days… which makes for a real weird wardrobe.

Limit My Online Shopping

The amount of cardboard and invoices and packing material is insane, especially when you live in the middle of nowhere. Canceling my Amazon Prime membership was a hard, hard day, but I’m giving it a go.

LunaPads and Diva Cups

Probably I don't need to explain this one. 

Loose! Leaf! Tea!

Seriously, who’s the guy still putting staples in my tea bags. SO MEAN. Digging those out for trash while composting the rest is getting super annoying. Loose leaf for life. 


Here’s where I will fail until the end of time… makeup, skincare products, shampoo, lotions. How do you buy makeup sustainably? Someone please help me out with this. 

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