It's less complicated and easier than you think!
There seems to be a perception that living a low waste lifestyle is more expensive than not. Guess what? It doesn't have to be! Lower waste living is all about less consumption of things that cant be reused, repurposed, and recycled/composted. And reusing, upcycling, etc. what we can. It is NOT about fancy stainless steel metal boxes and all bamboo utensils etc etc. Those things are fabulous, don't get me wrong, but they aren't necessary. I bet you've got quite a lot of things that can be reused in your house already. Check out my list of 10 things I do to eliminate waste in the Home Sewn Household.
These things are small and simple, but starting small is crucial when starting new habits. I hope this list helps you become more mindful of your habits that create waste and help you see more ways you can reduce the waste that comes out of your home.
Turn the tap off while your brushing your teeth. Water resources are limited, even on city water. I started this habit when my home relied on an old well for water access and I've never gone back. Water everywhere comes from our fresh water resources and the more active we are about saving water where we can, the longer it'll last and more time it'll have to be replenished.
Save that container/bag (plastic or glass ) and wash it to use to hold leftovers, snacks, or bulk grocery items. If you're REALLY not going to reuse it in any way- donate it to a local thrift store.
Turn the lights off when you leave the room. Such a small thing I know- but small things make a difference. It'll stop wasting precious energy and lower your bills! To take it a little further you can unplug things when you aren't using them/once they charge all the way. It helps the batteries in electronics last longer and uses less energy (yes, some things still use up energy when they aren't on but are still plugged in.)
Reuse that water bottle- even if its a plastic one. Full it back up and use it again! Dirty? Wash it and use that baby for all its worth.
Don't throw out that toothbrush- use it for cleaning! Plastic Toothbrushes last forever so save those babies and use them as long as possible, just not in your mouth.
That old shirt that has holes in it? Or the tank top that's been sitting unworn in the back of your dressed for ages? Re-purpose them! The options are nearly endless. Cut the fabric into squares and use them for cleaning rags, reusable paper towels, napkins, or tissues. You could turn the shirts into a reusable tote bag for grocery shopping, library trips, or whatever else you like! If you don't have access to a sewing machine, look up no sew tutorials online.
Keep the empty cereal box for craft time with little ones. Get Creative! Open it up and paint on it, turn it into a silly mask or even compile a bunch and make a robot costume. You can even use the cardboard for DIY lacing activities (cut up that old shirt into strips and use that as the lace- you could put hot glue on the ends for easier threading). I've even used larger boxes to make a stackable shelf for my children's toys.
Make biscuits yourself instead of buying refrigerated ones. You likely have the ingredients on hand. I LOVE Betty Crocker's Baking Powder Biscuits (not sponsored). I use bulk flour that I've got in a container in my pantry, butter or oil from my pantry, and water or nut milk as the liquid. I use my fingers and a fork to mix it all together because I don't have a pastry blender.
Clean with that massive thing of white vinegar under the sink instead of buying a cleaner you ran out of. It literally can be all purpose. I love using it to clean up pee from the floor because it'll clean it and remove the odor for humans and dogs-so they don't keep going in that spot. (don't worry the vinegar scent doesn't stay.)
Walk or bike instead of driving somewhere. I know not every area or every destination allows for this, but you can always walk somewhere. Even if its just to enjoy the earth around you. Taking the bus (did you know lots of cities and larger towns have free buses?) and carpooling when possible is also a great alternative when going a greater distance. This saves on car emissions entering the atmosphere and it saves you money on gas. I started walking places with my girls because we only have one car, so most of the day if I need to go somewhere I walk. And we all love it. It can be crazy sometimes and a little more work but its become habit and its much easier the more we choose to walk instead of drive. Plus, its great outdoor time and good to get moving.
I really hope this list has inspired you to use what you have around you already to eliminate wasting resources and throwing things away that don't need to be. Low waste/zero waste living is frugal living and creative living. Low waste doesn't happen overnight. It can also a less accessible lifestyle depending on where you live, and what season of life you're in, but don't let that stop you. Utilize what you can. Start where you can because every little thing saved matters. You may not save the entire ocean or eliminate pollution by not throwing out a plastic bag or using your car to drive a few blocks when you could easily walk (I know you cant always easily walk a block, but you know what I mean). But that doesn't mean we shouldn't contribute in a small way. Every effort matters even if you don't see it. Pennies make up a dollar, dollars make up hundreds and even millions of dollars.... You see where I'm going with this. Think about if every person did something small to be more mindful about their consumption. It'd make an incredible difference. So start where you are now and don't stress.
Let us know what you're trying to do to reduce your imprint! Its always easier to keep a habit and improve when there is a community supporting us!