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Bring a list with you to the grocery store so you only buy the food you know you’re going to eat.
Reduce your packaging waste by shopping from the bulk bins as much as possible. Plus, it just might save you some money!
And avoid bagging your broccoli in one of those flimsy one-time-use bags by packing your own reusable cotton produce bags.
Store your berries, spinach, lettuce, bell peppers, and all kinds of fruit and veggies in produce savers that really will keep everything day-one fresh for nearly two full weeks. You’ll actually have enough time to eat it all before it goes bad!
Tired of buying a bunch of herbs only to have them go bad within a few days? Extend their freshness with an herb saver that will make it easy to reach in and grab what you need.
Then if you *stillhave too much of an herb, freeze it in olive oil so you can easily add a hint of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, dill, or oregano to almost any dish you cook.
While you’re at it, freeze your bread, too, and pull it out by the slice as you need it. Just be sure it’s protected from the frigid air: You can plop it in a plastic freezer bag (or two, for a double layer) or try a reusable and airtight plastic bread container.
Repurpose leftover veggie scraps to make your own stock from scratch, or to infuse your store-bought stock with even more flavor.
Don’t toss something just because it’s past its “best by” or “sell by” date. Besides still likely being safe to eat, it could still be perfectly delicious!
And eggs can be perfectly fine to eat even weeks past their “best by” date. To easily test one, drop it in a glass of water and see if it floats.
Make microwave popcorn in a silicone popper to avoid wasting the box, each individual cellophane bag, and each paper bag that you leave behind after making popcorn more “traditionally.”
Regrow celery, bok choy, garlic, green onions, and more by simply soaking your food scraps in a cup of water.
Start saving your compost in a fridge-friendly, odor-blocking bin, and either start composting at home or look for local pick-up or drop-off options.
Or if you have the space and motivation for it, start composting in your own backyard, using a simple compost tumbler.
Flip the switch on your ceiling fan so it’s blowing the right direction, and your heat and AC systems won’t work so much to keep you perfectly comfortable.
And if you have big windows that let in lots of heat or direct sun during the summer months, blackout curtains will block some of that light, letting the room stay cooler while giving your AC a break.
Run the dishwasher ONLY when it’s 100% full, so you use the least amount of water to clean as many dishes as possible.
Cut your water use and costs — all while raising your water pressure — by installing a low-flow shower head.
And you can do the same thing with all your sink faucets, too. An aerator literally just twists on and off, making it super simple to install.
Add a clean, dry bath towel when you put wet clothes in the dryer — then remove it after about 15 minutes — to make everything dry faster.
Or swap out your dryer sheets for a set of five wool dryer balls. They’ll help everything dry a little faster, cut down on wrinkles and static, and reduce your plastic use (because yes, most dryer sheets are made with some plastic).
Don’t forget to get your dryer vent cleaned out once a year (or to clean it out yourself with a specialty brush), because pushing out that excess lint means your clothes will dry faster and your dryer will need less electricity to do its job.
And brush the layers of dust and dirt off of your refrigerator’s coils so it uses less power to keep all your food nice and chilled.
Pack a small (and clean) pencil bag with a knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks to create a zero-waste silverware kit perfect for school, work, travel or even picnics. (Best for when we eventually start leaving our homes again, of course!)
No pencil bag to spare? Pick up a compact kit that comes with all the utensils you need plus a handy silicone case (and is 100% dishwasher safe, of course).
Swap those single-use Keurig pods for a reusable K-cup that’s easy to fill yourself and works with any K-cup coffee maker.
Or go the lazy-gourmet route, and enjoy every day pour-over or cold brew — both of these gadgets take basically zero effort and make almost no waste except (compostable!) coffee grounds, while still making delicious single-serve cups of coffee.
Stick a collapsible container in your car or bag so — when you start going out to restaurants regularly again — you can bring your leftovers home without using even more of those styrofoam clamshells.
Get all of the functionality of disposable plastic bags with none of the waste: try a few reusable silicone bags instead.
And green-ify your flossing routine with some compostable floss made from maize straw. It removes just as much gunk as your typical plastic kind, but without the harmful effects on the planet.
Ditch those disposable wipes for a pack of two makeup remover cloths that will take every bit of product off with just water and a few swipes, and you’ll still get to indulge your lazy side.
Start by actually taking care of the clothes you already have and love.
If your clothes break in some small way, fix the problem instead of just resigning them to the donate bin. Button come off your jeans? Pick up a replacement kit that’ll have your favorite pair functional again in like, five minutes or less.
Instantly close up any small tears or holes with some fabric glue you can count on to hold better than those original threads or stitches ever did.
And make sorry sweaters (and sofas and throw pillows) look perfectly brand new with the help of a fabric shaver — it will effortlessly pick off years of pills in one go.
For new clothes on the cheap — when we can gather in groups again — host a clothing swap party to motivate all your friends / family / coworkers to clean out the great clothes and accessories they never wear anymore AND help them find something new (to them!) and stylish to wear for free.
Or simply donate the items you don’t wear anymore.
And of course shop at secondhand stores, consignment stores, and places like Poshmark to find fashion gems at a discount!
Animal shelters would probably love to have any blankets and towels you don’t want anymore (just wash ’em first).
And if you still have swimsuits, curtains, pillows, or other textiles you don’t want to send to a landfill, you can pay to have them recycled through Terracycle.
You, after doing even just one or two of these things on this list:
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