Photograph via snooOG

We are responsible citizens who try to minimize our overall environmental impact.

Being "zero waste" means that we adopt steps towards reducing personal waste and minimizing our environmental impact.

Our community places a major focus on the 5 R's: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. We practice this by reducing consumption, choosing reusable goods, recycling, composting, and helping each other improve.

We also recognize excess CO₂, other GHG emissions, and general resource usage as waste.

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Recyclable pan scrubber

What do you use to scrub pans if you’ve gotten rid of sponges with scrubbed backs and Brillo pads. What’s recyclable or compostable?

1 Comment
01:52 UTC


Rarely see this aluminum tube / plastic free toothpaste (W FLUORIDE) recommended: Popgel!

long time lurker first time poster.

I’ve often seen people ask for this and recently found Popgel. It’s US based, 100% plastic free, has fluoride, and is paste (well, gel). It’s not my fav toothpaste i’ve ever tried, but it’s good enough for me in terms of taste/texture which i’m fairly picky about and why i don’t use the tablets.

I hope this helps a few people out :)


00:00 UTC


Specific question re. deodorant switch

Hello all. I've got something of a specific question regarding 0-waste/no-plastic deodorant options. If this question has already been answered elsewhere, first, my apologies, second, I'd greatly appreciate a link!

I've been using Old Spice Fresh High Endurance deodorant for nearly 2 decades now. The ridiculous amount of plastic of the packaging bothers me and now the company has added "30%" more. (A marketing ploy to convince consumers it's 30% more deodorant when it's actually 30% more plastic packaging.) I'm fed up and need to find an alternative that's sans plastic or as close as I can get. I should also mention that I'm in the USA as I know deodorant packaging in the places like Europe is smaller.

Another issue is that I've tried other deodorants here and there but none are as effective for me as this particular iteration of Old Spice. It simply sits well with my body, does its job, and I quite like the scent (I've become overly sensitive to smells in my later years). Perhaps more importantly, my partner enjoys the scent as well. I only recently learned of Old Spice's foray into cardboard packaging and subsequent abandonment of that project. A shame.

Would you all have suggestions for a parallel substitute? I hear the company Native might be owned by the same parent company - that might mean they have essentially "the same" deodorant in cardboard packaging? By chance, has anyone else made a switch from this Old Spice to another, planet-friendly deodorant? Suggestions are welcome - thank you in advance!

An additional quick thank you to u/walbar for the recent post on pharmacy bottle recycling and all the wonderful suggestions there too! What a fantastic community!

22:49 UTC


[REQUEST] Texturizing Taffy for hair

Does anyone have a good replacement? I'm a little nervous to switch because I need to look tidy for work and have a pixie cut. What's pictured is what I've been using and have had it for about a year (almost out)

17:56 UTC


Adding more life to a well loved pair of Oofos or similar recovery sandals?

I have foot issues and Oofos brand sandals work well for me and my wide foot that needs cushioning - the trouble with the material they use - is that it wears down fairly quickly, rendering the soles quite slippery.

Can I either re-sole this type of material or is there a way to cut new grooves into the sandal to give them some additional traction?

20:20 UTC


Makeup product container recycling depots have the coolest travel size containers!

Of course don't use them for things like toothpaste, but they're great for other things.

Needed a smaller sized sunscreen dispenser, and found a 50ml pump tube of eye serum. It was the perfect size and coolest shape. Also felt really fancy. I've never seen product packed like that before. Probably cost $50 new (for the stuff inside).

Modern packagaging really is a marketing marvel. I'll go to the whole foods water section at marvel how people pay more money for water than any other flavored beverage. The packaging is amazing.

17:36 UTC


Random Thoughts, Small Questions, and Newbie Help — June 09 – June 22

This is the place to comment with any zerowaste-related random thoughts, small questions, or anything else that you don't think warrants a post of its own!

Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have and we'll do our best to help you out. Please include your approximate location to help us better help you! If your question doesn't get a response after a while, feel free to submit your question as its own post.

If you're unfamiliar with our rules, please check them out before posting here.

Are you new to /r/ZeroWaste? Check out our wiki for FAQs and other resources on getting started. If you aren’t new, our wiki can also use help and additions! Please check it out if you think you could improve it!

Interested in more regular discussions? Join us in our Discord!

Think we could change or improve something? Send the mod team a message and we'll see what we can do!

13:00 UTC


I just wanna vent for a sec

A bunch of people are moving out of where I live and it's so depressing to see all of this perfectly good stuff in or around the dumpster. I found a piece solid wood furniture, a whole ass rug, a perfectly good barstool, and a really epic looking sled, just at a first glance. Unfortunately the person I live with won't let me "garbage pick" so I can't take any of it. I've also seen lawn chairs, plant pots, so many totally usable and perfectly good things. It's just really sad to me.

00:20 UTC


Any idea on how I can repurpose chipped plates for decorating..?

I have a few plain plates hotel plates and mugs that are chipped , I want to use them for an art project .. all ideas are welcome . Thanks 😊

23:49 UTC


Chipped hotel plates

Okay so I just thrifted some old hotel plates , I want to use them for some kind of art project that’s safe for kids , so I was thinking safety gloves and goggles and then sanding and painting the plate … thought of it as something for adults as well , idk please share your thoughts …

18:23 UTC


How can I upcycle old cardboard boxes?

I have a bunch of cardboard boxes in different sizes lying around and was wondering if I could somehow upcycle them instead of tossing them in the trash.

Fancy cute boxes, large cartons, tiny boxes, all kinds of boxes lly.

(perhaps some kind of useful DIY)

14:46 UTC


Lampe Berger and Oils

I recently was introduced to a lampe berger and loved it. However the liquids are very expensive and I find mine evaporates quickly. I’m assuming it’s because I leave it uncovered for hours.

My question is can I make my own liquid? Some research I found said 91% isopropyl alcohol and about 10 drops of essential oil. Not sure if it’s legit. I have a few bottles of Hotel Collection oils which I love. Do you think I could mix that oil into the alcohol to use with the lampe berger?

1 Comment
03:26 UTC


How to add scent to unscented laundry sheets?

I bought a whole load of unscented laundry sheets when I was pregnant and sensitive to smells. Now that I’ve given birth, I’d like my laundry to have fragrance again. How can I add fragrance to my laundry and use up these unscented laundry sheets? Can I put some essential oils on the sheets?

00:53 UTC


What to do with unused sterile injection needles?

I have gone through IVF and been prescribed several injectable medicines. Each one comes with at least a dozen more syringes and needles than I require. I dispose of the used ones in a sharps container in the garbage, but is there anything i can do with unused, individually wrapped, sterile syringes?

Maybe donate to a veterinarian?

00:38 UTC


What are you all doing with your plastic pharmacy vials?

What do you all do with your plastic prescription vials? I keep hearing that they aren't actually recyclable. Do any of you get eco-friendly packaging from your pharmacies? I've heard of a few companies that make sustainable prescription packaging, but I'm not sure how to get my pharmacy to switch, or what to do with the plastic bottles I have!

16:01 UTC


How do refill stores work? How are their deliveries transported sans packaging?

Maybe a stupid question. I just don't understand where the plastic absence comes from. Do the (for example) oats that refilleries sell in giant containers arrive in that form—and then the giant containers are brought back to their farm or production factory to reuse infinite times? Do they get delivered in flat bed trucks without packaging? Or are refilleries just recycling the plastic packaging before customers come in?

16:57 UTC


How do you manage reusable cutlery when out and about? (Cleaning/storage)

Hello! This isn't something that comes up often in my life, since I don't eat out very often anymore, but I still wanted to know how people do the reusable cutlery thing - namely, how do you handle having just... dirty tablewear in your bag? Do you have a "clean" and "dirty" bag? Do you just accept that your utensil case will be dirty? Do you find a bathroom to wash the utensils in before putting them back? Would love to hear everyone's routines/methods!

08:30 UTC


Compost at work - best solutions/ideas

Looking for low labor but large enough process to compost for an office space.

I have been tasked to being our office of around 100 people to a zero waste environment. Our business is not environmentally based or focused but our leadership does have a passion to make better choices. (It’s not a priority to the rank and file so there a culture battle that I’m continuing to work on)

Been successful so far with replacing all single use with reusables and having the infrastructure to support this (dishwashers/sinks/storage). We even have a laundry facility for dish towels, cloth napkins and reusable towels. All of this was done with repurposed items from our larger corporate operation.

I am stuck however on food waste. Our business doesn’t have any restaurant infrastructure that I can leverage an industrial food waste disposal method and compost seems to be targeted at “at home” style and size or a set up that is very labor intensive which is not a viable solution. We tried both Mill and Lomi machines with very little success.

Would love ideas of what do with of food waste which is not our largest culprit for our landfill bins. People will continue to need to have lunch and bring in their own food as we don’t have a cafe at work, just 4 kitchenettes. 2 on each floor.

Thanks in advance for thoughtful ideas!

01:51 UTC


What is the best way to prepare/shop for food??

I try very hard to be zero waste in the kitchen (and everywhere else), I have reusable paper towels, tupperware, and grocery bags. The food and cooking has always been hard for me though.

I live with my boyfriend (I am vegetarian and he is not) and we both work full time and are not master chefs by any means. We got our first HelloFresh box last week thinking it would help reduce waste and allow us to not have to worry about the ingredients/recipe part but there is so much plastic.....everything is wrapped individually and I hate it. We love having the recipe given to us with the right portions (despite always having a leftover portion of meat, but my boyfriend just use this with a different meal the next day) because we struggled with food waste and things going bad before we had chance to use it but hate all the wrapping meal delivery comes with. Is wasting the food better than all the plastic? Ideally I wouldn't have to throw out either, but at the moment I haven't been able to find a solution to both at the same time.

Wondering if anyone has any resources that provide you with this kind of meal prep (a lot of recipes to pick from, with easy steps and ingredients) but without the delivery? And I know the internet is a thing and we could just look up recipes but having a bunch of options in one place is helpful as we can't always think of unique recipes to search. Are there any apps or anything that could help us with this?

Also related to food waste, we just moved to a house with a yard and have been wanting to start composting, any tips on how to get this started??

Thank you in advance, just trying my best!!!

18:35 UTC


Is there a better way to move a house 30 minutes away than buying boxes?

I’m trying to mentally plan things out before moving. It’s not all going to get done in one trip.

Any stuff in drawers can stay. I’m referring more to smaller stuff like the kitchen, pictures, small things.

I’m thinking of getting some of those black totes with yellow lids. Then I’ll be able to use them at the new place as well.

16:18 UTC


I got a whole deodorant sticks worth from saving the part that you can't access at the end

I'm always annoyed that there's a lot extra at the end of the wild deodorant sticks where it's attached to the cardboard, although I don't think there's much the company can do about it. I just scraped the extras I had from several sticks and saved them in a spare tube to make a frankenstick.

12:12 UTC


Recycled or biodegradable

Is it better to buy products from recycled materials. Or new bio friendly plant based?

Background if you are interested. I have been looking at sunglasses. I have found some which are made from recycled ocean plastic. Others I found are made from bio plant based plastic or wood. Asides from the recycled ones also cleaning the ocean from rubbish which would be the greener choice?

Obviously second hand is best but it's not always possible. I've found this dilemma from a number of products not just sunglasses.

13:11 UTC


Conscious capitalism has environmental concerns. There's a company called Waste Mangement Inc. which works to transform the whole concept of managing waste by applying conscious capitalism.

08:30 UTC


what do i do with clothes that are too dirty to repurpose or donate?

I had a really bad depression room with a gigantic pile of clothes that kept growing every christmas and birthday that I kept getting too overwhelmed by to handle. there's alot, and I dont know what to do

22:26 UTC


Buy Nothing vs FB Marketplace?

Which do you think is a more ethical way to give/get rid of items?

The only qualm I have with Facebook Marketplace is flippers. One time I was giving something away and when the guy picked it up he said something like "nice i can make some good money off of this". Other than that, it seems great.

The issue I have with "Buy Nothing" groups is they just seem too serious, and there are barriers to entry. I went to join one on Facebook and first of all, I couldn't even join it right away... I had to apply to join the group, and I had to be within a specific area or whatever. I think that's really dumb, and given the relatively small size of the groups I anticipate it will be harder to get rid of/give away items. But then, I think the population of 'Buy Nothing' groups are closer to the target audience... probably not gonna go and try to sell whatever I am giving to them. On the other hand, with the barriers to entry and the relatively-niche status of the group I'd imagine that there aren't a lot of very-needy people in these groups, and I wouldn't want to essentially forbid them from receiving whatever I am giving.

I used to just give my stuff to Goodwill but they've jacked up the prices like crazy, and after learning about how they prosecute shoplifters I don't think I'll donate to Goodwill ever again.

What do you think? Which is a more ethical way to give?

21:42 UTC


Caring for Reusable Period Pads?

Hi everyone!

Hope you are doing well! I ran into this sub after buying some reusable cotton pads for my period cycle.

I saw that these ones can just be popped into a washer and then a dryer (tumble-drying is recommended -- seems like hang-drying can cause the pads to harden) for the best care, but the issue is that I would probably need to wash them by the end of everyday, so I was curious to know about 2 things--

  1. What detergent is the safest / best to use for cloth pads?
  2. How do you go about tumble-drying your pads?

I was looking into a portable washing-cool drying machine, but I was wondering if any of you had any recommendations on how to best care for pads.

Any help is appreciated, thank you! :)

22:00 UTC


The small business I work for is looking for summertime eco-friendly packaging hacks

Hi! I work for a small business that makes natural low-waste skincare. We try to be as plastic-free as possible. Some of our products are meltable, so in the summer when we ship to wholesalers, we often use ice packs. Because of the ice packs getting things wet, we cover them in this thermal paper wrap sort of thing, and then use an insulated bubble wrap that maintains the temperature around the package.

I’m looking for alternative ways to keep our packages insulated without relying on the current plastic bubble wrap. If anyone knows of more eco-friendly ways to maintain insulation let me know! I’ve tried to research but haven’t had much luck.

18:19 UTC


Better Alternatives?

Hi guys!

I really like these drink concentrates but all the plastic from the containers are starting to bother me. I had "rationalized" it because these are listed as recyclable, but i recently learned that plastic recycling is basically a huge lie. I looked into alternative products, but others have a bunch of plastic pouches. Does anyone know of a sugar free, caffeinated water flavor enhancer that's more zero waste and tastes good?

13:51 UTC

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