#PlasticFreeChallege

My Low Waste Lifestyle

Trying to go zero waste cold turkey is daunting, overwhelming, and a little stressful. It was for me at least. That’s why I started my journey with small, digestible steps, like eliminating single-use cups. Focusing on one item, or a similar group of items, at a time makes low waste changes stepwise and manageable. Eliminate one thing, and move onto another. That’s the premise of Stop Trashing It – start by eliminating one single-use item at a time and see the difference you can make!

Here are a few more of my tips:

  • Hold yourself accountable to ‘no reusable cup, no coffee’. Simple and effective. 
  • Refuse to use single-use items when you can. This is easy if you can pack reusable bags, a multi-tool (I use an all-in-one camping utensil), straw and water bottle. Remembering these few things makes a big difference. So does refusing.
  • Plan ahead. Whenever I’m on the go, I make sure to think about the activities ahead so I can plan to avoid single-use.
  • Do regular waste audits – look into each household waste bin to see what the most common item is. That’ll point out the next item to eliminate.

These tips may seem insignificant, but they have really helped me in my low waste journey. There will be ‘single-use slip-ups’ from time to time, but try to be easy on yourself. After all, we don’t need a few people doing zero waste perfectly, we need billions of people doing zero waste imperfectly. Which is why transitioning to ‘low waste lifestyle’ is more positively affirming language, and is more realistic.

Plastic Product Packaging? There's Probably a DIY For That!

So many hygiene and cleaning products come in plastic packaging. Here are a few ways I’ve gotten around this:

  • I recently started refilling my shampoo and conditioner at a local shop. While this is not available in all communities, you can make your own or opt for shampoo bars.
  • Choose bar soap over liquid in plastic bottles. In Halifax, I am able to refill stuff like body wash, dish soap and detergent. While this too isn’t possible for everyone, DIY options exist (thank you google!!). Here is a simple recipe for detergent.
  • DIY toothpaste! This was a game-changer for me! I make ‘Earthpaste’: 2 tbs bentonite clay, 3 tbsp water, 1 tbsp avocado oil, ½ tsp baking soda and peppermint essential oil. You can also use a baking soda and coconut oil mixture with peppermint essential oil too.
  • DIY deodorant is also a thing. Again, lots of recipes online. Here’s a simple one.
  • Chapped lips? No problem, you can follow a recipe here.
  • Cleaning products can also be made at home. I like this recipe for the cleaning grade vinegar (which also reduces food waste) to make glass cleaner!
  • Cleaning wipes? You can make those too!

With the power of the internet, there is usually a DIY out there to help get around some plastic product packaging. All it takes is a bit of conscious thought and the ability to find the materials needed. While sourcing materials may be easier in certain communities, it’s worthwhile trying to do it yourself, adapting recipes as needed. For more DIY tips, and other good news stories, check out one of my favorite blogs, Our Positive Planet!

Trash to Treasure: Redefining New

Most people love new things. They’re exciting and bring joy for some. What’s not to love about new things? Well, if you’re like me, it’s likely the environmental implications from our carbon footprint. But I am solutions focused and sometimes need new things. So, I started asking myself “Do I want or do I need this?” Chances are it’s the former and that shuts the potential purchase down right off the bat. In the case that I do need something ‘new’ I try to find it second hand. 


There are tons of buy and sell apps that work great – In Canada, I use Kijiji. Facebook market place has also become a huge hit. With second hand shopping on the rise, thrift stores are also becoming more and more readily available, in real life and online! I have committed to no longer buying new-new clothing from big box stores, and opting to ‘new to me’ clothing from thrift stores. Organizing a clothing swap with friends or at a community centre is another great way to refresh your wardrobe sustainably. I also try to repair and fix things before replacing them. Sometimes easier said than done if I need to learn a new skill – like sewing or carpentry, but it can be fun too! Finding creative ways to increase the longevity of your things feels good. Like these t-shirt bags!


These techniques are not only helping reduce your waste but can also help your wallet too.

Waste Less, Eat More

Grocery stores can be a bit of a nightmare for me. All the plastic packaging and imported goods makes me feel uneasy, then I start thinking about the resources it takes to produce all the food and ouuf, that’s when I get overwhelmed. Especially if food goes to waste! While you can compost food scraps and stuff that’s gone bad, there are a few tricks to make your food go farther. Here are some of mine:

  • First, plan ahead to avoid buying what you won’t eat before it spoils, and use it all up before the due date.
  • Freeze fruit that’s getting close to spoiling. It’s great for baking and for smoothies.
  • Keep your bread in the fridge or freeze it to make it last longer.
  • Windowsill gardening: keep your greens in some water by the window to keep them fresh and growing.
  • Save your carrot tops to make pesto! This is my new favorite. 
  • Broccoli stalks can be shredded to make salads with or use in stir-frys – just be sure to remove the outer most layer (it’s a bit tough).
  • Save other veggie scraps in the freezer to make broth, a similar process to making broth with chicken remains.


Some super easy tips to help waste less and eat more!