50 Ways to Reduce Waste [for free!]

*This post does not contain affiliate links.*

Hello bumblebee! For the month of July, I’m focusing on reducing my waste. Thanks to Ecosia, I’ve been able to research this new lifestyle while also planting trees! While transitioning to a green lifestyle, the most important thing to remember is take it one day at a time. While unlearning lifetime habits and rebuilding healthier ones, every little contribution toward saving the planet helps (even if it is just shutting off the water while brushing your teeth!!)

Are you considering ways to cut back on waste without spending a dollar? Here are some ways you can practice reducing your waste this month!

General Tips

Switch from paper towels to cloth rags whenever possible.

Avoid purchasing products (fruits & veggies, toys, treats) wrapped in excess plastic.

Use reusable containers and bottles rather than single-use plastics.

When shopping, reuse bags from past trips or a reusable shopping bag.

Up-cycle in your home before tossing in the trash or donation pile. If necessary, alter things in your life to utilize your belongings to their full potential. (How to turn an old shirt into a reusable rag)

If possible, substitute a low-waste D.I.Y. solution (like Apple Cider Vinegar Toner).

Understand how to practice shopping with a conscience.

If you have to choose between paper or plastic – choose paper.

Swap magazine and newspaper subscriptions for digital media access (NYT subscriptions are $1 a week!)

Shop locally for goods and services.


Switch your banking and medical statements to paperless.

Enjoy the all-around benefits of a spend free month.

Opt for electronic receipts when possible.

Get a library card or borrow from someone you know rather than buying books brand new.

Use what you have before looking to make new purchases.

Shop for products in bulk and purchase all-natural, organic products whenever possible.

Doing an electricity audit not only cuts back on waste, it also cuts the cost of your bills!

Going on a trip? Bring whatever you may need with you to avoid additional spending and unnecessary purchases.

Shop locally for goods and services.

Consider using digital tax and accounting services.

Beauty & Bathroom Essential

Brush your teeth in the shower to save water.

Turn your old/unused wash clothes into reusable cotton rounds.

Practice taking short or timed showers.

Skip the crafts section and use food and scraps to dye (most) fabrics and Easter eggs!

Utilize natural resources for self-care over chemical products. One example is using the inside of a banana peel to whiten your teeth rather than products packaged with plastics.

Watch videos on how to re-purpose your clothes.

Try doing a few large loads of laundry rather than several small loads.

If possible try using a menstrual cup, washable pads or period panties during your period.

Swap shampoo and conditioner bottles for bars.

Try making a D.I.Y face mask or body scrub rather than purchasing one.

In the Kitchen

Save vegetable scraps for homemade veggie broth then compost scraps after straining.

Wash and reuse jars and containers from the food you’ve already purchased.

Compost for your garden, donate to a community garden or look into your city’s composting program. Some things on your compost list may include food scraps, coffee grinds, eggshells, paper towels, and much more.

Refuse plastic utensils and straws when dining out and ordering takeout.

Learn ways to properly store produce to keep it fresh for an extended time.

Check out Plastic [is a] Waste: Kitchenware and Water Bottles.

Buy locally grown fruits and veggies from farmer’s markets and shops in your city.

Grow fruits and veggies.

Swap beeswax for plastic wrap when storing food.

Store potatoes and onions separately to ensure potatoes last as long as possible.

Do the Work

Educate yourself on your favorite company’s waste management tactics then find substitutes for brands with unacceptable waste removal practices.

Find homes to sell or donate any items that no longer serve you a purpose: clothing, appliances, decor, etc. From friends and family on Facebook who may need what you don’t or your local animal shelters, firefighter stations, or orphanages looking for resources to help others in your community.

Talk to your family and friends about ways they can reduce their waste.

Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Rather than overwhelming yourself by doing 100 things one time, adopt the habit of doing one thing a hundred times.

Learn about waste management procedures in your community then do an audit on your garbage to see where you could make some changes.

Walk, carpool or use public transportation when possible.

Read books and listen to podcasts that are eco-friendly and help you learn more about sustainable living.

Sign petitions to make a change and write letters for matters regarding pollution and waste management to your government.

Do a trash audit to see where you can improve your waste management.

Whenever someone expresses interests or questions your eco-friendly habits, stay positive in your response and (if possible) provide them with resources on how they can start. This could be their first waste-free experience and may impact how they view green-living.

One continuous lesson I’m learning from reducing my waste is how to be 100% responsible for material possessions from beginning to end.

it truly is the little things,

xo Bri

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