Did you know that every year we dump over 2 billion tons of waste onto the planet? This includes construction waste, industrial waste, household waste, plastic waste, electronic waste, radioactive waste, sewage and run-off waste. In fact, 99% of the things we purchase are turned into trash within 6 months. So it’s no surprise that people who are particularly concerned about the state of our planet have dedicated themselves to limiting their impact on the Earth and keeping their waste to a minimum.
Allow me to introduce you to the Zero Waste subreddit. This group, which currently has over 875k members, is full of responsible citizens who are dedicated to minimizing their overall environmental impact. We’ve gone through the page to find some of the most inspiring tips, tricks and pics that might encourage you to reduce your impact as well and shared them down below. So be sure to upvote the posts that make you want to preserve Mother Earth, and let us know in the comments if you have any more suggestions for how to reduce your carbon footprint. Then if you want even more eco-inspiration, you can check out Bored Panda’s last article featuring the same subreddit right here.
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#1 Recycled Purse Saves Twitter User From Losing Everything In A Mugging
Image credits: hanfrish
The Zero Waste subreddit is filled with great ideas and inspiration for people looking to do their part to save the planet. And while the phrase “zero waste” can seem daunting to a lot of people, as most of us are used to creating trash every single day, it does not need to be taken literally. The goal would be no waste at all, but the world we live in is just not set up that way. Every reduction in waste counts, and it takes time to adapt to a minimal waste lifestyle.
As the Zero Waste subreddit explains in their description, “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.”
#2 The Body Shop In Stockholm Has This Now
Image credits: Nyxie27
#3 This Store In Poland Allows You To Buy Frozen Veggies And Dumplings In Bulk And Weigh Them Instead Of Prepackaged Boxes
Image credits: Sh1n1ngM4n
As with any lifestyle change, going zero waste can take a bit of time and energy and feel overwhelming at first. Like learning a new language or starting a workout routine for the first time, there will be a learning curve. It is hard to break habits, and it will take time to figure out the best way to grocery shop, commute to work, begin composting and buy new (or new to you) clothes and furniture when something needs to be replaced. But desperate times call for desperate measures. The planet is warming at alarming rates, and we cannot keep up these levels of mindless consumption. Changes must be made.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American creates about 4.4 pounds of trash a day, or over 1,600 pounds of garbage per year. With most of this waste ending up in landfills, the environment starts to see devastating effects. These landfills that are becoming larger and larger produce greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, that dangerously accelerate global warming. In fact, the EPA estimates that 14% of all methane caused by humans is coming from landfills. If there are lifestyle changes we can make to limit the harmful impacts of landfills, why wouldn’t we make them?
#4 Definitely The Coolest Alternative To Cling & Aluminium Foil I’ve Ever Come Across
Image credits: Mayiani
#5 It’s About Time! Let’s Do This Everywhere. So Much Good Food Goes To Waste In The U.S
Image credits: ihatejoelkim
#6 Two Brothers Have Been Sending The Same Birthday Card Back And Forth Since 1973
Image credits: theladyastrid
We have already seen various devastating impacts of the excessive consumption humans participate in, including climate change and increased natural disasters, but one of the most upsetting is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This patch is a collection of litter that has found its way into the ocean and gathered together in the North Pacific Ocean. It contains a few areas of spinning debris that are all connected by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, which acts like a highway that moves trash from one patch to another.
It is difficult to estimate the size of the patch, but a 2018 report guessed that it had reached about 1.6 million kilometers squared. To put those numbers into perspective, that is about the size of Iran, or twice the size of Texas, The World Counts explains on their website. The patch has accumulated a frightening amount of waste, mainly consisting of fishing nets, plastic bottles and caps and plastic bags. Even more concerning, due to our rapid pollution, the world’s oceans are expected to contain more plastic than fish by 2050. If these harrowing facts do not make you understand why a person would want to be zero waste, I’m not sure what will.
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#7 I Wove My Old Study Notes Into A Basket
Image credits: Strelitzia_bloom
#8 Honestly Never Thought Of This But I Will Be Doing This In The Future! What A Great Idea
“I saw a post the other day by a lady who said she always grabs vintage casserole dishes when she sees them at thrift stores or yard sales and uses them when she brings a meal to someone! She said often they are cheaper than disposable ones and the family can either keep for themselves or pass on to someone else who needs a meal in the future! So in the spirit of reduce, reuse, renew & recycle… I thought this was a neat idea worth sharing!”
Image credits: Rayne2522
#9 Medals From E-Waste
“Japan made all of the medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics out of discarded smartphones and laptops. More people need to know about this.”
Image credits: gyeomiepie
If you still aren’t sold on why we should all be working hard to reduce our environmental impact, I’ll outline some of the potential benefits for you. Even if you don’t care about the planet, you probably do care about saving money right? Well, in making an effort to go zero waste, you are likely to cut down on your spending as well. If you only buy products when you need them and you make a point to shop exclusively second hand, you will probably find some great deals. Ignore the capitalist brainwashing that “retail therapy” is the way to solve your problems and that you need to purchase the newest, shiniest thing to keep up with the trends. As many zero waste experts will tell you, we need a lot less than big companies would like for us to believe. And the less you buy, the less you will desire. That’s extra money left in your pocket.
#10 Plastic Free Picnic Set From Early 1900s
Image credits: yoki-gold
#11 Ice Cream Served In A Cup Made Out Of A Banana Leaf. India
Image credits: _fy5ht_
#12 Bicycle.. Way To Utopia…
Image credits: @8Prabal
The less we buy, the less clutter we have as well. Becoming zero waste or minimalist will make it easier to value the things that you do hold onto or purchase because they will become more special. You can shrink your wardrobe into essential basics, making it a lot easier to decide what to wear in the morning, and moving becomes less of a daunting task when you don’t have many things taking up space in your home. It can also help you build a community around you if you make an effort to borrow items you need from friends and neighbors rather than purchasing a new kitchen tool every time you try a new recipe. How often does a cheese grater really get used? Your neighbor might have one sitting in their cupboard that would be thrilled to have a night out, and you can return it the next day with a slice of that lasagna you were making.
#13 This Library Books Has Been In Circulation For Over 30 Years. Not A Page Bent Or Torn
Image credits: cleverraptor2
#14 I Needed To See This Today. Maybe You Did Too
Image credits: Aware Animals
#15 A Coffee Shop In Kent, UK, Has Made The Brave Decision To Only Serve Customers Who Bring Their Own Cup To The Store, And To Illustrate Why They Are Doing This They Filled Their Store Floor With Disposable Cups
Image credits: Dabmasterrick
Going zero waste is likely to make you healthier as well. It’s hard to purchase processed foods without getting some plastic or cardboard with them, so you will have to start cooking from scratch more often. Using fresh ingredients means you know exactly what is going into your food, so along with the minimal waste, you also eliminate many chemicals, preservatives and artificial flavors that end up in pre-made foods. And when it comes to commuting to work, most zero-wasters don’t want to drive a car that’s unnecessarily polluting the planet. If you live within walking or biking distance of your job, you can use one of those zero-impact methods to get to the office and add some built-in exercise to your day. Even if those are not options for you, taking a bus or train usually includes a bit of a walk and definitely pollutes the environment less than driving a car with no other passengers.
#16 Sewed These Beach Bags Using My Old Shower Curtain Instead Of Throwing It Out!
Image credits: PatchH95
#17 Small Steps. This Best Western Did Away With The Small Bottles Of Shampoo And Body Wash. This Is In The Shower
Image credits: Emebust
#18 I Work For A Farmers Market And Take All The “Bad” Fruits And Veggies/Produce Scraps/Old Food To An Animal Sanctuary For The Critters To Enjoy!
Image credits: thegingerwerewolf
So you’re ready to make some lifestyle changes, but you just are not sure where to start. Have no fear, there are plenty of resources online that can provide you with tips and tricks to become zero waste (or as close as possible for you) without having to make the same mistakes as others before you. According to Kathryn Kellogg, the woman behind the Going Zero Waste blog, step one is gaining an awareness for how much waste you create. Start to notice all of the single-use items you throw away without even realizing, and begin making mental notes of how you can replace them or eliminate them completely. Step two is working to phase them out. Don’t jump the gun and start buying a bunch of new multi-use products right away, just work through what you already have until you run out, and then see where to go from there.
#19 Clip What You Need Garden In A Grocery Store
Image credits: Slightlybedraggled14
#20 Started Making My Own Oat Milk And Fruit Juice; I Hated How Many Cartons I’d Go Through. Using The Combined Pulp From Both To Make Some Experimental Bars. First Of Many Steps Toward A Zero Waste Household!
Image credits: LustrousWanting
#21 Merry Christmas
Two entrepreneurs started a side hustle renting Christmas trees to reduce the number that end up in landfill. Every Jan, they replant your tree back on their farm so you can rent it again next Xmas. When your tree hits 7 ft, it’s retired and planted back in its original forest.
Image credits: AndyAndieFreude
Next, Kathryn recommends making simple swaps. If you can purchase a reusable alternative to single-use items, check the second-hand market first or do a little research online to see if you have an alternative option available already. “Don’t buy something immediately. Take some time and think about it so you make the best purchase possible,” Kathryn notes. Step four is patience. Fight the urge to start purging immediately, and don’t try to cut out waste cold turkey. Sustainable changes take time, and there is no point in wasting things you already have to replace them. That sort of defeats the purpose…
#22 Global “Recycling” Day…
Image credits: TrashFish_cle
#23 A Cafe In Anglesea Victoria, Reusing Milk Cartons As Cup Trays
Image credits: Tanedluna
#24 I Know It’s Not “Zero Waste” But This Lil Souvenir From A Field Trip To The Landfill Nearly A Decade Ago Has Been Helping Us Have Less Toothpaste Waste Since Then!
Image credits: Lamidip
Kathryn’s next tip is to find better solutions. Once you have adapted to reducing waste as much as you can, take a look at what you’re still throwing out. Can it be composted? Is there a way that any non-recyclables you’re purchasing can be replaced with recyclable alternatives? Kathryn provides the example of how she began making her own tortillas to minimize waste, but the process was just too labor-intensive. So she started thinking outside the box and learned that she could purchase 20 tortillas for $2 from a local tortilleria that will allow her to bring and fill up her own bag. She found an affordable and smart solution that was much easier than taking on the burden of making her own tortillas all the time.
#25 My Late Grandparents Used To Send Us Giant Packs Of Apples In These Containers That My Parents Have Been Using As Xmas Ornament Cases For Decades
Image credits: PickleFridgeChildren
#26 Why Can’t We Do This In The U.s?!?
Image credits: mayatalluluh
#27 Tn Rep Kent Calfee Doing His Part For Zero Waste, Gave Me A Giggle
Image credits: The_Purrletariat
We hope this list is inspiring you to start making small changes to reduce your impact on the planet. Whether you had never heard of zero waste living until today or you haven’t purchased any single use plastic in months, it’s always great to have a reminder of why the planet needs our help. Keep upvoting the pics that inspire you to show a little more love to Mother Earth, and then let us know in the comments what your favorite eco-friendly tip is. And if you want to check out Bored Panda’s last article on the Zero Waste subreddit, you can find it right here.
#28 This Brick Is 90% Trash. My Workshop Is Working Towards Complete Zero Waste By Turning Our Trash Into Machinable Stock
This is 90% trash and 10% liquid resin. With a plastic granulator we hope to change that efficiency even more. In fact, in Japan they are doing similar things by burning their trash and mixing the ash with resins and concretes to build buildings. We want to get there too with our own projects and our own trash.
I teach engineering and manufacturing in the Dallas area.
Image credits: xombie25
#29 I Had Some Pieces Of Denim Leftover After Shortening Some Jeans And Braided It Into A Dog Toy. Good Way To Get Rid Of Fabric Scraps
Image credits: BodyLotionInTheOcean
#30 I Make Cat Toys From Repurposed Yarn. I Have Been Able To Remove A Lot Of Yarn, Pillows, And Stuffed Animals From Landfill
Image credits: ToeBean_Queen
#31 If You Struggle With Food Waste Going Bad In The Fridge, Wrap Your Leftovers In Puff Pastry And Chuck In The Freezer. Easy Snacks! No More Sad Leftover Curries That Never Get Eaten!
Image credits: HollyBethQ
#32 Never Buy Green Onions Again
Image credits: Sassmaster008
#33 Used The Lemon Juice For Dinner, Put The Peels In Vinegar For Cleaner, And Attempting To Grow A Small Lemon Tree This Summer With The Seeds!
Image credits: No_Echo6555
#34 I Was Looking Online For A Product That Would Safely Hold My House Key While Jogging. Then I Remembered I Had Such A Product Already
Image credits: DualSask
#35 My Local Supermarket Added This Bag Wall Recently Near The Main Entrance
Image credits: icedragonj
#36 Simple Yet Effective!
Image credits: Impressive-Lack-4352
#37 I Cleaned Up A Polluted Stream, And The Stream Was Happy
Image credits: Daniel_Toben
#38 I (28f) Have Had The Same Laundry Basket My Entire Life. One Of The Handles Has Been Cracking More And More For A Few Years. Rather Than Buy A New One, I Made A Crochet Handle To Hold It Together
Image credits: bifalif
#39 Saw These Colgate “Less Waste” Toothbrushes Today At The Store
Image credits: shirlz8y
#40 Instead Of Carving Pumpkins I Started To Draw Them With A Marker So I Can Still Use Them For Cooking
Image credits: MadLyne11
#41 I Love Seeing The Rise Of Reusable Period Undies In Supermarkets Around Australia! A Couple Of Years A Go There Wouldn’t Have Been Any
Image credits: soap2636
#42 My GF And I Have Started Making Our Own Pizza Sauce To Cut Down On Plastic Waste
Image credits: Kobrah96
#43 I’ve Been Collecting Every Plastic Bag I’ve Come Into Contact With For Over A Year. My Basket Weaving Journey Began Today
Image credits: kurtisskinny
#44 Gave My Mop A New Lease On Life With Old Socks That Were Destined For The Bin!
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#45 Bought My Own Collapsible Container To Pack My Leftovers For The First Time And It Felt Great
Image credits: lilluffy
#46 Saw These At The Store Today And Had To Show You Guys!
Image credits: rileychiz
#47 Another Successful Flush Of Gourmet Mushrooms Grown On Sawdust In A Reused Plastic Container
Image credits: PelpyDawaba
#48 That’s Actually Pretty Neat! One Step Closer (Though I Think I’d Prefer A Container And You Can Get Select Your Dried Pasta By Weight… But Still, Progress)!
Image credits: sirkidd2003
#49 Started A Food Waste Pickup Business, In 18 Months I Have Diverted Over 50 Tons Of Food Waste
Image credits: RandomHero565
#50 A&w Just Released A Lidless Compostable Coffee Cup In Toronto This Week…
Image credits: 5avethePlanet
#51 Broccoli Stalks Are Good For Broth But Also Great For Pets. He Loves The Crunchy Texture And Flavor
Image credits: cheapskateaficionado
#52 I Work At An Orange Juice Factory. A Company Came In And Asked For Some Of Our Orange Peel That Usually Goes To Waste. They Turned It Into An Edible Bowl
Image credits: Beezneez86
#53 She’s A Keeper
Image credits: afguspacequeen
#54 LEGO Starts To Pack Their Sets In The Paper Bags Instead Of The Plastic Ones
Image credits: edgarix
#55 Do You Have A Rats Nest Of Cables? Do You Poop?
Image credits: deprecatedcoder
#56 My Teacher Used A Staple-Free Stapler Today
Image credits: ttoffee
#57 Bread Clip Made Of Paper, Not Plastic
Image credits: m1chgo
#58 Ordered Some Seedlings From An Online Nursery, And Was Pleasantly Surprised To Find They Arrived Plastic Free
Image credits: Bengalsandbernese
#59 Got Pretty Sunburnt On A Work Trip And Didn’t Have Aloe, Bought This Instead Of A Bottle!
Image credits: sunshineandcheese
#60 Repurposed Playset
Image credits: Gator1024
#61 Bic Brand Now Sells Refillable Pens
Image credits: youvegotpride
#62 In Jest, But Still My Favorite Way To Use Old Bananas
Image credits: Half-A-Cookie
#63 When The Green Grocer Sells You 20 Super Overripe Lemons You Make Lemonade, Lemon Juice, Lemon Vinegar (For Eating & Cleaning) & Dried Lemon Zest For Homemade Seasonings
Image credits: LanguageOfLeaves
#64 All Bottled Water Should Be Banned And Water Dispensers Should Be Everywhere
Image credits: PrashantThapliyal
#65 This Park In Sacramento That Asks For Plastic Bag Donations For Dog Waste
Image credits: leftbrendon
#66 Japanese Candy That Uses Edible Starch For Individually Wrapping Candies Instead Of Plastic! So Tasty!
Image credits: embroideredroses
#67 I Got Coffee In My Own Cup For The First Time Since Pre-Pandemic!
Image credits: plantifulsea
#68 Shout Out To Lush. Last Time I Ordered Their Bar Shampoo, They Came With A Plastic Wrapping, But This Time They Were Tossed Right In The Box As Is!
Image credits: tatosoup15
#69 I’ve Planted Celery Food Scraps & New Celery Is Growing!
Image credits: saintschick
#70 Coworker Walks In While I’m Fixing A Pen: “Why Don’t You Just Get A New One?” Never Occurred To Me
Image credits: AynRandIsARaptor
#71 My Girlfriend Made Me This Cute Brush Holder From Old Jeans
Image credits: zacsimacsek
#72 $10 For 60 Lbs Of Food That Would Go To A Landfill Otherwise
Image credits: HelloPanda22
#73 Grandmas Are The Original Zero Wasters
Image credits: bowlscreen
#74 Compost Bags – Shipped In Their Own Box!
Image credits: efficientseed
#75 Zero Waste Christmas Tree!
Image credits: now_is_not_forever
#76 That’s One Way To Lessen The Amount Gifts Needed
Image credits: WarmLeading
#77 I Hosted Thanksgiving For The First Time And Didn’t Want To Buy A Lot Of Holiday Stuff For One Night So I Just Bought Colorful Fruit To Decorate With
Image credits: lateavatar
#78 You Can Use A Vac Sealer To Seal Bubble Mailers And Reuse Them! I Just Used The Seal Function, Not Vac, It Works Great And No Tape Needed! I Cut One Up To Make Several Smaller Packages
Image credits: snugglesnpie
#79 My Toddler Has Been Wanting To Play With My Make-Up. Used Old/Empty Make Up Palettes And Nail Polish To Make Her Fun, Colorful, Mess-Free Play Make Up!
Image credits: Lo452
#80 My Kid Starts Preschool This Week, And The School Asks For Zero Waste Lunches
Image credits: Bingo_Bronson
#81 Someone Was Throwing Away These Old Salad Servers, So I Took Them Home And Restored Them
Image credits: itbememebeit
#82 Does A Waste Of Space Count?
Image credits: anonymousinfamous
#83 One Of The (Fairly Popular) Juice Brands In Austria Is Now Also Selling Juices In Reusable Glass Bottles
Image credits: TheAce0
#84 I Was Told To Post This Here. My Plastic Crochet Hook Broke So I Made One Out Of An Old Paint Brush Handle
Image credits: Confident_You_4831
#85 I Crochet/Knit And Decided To Use Only Donated Yarns (From My Late Stepmom’s Stash), Two Pillows Destined For The Landfill (And Their Linings), An Airline Blanket And Worn Out Bed Sheets As Stuffing For This Monster Pouf
Image credits: Mewpasaurus
#86 My Thrifted Wine Glass “Set”. If One Breaks I Can Easily Replace It As None Is Alike
Image credits: MadLyne11
#87 Plant Based Milks That I End Up Not Loving Get Frozen For Iced Coffee Or Smoothies, This Is An Oat Milk And Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
Image credits: Humble_Fish1372
#88 My Zero Waste Pantry Ive Been Working On For The Past 6 Months
Image credits: JeezlouisV
#89 Discussion: Shorten Your Food Chain
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#90 My Local Target Is Finally Carrying Plastic Free Laundry Detergent Options
Image credits: Riversntallbuildings
#91 Oven Mitt Started Disintegrating After Being Washed, So I Stuffed It With The Stuffing He Tore Out Of His Other Toys And Sewed It Closed With Upholstery Thread
Image credits: thiswillsoonendbadly
#92 Not Zero Waste But Trying To Reduce My Waste, I Live On My Own And Can’t Finish A Carton Of Oat Milk For The Life Of Me So My Friend Gave Me A Few Of These Breast Milk Bags To Portion It Out And Freeze
Image credits: Keiighly
#93 One Year Of Very Near Zero Food Waste, Paper, Cardboard And Garden Waste (Left) Turned Into Compost. Starting Next Year’s Already
Image credits: _Coffee-and-sarcasm_
#94 My Zero Waste Specialist. Hardly Any Vegetable Scraps In This Family Go In The Bin Anymore! And No He’s Not Alone His Partner Is Just Shy Of Cameras
Image credits: woahshitman
#95 My Soccer Supporters Group Has Agreed To Let Me Experiment With A Low Waste Tailgate Model!
Image credits: TakeOutForOne
#96 Aldi Brand Of Spaghetti Sauce Priano Designed For Reuse As A Measuring Glass
Image credits: Shark_Lady
#97 I Gave Out My Huge Pile Of Thrifted Toys For Halloween. The Kids & Parents Loved It!
Image credits: iobuddha
#98 If You Didn’t Know Yet, Small Weck Lids Fit Oui Jars!
Image credits: CrumpetsRCrunk
#99 No More Cigarette Butts Under Parkbenches
Image credits: Lappenpickert
#100 Local = No Packaging Waste
Image credits: MzCWzL
#101 Was So Pleasantly Surprised By The Lack Of Plastic In This New Box Of Pads I Just Got! Obviously Not 100% Zero Waste, But Great Job Kotex. The Only Additional Packaging Other Than The Box Itself Is A Thin Wax Paper To Protect The Adhesive
Image credits: FreddyLynn345_
#102 I Love The Fact That These Organic Kiwis Are Branded! No Plastic Stickers, No Waste. Have You Ever Seen Fruits/Veggies Branded Like That? I Wonder If Most Produce Growers Could Do The Same. (I Live In Paris, And These Are Grown “Locally” In The South Of France.)
Image credits: Pousse_Mousse
#103 Candles Arrived Broken In The Post, So I Melted Them Into Empty Jam Containers!
Image credits: pickaberry
#104 I Saved This Bold And Brash Hoodie From My Apartment’s Dumpster Today
Image credits: WildfireSmile
#105 I Broke My Plastic Water Spray Bottle, But I Found A Replacement
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#106 Ziploc Baggie For My Lunch Cookies. No Holes, Zipper Still Works. 1.5 Years Of Use And Still Going Strong
Image credits: koookiekrisp
#107 Made My Cuppa In An Almost-Empty Honey Jar To Get The Last Crumbs Of Goodness!
Image credits: FantasKit
#108 I Own A Small Pottery Business And Finally Got My Hands On A Pugmill! Finally I Can Start Recycling My Clay Scraps Instead Of Constantly Driving Far To Buy More! Boyfriend For Scale
Image credits: Julieeelol