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12 Cheap & Easy Tips for Reducing Your Waste – Sustainable Zero Waste Hacks

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We’re sharing a dozen cheap and easy tips to help beginners reduce their garbage output and transition to a low waste, or zero waste lifestyle. While you’re here, help Ecosia plant trees around the world by simply searching the internet: https://ecosia.co/alternatives

Our tips include things like avoiding plastic shopping and produce bags, using reusable glass or stainless steel food containers, coffee mugs, and water bottles. Doing a waste audit and researching what waste sorting options are available in your city or town (especially composting!!). Getting inspired by documentaries, bloggers, and Instagram accounts. Being a friendly activist and spreading the word about the importance of sustainable living, and reducing the amount of garbage we produce every day.

The following product links are for items that we purchased ourselves in case you’re interested in trying them out (no affiliate links and no sponsored items).

Spork from Life Without Plastic:

Stainless steel food containers from Onyx:

Mesh produce bags from Care Bags:

Abeego beeswax food wrap cloth:

Cloth bags: various sources

Stainless steel water bottle: gift with no brand name

Reusable coffee mugs, the silver one is from REI and the purple one is from Contigo (gifted to us by Kicking Horse Coffee):

Addicted to Plastic: http://www.crypticmoth.com/plastic.php
Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch:

Zero Waste Blogs:
Trash is for Tossers: http://trashisfortossers.com/
Zero Waste Home: https://zerowastehome.com/
PareDown Home: http://www.paredownhome.com/

Zero Waste Instagram Accounts:

Thank you to all of the people, stores, and restaurants who let us film inside their spaces, and who’ve helped us reduce our waste!!!

Nu Grocery zero waste grocery store

Bread By Us bakery

Bridgehead Coffee

Urban Juice Press

NousRire bulk buying group

Provigo grocery store

Sushi Shop

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Thank you to all of our Patrons who support us so generously!!!
If you like our videos, please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/exploringalternatives


Blog: www.exploringalternatives.ca
Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog
Instagram: @exploringalternatives


We occasionally include paid sponsor messages/integrations in our videos to help fund the channel. We do our best to work with companies and organizations that offer products or services that are in line with our values, and that we think would be interesting and useful to our viewers.

We will always disclose if we’re promoting products that were given to us for free, or if we’re including a sponsored message in our video.

For business or sponsorship inquiries, please email us at danielle.is.exploring@gmail.com


Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives


Kamla Ahmad says:

The amount of garbage I produce solely is big as I only drink water from plastic bottles. I wish that I could take part in this and keep my waste to a minimum as I grow worried about nature day by day.

Appu Joseph Jose says:

very good advice.

Kirstine says:

LOVE your tip about treating people well! I feel like that is one of the less often talked-about parts of choosing to live in an environmentally sustainable way. The way we represent these choices is how people perceive the entire lifestyle. KINDNESS goes a long way! Thanks for the tips!

Jeffrey W says:

You can take your plastic grocery bags to Walmart,they have bins for recycling them

Venus Gillespie says:

By the way, I have Celiac disease, and so the breads I buy aren’t often available in the bakery section (and all the local bakeries are wwaaaayyyyy too expensive for me to be able to buy, and gluten free bread can be expensive to bake), and the breads I am able to access are often prepackaged. Has anyone found a gluten free bread in a better package? If there isn’t one I’ll just see about reducing my bread intake and baking what I do eat.

Venus Gillespie says:

If you can, get Biobags! They’re recycled compostable trash bags; you can throw your food waste in them and compost the whole bundle. Or you can just use a paper bag, or just use a bucket. Also, for removing glue, citrus essential oils and coconut oil also take labels off.

Rashone says:

Depends where you live. I live in an area of Florida and there are no bulk food stores. I try to find products that are not packed in plastic. These are great suggestions, however, but have to be modified depending where one lives. Some stuff I'm not going to do…buy food out, take stuff to pack it in if I want to bring some home? No way. Reducing waste needs to not be too time consuming.

Spike Volcanohead says:

I like the cutlery suggestion…but would add that if you regularly get "to go" beverages or have small kids who often use drinking straws, invest in either a stainless steel reusable straw or a package of paper recyclable straws. Just tell the drive-up window person that you do not need a straw.

Wendy P says:

Very helpful tips to get started. Especially the link to T.O.s Waste Wizard. Thank you so much for these⭐️

Beth M says:

Awesome video! I've downloaded ecosia, thanks so much!

Bonnie Lyon says:

Thank you I have been looking for ways to cut back my Carbon footprint and this is so helpful

Irina Ageyeva says:

Hello from Siberia. Thank you for video and for your advice how to wash the glass from the glue)

midwestkatie says:

One of my big inspirations. Canada Dry ginger ale in the small glass bottles. I pour filtered water in them, refrigerate some, keep some at room temp. Easy way to make sure i drink water, too. Also fill them with almond dark chocolate silk. Freeze or refrigerate to go. Yum. Plastic bottles are all over work area. Cut off top, poke a hole, hang on hook, and fill with nails, Wd-40. Everything is right where you can see it. My bug stuff is in one right next to the doors!

Raven Chan says:

Hi where do I order a compost bin?

GGF says:

Never would have thought of taking my own containers for leftovers when eating out. It may seem weird/awkward but it's a great idea. Even if the place uses compostable packaging it's still saving a box or two.

superEN30 says:

I've used ecosia for a while now and it's so helpful, I've not noticed any difference from google, and it's so liberating to know that the ad revenue that the site gains from me searching is going to a good cause

Centennial Rodriguez says:

These are so great! I just wanted to add another tip that helps remove labels from jars very easily: soak them in hot water & washing soda (like half a cup for a full sink). The labels fall right off usually

Antje says:

Cool, i never thought of reusing the little plastic bags for vegetables and fruits. I took them as garbage bags. But that’s way better! 👍🏻

eweliyi says:

I'm doing some of the things already, I have reusable shopping bags, I do not buy bottled water, I pack my lunches in glass, I recycle religiously, but I live in Malaysia and there are no bulk shops or similar thing here, also grocery stores do not allow own produce bags and they put big stickers on the thin plastic ones at the weighing stations so they tear when you try to take them off. People do not realize it, but it really is next to impossible to do zero waste in most parts of the world. There has been no recycling in this country even 10 years ago. I really wish we can go completely without waste, but I would settle for no plastic first! I'm trying to raise awareness here, there is now a petition to ban plastic straws in my area. Hopefully baby steps and we will get there.

1auntievenom says:

Instead of wetting the label, try filling the glass with nearly boiling water and let sit for a moment. Most of the time, the labels peel right off even in the stickier situations.
Nice video!

CaptainAliciaEff says:

Can you caption your videos or have someone caption them? The auto captions are not easy to follow

amy fletcher says:

I use cloth/nylon bags when I remember them..I did today. I want to look into those produce bags. Great product. I reuse my plastic bottles quite a bit and just picked up a 12 hr cold drink bottle for summer. Love it!!! I filter my own water 99 percent of the time. Zero water jug. As long as I keep trying…that important.

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