If you need any convincing on making the move towards a zero waste lifestyle, let me persuade you by the shear aesthetics of it. Beyond the environmental reasons, it can result in a beautiful, organized, and well curated home. In my own home, I’ve noticed a natural and unplanned decluttering that’s happened in the process of going zero waste.
It started years ago with the purchase of some cloth tote bags to use for shopping. That stopped the endless clutter of paper and plastic bags bulging from the closet. From there I began making less waste by making my own cleaning supplies, and health and beauty products, which further tidied cabinets and closets. I started filling my Mason jars at the bulk aisle and sought out other household items that come package-free. My shelves are dramatically reduced of packaged goods and packaging waste, which has made a surprising difference in the amount of clutter in my home.
Disposable and single use products have little presence in my home. Cloth napkins and dish towels are used in place of their paper counterparts. Cloth diapers and wipes negate the need to store packages of disposable baby products. A Mason jar serves as my everyday water bottle eliminating the need to ever buy another disposable plastic water bottle. My bathroom is clutter-free from the lack of disposable products.
Beyond the products I buy, zero waste sometimes means thoughtfully and ecologically using what I already own to creatively fulfill a need. Leftover pages from spiral notebooks at the end of the school year are used for grocery lists, journals, and scratch paper. Scraps of fabric from past projects are turned into quilts, gifts, household items, and clothing. Old clothes become something new. This zero waste approach uses up what I have and declutters along the way.
Sometimes going zero waste means not buying anything at all. Walking through my home you might guess I’m not much of a reader judging from the lack of books I own, but you’d be mistaken. I have shelves and shelves of books walking distance from my house at the local library. I’m opting out of ownership when I can, for the earth’s sake and mine.
Giving thought to the end of an object’s life is also a consideration when going zero waste. Natural materials biodegrade, so those are the ones I prefer. Holiday decorations aren’t stored in a box, but come from nature and are composted or recycled at the end of the celebration. My two-year old son has few toys, but most are inspiring and beautiful wood ones that will be passed on when he’s done.
A zero waste lifestyle comes at a slow pace, but the unfolding is one of beauty. The deeper I go, the more inspired I am. Moving towards zero waste allows a home to breath from the space of having less.