5 Zero-Waste Tips for Vegans
Whether youre looking to go zero-waste or just to develop more sustainable habits, these simple tips will help you—and the planet.
Americans create a lot of waste—we’re talking 254 million tons per year. That’s enough to stretch to the moon and back 25 times. Following a vegan and plant-based diet certainly helps to cut down on that waste drastically, but there’s still so much we can do as individuals to try to live as sustainably as possible—especially in our current environmental climate. Here’s a few simple zero-waste tips and tricks that can be easily implemented into your everyday life and help you live more sustainably.
Avoid single use items
Throwaway items such as plastic utensils and coffee cups are so ingrained in our consumerist culture that we don’t think about the amount of waste they create throughout the course of a year. If you’re looking to lower your footprint, opt to bring your own travel mug to your local coffee shop, and invest in a pair of bamboo utensils to carry in your bag so you can skip the plastic utensils when eating out. You can also bring your own Mason jar when dining out, to carry home your leftovers. By implementing these practices into your routine, soon they can become eco-friendly habits.
Food and lawn waste make up 25 percent of all waste in landfills, but that number can be easily reduced by starting your own compost system. There are so many different ways to compost, but one of the simplest ways is a binless “trenching” method. Simply save all your veggie scraps in a sealed container or kitchen compost bin, and then bury the scraps at least 8 inches deep in your garden bed. Soon you’ll have nutrient-rich soil primed for planting vegetables or herbs.
Americans toss away about 80 pounds of clothing per person every year! Avoid fast-fashion and cheaply made clothes—instead, let thrift stores become your best friend. Find the local secondhand shop, Crossroads Trading Co., or Buffalo Exchange in your area. Not only can you find great deals on quality clothing items, but you’ll often score one-of-a-kind items that you definitely wouldn’t find in a trendy chain clothing store. On the flipside, donate your clothes to a thrift store, rather than tossing them in the trash.
Buy in bulk
The bulk section of the grocery store is a great place to start when going zero-waste. Not only does it eliminate excess packaging, but by bringing your own cloth bulk bags or Mason jars, you can eliminate the need for plastic bags, and thus waste, altogether. Follow Fit Bottomed Eats DIY Guide to Making Your Own Reusable Bulk Bags, to give new life to an old T-shirt and help out the planet along the way.
If you have a high-speed blender and some extra time in your schedule, you can whip up everything from homemade almond milk to nut butters. Use Mason jars to store them in the fridge and cut down on all those cartons piling up in your recycling bin. Making your own homemade staples can be a bit daunting at first, but with a few recipes under your belt, they’ll become second nature in no time at all.
Sarah McLaughin is an assistant editor at VegNews, who enjoys DIY projects and all things homemade.
5 Vegan Summer Date Ideas
Summer lovin' happens so fast, especially when you're taking your date on vegan adventures.
Read More »
7 Glittery, Fabulous, Thrilling, Uncompromising, Inclusive, Vegan Ways I Plan on Celebrating Gay Pride Month
As a seasoned vegan lesbian but a brand new Angeleno, this year, I'm going all-in.
Read More »
The Ultimate Vegan Road Trip PART ONE
The first in our two part-series begins in the Northeast and ends in Sweet Home Chicago.
Read More »
Sizzling Vegan Summer Beauty Brands and Tips
Its too hot to contour, and who has time to paint a painstaking smoky eye when there are veggie burgers to grill and rosé to drink?
Read More »
9 Simple Steps to Making a Vegan Man Cave for Father's Day
This Father's Day, gift Dad with a perfect vegan addition to his sanctuary.
Read More »
- 8 Easy Ways to Have a Relaxing Father's Day
- 28 Vegan Father's Day Gift Ideas for Every Kind of Dad
- 6 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet
- 5 Ideas for a Great Vegan Spring Wedding
- 40 Things I Desperately Want to Eat at Los Angeles' Hottest Vegan Festival
- How to Throw the Ultimate Graduation Vegan Barbecue
- 5 Ways to Celebrate a Vegan Mother's Day with Your Mom
- 7 Pampering Vegan Products That Say I Love You, Mom
- Wicked Kitchen Chef Dishes on the Future of Vegan Food
- Why Going Vegan Can Help You Relax
- 3 Vegan Prom Makeup Looks
- The Ex-Airline Pilot Behind New York's Favorite Vegan Burger
- 10 Vegan Oatmeal Cups for the Person on the Go
- 8 Vegan Etsy Stickers That Your Car, Laptop, and Water Bottle Need, Like, Yesterday
- This 10-Minute Documentary Is Showing How Children Are Embracing Veganism
- It's Time for Men to Get Over Their Fears of Being Vegan
- We're Giving 5 Classic Films a Vegan Makeover
- VegFest Puerto Rico Built Community and Mainstreamed Veganism
- 8 Vegan Foods Making the 2018 Food-Trend List
- Fall in Love With Niagara's Vegan Scene