A life without plastic? Is that really possible?We say: Yes, it is!

Zero Waste Definition

Zero Waste Tips: What is Zero Waste anyway?

Zero Waste is about making landfills superfluous.

That’s why people in the Zero Waste movement recycle and compost what they can and are constantly thinking of new ways to put a stop to the wasteful industry.

recycling economy zero waste

The ultimate goal of Zero Waste is the transition to a recycling economy where there is no more waste. All resources are integrated into a system in which they can be fully recycled – following nature’s example. 

Zero Waste Tips for The Kitchen

… for Beginners

Buy in larger quantities

As a rule, the larger the packaging, the less plastic.

This beginner’s tip can be implemented quickly and easily. Avoid packs where food has been individually wrapped again and rather portion it yourself. Especially if you want to live plastic-free as a family, this tip is worth its weight in gold. 

Upgrade your kitchen waste

There is so much more to kitchen waste than you think! With these Zero Waste tips, the days when you had to empty your trash can every other day are over.

zero waste kitchen
Potato peels are rich in valuable ingredients – that makes them far too valuable to be thrown away!

Apple or potato peels are perfect for roasting and can be turned into a delicious snack in no time.

Cucumber juice does not have to be poured away. Instead, put other vegetables in it. Let the juice boil briefly together with some vegetables, fill the vegetables back into a glass and put them in the refrigerator overnight.

You should not feed old, stale bread to ducks! Instead, cut the bread into small cubes and refine your salads with homemade croutons!

Broccoli stalks can be used raw as a snack and baked or fried together with other vegetables. If you cut the stems into thin slices, you can also make delicious chips!

Other vegetable leftovers such as carrot and onion peels or celery stalks can also be quickly processed into a vegetable broth.

Freeze your kitchen leftovers

Your freezer is not only for frozen pizza. You can freeze almost anything you don’t have a use for at the moment. From ripe, peeled bananas to herbs and leftover food, almost anything is allowed. 

Freezing fruit and vegetables

Outside the freezer are: raw potatoes, leaf salads, soft cheese, boiled eggs and eggs in shell, dairy products and garlic. These foods change their consistency or lose their taste when they are frozen.

… Advanced Zero Waste Tips

Grow your own vegetables

cultivation vegetables

Even potatoes or seeds that have already sprouted do not have to end up in the trash. A large part of the fruits and vegetables you can buy in the supermarket will easily grow on your balcony at home or in the garden.Whether they bear fruit depends on many factors, but plants are always beautiful to look at.

Make your own snacks

Many food products from the supermarket are packed in plastic and thus harm the environment. To ensure that you don’t have to miss out on your favorite snacks, you can simply make them yourself with just a few ingredients! Here are a couple of ideas for tasty DIY snacks to go:

Cracker: Knead flour, salt, butter and milk to a smooth dough, bake on a baking tray for 8 to 10 minutes, to finish, add some seasoning salt on top – ready is this tasty snack.

Pancakes: Milk, salt and eggs are enough to make a wonderful take-away snack in just a few minutes. Pancakes are more versatile than you might think: Try the savory version with cream cheese or chopped herbs!

zero waste snacks

Energy bar: There are almost no limits to this treat. No matter if dried fruits, nuts or chocolate chips – whatever tastes good and provides you with wonderful energy is allowed.

Vegetable sticks with dip: Dips such as hummus or avocado cream can be kept for several hours without cooling and are therefore perfect for snacking on during the lunch break together with a few strips of vegetables.

Recipes like these are abundant on the Internet and banish plastic from your kitchen once and for all. 

Become a member of the Foodsharing Community

Not only in the own kitchen a lot of food ends up in the trash every week. Many companies are obliged to dispose of food that is actually still edible. Foodsharing should put an end to this!

Foodsharing basket

As a foodsharer, you save such food by picking it up from the farms or other foodsharers before it ends up in the trash. Food and drink that you can no longer do anything with yourself are placed in a basket for collection. True to the motto: Give and take.You find one of the largest Foodsharing Communities on foodsharing.de

Start composting

Kitchen waste tips

Dear apartment owners, we have good news for you: You too can start composting your remaining kitchen waste in no time at all. All you need is a so-called worm composter.

Zero Waste thanks to a Mini-Composter in the Kitchen

No matter how hard you try not to produce waste, some waste simply cannot be reused. At least not by us humans. Worms have significantly fewer demands…To give your compost worms a home, place a small worm box with a lid in the kitchen and fill it with compost soil. You can get such a box together with its roommates at Wurmwelten.de.

To keep your new roommates happy, you should feed them regularly with egg shells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, or other kitchen waste. The worms are not particularly fussy. They even accept (uncoated) newspaper and hair gratefully. Only meat and dairy products, mold, cat litter, citrus fruits and leftovers from cooked food make the poor little worm’s stomach ache.

If you feed the worms diligently (but please don’t feed them too much at once, otherwise they can rot in the box) and if you help with a spray bottle in case of drought, you can be happy about humus after a few weeks, which you can use as fertilizer for your plants:

advanced zero waste tips compost

Zero waste in the bathroom 

The topic of hygiene can also be solved with a few zero waste tips (almost) completely without plastic. How to do this is explained in this section. 

Use microplastic filters

With each wash you release thousands of microfibers from your clothes into the water system. A microplastic filter in the form of wash bags can prevent this by catching the microfibers during washing.

The filters themselves are made of 100% recycled plastic and are therefore fully recyclable.

Air dry your laundry

By doing without a tumble dryer you not only save a lot of energy, time and water, you also protect your wallet.

Advanced Zero waste tips loundry
Your laundry still dries best in the fresh air.

However, make sure that the humidity in your home does not become too high during the drying process, as mushrooms multiply happily in a humid climate.It is best to let your laundry dry on the balcony or in the garden. If your apartment does not have both, there may be a drying floor in the house, which you share with your tenants.

Do as much as you can yourself 

Whether detergent, soap or toothpaste – with the right ingredients, you can produce sustainable hygiene products yourself in no time at all.

toothpaste
Commercially available toothbrushes and pastes contain microplastics and are harmful to the environment.

Not only do you save money, you also completely avoid so-called microplastics, which are absorbed into our body through the skin.

According to a study commissioned by the WWF, people take an average of about five grams of microplasty a week. This is roughly equivalent to a credit card.

A good reason to say goodbye to artificially produced soaps!

Buy at No Waste Shops

You would like to switch to Zero Waste products, but don’t have the time to produce everything yourself?

No Problem!

In these Zero Waste Shops you will find everything you need for everyday life:

Zero Waste Tips for the Bathroom

Use a bidet

The French have known it for a long time, the Japanese too – the intimate area can be cleaned much more hygienically with water than with toilet paper.

The use of a bidet may still be somewhat unfamiliar, but once installed, a bidet saves a lot of paper.If you hang at your toilet, there are also travel bidets or bidet attachments that work wonderfully as a supplement.

Use reusable cloths

At the latest when you have tried out your new bidet for the first time, you will ask yourself the question: how do I get my butt dry without toilet paper?

For drying there are so-called reusable family cloths. These cloths are optically different from normal towels, are absorbent and velvety soft to avoid skin irritations.

More Zero Waste Ideas

Create a local Zero Waste group

Over Meetup.com many like-minded people can be found in no time at all, who are also interested in the Zero Waste Lifestyle.

local zero waste Group

Hold workshops to get your neighbors excited about the benefits of zero waste or encourage them to do handicrafts together.

Through the exchange with other zero-waste specialists, you will receive many new suggestions and ideas on how to get the best out of your waste. 

Collect Rainwater

Warum sollten Sie den Wasserhahn aufdrehen, wenn Sie das Wasser auch direkt vom Himmel sammeln können?

This tactic is more suitable for advanced users, because you first have to find out what you are allowed to use the rainwater for. There are some hygienic requirements for the use of rainwater in the household.In order to be allowed to use rainwater for all purposes, you cannot avoid installing a rainwater harvesting system. However, rainwater is always sufficient for watering your plants.

Upcycling instead of recycling 

Recycling yards are a great invention.You can bring there all the materials that you consider recyclable.

But it happens again and again that such farms do not accept materials at all or send them to the landfill because they have no use for them.In these cases upcycling is the better alternative. Here you can make small pots for your herbs from old aluminum cans. At Upcycling your creativity is in demand! So click your way through Pinterest and become inspired!

Rely on the power of the sun

Kohlekraftwerke sind die Drecksschleudern unter den Energielieferanten und mit Ihrem Stromverbrauch tragen Sie bewusst oder unbewusst dazu bei, dass wir auch in Zukunft noch jede Menge CO2 in die Umwelt blasen. 

To prevent your share of it, check your electricity provider and find out what sources you get your electricity from. If necessary, switch to a provider that generates 100% of its electricity from renewable energies such as wind or solar. 

solarpanel advanced zero waste tips

You exchange the slight additional burden on your wallet for a great relief of your conscience. Doesn’t that sound like a fair trade? 

As a homeowner, you can of course also consider the purchase of your own solar system. The costs for solar modules have fallen sharply in recent years and you will even receive 6.70 to 9.72 cents per fed-in kWh (as of September 2020) through the feed-in tariff for photovoltaic systems.

Exchange instead of throwing away

What you might consider a garbage dump might be a real goldmine for your fellow citizens.Trading can be really fun and you will hardly believe what you can exchange in a short time. With a little patience and negotiation skills, bartering can be a rewarding hobby for you, which will also drastically reduce your garbage volume.Popular exchange markets are:

craigslist Freecycle swapstyle Zwaggle TradeMade

Reduce your electronic waste

If you want to drastically reduce your share of global plastic waste, you need to come up with a solution for your electronic devices.

electronic waste
Over the years a lot of electronic waste accumulates.

Sell your used equipment to dealers who will repair the electronics as much as possible and dispose of parts that can no longer be repaired in an environmentally friendly way.  

To protect the environment, you should also buy used equipment and have it repaired before you write it off. Also consider what equipment you really need and avoid buying the latest model every year.

Travel short distances by train

As comfortable as air travel may be, it is also harmful to the environment. Within your country you should generally avoid flying and take the train instead.

This may be more expensive and take longer, but your conscience will thank you! If you have no other choice, you will at least pay a lump sum to offset the carbon emissions. 

Zero Waste Books

If you want to learn more about sustainable living, we present our top 5 best zero waste books here:1. 101 Ways to go Zero Waste 2. Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash  3. A Zero Waste Life 4. The Zero-Waste Lifestyle 5. Plastic-Free

Conclusion: Advanced Zero Waste Tips

Zero Waste has come to stay. If we are serious about our love for the environment and want to live well and happily on this planet for the next few years, there is no way around the No Waste movement.Did you like our Zero Waste tips? What is your Zero Waste experience? Write us your opinion in the comments!