10 most popular Zero Waste stories in 2016

Zero Waste roundup
© Various/TreeHugger

We are happy that our readers love zero waste so much. It's an important topic that continues to inspire.

There was a time when nobody knew what “zero waste” meant, but ever since Bea Johnson published her seminal book, The Zero Waste Home, in 2013, the phrase has become mainstream. That’s a very good thing, as our planet desperately needs to shift away from single-use plastics and disposable packaging toward reusability.

Since reading Johnson’s book and becoming inspired, we at TreeHugger have been writing about zero waste living ever since. We are happy to see that the stories continue to be relevant, as zero waste grows in popularity worldwide. The following roundup features the site’s most-read zero waste stories of 2016.

10. How to establish a Zero Waste cleaning routine

washing hands at faucetSarah Laval/CC BY 2.0

A house is not truly clean if the process of cleaning it has resulted in all kinds of unnecessary waste. Conventional cleaning relies on chemical products, plastic bottles, paper towels, plastic bags, sponges, and disposable wipes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Learn how to clean the zero waste way. Full story here.

9. On creating a Zero Waste beauty routine

applying mascaraAlex/CC BY 2.0

Cosmetics and skin care products are one of the toughest areas in which to eliminate waste. If you’re not willing to give them up altogether, it can be really challenging to figure out how to go zero waste. Fortunately there are some good options available, if you know where to look. Full story here.

8. Is Zero Waste just for the young and affluent?

pouring granola into jar© Zero Waste Market & Amanda Palmer

All too often, Zero Waste living is brushed off as a privilege – something that wealthy Millennials with extra time on their hands are able to do. This article challenges that notion, pointing that there are many ways in which going zero waste can benefit people from all demographics. Full story here.

7. How two West Coast families each filled 1 jar with a year’s trash

Pare Down zero waste © PAREdown -- Katelin and Tara get silly while showing off their jars at the 5-month mark last year

Real-life stories about families implementing Zero Waste practices are always inspiring to read and show how such a radical lifestyle can be done, even if you’ve got little kids. Full story here.

6. How to pack a litter-free school lunch

reusable lunchboxLarissa Brown/CC BY 2.0

School lunches generate shocking amounts of trash, which is why it’s important to teach kids from an early age that eating does not have to equal garbage. If you pack properly, a child’s lunch doesn’t need to produce anything except calories! Full story here.

5. 7 plastic-free boxes and bags

ECOlunchbox© ECOlunchbox

Zero-waste living is easy when you’ve got great reusable containers in which to package food at home. Go one step further by eliminating plastic from those containers. Full story here.

4. How to banish plastic straws from your life forever

plastic straw waste© One Less Straw campaign (via Facebook) -- Plastic straws collected during beach clean-up

The war on straws is on! Straws are an insidious polluter that many people don’t think about. Learn why straws are so terrible, how to avoid them, and what alternatives exist. Full story here.

3. 16 more tips for living without plastic

Stitchology cotton shopping bags© Stitchology/Facebook -- Reusable cotton bags for plastic-free shopping

Our ‘living without plastic’ posts always do well, as they provide practical solutions for waste reduction in everyday life. In this post we expand the list to include more ways in which to embrace reusables. Full story here.

2. How to store leftovers without plastic

Bee's Wrap© Bee's Wrap

Maybe you have a drawer overflowing with Tupperware that you dig through every night after dinner. Well, after learning about the way in which plastic degrades and leaches (particularly in the dishwasher), you will want to look into these simple alternatives. Full story here.

1. How to freeze food without plastic

freezer jarsFrédérique Voisin-Demery/CC BY 2.0

The freezer is one of the hardest places to avoid plastic, and also a source of misconceptions about what it freezable and what’s not. Learn how to freeze food in alternative ways and say goodbye to non-recyclable single-use plastic bags forever. Full story here.

Tags: Plastics | Pollution | Reusability | Waste | Zero Waste

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