These Millennials are experts when it comes to waste reduction, and they want you to join the movement.
Living a zero waste lifestyle isn’t easy. It takes time, persistence, and creativity to eliminate disposable plastics from one’s life. It’s a particularly frustrating process when all of society seems to be conspiring against such a mission. That’s where finding a good support network is key. The Internet is a wonderful resource, with a vibrant community of zero waste bloggers sharing advice, resources, and stores. Here’s a list of some of our favourites, with links in the titles – and it’s always expanding. Please share additional links in the comments below.
Founder Lauren Singer lives in New York City and is an outspoken supporter of zero waste and minimalist living. She has a fabulous website that’s regularly updated, as well as a collection of informative ‘how-to’ YouTube videos and a TED talk. She’s also the owner of The Simply Co., which manufactures an all-natural laundry detergent. In 2014, TreeHugger did an exclusive interview and tour of Singer’s apartment.
This website is so beautiful, I could peruse it all day long. The writer, Ariana Schwarz, lives in Paris with her husband and two cats, writing about everything from beauty and fashion to travel and gluten-free living (she’s celiac), but with an overarching zero waste theme. Her posts are thoughtful, intelligent, and deeper-reaching than most I’ve seen, i.e. the intersection of zero waste and minimalism, asking whether zero waste is ableist, etc.
Written by a San Francisco-based editor named Anne Marie who loves to cook, this blog focuses on food management at home. She acknowledges that, until she lives on a farm and produces everything from scratch, she will still rely on a bulk-food system that generates trash in its supply chain (think of those plastic bags lining the bins, etc.), even if she’s not the one bringing it home. She has lots of great ideas for cutting out processed foods, better meal planning, fermentation, and minimize food waste.
TreeHugger interviewed the Canadian founders of PAREdown last year, Katelin LeBlond and Tara Smith-Arnsdorf. The two women shared their perspective on minimizing waste while living an ordinary, urban life with young children, and managing the ongoing challenges of “other people” who don’t understand why it matters so much to them. Their website is a wealth of information, with lists of zero waste-friendly stores, tips for how to get started and stick with it, and recipes for everything from meals to toothpaste and laundry detergent.
Based in the United Kingdom, Jessica Renz is a young woman whose 2017 New Year’s resolution to use a reusable cup all year long quickly morphed into something much bigger – a quest to eliminate all disposable plastics. She’s new to the movement, but has been blogging prolifically since the beginning of this year, outlining the many things she’s learning along the way. Hers is an excellent place for newbies to start and a good refresher for those of us who might forget certain details. (Web link updated from original post.)
In 2012, Lindsay Miles accepted a month-long challenge to eliminate plastic from her life. It turned into an entire lifestyle shift and the creation of her blog. Miles breaks down her approach to sustainable living in an easy-to-follow way: simple living, waste- and plastic-free living, clean eating, ethical consumption, and creating community.
“It’s not about perfection. It’s about making better choices.” San Francisco-based blogger Kathryn Kellogg, who launched ‘Going Zero Waste’ in March 2015, already has an impressive online following. Inspired to change her lifestyle for health reason, she views herself as a “strong, moderate voice” within the zero waste community. She tracks her annual waste output, and last year’s amounted to a puny 8-ounce glass jar.
Celia Ristow of Chicago strives to make her life more beautiful and enjoyable through waste-free living. She writes, “Delight, not deprivation, is what I’m after.” Unlike most other zero waste bloggers, Ristow does not track her annual trash output because, as The Guardian reports, she thinks it’s misleading:
“[It] doesn’t take into account the fact that trash often accumulates in the production stream before products end up on store shelves.”
Kaycee Bassett is “the zero waste girl,” a married vegan mama and self-professed kombucha addict. She blogs about everything from favorite products to vermiculture to essential oils to refillable bamboo pens to second-hand shopping. Her Instagram account is great.
Jonathan Levy is a business consultant and keynote speaker who helps companies transition to less wasteful practices. He blogs about his own zero waste lifestyle, including interesting travel guides, household appliances, cooking, and forms of indirect waste. It's especially interesting to hear from a male, as the zero waste movement tends to be dominated by women. His Instagram account is more active than his blog.