Stay on track with your zero waste efforts by joining an inspiring community doing the same thing.
Instagram is a great platform for educating people about zero waste. Because it is so conducive to beautiful photography, with all that colorful, package-free produce, natural fibers, and transparent glass jars, not to mention an inherent tendency toward minimalism (which always look good on camera!), it translates marvellously to Instagram.
Zero waste images can be wonderfully inspiring for those people who are new to the idea of reducing household waste or feel like they're burning out from the effort. By following these pros online, you'll have a daily influx of guidance, not to mention the invaluable sense of belonging to a bigger community. They're a good reminder that you're not alone! (Clickable links in titles)
Heather White is the voice behind Intentionalism, a beautiful Instagram account full of DIY tips from making homemade soy wax candles to kids' play dough to elderberry syrup. White grows much of her own food and does some canning. She told Medium: "We also forage for blackberries and glean our neighbors’ fruit trees when they have surplus."
By now Kathryn Kellogg has become a prominent name in the zero waste community. She continues to post interesting, informative articles on living zero waste in a style that helps readers relate to her. For example, while talking about shopping with reusable containers, she writes:
I still get little butterflies every time I go to a new store to ask for something in my own container. My anxiety builds and I think, "What if they say no?" "Will they judge me?" "Will they think I'm weird?" Then I remind myself of the answers. You leave. Who cares? And, you're awesome! And, guess what!? I'm almost always met with, "What a great idea!" Most people are very positive and receptive to the idea of bringing your own container.
Winter farmers market haul! The problem with arriving late to the farmers market is your dream for 18 cauliflowers is met with the hard reality of only three being left. 😭 Also, tons of greens for winter salads. I have some leftover gourds from last week where I'll be whipping up some sweet and savory tacos and salads. Meal prepping all day to day, stay tuned! All this goodness for $13. Live local. Live plastic free. Its tasty! 😎 #goingzerowaste . . #zerowaste #simple #simplicity #farmersmarket #farmtotable #organicfood #wholefood #realfood #eatrealfood #eatyourveggies #f52grams #simplejoys #flashesofdelight #cauliflower #californialove #bayarea #iamwellandgood #wellnessblogger #locavore #ecofriendly #gogreen #sustainable
Shia, the voice behind this Insta feed, does it all. She's zero waste, plastic- and palm oil-free, minimalist, and vegan. How she does it all, I'm not sure. My favorite pictures of hers are the weekly farmers' market haul, laid out so artistically and compactly that it looks like a piece of art.
Here comes our #zerowaste #farmersmarket haul for this week! • It just started to sink in that we will actually leave Vancouver for good in less than 3 weeks! And I’m getting a just a teeny weeny bit emotional 🙈. • Anyway, we’ll travel down the West Coast by coach 🚌 and train 🚞 in February, visiting Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area, and LA. We’ll fly from LAX to Paris on a direct flight, stay in Paris for 3 days before catching the train back to good ol’ Germany. • We chose this route because we wanted to at least reduce the emissions we cause. LAX to Paris was the only DIRECT flight we could still book or afford for this timeframe from anywhere on the West Coast to anywhere close to Germany. Did you know that the take off and landing is the major component of emissions? They are what make short-distance flights so damaging to the environment. • We were also thinking about traveling down the West Coast and back to Vancouver (by coach and train), but decided it would make more sense to make it a one way trip. • We try to fly as little as possible. This will be our second flight since we went zero waste in 2014. The first one was almost a year ago from Frankfurt to Vancouver. We do compensate our flights, but frankly, the damage is done, and the carbon emission compensations will not just filter the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. 💔
Megean Weldon is based in Kansas City, where she lives with her husband and baby. Her zero waste journey started two years ago, and since then she has yet to put out the garbage can. On Instagram, she's running a fun 30-day challenge for January, where every day features another lifestyle change that can help reduce household waste.
You know what I'm talking about. Free promotional pens, bags, letter openers, koozies, party favors, cups, mugs, t-shirts, bottles of water, stress balls..I could go all day. I want to be perfectly clear in with this tip as I'm not saying you should avoid ALL free stuff, just stuff you do not need. For instance, of you need a new jacket and someone has one they'll give you for free that's called frugality. The freebies I'm referring to are typically unnecessary. This can be very challenging. Learning to refuse things from someone takes practice. Sometimes I think we accept these items as a result of us not wanting to hurt someone's feelings. But a simple no thank will work better than you think. ❤
The Zero Waste Guy's real name is Jonathan Levy and he lives in Los Angeles. His focus on Instagram tends to be actual waste -- usually food-related, pictures of garbage cans and Dumpsters, street litter, etc. -- as opposed to the carefully arranged jars of dried beans that dominate many a zero waste Instagram feed. This makes it different, intriguing, and educational. He gives shout-outs to progressive changes that he discovers throughout his travels, and just as many call-outs (polite, of course) to people who are not meeting his standards for environmental care.
I feel like I could scroll through this feed all day. Anne-Marie Bonneau runs her kitchen with 3 rules: No packaging. Nothing processed. No trash. She's been plastic-free since 2011. Her pictures are mostly all food-based, with stunning tableaus of colorful vegetables, sauces, homemade pastas, and fermentations. It will make your mouth water.
Quick, easy, frugal, no-waste peanut sauce tastes delicious and works as a vegetable delivery system for my picky eater. I don't usually have any rice vinegar in the pantry but I always have lots of vinegary-but-still-sweet kombucha on hand so I put a couple of tablespoons of it in this. Simply whir of everything in a food processor and voila. I make stir fry about once a week and this tastes great in it. Link in profile for the recipe. #plasticfree #plasticfreeforthesea #plasticfreeliving #zerowaste #zerowastekitchen #zerowasterecipes #bulkingredients #bulkshopping #peanutsauce #quickdinner #frugal
Celia Ristow is one of those zero waste bloggers that I keep going back to. Her writing has a thoughtful depth to it that I appreciate and she tackles important topics in the process. Her Instagram feed features the clean, simple images so commonly associated with zero waste and are interactive, filled with questions for readers.
Manuela Baron maintains her zero waste lifestyle while traveling the world, which is an impressive feat. She's currently living in Bali, soon to move to Kuala Lumpur, so her Instagram feed is an beautiful mishmash of travel photography and stark zero waste minimalism.
I am just blown away by how amazing this #worldgonegreen community is. A big thank you to everyone who came to our picnic and @going.zero.waste for helping me put it together💚 There are a whole bunch of amazing projects going on. Seriously can't wait to see the progress. I'm rooting for you girls! I left for the airport feeling incredibly inspired and ready for the future. You all continue to fuel my passion and I'm so grateful for that. Next meet-up: NYC @zerowastewonders @evelyn.barash @stacygarfinkel @smeebrahna Also, shoutout to @throwmedownawell for these insta-husband worthy pictures and for waiting in line with me for burritos Kathryn: Can I keep Nala?
Kathleen Roland is an environmental advocate from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Following a zero waste lifestyle is part of her efforts to reduce environmental impact. She has also founded an online store called Simply Sustainable, which sells a range of zero waste lifestyle essentials. Her Insta feed has a political tone to it that is refreshing.