My beautiful minimum waste home

…aka tips for an (almost) waste-free household.

In my last post, I discussed the green marketing and pointed out that not everything that seems “eco-friendly” actually is eco friendly.
I even said that a paper bag might not always be the most ecological variant (based on several studies). You might feel confused now. Maybe you thought you behaved in a quite ecological manner and now you doubt it. Everything is so complicated!
I have to acknowledge that it is complicated. We only started to notice the waste and its environmental impact not so long ago and there are always some new findings (usually contradictory) popping up. But even in this sea of confusing information, I find my way to swim through. Actually, it’s quite simple. Instead of trying to figure out which variant is the best (meaning most eco-friendly), focus on not creating any waste at all.

Let me give you an example of what I do, because practical examples are the best, right?

1.Shopping

I have 2 cotton bags and a cute cotton backpack that last literally forever unless you carry 150,000 kg in them. I learnt to put one in my purse every time I leave the house, so that I’m always prepared. They are light, don’t take any space and can carry quite a lot of weight. Another great thing is that you can wash them together with your laundry.
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For bread, oats and other stuff I have these cute cotton bags.

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For fruits and veggies I have these special transparent sachets from a Czech company called Frusack. Once again, I learnt to take 2-3 of them every time I go out.
I go to the packaging-free store once every 2 weeks or so, to stock on the staples such as oats, grains, pasta, rice, legumes, dried fruits, nuts and spices. If I go there from work, I take lots of bags and sachets (the ones mentioned above, plastic bags that I occasionally find at home-yes I am not a saint- or any other packaging that I find, and then I transfer it to my containers and mason jars at home.

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If I go on the weekend from home, I take some of the containers to fill them up directly. People tend to think that you lose a lot of comfort carrying bags or containers to a store, but believe me-you don’t.
The rest of the stuff I get from a regular supermarket, cheese shop or butcher’s.

LIKE THAT I ELIMINATE THE SINGLE-USE PACKAGING, PLASTIC BAGS AND SHOPPING BAGS.

2. Storage 

I have a set of containers for basically everything that can be bought packaging-free, which is:

  • dried fruits
  • nuts and seeds
  • pasta, couscous, bulgur, polenta, rice, legumes
  • oats and musli
  • flour and sugar
  • spices


If I need to wrap cheese, sandwich or a cut piece of fruit, I use these bee-wax napkins.

LIKE THAT I ELIMINATE THE SINGLE-USE PACKAGING (see above) AND WRAPPING FOIL/ALUMINIUM.

3. Cooking

Whenever I cook, I try to use everything I can and not throw anything away. And I have to say I’m pretty successful in that!

When I cook meat, I use the stock that’s left to make a soup. When I work with vegetables like broccoli, carrot or kale, I use the whole thing, including the leaves- you can make delicious chips from them!
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Roasted cauliflower leaves

I never stock up on things like dairy or fresh produce, but rather buy just a few for immediate consumption. It might require me to do groceries more often, but I don’t really mind. I like to cook what I want to cook on that day, rather than having to cook something that needs to be cooked, from the ingredients that I have in the fridge. Anyway, I’m not saying that I’m going to save the planet by eating the kale leaves, but not throwing anything away makes me feel good. Apart from that, I think we should appreciate the food more. Which to me means using the maximum of it.

I cook every day and bring food to work in my lunchbox, I never buy take away or to go food which I would bring to the office. My food tastes great (obviously!), I know exactly what is inside and – most importantly – I spare the single-use to-go food containers, which I consider as a absolutely useless waste.
We don’t order food at home, neither. If I wanna don’t wanna cook, we simply go to a restaurant and eat there.

LIKE THAT, I ELIMINATE FOOD WASTE AND FOOD CONTAINERS.

4. Bathroom 

As a woman and an owner of way too many body and hair products, I know how much waste is created in one’s bathroom. Therefore, I started using solid products which I buy in Lush or a packaging-free store, without any packaging. And just recently, I made my my first homemade cosmetics, which is the best variant of course.
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Yes, my lotion bar requires more skill, I know.

Apart from obvious products like hand soap, I also use a solid shampoo (shampoo bar), solid body lotion and solid shower gel.
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To remove my make-up I use a reusable sponge.
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LIKE THAT, I ELIMINATE COSMETICS PACKAGING AND SINGLE-USE COTTON PADS.

5. On the go

Last but not least, as obvious as it might be, I have my own water bottle and I hardly ever buy packaged water or any plastic bottles, actually. I don’t drink coffee to-go, neither sodas or juices, which makes things easier for me.

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LIKE THAT I ELIMINATE PET BOTTLES AND COFFEE TO GO CUPS.

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These might be small things, but imagine that I put all the packaging, plastic bags, single-use cotton pods, bottles and other stuff that I’d use in one year on a pile. I think it would be quite huge!
T.

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