by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller
These are the solutions we’ve come up with for our own families over the past few years. We’re working our way around a typical house, room-by-room. You can see our list of basic zero waste living first steps here. If you’re just starting the shift towards zero waste living, we recommend picking just one step. Make one change, and make it your own. Once that has become second nature, move on to a second step. Move at a pace that works for you, grant yourself amnesty for the times when you fall short of your own goals, and remember that your own goals are the ones that matter – Leave the judging and competitive eco-sainthood race behind. Make one change that brings you more joy with less waste, and we promise you’ll be motivated to try another, and another…
Without further ado, here are our garage tips. Please let us know what else you have done to move your garage towards zero waste. We’d love to add your suggestions to this list!
- Curate the stuff in your garage – If you haven’t used it in the past year, ask yourself if you’re likely to need it this year or the next. Offer up what you don’t need any longer to your local Freecycle group, host a garage sale, or donate it to a local charity – Find new homes for the stuff you just don’t use any more.
- For those items that you don’t use regularly but that you don’t want to part with, consider joining or starting a tool lending library. You can share much more than just tools this way, you’ll save yourself and your neighbors money, and you’ll be helping to reduce the amount of new stuff produced and sent to landfills. You can test the lending waters the old-fashioned way, by offering something from your garage to your real-life neighbor; you don’t need an official network to share with the people on your street.
- When you need a new tool or garage-bound item, invest in a durable version made from metal, wood, glass, or other plastic-free materials. These are generally designed to last, and can be composted or recycled at the end of their useful lives.
- For more ideas, visit our Trash Backwards app where we have hundreds more workbench and garage-related zero waste tips:
What have you done to reduce your garage-oriented waste? We’d love to add your tips to our list! Please share them below.