Do you want to shift to a life with less plastic and less waste in general? Wondering where to start? Feeling overwhelmed? We’d love to help!
We’ve learned a lot about how to change our own habits and perspectives over the past three years, and we’d like to offer this bit of advice: Please, don’t try to do everything at once! Choose just one step, the one that seems the easiest or most appealing to you, and give that a try.Adapt our ideas as necessary for your own household and lifestyle and keep at that one first change until it’s second nature, or until you’re excited to add another.
Remember that joy and pride are much better motivating emotions in the long run than guilt and shame. Find one first step solution here that addresses something you’d be happy to change because it’s driving you crazy, or something that you’d be proud to accomplish. Find the joy and humor in taking control of your stuff, and celebrate every little change you make. Over time, these small steps add up and can have a profound positive impact.
Here are our Bedroom Solutions. Find your own next step – Pick one thing and start with that:
Kid Bedroom and Playroom:
- If you already have plastic organizers for your kids’ toys and other belongings, keep using them! The longer they spend out of our landfills, incinerators, and oceans, the better. If you’re in the market for new bins or containers, consider baskets from natural materials (check Freecycle, thrift stores, and garage sales), decorated cardboard boxes, etc.
- Liberate your children from uncomfortable clothing and too many choices. Stick with things they’ll really wear, then pass along other pieces to friends, neighbors, a local clothing bank, or charity. Stash a special occasion outfit or two away where it can’t be worn for play. Cover stains and rips with patches, let your kids look like kids did back in the days when we all walked uphill both ways to school, carrying our best friend’s tuba.
- Teach your children to curate their belongings, keeping those things that are meaningful, useful, well-made, and beautiful. Remember that creative play does not require mountains of toys, just a head full of ideas and time to bring them to life. Give your children permission to pass along gifts that aren’t their favorites, and give them space to play with what does interest them, combined however they see fit.
- Pare your clothing down to what you truly like and wear. To get clear on what you really need, turn all of the hangers in your closet backwards. When you wear something, put that hanger back in facing the usual direction. At the end of each season, give away or repurpose whatever you haven’t worn – If you didn’t wear that dress this summer, you’re not going to wear it next, either. Find it a new home!
- Wear your clothes out! Don’t be afraid to wear the same clothes, the pieces you really love, until they’re simply worn out. For inspiration, check out the Uniform Project , a “1 dress for 365 days” experiment that morphed into something much more and Estonian designer Reet Aus sustainable fashions at Trash to Trend.
- Use sheets of natural fibers that can be repurposed into a variety of things and finally composted when they wear too thin for any other use.
- Interested in bringing a zero waste perspective to your sex life? Check out this article for details.
- If you’re still looking for zero waste bedroom ideas, please visit our Trash Backwards app, where we have an entire section devoted to bedroom and bath reduce, reuse, recycle ideas:
What zero waste bedroom tips would you like to share? Please let us know – We’ll keep adding to this list!