by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller
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 Garage Solutions. Find your own next step – Pick one thing to do and start with that:
- 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.