Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste — A Giveaway!

by Katy on April 7, 2013 · 503 comments


Note — This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who submitted their terrific Zero Waste ideas!

Zero Waste Home

I have a very special treat for you today, which is a giveaway for FIVE, count ’em five copies of Bea Johnson’s book  Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste(You may remember Bea Johnson as the woman behind the Zero Waste Home blog.)

I was mailed my review copy on Friday, and I’ve been reading it non-stop ever since. (so yes, it’s fantastic!) The book is chock full of all kinds of ideas I’ve never thought of, such as bringing your own container to Baskin & Robbins for ice cream!

Zero Waste ice cream? Yes, please!

To enter to win one of five copies of  Zero Waste Home, simply write something in the comments section describing one thing you do to reduce waste in your home.

Giveaway ends Friday, April 12th at 9 P.M. PST. Please enter one time only.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Vivian April 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

I use left overs from dinner for the base of another dinner. For example I made a chili lasagna from left over chili and wraps that were getting to their best before date. Everyone loved it.

Gigi April 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm

One thing I do to reduce waste is to put kitty litter into empty pet food bags. One bag will hold 2 weeks’ worth and because it’s lined, it doesn’t smell.

Amy April 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Find creative ways to use up food so it doesn’t spoil!

cathy April 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I first read about Bea in sunset magazine a few years ago. Super inspirational!
We compost food scraps, lint, and anything else that potentially CAN be composted, including the VerTerra palm leaf plates we used for our son’s bar mitzvah!

Kelly April 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I use old T shirts and socks as dust rags. Them when they are no longer able to dust, the cotton ones go in the composter. I don’t use chemical to dust with and make my own laundry soap, so no toxic chicane wind up in the composter.

anna April 7, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I dont use paper towels or paper napkins and I re use any bags that foods came in for my garbage.

Poodle April 8, 2013 at 12:04 am

I am wearing men’s Y-fronts because my son outgrew his underwear but I can’t bring myself to throw them out, no one else would want them, and our recycling container for clothes only wants things in good condition.

JaneUlness April 8, 2013 at 12:15 am

Buy our meat in bulk and portion it in meal sized. Containers so we don’t have waste. Any leftovers become lunches or snacks. Àleftover taco meat becomes taco salad. Leftover chicken becomes the baby’s lunch the next day. We h e dryer balls to reduce the time it takes to dry towels. I have designed cards so that they use every speck of a sheet of paper. (I sell them ). The ones that do nt sell are made over or sent to the troops. I refill my water bottle to bro g to work. I save our bags and any packing material that comes into the house to bring to work and reuse. The wrapping from computer. Paper gets cut up and used for scratch paper. My appointments are plated on my tablet instead of getting appointment cards at the docs.

Kerrie April 8, 2013 at 12:37 am

Stock! I save everything vegetable related in the freezer (and meat bones) and cook up a big pot of stock when there is enough. Add to recipes instead of water -yum! And it breaks down faster in the compost. Win win!

I also left this on a post from earlier, not sure how I managed that. Sorry.

Stephanie April 8, 2013 at 1:10 am

I pack lunches in reusable containers and water bottles. And use cloth napkins. It’s a start. I’d like to read this book!

cathy April 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

I do this, too. In my kids have lunchboxes they get a small stainless steel water bottle, cloth napkin, reusable utensils and food storage containers. This year I saw that Lands End was selling color-coordinated/matching lunchbox kits that were the fancy schmancy version of what we’ve done for years.

Heather April 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

Behind my dining room window blinds we have a hidden clothesline system to hang our clothes. We are allergic to pollen and this room gets plenty of sunshine. It’s saves us nearly half in our electric bill then when the dryer runs each month!

Carolyn April 8, 2013 at 1:27 am

We have a long way to go, but limit what we buy, compost food waste, use cloth napkins, hang laundry and in general try not to be wasteful.

A. Marie April 8, 2013 at 1:31 am

We do a lot of the things other readers have already mentioned (reuse of leftovers, composting, use of old clothes as dustrags, hanging laundry indoors, etc.). Two new habits I’ve formed this winter are (1) using my late mother’s lifetime supply of handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, and (2) using bags in which other products are sold (birdseed, pellet stove pellets, etc.) as kitchen trash bags instead of buying bags. Friends of ours have a pellet stove and give us their bags.

Ben April 8, 2013 at 1:38 am

Don’t buy as much to begin with (ok, that was obvious)!

Renee Drellishak April 8, 2013 at 2:19 am

I readily accept hand me downs for my daughter, which also get worn by her younger sister. When she outgrows things I box them up and ship them down to her two younger girl cousins.

Michelle April 8, 2013 at 2:24 am

We use cloth napkins at every meal.

Susan April 8, 2013 at 2:39 am

We don’t buy paper products, towel, plates, etc. (except toilet paper!). We use cloth for handkerchiefs, napkins, and kitchen spills. We keep all of our leftovers and bulk items in reuseable Ball jars. Oh, I hope I win this book! It looks great.

DebrafromMD April 8, 2013 at 2:50 am

I’m always looking for ways to reduce waste. Composting is one of my favorites because the end product can be reused to enrich my garden.

shirley April 8, 2013 at 2:57 am

I save the liners from cereal, cake mixes wrap lunches & leftovers so I don’t have to but waxed paper, and plastic wrap.

Kelly April 8, 2013 at 2:58 am

I compost food scraps/coffe grounds/egg shells, etc. I incorporate the compost into my summer veggie garden. I also save any scrap grain products and give them to a co-worker who raises chickens. In return she often gifts me with a dozen of her lovely eggs! 🙂

Kim April 8, 2013 at 2:58 am

I collect used coffee grounds from a cafe once a week to add to my compost / worm farm. This saves the cafe throwing it out. The big bag it comes in is then used for my kitchen bin liner.
K – Australia

Mary April 8, 2013 at 3:00 am

We stopped using plastic wrap. For leftovers, a plate goes over a bowl or an overturned bowl covers a plate. We still use large plastic bags to cover baking dishes but the bags are washed and reused. To minimize the use of paper towels, they are kept on a high shelf in a cupboard; cloth napkins and a cleaning rag are hung where the paper towels used to be. Paper towels are still available for especially dirty jobs but it will be years before they need to be repurchased.

Reuth April 8, 2013 at 3:03 am

We do a lot of the things listed above: composting, cloth instead of paper, reusing old t-shirts and socks as rags (and then composting them, assuming they’re cotton). There aren’t a lot of bulk bins in the super markets around here, so I also reuse the containers that things like nuts come in–crudites come to work with me in almond containers, soup gets stored in pickle jars, leftovers go home with guests in 16-oz yogurt containers, etc. Eventually, if something breaks (or starts breaking down), it goes into the recycling.

Emilie April 8, 2013 at 3:18 am

I always use cloth napkins

anne yambor April 8, 2013 at 3:18 am

I clean and reuse yogurt containers instead of buying Tupperware!

Emilie April 8, 2013 at 3:20 am

I always use cloth napkins. The book looks great!

Anne April 8, 2013 at 3:20 am

I’ld love to have a copy. I’ve discovered her blog through you and read it entierly. And made some change home !

Jenny April 8, 2013 at 3:26 am

I have stopped buying paper towels. I used a tip I got in the comments here about how to clean up my cat’s hairballs/vomit using scrapers from the hardware store (the kind you use to apply spackling paste).

Claudia April 8, 2013 at 3:27 am

I’m so excited for the launch of this book!

I bring a stainless-steel tiffin (like the kind used for camping) with me when I go to restaurants and place my leftovers directly inside it, thereby eliminating the need to bring home leftovers in a single-use container. The tiffin is also sturdier, more insulated, and less likely to leak. It has its own cotton carrying bag and is very easy to bring.

Abbe April 8, 2013 at 3:31 am

Two words: rain barrels!

Beth Anne April 8, 2013 at 3:31 am

Oh, I’d LOVE to win this book!

I store food in jars instead of Tupperware. My pantry shelves hold two sizes of glass pickle jars (a bonus from my catering days, I love it when a customer wants pickles on their menu!) in both gallon and half gallon sizes. I use them for flour, sugar, corn meal, nonfat powdered milk, unflavored gelatine, tapioca, dried beans, rice, barley, you name it. I like the way it looks, it lets me know at a glance if I am running low on something, and you know how certain things can get bugs in them (although I freeze mine first for 24 hours and then make sure that the jar is clean and sterile each time I fill it, and have never had a bug problem) so if that should happen, it would be immediately visible and dealt with.

Also from catering I have little jars that held soup base, and they are perfect for leftover storage; they stack nicely and keep leftovers visible and in the front of my mind so nothing gets wasted. My mom still buys frosting in plastic tubs, and those are the perfect size for soup stock in my freezer.

I don’t keep every kind of container (for one thing, there’s a lot of ready made products I don’t buy, so you won’t see margarine or Cool Whip bowls in my house, ever) but I feel good about reusing jars this way.

Mary April 8, 2013 at 3:31 am

We avoid the use of paper products as much as possible. The Hubby and I use cloth napkins, our kiddos use wet baby washcloths to wash their hands and faces, we use real plates, etc. and we mostly use cloth rags for cleaning.

Laura April 8, 2013 at 3:31 am

Tired towels cut into squares replaces paper towels for the most part. My daughter made a cake with a friend.. the friend used a WHOLE ROLL of paper towel while cooking!! Who does that?

Linda in Indiana April 8, 2013 at 3:35 am

I try to use rags for cleaning and wipe-up jobs instead of paper towels.

JGarcia April 8, 2013 at 3:38 am

I have been following the Zero Waste Home since I saw her article in the Sunset magazine a few years ago, so excited for the book! One thing I do to reduce waste in my home is to buy in bulk when possible and never use the plastic bags to wrap produce from the grocery store.

Shannon April 8, 2013 at 3:39 am

We recycle! We recycle so much now that we don’t have large amounts going to the landfill anymore.

Michelle April 8, 2013 at 3:46 am

We use cloth napkins, compost, recycle, and try and buy things with limited packaging…oh and cook from scratch.

Lorraine Irby April 8, 2013 at 3:53 am

We switched to cloth napkins. Daughter accused me of turning “spiffy”. I have also removed us from a bunch of junk mailers and I recycle any other paper I receive in the mail. Leftovers have been a mainstay in our household for most of my marriage, and now that it is just the husband and I at home, I cook meals to last several days or to freeze for future use. I use reusable bowls and jars for storage and lunches, and have cut my consumption of plastic baggies to almost nothing.

crystal f April 8, 2013 at 4:00 am

We make a lot of our food: salad dressings, mayo, mustard, sauerkraut, applesauce, horchata, ginger beer, bacon, salami, sausages, ground meats , etc . That way we don’t buy jars or plastic packaging, we make the size we need, and we pass a new skill along to our kids so that they can do the same things we are when they live on their own.

Maggie April 8, 2013 at 4:05 am

We cloth diaper, and man do I miss them now that we’re on vacation and don’t have them! We also shop for clothes at the thrift store first, use rags on our secondhand Swiffer mop instead of the pricey inserts, and use rags to clean.

Katy @ Purposely Frugal April 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

I’m currently trying to keep better track of what food I throw out to reduce our food waste.

Kandace April 8, 2013 at 4:23 am

We compost and try to reuse recyclables for the kids to play or make little art projects. Meal planning is the most helpful in the kitchen. I plan for leftover/clear the fridge nights so that we really don’t throw away much.

Debbie W. April 8, 2013 at 4:25 am

We have scavenged old skylights, used but intact windows, and discarded bathtubs from others’ remodeling projects, and recycled these to make mini outdoor greenhouses. We are now able to start growing our veggies much earlier in the season, and have fresh lettuce almost year-round! 🙂

Michelle April 8, 2013 at 4:27 am

We use cloth napkins for every meal.

Sarah April 8, 2013 at 4:28 am

We rarely, if ever, buy retail. I shop annual charity yard sales, and Salvation Army or Savers only on the half-price days. I keep a running list of what we need and try not to go overboard on good sales. Also I love my credit union’s bill pay function. It allows me to stop writing checks and keep an on line account of my household bills. (Yet I still have to work at reducing the amount of junk mail that arrives in my house!)

Amanda S April 8, 2013 at 4:29 am

I love the Zero Waste Home. I’ve been following her blog for almost two years. It’s been a huge inspiration for me, and since I’ve started I’ve been seriously reducing my trash as well as my consumption and clutter.

Meredyth April 8, 2013 at 4:38 am

Its pretty simple but I always use reusable bags when shopping and try and use reusable food storage as much as possible.

Bonnie April 8, 2013 at 4:46 am

This is a simple, small thing, but we haven’t used paper napkins in 20 years. I bought several dozen restaurant quality white napkins at a sale 20 years ago for 10 cents each, and I still use them!

Alyson April 8, 2013 at 5:03 am

We use cloth napkins, rags, and dishtowels instead of paper napkins and paper towels. Not only does it reduce waste, but people think we are fancy when they come over.

Dawn April 8, 2013 at 5:04 am

We do a variety of things to cut down on our waste. We compost or feed scraps to our chickens. I use other leftovers to make my own freezer dinners. We use cloth napkins and rags instead of disposable napkins and paper towels. I garden and can produce in Mason jars so almost no waste. I do want to look into the reusable jar flats.

Patty April 8, 2013 at 5:08 am

I do many of the same things others have said. But primarily I reduce waste by composting, coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels. etc. I return any plastic bags to the grocery store for them to be recycled and i recycle at home anything and everything that can be. We create very little actual garbage since we’ve started recycling. I would love to win and read this book. It sounds excellent.

Anna April 8, 2013 at 5:12 am

Living on a working farm, we raise our own beef and eggs as well as some veggies. This helps with 1.) reduced packaging 2.) reduced trips into town for groceries.
My main way to reduce waste is to buy less. If things never enter our home, they never turn into waste that must go out.

Jennifer April 8, 2013 at 5:13 am

We switched to cloth napkins. I mostly use dishtowels and save paper towel for really greasy stuff. I also use cloth-like grocery bags.

Laurie April 8, 2013 at 5:15 am

I stopped using plastic bags/baggies for leftovers and lunches. It was amazing how many times I reached for them without thinking. Thanks to everyone else for their suggestions. Just started the resuse process and love to hear from everyone.

Jennifer B. April 8, 2013 at 5:16 am

I shop in bulk, bringing my own reusable bags; no paper products, other than toilet paper; I bring my own utensils so I can avoid plastic ones; composting; and despite my teen’s obvious embarassment, we bring containers to bring home leftovers from restaurants. 🙂 I would love to get one of these books, as I’ve been trying to get past the threshold of a cereal bag-worth’s of trash each week. So tough!

Rebecca April 8, 2013 at 5:16 am


Jens April 8, 2013 at 5:17 am

We recycle everything we can and compost food scraps. Have used cloth napkins and cleaning rags for years. Pack our own lunches, rarely eat out; always plan for leftovers. Very selective about what we buy and in what form. We’ve been doing this and more for years, so it’s all habit now.

patti April 8, 2013 at 5:21 am

We plan our meals to use all of our food items or else I freeze them to use later. We compost what we don’t eat such as banana peels, coffee grounds, and egg shells. We garden and eat and freeze it all using the Lasagna Garden method – we have a very small yard. We also have curbside recycling of all the items 1-7. But I also am ‘hoarder” in that I save a lot of things to use in crafts and around the house. I also try not to buy in the first place if I can think of another way. I would love to win this book to learn more!!

Kristia April 8, 2013 at 5:37 am

I compost food scraps.

Megyn April 8, 2013 at 5:39 am

I think one of the biggest ways I reduce waste with small children is to NOT buy the small travel packages of kid foods. I pack all of their snacks and lunches, so there’s no waste other than compostable stuff.

Rebecca April 8, 2013 at 5:40 am

We use cloth rags for all our cleaning, and I always bring real silverware on road trips in case we stop for food in a place. That only has plastic (though we usually just pack all our food to bring with us).

Sara April 8, 2013 at 5:46 am

I subscribe to a local farm CSA: it supports the local economy, it cuts out environmentally costly shipping and packaging, and the food is better!

Christy April 8, 2013 at 5:46 am

I’m starting a compost bin in the backyard to reduce green waste in the garbage. Also, I only use paper towels for bacon or “accidents”. Otherwise, it’s washcloths or towels. I also repair or repurpose as much damaged clothing as possible.

Christine C April 8, 2013 at 5:47 am

Cloth diapering is probably the biggest for my season in life right now, but I’m composting this year and buying in bulk to avoid too much packaging. Cooking from scratch really helps too!

Diana Fulmer April 8, 2013 at 5:50 am

I reduce waste by trying to use water sparingly. Yet still being hygienic . While waiting for shower to get hot, you can collect the water and use for other things so a bucket comes in handy .,
Drip sprinklers for trees and bushes,wash dishes by hand as if on camping trip… Uses less water, dont leave water running when brushing teeth.if home alone, flush every other time unless its nasty , etc

Allispin April 8, 2013 at 5:51 am

This book sounds great! We have reduced waste by using cloth napkins, reusable produce bags at the store, and I have started buying more loose produce as opposed to pre-packaged mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, etc. that usually come packaged in Styrofoam and plastic.

Anne-Marie April 8, 2013 at 5:52 am

I would try harder to find uses for things I own rather than buy something new. For example, this weekend I was sorting pictures and trying to find a photobox and about to run to the store when I realized I had a shoe box that would do the same thing

Karen Rickers April 8, 2013 at 5:57 am

I avoid styrofoam by buying my meat directly from the butcher, not at the supermarket. Also, I make my own yogurt and cottage cheese, which cuts down on more plastic. Every little bit helps. 😀

LiveCreateBelieve April 8, 2013 at 6:00 am

I would love to win a copy of this book! My kiddo and I have done a lot to reduce waste but it still seems like we have too much. I want to be able to cut down on the amount we own massively and find more ways to reuse what we have so I’m buying less. Thanks for having this giveaway!

Susan April 8, 2013 at 6:00 am

We do a lot of things to reduce waste. One of the more unusual ones is using newspaper (taken from the local recycling bin) to contain scooped cat litter. No plastic bags here!

Judy April 8, 2013 at 6:02 am

Buy in bulk, cook from scratch, glass storage containters reducing use of plastic bags. Finally have mastered remembering my re-usable grocery bags, composting, eliminating using any plastic utensils or paper plates.

Cherie Beyond April 8, 2013 at 6:03 am

We’ve been doing a lot of little things through the years, but Bea’s blog has honestly pushed me to think harder and do more. I’ve dedicated myself to always checking for second-hand before buying new. We’ve moved entirely to cloth napkins, rags, and handkerchiefs (made from old t-shirts) instead of disposable options. And we grow more food or use our CSA over packaged food.

Making switch takes time and energy, but once the systems are in place, keeping it going is easy.

Sharon Rice April 8, 2013 at 6:03 am

In our family, we buy as little as possible, make as much as possible from scratch, buy from bulk bins with our own packaging, compost, and what little is left gets recycled.

Judy April 8, 2013 at 6:03 am

I forgot- recycling!

Melissa April 8, 2013 at 6:10 am

buying in bulk, bringing our own bags, would like to start composting this summer.

PoppyEcho April 8, 2013 at 6:12 am

Am I allowed to enter? I live in Canada, but I have a good friend in Vermont whose address I could use for mailing.

I don’t buy things that have stupid excess packaging, and I don’t use plastic produce bags. I discovered the zero waste home blog recently and it has changed the way I look at the grocery store. – I am trying not to buy any produce that comes in plastic. which is ridiculously hard!

kristin April 8, 2013 at 6:14 am

i compost and buy in bulk!

Leesa April 8, 2013 at 6:14 am

Recycling as much as possible – even going over and above the city’s pickup to drop glass bottles at the recycling depot. Replacing toilets with low-flow versions; and instead of RO filtering which wastes WAY more water than it filters, using carbon filtration. We always turn off electrical items – anything with a teeny light (printers, speakers) get turned off every night. Buy from farmers markets as much as possible (and bringing your own cloth bags). Using both sides of paper before recycling it (i.e. school newsletters turn into grocery lists).

Lynnette April 8, 2013 at 6:14 am

We use curbside composting and plan our meals to avoid food waste. We use reusable bags for groceries and laundry bags for produce. We’ve noticed a significant reduction in the amount of trash and recycling we put on the curb. We do need to get better at freezing food though! We also carry coffee to work from home, pack our lunches and we’ve recently started using cloth napkins and cleaning rags (we’re down to about 1 roll of paper towels every three months). Always looking for ways to improve!

Roanne April 8, 2013 at 6:17 am

We do lots of things, but I will keep it simple and just say cloth napkins. Thanks for the chance to win!

Amanda April 8, 2013 at 6:21 am

I reduce waste by buying unprocessed foods and cooking from scratch. We also use cloth diapers and napkins.

Christy April 8, 2013 at 6:21 am

I use baking soda and apple cidar vinegar to wash my hair (every 1-2 weeks), my hair feels wonderful and has made the adjustment to only producing as much oil as it actually needs. I buy the baking soda in bulk and the ACV I use so little of a large bottle lasts practically forever. I also intentionally buy products that come in jars/containers I know I will be able to use for storage & leftovers.

Charlene April 8, 2013 at 6:22 am

We use curbside recycling, recycle our glass, newspaper, anything that can be recycled is recycled. We use cloth napkins, flour sack dish towels. We hang our clothes on the line to dry (nothing is better than line dried sheets and towels). We compost and feed what we can to the birds. We also have a solarium were we grow Aloe Vera and bamboo. We hate plastic and glass is our choice for left overs. Even at work I refuse to use plastic anything. I have a plate, glass, and silverware to use for my lunch that I bring from home.

Rachel April 8, 2013 at 6:24 am

My latest effort to reduce waste is using an acrylic bead keeper instead of plastic bags to keep our bread fresh. It was from Goodwill no less, so double score! Bread machine bread is an awkward size so buying especially large plastic bags for bread was a drag I’m happy to leave behind.

Sarah April 8, 2013 at 6:30 am

I buy in bulk when possible to avoid excessive packaging waste.

WeaverRose April 8, 2013 at 6:38 am

Our favorite breakfast cereal, Heritage O’s, comes in large bags which at least eliminates the paperboard waste. And I take my own containers to food co-op for bulk foods. They expect this and charge for a tare weight for those items.

Meaghan April 8, 2013 at 6:46 am

We re-use any plastic bags that enter our home for dog poop clean up, we have fabric bags for groceries, we compost, I try to have a waste-free lunch with re-useable containers.

great giveaway!

Leslie D. April 8, 2013 at 6:50 am

I’m an avid recycler!

Niki Jackson April 8, 2013 at 6:59 am

Zero waste is something we are teaching in homeschool to and with our boys. We started with REUSING everything we can think of at home from Cloth diapers to the using the same mason jar for making home cleaner with for the last year. The boys even have their own reusable grocery bags. #reusablehappythankful

Donna April 8, 2013 at 7:03 am

Super giveaway — thanks for the chance!

I do the same things most have listed:

–belong to my local CSA (to which I ride my bike when I can to pick up my veggies)
–reuse glass jars for homemade jam and all sorts of kitchen and food storage
–freecycle & shop at Savers/thrift
–knit most of our gifts and all of our winter accessories
–trade with a local chicken-keeping friend for eggs
–use the library for traditional books and e-books
–swap & donate
–deliver handmedowns (from my kids) to friend around the corner, and collect them (for my kids) from local sister-in-law
–bring lunch every day, and pack lunch for my kids every day
–make coffee at home and enjoy during my commute in American-made Tervis tumbler
–make do
–keep short hair and allow it to “sparkle” (go grey) naturally
–bring my own bags everywhere (including the outlets, any chain stores, etc.)
–cloth napkins & reusable utensils
–keep a chicken/vegetable stock bag in the freezer to collect bits and pieces during each week for stock & soup

Linda in Mass April 8, 2013 at 7:44 am

Great list!!!! I actually do a lot of those things. Gotta love the Tervis Tumbler!

Holly April 8, 2013 at 7:04 am

We use fabric bags for groceries and use rags for cleaning instead of paper towels.

Renee CA April 8, 2013 at 7:07 am

Any thing I would say has already been mentioned! Would love the book!

Holly April 8, 2013 at 7:07 am

We use cloth napkins, I mend our clothes to make them last longer & we no longer use plastic bags.

Megan April 8, 2013 at 7:27 am

I cut up our stained and worn out clothing to use in place of paper towels. I rarely buy disposable paper products anymore (after being inspired from this blog) but I can’t seem to give up paper napkins and I am a fan of toilet paper!

Linda in Mass April 8, 2013 at 7:28 am

I would love that book!

I do not use paper towels. I use wash clothes and dish clothes instead. I try to re-use most items. I don’t buy water bottles because I have great water and just refill a reusable.

Lorena April 8, 2013 at 7:28 am

Instead of little plastic baggies of snacks for my toddler, I just reuse a small jar and fill it with whatever cereal we have on hand. It reduces our need to either purchase snacks in bags, or even large packages of snacks.

Kate April 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

It sounds really interesting I can’t wait to check it out. I will also have to check out the blog.


Ps. I ran a trunk load of stuff to my neighborhood Good Will today. It felt awesome.

CP April 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

I try to reduce as much as possible by composting, recycling as much as I can (plastics, glass, bags, cans, etc.) and trying not to waste food in general.

Sarah April 8, 2013 at 7:44 am

I do a lot of different things, but one some of my favs are using reusable bags at stores, using the library, and recycling everything. I would love to win this in order to learn more; I’m trying to learn as many things as I can.

Erin R. April 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

I started recycling about a year ago and have been able to get my housemate on board, which really helps. We’re down to only filling our garbage bin once a month!

So now, the goal is to find someone to give my compostable waste to since I don’t garden, and then wean us off paper towels. I think a trip to the Goodwill for towels and washcloths is in order soon.

Sara April 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

One of the biggest things we started doing was choosing to avoid prepackaged food and bringing our own vegetable storage bags to the grocery store.

Bonnie Ellsworth April 8, 2013 at 8:00 am

We eliminated lunch bags, sandwich bags, etc more than a year ago and haven’t missed them at all. We use sectioned lunch containers and reusable bottles instead. It did take a few days to get in the habit of taking them out of backpacks when the family came home–but usually all it takes is a quick rinse out and they’re ready to go for the next day.

Jessica W.S. April 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

I live in a rental, so we do vermiculture composting in a free-standing (not in-ground) system in our garage. We have reusable bags and/or containers for lunches and store/grocery use, resusable water bottles (never buy plastic), use washable and reusable mesh bags for produce shopping, etc. We do a lot but I am always looking for more ways. I love Bea’s blog, and would LOVE a copy of her book! 🙂

Merry Padang April 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

I reduced waste by not going to the grocery stores when I don’t bring my own grocery bags. Many times we have the spur of the moment thing to stop by the grocery store when we are out. I don’t go when I don’t have my bags with me or if I really need an item, I would only buy that one item and carry it with me to the car using no bags.

Jenny April 8, 2013 at 8:19 am

We make our own yogurt and store in glass jars. Yogurt container plastic isn’t recycled where we live sadly. We also re-use produce bags, compost, and many other things.

Amie April 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

We live in a condo but are on our second green cone composter (the voles and other critters managed to dig in and eat through the basket on our first one). Not having to trash the apple cores, egg shells, etc makes us feel like we are doing at least a little bit. I love reading your blog and would love a copy of Bea’s book. Thanks!

Maureen April 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

We recycle — a lot. Sometimes our recycle bin, which is the same size as the garbage bin — has more recycleable waste in it.

And I also do not buy things in individual packaging. I buy in bigger sizes if possible. There are no bulk sections at my supermarkets. 🙁

Kat April 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

I’ve made some produce bags out of yarn I had no other use for. Also keeps apples, oranges and what-not corralled in the fridge. I still need to ask certain stores if I can bring my own containers for bulk goods.

Eli April 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

I do the usual: Reusable grocery bags, glass dishes/jars for leftovers and cloth napkins.
My goal this year is to start incorporating buying bulk, mesh bags for produce and composting!

Jessica April 8, 2013 at 8:48 am

I am one of those crazy peeps who breaks the non-consumer grocery shopping rule where sometimes (okay, often) I stop by the store for just one or two things. I have a shopping bag that stuffs into a little sac that I keep attached to my purse, so I never have to resort to the plastic bags! And on those very few days I don’t have my purse and therefore my bag, I hand-carry the items out to my car.

Louise April 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

I found these stainless stell lunchbox containers (PlanetBox) and both my Son and I use them every day to bring our lunches. No plastics, completely re-washable, comes with a colourful bag with handles and shoulder strap … it even has a spot for a freezy pack to keep things cool. not only does it create zero waste lunchtimes, but it helps with portion control since it has four squares to be filled. These help me think of what goes into the lunch. Win-Win 🙂

Linda April 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

Recycle just about everything.

erin April 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

The most helpful thing we are doing now is turning old stained shirts and old receiving blankets into rags to clean with instead of buying those lysol disinfecting/cleaning wipes.

amybee April 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

Thank you! I keep a bowl by the sink filled up with dish towels. It’s easy to reach for them instead of paper towels.

samantha April 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

i cut up old tshirts into kleenex sized squares and use them for tissues. toss them in the wash.

Laura April 8, 2013 at 9:16 am

I have a vermicompost bin and those wonderful worms eat my kitchen scraps. It’s great!

Jess April 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

If I turn on the oven, I try to bake multiple things at a time so I don’t waste gas/electricity use.

Karen3848 April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

I bring my own reuseable container when eating out – I ALWAYS have leftovers and this avoids more styrofoam in the landfills.

Jessica April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

We make firestarters for our wood burning fireplace from old newspaper and melted wax repurposed from my tart burner. Once the fragrance is spent from my wax tarts, my husband rolls up newspaper bundles and dips them in the melted wax.

Jessica April 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

A really easy idea to do this is to stuff your paper, dryer lint, etc. into a muffin tin and pour the hot wax over it. It makes little fire starter “pods”.

Constance April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

Still use the same cloth grocery bags I made 20 years ago! Bring my own containers to the store for bulk or deli items. Thanks for the chance to win!!

Melanie April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

I cut old tshirts into cleaning rags instead of using paper towels.

Alexis April 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

Food leftover diligence. The lunches I’ve taken to work lately can be only be described as concoctions.

Laura April 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

I’ve made a point of using reusable containers when I go to my coffee place, and I’m looking into doing something about my coffee grounds from when I brew it myself at home!

Kirsten April 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

How exciting!
Since starting to read Bea’s blog a couple of years ago, I take mason jars to the store to purchase the majority of my groceries in bulk.

Alexia April 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

Was recently told at Whole Foods I wasn’t allowed to do this. More incentive to do more shopping at my local food co-op (but I live about 3 blocks from WFs vs a few miles from my co-op that’s on my way to nowhere, so it’s hard to shift all the shopping).

Bonnie April 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

we reuse milk containers as a “Sharps” container for our son’s insulin syringes.

Kacy April 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

I don’t do a very good job reducing waste and need some inspiration!

Beth K April 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

Eating leftovers before they go bad.

Brittany April 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

We buy less! We also use reusable bags to shop and food share with our nearby family members and neighbors.

c j April 8, 2013 at 10:11 am

Our local recycling company has expanded what it will accept. We work hard to include the new items. Taking apart the cardboard boxes at the seams is a stress reliever.

Tina April 8, 2013 at 10:12 am

We joined a healthy eating initiative in our community. You get one pretty and reusable bag and pick up your choice of fruit and/or veg every week. It is way cheaper than the supermarket, the produce is of great quality and generous amount and you literally have no packaging material.

Karin April 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

A small thing (and we try to do lots of others) is that we always make sure that the ‘stale’ water not used from our bedtime drinks of water goes to water the house plants in the morning.

Connor April 8, 2013 at 10:17 am

We never use paper towels. I am all about cleaning with rags. We also bring our own bags to the grocery store and farmers market.

Tina S April 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

I collect food scraps and bones to make broth, and I compost the rest in my worm bin!

Alicia April 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

We shred our newspapers and mail and add it to our mulch pile.

Melissa April 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

I put the very few rolls of paper towels we own in inconspicuous places and make sure I have lots of rags on hand. I’m so used to living without paper towels (except when cleaning toilets – I have two little boys, enough said, and cleaning pet messes when newspaper isn’t doing the trick), but when my family comes over, they always make comments about not being able to find paper towels to clean up spills. They’re starting to catch on, though…

Zanda April 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

We reuse glass jars to buy dairy products (milk, sour cream, double cream) from small neighboring farm. When we’re done eating, we return the jars and receive new batch of products and the cycle goes on and on constantly.
We also don’t use paper towels but repurpose old and torn bedsheets instead.
Clothes that can’t be mended or given away are used as stuffing in wind stoppers or toys.

Trisha April 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

I follow Bea’s blog, which is where I got the idea of taking quart jars into the grocery store for bulk items. No one even blinks when I ask for tare or they’re ringing up my purchases, which I take as a good sign. We also use reusable cloth sacks for produce.

Kate F. April 8, 2013 at 10:41 am

I am proud to say we just built a compost bin out of pallets. I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile, so I am so happy it is finished and it didn’t cost me anything. An extra bonus is my daughter loves taking out the bowl of scraps.

tna April 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

I don’t want the book but I love reading everyone’s answers. It’s very encouraging. I noticed lately that the stores I shop at regularly don’t even offer me paper/plastic anymore. They know I’m gonna stuff whatever I purchased into my backpack. I also love my linen dinner napkin I bought at a thrift store for 50cents….a meal isn’t complete without it anymore.

tna April 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

PS ….. I forgot. I went all winter without turning the heat on once. I guess you could always donate the book to my local library so many could enjoy it!

PoppyEcho April 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

that’s a cool answer- I hope you (your library) wins!

Lisa M April 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

I try to walk around after my kids and turn lights off that they leave on!

Lisa April 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

Freeze leftovers then combine them at the end of the week into a soup.

Ginger April 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

We have just started a compost bin for food scraps. I also regularly participate in the magazine exchange at our local public library. This is a great way to recycle recent magazines.

valeri j. April 8, 2013 at 11:02 am

– recycle plastic bags
– shower every other day
– don’t leave water running
– use up leftovers
– shop at thrift stores
– recycle absolutely everything we can
– turn down or up thermostat depending on season
would love to get this book for more inspiration and instruction!

Alison April 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

I refuse to put many fruits and veggies into bags when grocery shopping…it does irritate some cashiers…however…in the end…it is so much better than bagging such things as bananas…duh! 🙂

Alexia April 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

My favorite is always seeing someone put one cucumber into a bag…drives me insane.

Kit April 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

Would love more inspiration from the book, we do:
bring own bags for grocery shopping (city mandated but we concur)
minimize packaged food purchases
reuse bags from produce purchases
use cloth towels in kitchen, rarely use paper towels
reuse paper napkins (I do anyway, DH not so much)
eat leftovers – sometimes better tasting second time around 🙂
recycle all that we can
like Karin, dump stale tap water into indoor plants
we have a no lawn yard and mostly PNW native or PNW tolerant plants, not much watering needed
we both work digitally, printing anything is extremely rare
we use the library often, buy used books, resell or donate our books
most important – we buy less, much less than our prior life before frugal, we don’t need much

Katy – thank you for introducing Bea’s site.

Rebecca B. A. R. April 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

I have a bucket in the bath tub that I catch the water that usually goes down the drain in the “warming up” running time before a shower. I then can get about 2 toilet “flushes” out of each shower. I would love to read this book, too!

tna April 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I want to try this. I just need to buy a bucket!

Becky April 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

I use cloth diapers (on my baby AND on my toddler!). 🙂

Mary April 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

I don’t buy food with crazy packaging and compost my scraps.

Sandy in NJ April 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

We use cloth napkins and almost never use paper towels anymore. We use old bath towels cut into squares with the edges serged for most messes.

We’ve been trying to be vigilant about food waste.

Annie April 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Switched over to a french coffee press. No more filters, the glass carafe is replaceable if it breaks, ( it did once), the broken glass pieces are recyclable.
Signed up with a website that stops catalogs from being delivered. In one month I’ve gone from getting 10 catalogs a day to one or two a week, soon it will be none!

Crystal April 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

We compost and recycle EVERYTHING and put out less than one garbage bag of trash a month. I would love to get down to one bag a year. 🙂

Katie Beth April 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Try not to consume as much in the first place!

Kailey April 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I live in Canada so you don’t have to include me but I want to play anyway!
We have a compost bin on our balcony that gets our scraps after we make stock from the odds and ends
We use plates instead of cling wrap
Save pickle, jam, tomato sauce etc jars for food storage
Cut up old t-shirts for cleaning rags
Shred paper bags (mushroom bags, liqour store bags etc) for compost bedding

Tara April 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm

We compost, use cloth paper towels, bring our own bags everywhere, and try to have a leftover night at least once a week to use up all the odds and ends in the fridge.

Meg April 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I cloth diaper my 16 month old. We use cloth wipes too. We use cloth napkins, and rags instead of paper towels. And I use a Diva Cup. Hubby takes his sandwich to work everyday in a wrap-n-mat. I’m always looking for ways to reduce waste!

Paula April 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I’ve furnished almost my entire home with second-hand finds. Instead of buying something new, I shop estate sales or vintage stores.

Michelle April 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Bring out own bags to store, always!
No paper towels!
95% of our clothes and shoes are from goodwill
Use the library a lot.
Use only cloth napkins
Walk to store
Save ‘grey’ water for plants.
And more that I can’t think of

I am curious to read her book, but it sorta of bothers me, that she NEVER buys books, but is in the book selling business.

Susan April 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I take old sweatshirts and t-shirts and make soft pants for my children from them.
I buy food in bulk whenever possible, and never buy snack packs/multipacks.
I buy used whenever possible.
I mend things like hot pads, towels, clothing, etc whenever possible to squeeze extra life out of them.
Whatever food scraps the chickens can’t eat are composted.
I grow as much of my own food as I can. (bye, bye lawn!)
I reuse cloth gift bags for Christmas presents every year.

Kim c April 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I use hankies instead of Kleenex. We recycle as much as we can. I love Zero Waste Home and would love the book for further inspiration.

Susan M T April 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I hang laundry outside to dry, then fluff for a few minutes in the dryer to save electricity. We use power strips for the TV and DVD player and only turn them on when being used. This saves a lot of electricity. I have been using canvas bags for groceries for over 30 years. There are many more things we do but we are always looking for new ways to cut waste and save resources.

Emily April 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

-wash and reuse plastic ziplock bags
-take reusable totes to the grocery store
-seldom use paper towels
-collect chicken and veggie scraps to make stock
-use a washable coffee filter

tawnya April 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I bulk shop, with my own bags, which I love. I so want to do better, though!

melinda harbaugh April 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Our daughter actually came up with this! She got a bag of our shredded paper waiting to go to the recycling bin and made her own bedding for her mice! Did all the soaking and drying herself and it looks great!

Trish April 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I do everything I can possibly think of to reduce waste. I can’t think of anything unique I do that hasn’t already been shared. My most recent thing is to give up paper napkins in favor of cloth.

Julie April 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I grow lettuce and salad fixings from seed year-a-round No plastic bags for mixed salad from the store

Jessica April 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I take my own containers to the deli counter for meats and cheeses.

Katy April 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Use cloth napkins. Reduce number of flushes. Take grocery bags. Use the library. Cut up t-shirts for cleaning rags. Minimum paper towels. But could be doing much more.

Laura April 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Reducing the use of paper products across the board; paper towel roll is hidden (for doggie messes only!) paper napkins are never used (made my own cloth napkins) and don’t use anything “disposable” for cleaning house!

tonya April 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

*Get all reading materials from the library
*Take bags to stores or refuse bags for small items
*Compost and recycle
*Get milk and eggs delivered from local farm, containers recycle back to them for the next time
*Don’t put produce into the little plastic bags, just take them loose from the bin into our shopping cart
*Eat leftovers and cook mainly from scratch

Lorraine April 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Some things we do to reduce waste is reuse freezer bags – lg and small -take my own bags to the store (and not just the grocery store) and routinely use cloth napkins. Hope I win. Thanks.. (PS – glad you got your website back – bummer)

Vicki Kegg April 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I am careful to buy loose produce instead of using plastic bags or the plastic containers. Much less waste!

Sandy April 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I use the library all the time.
I take my own bags/produce bags/jars to the grocery.
Use hankies instead of kleenex.
Don’t use papertowels.
Try not to buy anything that I don’t need.
Combine errands so I can save on gas.

I’d love that book to find other ways to save…

Erica @Cult of Kale April 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’m so excited for this book, I’ve been saving up swagbuck giftcards to purchase it! I love Bea’s blog, I only wish she posted more.

One thing I do is grow my own food! I don’t have the space to grow all of it, but I used found and freecycled objects to build an apartment-friendly patio garden and grow tomatoes, herbs and greens there. I love it! Instead of food miles, I have some food steps.

Sara April 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

We wash and re-use storage baggies; we do not keep paper towels or napkins in the house (just cloth); we limit flushes; water house plants with stale water; bring our own grocery and produce bags to the store; compost; eat our leftovers; get eggs from my dad’s chickens (and re-use egg cartons); maintain a veggie/herb garden; etc. We do not produce much trash (the bin goes to the curb about once a month); however, I know we can be doing so much more.

Suzanne Bowie April 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

We use plastic shopping bags to pick up puppy poop – take our own bags to the grocery stores unless we need more poop bags – and always eat our leftovers!

Pam Gotcher April 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Several years ago I bought a package of cloth napkins at the thrift store for $3. I am still using these same napkins, and haven’t used paper napkins for years now.

Morgan April 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm

To reduce waste in our house I always take my leftovers to work to share! I have a tendency to make too much food for just myself and my boyfriend, it is so hard cooking for two! So when I make too much food, it would kill me to throw it away, so I always take it to work. I know that someone there will always gladly eat my leftovers so nothing goes to waste. Same goes for fruits and veggies, if I know they are going to go bad before we can eat them, I take them to work and leave them on the table in the lunch room. By lunchtime the goodies are always snatched up!

Nina Nelson April 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

We’re moving into a school bus, which means we buy a lot less stuff and we’re really mindful about buying things without packaging that’ll need to be thrown away.

Andrea April 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm

OH! I am eagerly anticipating this book coming out! We have worked hard in this area and produce only a bread bag of garbage per week. We bring cloth bags to the store, compost all we can, buy in bulk, use cloth wipes, and avoid plastic packaging whenever possible.

Carmen April 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

We too buy from our local growers and bring our own bags or baskets, we reuse any plastic we do “aquire” for kitty litter and for puppy doo. I use seedlings and sprouts from plants and move them to other parts of the garden to grow there as well. My aloe is going crazy right now.

Amanda Newton April 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Last night, my three-year-old son helped me plant lettuce seeds in a mini-greenhouse made from a rotisserie chicken container.

Tracy Stone April 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I so want this book! I use cloth napkins and dishtowels instead of paper towels. I use the compostable toothbrushes (yes, from Australia, but still…) and I finally found compostable floss. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but my son is leaning my way (ha!).

Dusti April 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Signed up for the alternative energy program with my electric company. I’m paying a little extra right now but I feel like I’m helping pave the way for alternative energy to become more mainstream. My family & I moved up from rural Alabama where recycling is unheard of and conspicuous consumerism is the goal. We’re making changes but it’s slow going. We’re just trying to change one or two habits at a time.

Tina Lemna April 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

We use cloth napkins, compost, recycle, buy organic and the biggest thi ng I have done lately is to start using Sal Suds. I use it to clean my bathroom, make a spray for my kitchen counters, clean my floors, laundry and even windows. I love Bea’s blog and would love a copy of this book.

Jennifer @ Little Blog in the Big Woods April 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Just today I took some of my old, worn out jeans and cut the pockets off and made into potholders!

Lisa H. April 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

When our yellow metal 2-piece citrus juicer broke, we were able to fix it using a stainless steel bolt and nut for a total of 86c from the hardware store.

Christa April 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

COMPOST! We get so lazy about it – I want to do that more. Also get SERIOUS about reusing what we already have instead of running to the store to buy something new! *sigh* I could have a big list if I wanted to….. 🙁

pat April 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Recycle or compost what we can,
Always take our own bags to store,
Use the library a lot,
Use only cloth napkins,
Have a ‘leftover night’ at least once a week,
Only 1 bag of garbage per month,
Don’t make any purchases unless I know in advance where it will “live”,
probably others but I can’t remember.

Sarah April 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I’ve been cutting up raggedy t-shirts for rags. We use these in place of paper towels and wash them with our towels.

Corrie Navis April 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Wow, this book looks amazing and inspiring!

One thing I do is to always pass up those produce bags at the grocery store (that your fruit would be in for the 10-minute trip home and then immediately tossed, usually!)

Kelly M April 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

To reduce waste in my home I start BEFORE I bring it home. I buy in bulk whenever possible and if bulk isn’t available then I buy with an eye to picking the product with the least amount of packaging.

Christine April 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Coffee grounds go directly into the flowerbeds every day. And, the usual: cloth napkins, dish towels, use the dregs of my son’s body wash to clean the shower, compost pile out back, and my new saver: I get cuttings of plants I love and start my own. Then I share the extras.

Brenda April 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I use cloth napkins!

Kim April 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Cloth diapers!

Elizabeth B April 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm

We buy bulk groceries as much as we can: grains, legumes, dried fruit, tea… I use cloth bags, jars, and tins from home.

Carol April 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I use washable microfiber cloths instead of paper towels.

Mary Kate April 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Give things away on Freecycle.

Jennifer April 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I would be thrilled to have this book…I love Bea’s ideas so much. Currently, I use cloth napkins and cloth towels, reuse water used for cooking to water my plants, buy far less than I used to buy, and turn “trash” into something useful. For example, I’ll take a bulk yogurt container (once it’s clean) and use it to plant seeds as a starter pot to grow the seeds in.

Michelle Wood April 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I stopped buying the huge plastic containers of liquid laundry detergent and started making my own homemade soap. I’ve also stopped buying myself new clothes. (GW works for me!).

Martha April 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm

we use tote bags whenever possible. I weave rugs out of old clothing and totebags out of old plastic grocery bags. we buy bulk food and dont mail order much, too much packaging. I happily buy 2nd hand clothing, often noticing that there seems to be a better selection than in regular stores.
I’d love to read this book and further reduce the waste in my home.

Lois April 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I’ve stopped buying any commercial cleaners, including dish soap and laundry detergent, making my own. I never buy paper towels or kleenex, and I started a community garden last summer that is expanding this year.

Melina April 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Wow, what a great concept for a book!

We put in gutters and catch the rain into rain barrels.

Roberta April 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I would so love to win this book! This year I have weaned my family off disposable tissues, onto handkerchiefs. I am known at the bulk store for bringing in jars or homemade bags for buying bulk. I made a (deceased) favorite t-shirt into a shopping bag — great for carting home a sale on apples!

My husband thinks I’m a little nutty, but he’s doing it as well, on his own!

Marilyn Nergord April 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

We cut up whole chickens & freeze the parts for various meals.
The bones all get used in homemade chicken stock (along with veggie scraps we save in the stock container in the fridge) Stock is then frozen in re-usable containers for soup & concentrated stock is frozen in little cubes for flavoring.

T Sonju April 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

To strive for a more zero waste home, I have started to be more conscience of what comes in our home and I use reusable shopping bags on my once a week shopping trip.

mary kerns April 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

We buy as little prepackaged food as possible.

Nicole April 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I’d love to have this book! I buy some things in bulk, using reusable cloth bags, to avoid plastic bags. I cook in bulk & freeze, to prevent food waste. I recycle whatever packaging that I can’t prevent coming into my home, and have reduced my trash by 75%.

I live in an apartment without composting, for now, but when it’s available, I’ll be able to reduce my garbage even more!

judyyy April 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I try to always use of any food that I have-I hate throwing food away-it is so expensive.

Maegan April 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I stopped buying ziplocks and saran wrap. I now use glass to store food, and if I need to send something in my kids lunches, wax paper it is! 🙂

Vik April 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Veggie scraps go into the worm bin. The worms eat the scraps and their waste makes compost and fertilizer. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Rebekah April 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I eat the leftovers in my house that no one else will eat.

Lynn D. April 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Come spring and summer, my husband pees in a bucket in the backyard, we dilute it with water and fertilize our garden with it. We water the lawn and non root vegetables with our washing machine water.

diane April 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

No more plastic water bottles in my house!

Laura April 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I have a kit that I carry with me when I’m out and about- a set of camping silverware and a stainless straw in my purse, and in my car I keep my coffee mug and a leftovers container to bring with me as needed. I’ve made some real strides in the last couple years, but there’s so much more to be done! I’d love a copy, thanks for the giveaway!

Laina April 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I love my jeans and wear them until they have holes. I can’t donate them and it doesn’t feel right throwing them out, so I make them into super durable, cool looking rugs!

chris April 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

i have a container in the kitchen which holds rags which i use instead of paper towels probably 80% of the time; this saves tons of trees…..if only i could get my husband to use them; of course i only use items which are not goodwill (or in my case “molly mutt”) worthy in the first place

Tania April 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

We have started using cloth napkins, micro fiber cloths, and reusable shopping bags.

Marianne April 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I used to buy shavings for the cage of my chinchilla. But even though I could compost the shavings, I wanted a better way. So I put down 2 old towels in the tray and now just clean the towels. So much easier and no waste!

Amy Dunn April 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

We use cloth napkins, stainless steel straws, real dishes and silverware, shop at thrift stores first before buying new, make our own laundry soap, etc. Love Bea’s blog and would love to read her book.

Bernie April 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I try to grow a few vegetables/ herbs from the discarded parts: green onions can grow from the root parts, celery can be also be regrown from the celery bottom that usually gets thrown out. Also try to lower food waste by making soup stock from bones, leftover vegetables before they go to waste.

Blanche April 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

We’ve switched to cloth for almost everything, the only paper we use is tp and kleenex!

Katie April 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I try not to bring so much junk into the house! It is surprisingly difficult.

This reduces the amount of waste I personally have to deal with, plus it reduces demand for all this junk being manufactured in the first place.

Laura VH April 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Compost compost compost! Get creative with leftovers. Grow herbs so you only use what you need. Get into a pipeline with kids clothes–giving and receiving.

Carol April 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I recycle everything possible and fill our yard waste container with kitchen scraps as well as garden clippings, leaves, etc . Today I baked six loaves of bread and not one piece will go to waste I am sure! I would love to have a copy of her book.

Lynda April 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I do lots of things to reduce my waste…my favorite is taking my mason jars to the grocery store and filling them in the bulk aisle.

Roberta April 9, 2013 at 7:21 am

I’m so jealous, Lynda! I used to do that, but they no longer allow me tto use jars. I use cloth bags, but it’s so much messier, not I always seem to have some left over, that won’t fit into my jar. 🙁 Jars are the best way!

Kathleen April 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm

After we ate chicken, I boiled the chicken and used the stock in two more meals.

Tammy April 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I try to buy things that have less packaging. If it does come in some sort of packaging I unpack it near the recycle bin so I’m not even tempted to keep it or throw it away in parts.

Brenda April 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Use reusable coffee filter & napkins made from old dish towels.

Linda April 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Try to reuse plastic/styro containers from the store in some way instead of putting them in the trash – sending food home with the college kids, neighbors, etc, use to start garden seeds etc. or just plain trying NOT to have to buy them in the first place. I reuse shopping bags as my grocery bags (when I can’t use my own bags), try to use re-usable containers instead of throw away baggies. Use leftover food in other dishes. Anything to reduce WASTE!

greenstrivings April 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

We pack lunches in reusable containers, eat leftovers, and give away unwanted items on Freecycle. I’m loving all the tips from other readers, too!

Van April 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I don’t buy packaged food and make my raw vegan recipes fresh from whole fruits/veggies/nuts every day.

Katy April 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I just use washcloths instead of buying paper towels.

Marci April 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm

For the past two years I have been making my own cleaning products.
I have also been rewashing my ziplock bags and putting them on chopsticks to dry.
When making my husbands lunch I will save the ends of the celary and the ends from a onion and put them in a zip lock to freeze for later use for soup stock.

Mary C April 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I cut up old t-shirts for rags, make scrapbooks from cereal boxes using my bind-it-all, reuse the mesh bags oranges come in, buy bulk when possible, etc
I would love a copy of Bea’s book, thanks for the chance!

Elisa April 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I take containers to restaurants to bring Hume leftovers.

Planetrider April 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Loving your blog as a new reader. Keep caught up through To reduce waste in my home I reuse newspapers to make seedling pots to grow seedlings for my garden.

Juli April 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm

We have “clean the fridge dinner” every so often to avoid wasting food– heated up leftovers, strange combinations of small bits, and enchiladas or quesadillas filled with all sorts of stuff.

Kristyn April 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I don’t think I’m eligible to win a book (I live in Canada and we’re usually excluded) but I buy most of my dry goods at the bulk store (and buy *very* little processed foods from the grocers). I have to use their bags (boo…) but then I can reuse those bags for dealing with my cat’s kitty litter clean up instead of buying plastic bags for that use.

Rebecca April 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I write out my menu for the week, then grocery shop for only needed items on my list. After the grocery store, the fridge is full. But, by the end of the week, it’s almost empty, except for condiments.

Hannah H. April 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

oooh I love her blog! I am trying to be more zero waste by keeping a worm bin and composting nearly all my food scraps with vermiculture! It’s easy and I love watching food turn into rich compost.

Mama minou April 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I mend holes in socks and wash plastic produce bags.

Hilary April 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I make my own laundry and dish washing soap. I make my own hair rinse. I never use paper towels and just use cloth. I also love my Diva Cup and have cloth panty liners.

Mrs. GV April 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm

We use reusable produce and bulk bags, of course along with our reusable grocery bags. No plastic bags for us!

Cara April 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

We purchase our groceries weekly and have a good rotation system with meal planning. If we want to make something special, we always take inventory of what we have and plan accordingly.

Dyan April 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I work at a design office where there are a ton of samples that would get thrown out every year if I didn’t rescue them. High end fabrics, carpet tiles, laminate samples, etc. I find new homes for these things within the craft community, the Habitat Restores and preschool teachers.

Currently my car sports some lovely car mats made from sample tiles. And my laundry area is covered in carpet tiles too.

Shelly April 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm

We recycle everything we can. We compost any food scraps and I use old t-shirts as rags instead of paper towels. When our garbage service was reduced to twice a month instead of every week. We were recycling and composting so much that we were able to reduce our can size to the smallest one. Even with the smallest can we will normally have room left in the can come garbage day.

Jessica April 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hi! I have stopped using paper towels and now only use washable towels to dry my hands, clean etc. 🙂

Kirsty April 9, 2013 at 12:05 am

I sew my own lightweight produce bags from secondhand net curtains. I use these when I buy fruit and veg, thus avoiding those endless plastic bags.

Suzanne Percy April 9, 2013 at 12:53 am

I use cloth diapers and wipes. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be!

Marjorie April 9, 2013 at 3:11 am

I don’t use paper towels, just cloth. Cloth napkins, haul my own coffee cup to refill (cheaper too), keep track of all the food in the fridge so I can use up everything and not waste. I would love to learn how to waste even less.

Jen April 9, 2013 at 3:23 am

I think hard before I buy anything new if I need it and if there is anything already in my house I can use as a substitute instead. I also make my own detergent in a 5 gallon bucket which has eliminated the need for plastic detergent bottles.

Joyce April 9, 2013 at 3:28 am

I compost and recycle, use reuseable grocery (any shopping) bags, I make my own yogurt. I subscribe to her blog so would love to win this book.

JoeAnne April 9, 2013 at 3:53 am

I love this blog–so many great tips from readers on here too!
We switched to cloth napkins and although we keep a stash of paper towels on hand, we try to use microiber cloths for most of our clean-up 🙂

Rhonda April 9, 2013 at 4:00 am

I take my empty washed jars and yogurt tubs, and egg cartons, to the local coop. The egg cartons are given to a local egg farmer who then sells his eggs at the coop. The coop has a bin for recycled containers and jars, which I add to, then pick from when I buy things there in bulk. It’s win-win!

Kate April 9, 2013 at 4:08 am

I brought plates, bowls, and utensils to work so I won’t use the disposable cups etc. that my company provides in the kitchens.

Katie Brumbelow April 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

I started a compost pile a year ago saving as much food waste as possible to create nutrients for my yard. It has really reduced our daily trash. It also is exciting to watch how well the plants grow and to see the circle of life. It is also interesting to see seeds from fruit sprouting in the warmth of the pile.

JD April 9, 2013 at 4:45 am

What a great opportunity. I like her blog, and I’ve gotten good ideas in addition to what I already did. I used cloth diapers and wipes when the kids were small, we never use paper plates or plastic cups and utensils, I make my own clothes detergent, shampoo and hair rinse, so there is no pile up of little bottles. I’m using up commercial cleaners and replacing them with home made in reusable containers, I use cloths for cleaning, and we compost our scraps. A “duh” moment I had after reading Bea’s blog was that paper is compostable– of course! Our paper trash now is torn up for compost and mixed with yard clippings and scraps. Clearly, I need to read the book, if I missed that obvious one! How many more ideas are there that I’ve missed, I wonder?
One thing that bugs me is that my community no longer recycles glass! We’ve asked, and they say there is no money in it. I find all the re-uses I can for glass, but come on, I should be able to recycle it. The other thing is that we don’t get recycling containers– we have to provide our own–AND, for those such as us, living outside the city limits, we have to carry our own trash off, which means most people just toss it all, recyclables and garbage, into one container and haul it off. There’s my husband, manfully carrying in plastics, newspaper, cardboard and cans separately, while other folks chuckle at him for taking the time to recycle. Grrr.

Christine April 9, 2013 at 4:50 am

We have a pellet stove and the pellets come in 50 lb bags. I could never bring myself to toss the bags away, even if they are lined with a bit if sawdust. So I cut a strip off the top to use as a tie, and use the bags as kitchen trash can bags.
We also do not use paper towels or disposable wipes for the kids–all cloth. And we use cloth napkins at meals and in our lunches.
Love reading all of these tips!

laurie April 9, 2013 at 4:59 am

Wow, just reading through these comments I’ve gotten some great ideas. One thing I’ve started doing is taking the leftover water from the nightly “water cups” and using it to water my plants. Shocking how much water was going down the drain! I’d love to read this book for more great ideas…

Holly April 9, 2013 at 5:00 am

My lunch bag!

Several years ago when my previous made-in-China, plastic-lined lunch bag got too cracked and icky to use, I looked around the house for a non-plastic alternative…and found it in my closet! an old quilted fabric purse. It works great and can be thrown in the washer when needed.

Inside I have a cloth napkin, fork, spoon, paring knife. I bring my bean and grain combos in reused glass salsa jars — short and wide they are perfect for eating from. AND when I heat my lunch in the microwave at work, I have fabric squares cut from an old sheet to cover the top instead of using a paper towel to corral spatters.

Add a dented but usable metal thermos from the Starbucks dumpster and voila: lunch!

OnGreenCarpet April 9, 2013 at 5:15 am

This was really, really inspiring, thank you so much!!!

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 7:25 am

Holly, those are great ideas! You mentioned several things I had never thought of and I’m going to use your ideas when my family and I travel, too. Thanks!

Jean April 9, 2013 at 5:14 am

I am staying out of craft stores as much as possible and creating from my stash to reduce as much as possible. We have added an in-law and now share the property with my daughter’s family We separate our trash and we compost. I take my travel cup to the coffee shop for filling. I am working at reducing food waste.

Christa April 9, 2013 at 5:37 am

We compost our kitchen scraps and leaves with the help of our neighborhood worms.

Robyn Johnston April 9, 2013 at 5:37 am

To reduce waste in our home I don’t buy container drinks. We put tea bags in our water bottles and compost the tea. I’ was amazed at how much excess this erased. My oldest son still loves his soda but he knows not to ask me to buy any and he finds the recycle bin BEFORE he comes home. My husband and use coffee mugs from home for morning commute and we keep an extra in the car for traveling. When we travel by plane we bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the airport. Our focus has been with drinks/beverages but this spring we are going to focus on wardrobe. Time to significantly reduce!

Melinda D. April 9, 2013 at 5:43 am

We use cloth shopping bags, stainless steel straws, make our own toothpaste, grow our own meat, grind our own flour (from wheat that we grow) and bake bread. we also have limited wardrobes, use cloth napkins and clean with microfiber cloths. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a copy of Bea’s book! I’ve been following her blog for over a year now 🙂

Melinda D. April 9, 2013 at 5:47 am

We raise our own meat, grind wheat (that we grew) to make our own bread, use stainless steel water bottles and straws, compost, clean with microfiber cloths (Norwex), limit our spending on cheap China junk, have a limited wardrobe, buy used first before new, chop our own firewood for our woodstove for heat, etc. etc. I love Bea’s blog and have been following it for over a year 🙂

Kristin April 9, 2013 at 5:50 am

I have started using kitchen towels. I grew up in a paper towel household. Kitchen towels were for decoration only. A few months ago, I started using kitchen towels as much as I could. I change them everyday or every other day (depending on how yucky they get). A roll of paper towels used to last a few days in my house. Now it is lasting a few weeks. We have cut down on our waste and saving money. I just throw the kitchen towels in with the bathroom towels so I don’t even have to do another load of wash. WIN!

JaneUlness April 9, 2013 at 7:02 am

Kitchen towels need to be washed with hot water and bleach.

Jen April 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

No, they don’t. I don’t wash mine that way and we are all still alive and healthy.

Anastacia Andrade April 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I don’ even OWN bleach. We never get sick (knock on wood) except for seasonal allergies that bother us for a few days.

Yoli April 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I’d like to have one 🙂

debi April 9, 2013 at 5:58 am

yeah!you are blogging again!!!!!somehow i stumbled upon your blog! missed you!!

Monica April 9, 2013 at 6:04 am

I color my hair with henna powder, eliminating the plastic and packaging that usually comes in the boxed haircolor kits. I have a giant bucket of coconut oil that I use for cooking, deep conditioner, makeup remover, moisturizer, oil pulling, etc.

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 7:16 am

I didn’t know hair could be colored that way! How long does your color last?

Anastacia Andrade April 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

there is a semi-perm. henna which contains dyes that will last weeks, and a basic ‘pure’ henna that will last 3 days and longer if you are a every-other-day washer. henna is an awesome hair conditioner.

Christine Danner April 9, 2013 at 6:07 am

I keep a small Tupperware container in my purse. (We usually go out for brunch every Sunday.) With my own container I don’t need a disposable “dog box” from the restaurant. I’m also more likely to only eat half my meal, knowing I can easily take the rest home for another meal. Also more likely to remember to take the container with me and not leave it sitting on the table!

chppie April 9, 2013 at 6:09 am

Gee I got a lot of great ideas just from the comments!

I do try to reuse the glass jars that the food I buy comes in for refrigerator storage. We compost and recycle and I am still able to take in glass drink bottles for redemption.

I use cloths for cleaning but am thinking it would be great to make a roll of “paper” towels for the kitchen. you can buy snap tape in rolls and I was going to cut up clothes and towels that we no longer use.

alexandra April 9, 2013 at 6:20 am

We follow all of the above suggestions and just ordered a “portable bidet” from amazon. this should reduce our use of toilet paper. Uncomfortable subject yes but lots of old growth trees are harvested so we can wipe our butts!
Also investing in a diva cup.
My thought is to imagine a big hurricane or other disaster strikes and no goods make it to the store, what would i freak about needing. I know toilet paper and tampons would be HIGH on that list!
Using less resources means you can wind up being more secure in the long run.
I love this blog and Bea’s writings.
VERY interested in reading her book.
Keep up the good work ladies.

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 7:14 am

Alexandra, I love your ideas!

Jenn April 9, 2013 at 6:49 am

We compost, generally don’t use paper towels and napkins or plastic utensils or paper plates! Reducing packaged foods also is a biggie! We’ve reduced our household trash a bunch by just changing a few habits. There’s so much more to be done! 🙂

Kate Binder April 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

We plant a vegetable garden every spring to grow as much produce as possible. A tomato picked from our vines has no packaging and no transportation costs (zero carbon miles!). We start plants from seed using homemade newspaper pots, so there’s none of the packaging associated with buying plants from the garden shop, either. Finally, all the vegetable scraps end up in our compost pile, where they turn into the soil we’ll use for the next round of seedlings.

Cheryl April 9, 2013 at 7:43 am

I use cloth diapers and wipes. I also make zero waste lunches for my kids. I bought spoons and forks for .17 each at Gooodwill, cut up an old plaid shirt for cloth napkins, and put their food in reusable containers.

LBC April 9, 2013 at 7:48 am

We use cloth diapers and mostly cloth wipes. And I use GladRags – love ’em!

Family Fandango April 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

We use refillable water bottles for school and work lunch boxes.

Nina April 9, 2013 at 8:18 am

I use clean rags instead of paper towels.

Kate April 9, 2013 at 8:20 am

I use cloth napkins (in a dark pattern so they don’t show any stains) and I bought a package of a dozen cheap washcloths to use in place of paper towels. One bonus is that guests always think I’m being fancy when I pull out the cloth napkins.

Jenn April 9, 2013 at 8:25 am

I buy all my dry goods from bulk bins using reusable bags.

sarah k @ the pajama chef April 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

i recycle, use cloth napkins/rags whenever possible, and buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste!

Cheri S April 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

I’d love to get my hands on a free copy of that book! We recycle our tee shirts in dozens of ways – plant ties, knitting yarn for totes and rugs, cleaning clothes, but probably my all time favorite has been turning a bunch of my youngest son’s tie-dye tee shirt collection into a big quilt for his bed.

Kirsten April 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

I buy in bulk using cloth bags and jars (which fortunately is easy to do in the Bay Area! You can get virtually anything in bulk!) , use cloth napkins and towels, use old t-shirts for cleaning rags, have a set of cutlery, mug and plate at work, cloth diapers and wipes for my son, and compost compost compost!

marie April 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

After recycling, feeding kitchen scraps to chickens, goats, and dogs, I’ve cancelled garbage service and go to the dump twice count’em twice a year!!!
If it wasn’t for the used cat litter and unrecyclable plastics, we wouldn’t have to go at all

alexandra April 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I”m impressed!

Laura April 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

It’s not why we signed up, but our CSA saves us lots of produce bags. And food miles, of course!

Leslie April 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

We use cloth napkins always and take our own mugs to the coffee shop.

Vicky April 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

I am big on batteries! If something takes a battery, like a cell or cordless phone, I will buy new batteries, recycle the old. This brings an old item like new again, and creates a great circle with recycling.

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 11:38 am

My county stopped recycling household batteries a few years ago. Where do you recycle yours? I feel bad about throwing them into the trash. 🙁

Kate in NY April 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

We have 6 backyard chickens. We feed them our food scraps (no chicken!) and then use their compost for our garden. That makes me inordinately happy!

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

I’ve often thought about getting chickens. Do you find them hard or easy to care for? How many eggs do they yield in one week? Thanks!

Julie April 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

Instead of waiting for leftovers to not get eaten and then thrown away, I’ve started immediately dividing them up into lunch sized portions and freezing them. Easy to grab a ziploc bag (which I wash and reuse endlessly) when going out the door in the morning.

Rose April 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

I reuse glass jars, make my own laundry detergent, and we only have 1 car to share between myself and my husband, so I walk to pick up my daughter from school and batch my errands for when I have the car.

Amy April 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

The main practice I’ve adopted in the last few years to move towards a more zero-waste lifestyle, is making greater use of the bulk section of my food co-op. I bring reusable bags and jars and use them for produce, spices, flours, beans, nuts, as well as soaps and shampoos. It takes a little extra planning, but it feels great to just avoid the packaging right from the get-go!

Vickie April 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

I save all cardboard to recycle in the garden – this includes toilet paper and paper towel rolls, which can be cut and used as seed starters. Flattened cardboard can be used to block weeds and breaks down to compost in the soil.

tna April 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

My cat loves to play with toilet paper rolls. Either whole or cut up into two inch pieces. He loves to bat them around and throw them up in the air and catch them. He even has a bunch of the two inch pieces strung onto a cord tied at the end….like a toilet paper roll necklace…that he likes to roll around on the floor with.

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I love your idea! I have two cats and I know they’d enjoy playing with that! I’m going to make some, too. 🙂

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 11:47 am

I’ve seen a quite a few people mention that they compost. Can someone tell me the best way to get started with that? I’m looking for a way to compost without purchasing a composter. Has anyone made something to compost in that they made from supplies they already had?

alexandra April 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm

There is tons written out there that you can google about how to compost. I read a lot and wound up scratching my head at all the rules. We find it actually works to compost ALL food. Many books list oodles of no no’s in composting, citrus, dairy, meat, etc. We just keep covering everything with leaves and grass. Everything will break down eventually!
Fear of critters or smell is most fol’s issues. We do wind up with some critters rooting around. We don’t mind as it is not right next to house. They have to eat too.
It comes down to your comfort zone mostly.
A good way to start is coffee grounds, egg shells and all veggie scraps. You will be amazed at how fast they turn into dirt!

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Thanks so much for that info! You’ve made it sound so much easier than anything else I’ve heard. I can’t wait to start. 🙂

Zoya April 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

We try to reuse anything that can be reused, and recycle or repurpose anything that can’t.
Would be awesome to win a copy of the book: I’m sure we could do so much more! Thank you for the giveaway!

Jeramia April 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I love Bea…her article a couple of years ago in Sunset magazine inspired me to try to go as zero-waste as possible. Most of my waste was plastic in the bathroom or in the kitchen. I do mostly DIY beauty now to avoid 99% (I still have contacts) of plastic in the bathroom. I also try to buy bulk when possible and I never use the plastic bags for produce anymore. I hope I win the book!

MotherLodeBeth April 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Jeramia wow it was the SUNSET magazine article that also pushed me to be like Bea, and I thought we were less is more not waste lifestyle mode at the time. But she just changed our life for the better!!

Melissa April 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

We use cloth napkins, no paper towels, and cloth bags when shopping.

Joann April 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

One of the things I do to reduce my waste is to recycle any sweater I would not wear again. I make sweaters into mittens, pillows, purses, stuff animal/ toys(such as soft blocks), hats, slippers, and so much more. I just can’t throw a sweater out.

Katie April 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Hawaii recently did a plastic bag ban, but you can still buy them for a few cents. So I trained myself (and my husband) by doing the long, annoying walk of shame – a few times – where we hand carry the groceries to the car, load them in the trunk one by one, then carry them in the house the same slow painful way. It only took a few times until I remembered to always have at least one bag with me.

Sarah April 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Oh the things I do to reduce waste! Just one you say? My current favorite is buying bulk peanut butter, which is cheaper than pre-packaged, and I bring my own mason jar.

Tracy April 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

I use my own shopping bags and try to remember to bring my own jars to fill instead of using one use containers. I recycle as much as the city allows. Grouping errands instead of wasting gas…hmmm I guess that is it for now.

Clara April 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I would love this book!

DH is pretty handy, and he’s been able to repair our 15 year old washer a couple of times (thanks to YouTube), rather than throwing it out and buying a new one. We’re currently in the process of rehabilitating our old fridge that stopped working over the winter – hopefully we’ll be able to fix it as well.

Alison Minor April 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

We don’t use paper towels or paper napkins. My next goal is to buy hankies so we can kick the tissue habit!

Mel April 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I stared a challenge with my roommate. It was amazing how quickly our waste reduced once we made it a competition! We bring our own containers everywhere and compost all food waste to use on our garden.

tana April 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I forgo paper towels, napkins, plastic water bottles, nail polish, lotion and other non-essentials. I’ve also started to make my own laundry detergent and trying out my own shampoo.

Melissa Witte April 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I’ve done several things this year but one big one was to quit buying paper towels (bought some cheap wash clothes to use instead). I also quit buying paper plates and use real plates.

Brianne April 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

One things (of several) I do to help lee wasteful clutter out-
I use rent the runway! I rent clothes/dresses instead of buying!
Shopping is voting! Brilliant and financially satisfying!!!

Jen April 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I use cloth diapers and cloth wipes.

rebecca April 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

We use cloth napkins and reusable bags.

lisa April 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

We compost all our food scraps and bring our own bags/jars to the store and try to avoid packaging !

Rachel April 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Lots of things like cloth diapers/wipes, bring my own bags to stores, buy milk direct from farm (comes in half gallon mason jars that are returned and reused), diva cup/mama cloth (not gross at all, exo-friendly, saves $, more comfy than disposables and no exposure to chemicals!) I’ve been so inspired by Bea to work towards reducing waste even more.

MotherLodeBeth April 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Bea has inspired us so much that we literally do everything she does. We thought we were pretty good at waste not want not and reduce reuse recycle and then she pushed us to be even more refuse mode. ‘

Some folks may think her way is so hard, but after a couple of weeks its so darn easy. And the added benefit is no stress, more money in savings, and an overall happier life. And local businesses are so open to me bringing my own fabric bags f0r bulk dry items and glass jars for wet items when we do buy something we cannot use a fabric bag for.

Anastacia Andrade April 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm

We trade our kids clothing with cousins (kids) each season. My cousin has an older boy and our DS is the youngest. My DD gives her clothing to their younger DD.
We eat rescued food..excess gets dehydrated or frozen for smoothies, or composted.

Cristina April 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm

We buy zero-packaging products (food included).

Anthony April 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I compost food scraps. I only use cosmetics (shampoo, shaving soap) that come in paper packaging (that can then be composted).

Danielle Costa April 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I keep all my plastic bottles and containers for use in the garden – watering bottles, small green houses for seedlings, containers to start seedlings… the uses are endless. And just today I learned about using the caps from plastic container to close plastic bags. I want to start composting this year, but haven’t in the past due to my urban location. My CSA collects the egg cartons for use throughout the summer. Also, glass jars (if I buy tomato sauce and salsa) hold my bulk items in the pantry. Always looking for more ways to REDUCE and REUSE. This book could really help me on my way.

Sheri C. April 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I use cloth produce bags when I go to the store, cloth napkins and reusable containers in my daughter’s lunch box, compost food scraps, use the library and rarely buy books anymore, although, I would love to make an exception with Bea’s, I’m sure, fantastic book!

Anissa April 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Cook from scratch as much as possible using bulk supplies purchased using your own containers. Packaged food creates so much trash.

She has a wonderful blog, I would love to win.

Nichole April 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

we don’t buy paper towels or napkins, only reusable, cloth diapering and shopping in bulk with my own containers.

Erin April 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

These ideas are amazing! We compost, recycle, take advantage of consignment stores for buying and consigning, use cloth instead of paper, dishes/silverware instead of disposable, and I’ve become very creative with leftovers – there isn’t much we can’t eat in a stirfry, frittata, smoothy or soup 🙂

Jaccalyn Korv April 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I am so excited for bea’s book to finally be out, fingers
Crossed I’m one of the winners. Some things we do in
Our house is to compost, recycle, and buy as little as possible
If not if bulk. Unfortunately I don’t live near a wholefoods, trader joes,
Or any natural grocery store, OR farmers market.
It’s a tough area, but we do the best we can. I enjoyed
Reading everyone’s posts to see what new things
I can do.

Jane April 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I’ve been buying more bulk items and stop buying “disposable” clothing from places like Forever 21. My pantry looks so pretty with all the glass jars and my clothes last longer because I look for quality, well-made clothing in thrift stores. I’ve also darned some socks. 🙂

Kathleen April 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I buy my milk in glass bottles….. 🙂

Velvet April 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

We use have recycle bins in our garage to recycle paper, cardboard, cans, glass and plastic. We also pass our clothes that we’ve outgrown on to others to use. And we often buy clothes at garage sales. I aim to keep simplifying our lives to enrich them. Love reading Bea’s blog and would be thrilled to get a free copy of her book!!

Sandy F. April 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm

We save all glass jars. We use them for storage, for gifts, in place of Tupperware, for homemade cleaners, almond milk, anything! I have quite the collection and love coming across odd shapes and sizes.

shae April 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I buy in bulk whenever possible

Jessica C April 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

One Way We Cut Down On Waste At Our HouseIs By Useing Reusable Water Bottles For The Kids Lunches, Reusable Sandwich Containers And Lunch Packs.

Elise April 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

I found it silly that many people would bring one reusable shopping bag to carry their groceries home in, only to have it filled with plastic bagged produce and bulk items. I solved this issue for myself by sewing cloth bulk bags out of extra fabric scraps with drawstrings, so every purchased item that couldn’t be loose had a reusable home.

stephanie lotwis April 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

The one thing I have been doing that has had a huge impact on our quality of life is to REFUSE and to REUSE. Applying this to our food shopping and material life has given us a chance to fully live in a richer way. Zero waste and minimalist living is a path to peace.

Rachel April 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I have to be honest, we are way too wasteful. There is no recycling program here. I would love to have this book to inspire my family to make more of an effort to be mindful of the effect we are having on the earth.

Kristi April 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Would love this book! We use cloth napkins and I bring reusable bags to the store. Long way to go but it’s a start!

Denise April 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I avoid “uni-taskers” like the plague. A tool/gadget has to do multiple jobs to earn a place in my kitchen. Have also been using mesh bags for my produce. I have loved following Bea and her journey, and am looking at everything I own or purchase with a much more critical eye. Quantity does NOT equal quality.

Marilyn April 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I am a stalker of Beas blog and everything she writes. I no longer use paper towels for anything! I use rags, cloth napkins, and microfiber cloths instead. Bea’s new book….yes, please!

Lisa April 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm

The only paper product I use is toilet paper – everything else is something washable.

marsha b. April 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

we compost, recycle, and reuse things. I just started making my own salsa and keeping it in a reusable jar so I don’t have to buy it. yay! go me (wink).

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I use my own bags each and every time I go to the store. I hate plastic shopping bags. Even when I forget my own bag, I usually just put the stuff in my purse since I carry a tote bag instead of a regular purse.

Debra April 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Turn the lights off, don’t let the water run, hang the laundry out, no paper towels or napkins, recycling, cook from scratch and so many other things but the biggest thing I do is shop at yardsales and avoid buying new.

Johnny April 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I have all but eliminated my ‘waste’ in life, and am always looking for ways to improve. I’m to the point where I seriously have to go out and buy a (name brand sports drink) just so I have a water bottle to last me through the summer.
I look at each and every product I purchase, and analyze everything clear down to the packaging in order to understand how I can fully utilize both the product as well as the packaging, and each of those is part of the investment I make with each and every purchase.


Andrea April 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm

The one thing I do to limit waste is to buy second hand as much as I can. I usually go to yard sales, estate sales or thrift stores.

Stephen M April 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I make my own vanilla extract, bring my own containers and bags to the grocery store, and only buy products that are completely recyclable.

Kira April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I do a good bit of the stuff one typically does to avoid waste, (reusable bags and containers, buying used clothing, etc.)but here is something a little different: I do have a compost bin for kitchen scraps, but I give some of my kitchen scraps (like bread and veggies) to the neighbor’s chickens.

MotherLodeBeth April 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Its so very very refreshing to see the word REFUSE in many of the comments because I think REFUSE is #1 when it comes to zero waste.

Simply stopping and asking oneself ‘do I really need this?’ Or ‘Is there a zero waste alternative to this? ‘ really makes a person rethink how they shop and why they shop.

Kathi Delorme April 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Reusable bags including mesh bags for fruit and veggies, compost, cloth napkins, using Diva cup and lunapads, supper leftovers in reusable containers for lunches, passing outgrown kids clothes to younger relatives, donating adult clothing, microfibre cloths for cleaning, metal water bottles.

Joleen April 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Wow! So many great ideas! I thought we were doing well by using cloth napkins, reusable shopping bags and composting! I’d love to read the book and get even more ideas to move us towards zero waste.

Kelly Harrison April 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I am a very conscious consumer and have been following Bea’s blog for the past couple years for inspiration and ideas on how to further reduce my waste. One thing I do to reduce waste is I don’t buy food in packaging. Like Bea, I buy produce at farmer’s markets and buy everything else in bulk using reusable cloth bags. Out of all of my efforts to reduce my waste, I think this one makes this biggest impact on our household.

Emilie April 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm


emma April 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I like buying in bulk.

Chevanne April 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I reduce waste by purchasing less and donating more. By regulating what comes into my home, I have a chance to go through what I already have, keep what I know I will use and give away unwanted items for someone else to enjoy. Donating has been a big part of waste reduction because I used to enjoy coming home with shopping bag after shopping bag, enticed by their colors and brands as if they were a statement of my style. I now use the same flip and tumble bag for all non-grocery shopping and it’s almost like I know something no one else does. 🙂 Also, using a non-descript bag has helped me value the item itself and not the brand. This made my transition into secondhand shopping a breeze.

I’m proud to say that I’ve tried very hard not to pass the buck. I don’t want to just throw junk into a bag and pass it off to make it someone else’s problem. I’m trying to find solutions to responsibly transfer ownership. Decluttering through donating, recycling and selling has really broadened my creativity, helped spur me think of other ways to reduce waste and made me realize that the journey can be an exciting one.

Michelle O. April 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

We’ve stopped buying paper towels; we bring our own grocery bags to every store, not just the grocery store; we use re-usable snack bags for the kids; and we’ve reduced our overall buying of stuff 🙂

Paul N April 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm

When I print something out from my computer, I make sure to save the paper so that I can print on the other side of the page later.

Sara April 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm

We take glass jar to the store and buy as much as we can in the bulk section.

Sandi April 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

We make our own cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. I’m excited to learn about more ways to keep from wasting!

Jess April 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I am going to try making my own soap and detergent…a fun little science experiment!

Clara April 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Refuse. Refuse. Refuse. I don’t buy products
that will end up in the trash can, including their packaging.
I eat a all plant based diet not only for health but also for the
environment. And my biggest challenge yet is coming up with a solution for a compost that my dogs can’t get into.

Angela Olivere April 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I started buying in bulk with cloth bags as much as possible. Working on my family’s larger conversion. I would LOVE the book!

Suzanne Nickerson April 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I reuse glass jars, buy in bulk when I can, use reusable shopping bags and recycle everything I can. I’m training my two sons who will soon be out on their own to think and act more responsibly when it comes to waste. It annoys them now but maybe they’ll hear my voice and think twice before throwing things in the trash.

emmer April 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm

we started a bulk food buying club which delivers quarterly to our house. about 12 families regularly get high quality, mostly organic regional foods in bulk, at good prices.
i also teach basic sewing and mending (free) so that people can learn to care for their clothing and make it last longer. dh sharpens knives, scissors and tools for neighbors and friends to keep goods lasting longer.
i’m on a (long) wait list at the library to read this book. if i win, i promies to pass it around my circle of friends so that it does maximum good.

Natalie April 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Firstly, I think it’s great reading how everyone has made changes to create less waste! So inspiring!
One of my biggest efforts in reducing my waste has been during picnics or parties. Not only are reusable cups, plates, napkins, and utensils smart for your wallet and the environment but they add a little elegance to every event.

Jen April 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I bought an old wool sweater at the thrift store, tore it apart, and made myself 6 wool dryer balls. No more dryer sheets!

EmmyGee April 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I started buying more fresh food and re using all those chinese takeout and tuppers acculated in my kitchen to freeze the excess to use in other dishes. Fresh fruit on sale wash, cut up, freeze , use in smoothies. Fresh celery, zucchini freeze as well use in green smoothies or soups. Same goes for any grain or bean,cook leftover frozen to be reinvented into burritoes, or soups. Cooked pasta too. No more buying frozen or canned food for convience.I’m able to feed a very hungry husband and 3 growing boyshealthy food and save money too!

Diane April 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Love cooking meals in a pressure cooker on our electric stove. Saves time & money on our electric bill.

Holly April 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

I started using my mom’s old one about a year ago and I love it!!! Especially for beans. Who knew it was possible to cook dried garbanzo beans in 15 minutes!!

Marion April 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I work part-time so on my day off, I have the time to make thoughtful grocery shopping with mostly unprocessed food, cook from scratch for the next days and do some craft with my kids. Most of waste is made from bad choices due to stress, lack of time and overly packaged stuff.

I also value a lot our network of friends so we swap kids stuff a lot instead of buying. I have always a bag of old toys/cloths ready to give away in my closet ans so do most of my friends.

Great website by the way, just discovered it today, gonna spread the word…

Audrey April 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I’d love to read this book ~ I’ve often read the blog! I started composting in order to reduce waste at home and now I feel awful when I’m at someone else’s house and I have to throw perfectly good compost away!!!

Adrienne Hutchinson April 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm

To reduce waste at home I compost everything! My family eats plant-based as a rule, with rare exception, we send the best scraps to our chickens daily and the rest gets composted, with the eggs being eaten/bartered sold, and the compost and chicken waste enriching our own organic garden. All one wonderful closed-loop with very minimal waste!
Bea shares some great methods and tips on her blog, winning a copy of her book would be divine!

patricia bucy April 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I do many things, such as bringing cloth bags to the stores, make my laundry detergent, liquid soap, compost and each year I add two or three new ideas to decreasing plastic use and helping the environment.

Melissa Phipps April 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I work in a non-profit center in the Physical Therapy department and in an unfortunate turn of “infection control” perpetuated thoughts there are many plastic and styrofoam options available when I am gathering drinks or snacks for our patients. I look for washable options instead of taking the “easy” route of using those wasteful products and routinely advocate for developing a more Eco friendly solution to the infection control driven options.

Betty April 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I use cloth bags and reusable produce bags when I shop.
If I win Bea’s book, I know I’ll learn so many ways to help save our planet.
Thanks for the opportunity.

Sonya April 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I use cloth shopping bags and line dry all my clothes.

Christine April 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm

refuse freebies!!!

Courtney B April 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I do many things, but my favorite is probably cloth diapering. With kids, there are so many more disposable things out there, it is hard, but we are trying!

Jennifer April 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I joined a local organic CSA farm and I bring my own cloth tote bags. The farm also collects plastic bags and egg cartons so I donate those to the farm.

dee m April 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I make and use cloth grocery bags, presently sewing veggie bags to avoid using any plastic bags in the produce section. We use only cloth napkins, no paper. I grow a big garden so there are no metal canned foods or frozen bought in plastic wrap. We repurpose as often as possible. I make most of my cleaners. Compost. I grow as much heirloom seeds as possible in my garden so I can save my seeds year to year. We purchase local meat and eggs, fresh ground grains from our local farmers to save trips back and forth to the grocers. Presently we are repurposing vintage 100 yr old cupboards and installing them in my kitchen. I cook everything from scratch. .. and the list goes on.

PetitOheme April 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I like the zero waste blog way of living. Myself, I am trying everyday to reduce my trashs in buying less packaged products.

Wolff malika April 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I stopped drinking Out of plastic bottles Tab watter ist really good

Rachel April 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm

We don’t use paper towels. Use kitchen towels. Or coffee filters. We bought a reusable one.

Kathleen April 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm

I started using a worm composting bin almost two years ago after learning about it from Bea Johnson. Since I make most meals from scratch using fresh produce, the food scraps that got diverted into the worm bin cut my trash by over a half. I’m not at zero waste yet, but now my family and I only have to take out the trash every other week, and even then it’s a small bag.

Rose E April 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I use fruit and veggie peels and scraps in soups, smoothies and frittatas. Unplugging electronics when not in use. Buying mostly from farmer’s market which cuts down on packaging. Thank you! Blessings

jo shore April 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Hi Katy, to reduce waste in my home I scrutinize what comes in,and try to analyse the life of the item or product,I also am trying to eliminate one item daily by donating or conscious recycling.I am new to this amazing way of life so I am far from perfect,but I know this is the only way forward for the well being of society and for our beautiful planet mother Earth.

Connie April 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Use glass containers, repurpose items whenever I can.

Florence April 10, 2013 at 12:17 am

Hi ! First of all, excuse my english, I’m French so I’ll do my best.
Last week for the first time (!) I went to the market with several boxes to buy cheese. I was complicated with my three young tired children under the rain. I came to buy good cheese for a reception.
It’s was strange /difficult to ask to put the cheese in the box, to find cheese that can enter correctly in the boxes without been broken. Finally it’ was a success even if I thought during 30s that I’ve lost my youngest who ran during my ordering.

I discovered Bea only 2 months ago and a lot of small thing s have changed at home.

I would love to read her book. Thaks a lot.

Manuela Miljak April 10, 2013 at 2:14 am

I am transitioning to composting my kitchen scraps to my garden. I now have a hole in the garden dug and will move to a more productive compost bin.

Sue C April 10, 2013 at 2:40 am

We are beginners and we didn’t know where to start. So we started at the end – our trash can. Our town requires us to buy large town trash bags to use at the landfill. We are trying to make that large bag last twice as long and be the only plastic bag we use. We bought a galvanized large can and put the plastic bag in it and keep it in the basement. we had been bringing this once a week to the dump. we now go every 3 weeks. we have only one smaller trash can (down from 3 smaller trash cans) and this no longer has a plastic liner in it.

Starting at the end meant each time we emptied into the larger galvanized can we had to confront what we are throwing away. We’ve been at it 5 weeks and 6 days and we have: increased our composting, are rewashing the freezer bags we had and will discontinue their use as they puncture being replaced with glass jars. we are refilling the olive oil jar at the co-op we recently joined as well as other bulk foods with our own shopping bags. We will continue to let our trash can teach and inspire us to make more changes.

Wendie April 10, 2013 at 3:16 am

We compost all our food and yard waste. Just by composting and buying unprocessed whole foods (so their not in cans and boxes), we make one bag of garbage every two weeks, whereas our neighbors are making 2 garbage cans full.

Katrina April 10, 2013 at 3:48 am

To reduce waste in my house I’ve been working on making things myself that I’d normally buy. So far it includes laundry soap, toothpaste, and a bunch of foods. I also have been darning lots of socks and patching lots of pants (my husband does manual labor -things rip often). We’ve also started to buy from the butcher and I hope to be making my own cat food soon. That seems to be most of our waste currently!

sara April 10, 2013 at 4:19 am

We use reusable cloth bags.

Magdolna Kiss April 10, 2013 at 4:50 am

Hi. I started to buy eggs only if I have the container with me; take glasses to buy milk. I do laundry much less times then before. Buying stuff in cloth bags (sewed by me). Having a small vegetable garden, not using plastic bags and bottles and so on. Still long road to go, but I’m happy to take one step at a time.

Heather April 10, 2013 at 5:17 am

This year I swore off disposable coffee cups this year. If I forgot my travel mug, no coffee for me! Bonus is that it saves me money, too! Also no paper napkins or paper towels, cloth all the way.

Monika April 10, 2013 at 5:59 am

My family uses cloth napkins and rags instead of paper napkins and towels. I buy a lot in bulk with cloth bags (full jars in my pantry are definitely prettier than boxes!). Use reusable shopping bags and produce bags, no longer use dryer sheets, use reusable containers for kids lunches.

Robin April 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

On a regular basis, usually at the end of the month, I stop buying food for the house. I am then forced to create meals using only what I have. This has helped reduce my waste in many ways. One of the big ways is that neither my pantry, freezer nor fridge ever become so full that I can’t see what I have – I have fewer items that go out of date or turn moldy.
I recently visited my sister in the midwest and while I was at her home I cleaned out her pantry and freezer/fridge. I threw away at LEAST four full grocery bags of food that was wasted. I found multiple bags of the same item all opened (I combined them) and I strongly suggested to her that she immediately STOP buying all food (except milk) and just focus on what she has.
When I came home I took a picture of my empty pantry and sent it to her as encouragement – it’s okay not to have a pantry stuffed with food!

Cary, NC

Kim Fudge April 10, 2013 at 6:01 am

We reuse cardboard egg cartons when we visit our co op. we choose to buy them in bulk at $ 0.19 for free range eggs and package them ourselves.

Terry April 10, 2013 at 6:04 am

Where to start. . . We have been composting, recycling, gardening, cloth diapering for years. I have just started taking on the food packaging. Love the inspiration.

Clare M April 10, 2013 at 6:09 am

I do my best to buy in bulk and only use glass jars. I’m slowly getting there.

Alexia Wolfe April 10, 2013 at 6:15 am

We take glass containers to our local co-op, and get food from the bins. It means a lot more time cooking, but it’s so enjoyable in the long run. Healthy, organic, homemade food that isn’t trashing the planet? Nothing tastes better!

Christy April 10, 2013 at 6:22 am

We use reusable food wraps instead of plastic wrap.

Madeline April 10, 2013 at 6:26 am

We started buying in bulk. Have been using cloth napkins instead of paper towels. We are still learning and would love to be zero waste someday soon.

Jessica April 10, 2013 at 6:40 am

I can’t wait to read this book! I’ve been vermicomposting in my NYC one-bedroom apartment since 2002. I’m looking for ideas to take it to the next level.

Karianne Hylkema April 10, 2013 at 7:31 am

I am an amateur portrait photographer. Instead of buying all kinds of equipment, I use as much recycled things as I can. I made a white backdrop from a huge PVC movie poster that I had lying around the house for ages (the backside is white), which I montaged on the wall with an old bathroom towel rack from IKEA. As a reflector screen I use a silver roller-blind that I found on the sidewalk with the waste disposal. And of course, Photoshop is my friend, so my models don’t have to use too much make-up, I can always add some after the photo session.

Mary Ann April 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

I no longer buy paper napkins, bottled water, or zip-lock bags.

Lonneke April 10, 2013 at 7:54 am

I use all the old envelops for shopping- and to do lists. Rain water for the toilet, I refuse every plastic bag in stores, bring my own glass bottles to the farmer for milk, I use water from the river in my garden, make my own castile soap, clean and moisture my face & brush my teeth with bulk cocos oil, I never throw anything eatable away, make my own pasta sauce, cookies, pizza, etc, don’t buy anything canned anymore, buy eggs in recycled packages at the farmer, and more…But there’s still much to learn. I am a daily reader of the website Zero Waste Home, it’s so inspiring!

Lonneke, The Netherlands

Jennifer April 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I am completely impressed by you! Wow! You’re my new hero. 🙂 I’m going to try all of the things you mentioned.

Elizabeth V. April 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

we buy whole organic chickens, and when we have eaten them, we use the bones and whatever wilting vegetables we have to make chicken stock. we get an extra use out of scraps, and avoid the expense and packaging of buying chicken stock.

Courtney April 10, 2013 at 8:38 am

I reduce waste by using reusable bags when I go to the grocery store-even for my produce. It pains me to see people wrap produce in plastic bags, knowing that thee bags will just end up in the trash after a single use.

Stephanie April 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

I reduce waste in my home by not using ziplock bags or plastic bags.

Kim Stewart April 10, 2013 at 9:19 am

We’ve had a compost pile for almost 25 years and use tha compost for my raised bed gardens. I’ve been canning for years and plan to switch to Tattler lids this year. My biggest effort this year has been to try to reduce the waste of selling online and needing to ship. I’ve rescued boxes and clean bubble wrap from neighbors recycle bins, gotten shipping envelopes from a closed business(stuck a label over their info) and gotten foam wrap from a fellow Freecycler that they throw away at her workplace. All of these would have ended up in the trash or recycle bin and at least I’ve gotten one more use out of them.

MotherLodeBeth April 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Kim are we neighbors? I ask because you sound like our family and neighbors.
We all use the Tattler lids for canning and love them. Hated the one use old type canning lids.
And I also rescue bubble wrap and padded envelops from the post office bins. Have also been taking the newspaper print junk mail from the bins and am putting them thru the paper shredder and using the shredded paper for packing material.
We dont get junk mail ourselves, so the shredded newsprint which has soy ink, is also safe for the compost bins we have and the worm bin we have.
Love love love Freecycle and encourage others to join. will show you if there is a group near you.

Kim Stewart April 13, 2013 at 7:18 am

Beth I live in Maryland. I sometimes feel like I’m the only one in my area that thinks this way. I am constantly amazed at what people throw away instead of gving away to others. My girlfriend called me the other night to tell me a neighbor had put out lots of big Little Tykes toys for recycle. I “rescued” the 3 that I could fit in the backseat of my sedan, they will be sold next week at church yardsale to help pay for mission trip to Nicaragua.

This same friend and I “curb shopped” her neighborhood one night and picked up 2 wood chairs, 2 frame prints, Pottery Barn Kids stool, 2 Pottery Barn Kids night tables, a bird feeder and a wood shelf for DVDs. All out at the curb for trash! My friend is an Art teacher so all of this is being used for the Recycle Art Auction now that it has been transformed and foofyfied! All except the stool which is in my kitchen!

Nicole April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

My biggest pet peeve are all those plastic shopping bags that multiply and build up around the house so I use re-usable bags as often as I can remember and when I don’t, those extra bags are great for the bathroom garbage and doggy clean-up. I was also using them for my husband’s lunches but I finally got him to take a reusable lunchbox instead.

stillwalking2u April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

Our number one rule=try not to buy stuff! But as a family we try to buy things we need used at thrift stores. We love hand-me-downs and usually only buy shoes new for health purposes.

Shelly Lange April 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

I recycle as much as I can and use re-usable bags. I would love to start composting, but I don’t have a garden.

Natalie (@NatalieInCA) April 10, 2013 at 10:46 am

I don’t buy anything that comes with packaging, especially groceries, and I bring my produce bags to farmer markets and grocery stores.

Senthilnayaki April 10, 2013 at 11:25 am

Reuse glass jars, scribble pads from one side sheets/ads, to do lists on backside of bills, composting and gardening in old plastic/tetra/tin containers, grocery bags, reuse plastic bags for veggies in stores (yet to learn to sew cloth bags) hand wash and line dry part of my laundry, avoid some of my favorite food due to bad packaging (ya.. its difficult but I can smile at myself) unplug devices when not in use… This book will help me polish my crude ways..

Allison April 10, 2013 at 11:26 am

I switched from using packaged body wash to non-packaged bar soaps.

cloudy April 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

we use bread bags and i live without shampoo and tooth paste – it works and there is no waste! 😀

Chana April 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Thank you for the opportunity! I refuse plastic bags when shopping.

Mary April 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

We have been slowly letting go of disposable items for years. I no longer buy baggies, plastic wrap, paper towels etc. The first to go were the paper towels. I found some reusable towels by Scott Co. that felt like a super strength paper towel – but could be washed and reused hundreds of times before wearing out. They are little blue towels that come in packages of 6. Unfortunately, as of a couple months ago, I have not been able to find these in my grocery stores. I guess they weren’t popular enough. Too bad. (But really, I was beginning to have a conscience check every time I bought another package, because they are in a plastic wrap package.) Now, I am working on a new replacement item – my bar towel/dish cloth is quickly becoming the stand in. Live and learn.

[other zero waste practices we use: composting, line dry clothing, thrift store wardrobe, bulk purchased groceries, farmers market…I could go on and on!]

MotherLodeBeth April 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Mary bravo on the composting, line dry clothing, thrift store wardrobe, bulk purchased groceries, and farmers market lifestyle.

We do all of those as well. Love the smell of fresh line dried clothes and by adding a cup of vinegar and then snap shaking each item before putting on the clothesline to relax the cloth fiber we end up with softer line dried clothes. Also found that one does not have to use the amount of detergent called for but much much less. Its the soap residue in the clothes that cause them to dry rough and stiff and thus the vinegar removes any soap residue that may be in the item.

There is a lady from Hospice who looks like she shops at Nordstroms but she gets all her clothes at the Hospice thrift store. Around here the Cancer Society and Jr League have awesome thrift stores as well.

D. Jones April 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I run a daycare in my home. We get 95% of our toys and books from the thrift store. When we are done with the toys we donate them right back to the same thrift store and donate the books to our town’s library. Win Win!

lindsey April 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I recycle as much as possible, and I concentrate alot on food waste, which means I try to get really creative at times and have to be pretty organized to make sure things are getting used up while theyare still good. I would like to start composting and plan to start this summer.

Analisa Roche April 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

We always use reusable lunch containers.

Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School) April 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm

to reduce waste, we use the library.

Shannon April 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

We have all cloth napkins, dish cloths, etc. Still trying to get my husband to not take a paper towel when he eats an apple, but at least the rest of us are waste-free. 🙂

Kyla April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

As a big fan of bea’s blog, I bring my jars to the store, refuse free pens, and have a worm bin. The biggest thing that has made a difference? Cloth napkins and getting rid of paper towels (and that’s what’s generated the most comments – “You don’t have ANY paper towels?!” Nope! Here’s a rag. 🙂 it’s great.

Beth April 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm

My husband and I buy nearly all our clothes at Goodwill and we bring lunch to work in reusable containers.

Melissa April 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I buy everything possible at Goodwill….allows me to reuse other people’s things and there is no waste from packaging!

Pam April 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I religiously re-use plastic bags. If they’re zip-loc types, I wash them and re-use. Otherwise, I use any type of bags for kitty litter poop.

Diana April 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

To reduce waste in our home, we bring our own bags to the store, we compost and recycle as much as we can, we donate to Goodwill, and we could probably do more!

Debbi April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

We buy through a co-op and we can provide a lot of our own containers, or it is provided in paper bags that we can recycle. It’s not perfect but it’s a great start! We also compost food scraps.

Ratna April 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I have followed Bea’s blog for almost 2 years when our family was living in Beijing. There I took my container to buy the meat and vegetables in the local market. Since we moved to France last August we downsized our apartment, found a co-op of local farmer and became a member so we get local on the season bio-produce with no packaging or recycled packaging every week and cook from scratch for each meal. I have now learn to clean the apartment almost without chemical, using lemon, vinegar, baking soda, pine resin and savon the marseille instead. Where there is packaging we opt for recycled one as much as we can. We found a few stores where we can buy in bulk of cereal, rice, dried fruits, grains and nuts. The weekly market also have candies and chocolate sans package. We also opt not to buy a car as the public transportation here is very reliable and accessible, waiting for a more reliable and affordable hybrid. Looking forward to reading Bea’s book. She is an inspiration!

Jackie April 11, 2013 at 4:56 am

Not sure if I’m too late for this, but one of the recent things I’ve started is to save toilet paper rolls and lint from drier (when I use it in winter). Stuff the lint in the roll and use as a fire starter both indoors and out.

Another thing that saves me money – I buy the cheapest fabric softner, combine one capfull of softner to 5 capfulls of water in a tupperware bowl. I keep 2-3 homemade (white) chrocheted dish cloths in the mixture and use one for each load of laundry. Works great!

Jane April 11, 2013 at 5:04 am

To reduce water waste I fill my water pitcher with the water I run to get hot water out of my kitchen facet.

Jennifer April 11, 2013 at 5:44 am

I’ve found if you don’t go shopping, you don’t buy anything. I avoid casual shopping as entertainment and regularly try to have a weekend a month where I can skip all forms of spending money. We also use cloth napkins, hand clothes on the line in summer and pack lunches daily. Eating out is crazy when you look at the cost and the quality of food you normally can get. I love your giveaways!

Barb @ 1SentenceDiary April 11, 2013 at 6:10 am

My biggest defense against waste — don’t go shopping. This sometimes backfires in that when I actually need an item, I have to pay top dollar for it because I don’t have time to “keep an eye out” at the thrift store. However, most of the time simply not shopping, not buying something, keeps us from ever getting that item in the first place. 🙂

crys April 11, 2013 at 6:46 am

I shop at the Goodwill “bins” for all our clothes.

Natalie April 11, 2013 at 7:26 am

I used to think plastic things with cute little pictures were so adorable, and always used them with my kids. But now, we have stopped buying plastic: plastic utensils, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic lunch containers, even plastic wrap. What I once thought was so cute really isn’t, and I’d rather the kids break a glass cup once in a while over having tons of plastic items in the home.

Deana Fruth April 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

We reuse plastic shopping bags for wastebasket liners and dog-poo pick-up. When the bags are ripped or dirty we make sure to recycle them. I also try to grab boxes from my workplace that would have been pitched and use them for re-shipping or garage sale item storage.

valerie April 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

I read their story in Sunset magazine two years ago, thought I was doing good! Bea and her family are such an inspiration! Recycling is not enough. I shop bulk at my local natural food store, filling my own jars, bringing them home in my cloth bags. Shopping local farmer’s markets is great too, no annoying little labels on the produce!

Belleln April 11, 2013 at 9:06 am

Read daily local newspaper on line (nothing to recycle and costs 1/5 of home delivery), only read magazines at the library. Thanks for the chance.

Juli April 11, 2013 at 9:33 am

Well, Katy– this does beg the question of when you will publish a book…
The thing I gathered from following Bea’s blog is refusing freebies you don’t need. This is hard for me to balance with the frugal mindset, but it makes perfect sense. I am also working on conserving water as I live in a high mountain desert. I use a rubber spatula to scrape food left on dishes and pans into the compost, wipe the sink rather than use the sprayer to rinse, turn the faucet on low so extra water doesn’t blast out, etc.

Jennifer April 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

I feel the same way! I have a lot of confusion about being both frugal and trying to go zero waste at the same time. Sometimes I just don’t know if stockpiling is a good idea because it seems to go against the zero waste lifestyle, yet if I didn’t hold on to things or accumulate things when they’re on sale, then I couldn’t be as frugal as I want to be. I just can’t find the balance and I want it so badly! 🙂

Julie April 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

I try to reduce school lunch waste! I’ve got some refillable juice boxes from walmart and a slew of small containers that hold all sorts of goodies for lunch. Of course we have great reusable lunch bags too!

Meg A April 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

I reduce anything unnecessary in my life that doesn’t add to its fullness; I re-use – all items in my home must have more than one function to belong in my life; and recycle all items that are in good condition or can be brought back to life. This mindset extends the product life cycle, avoids clutter, help me economize and live a simple fulfilling life.

Jennifer April 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Beautifully said, Meg. I love your outlook.

Nicole April 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

We use cloth napkins instead of paper. Don’t even notice the little bit of extra laundry.

Bonnie April 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I have a teenage son who pretty much eats any left over and all scraps, which works very well preventing any food waste!
But I just cut up an old ripped pillow case and ripped sheet for rags. They work great for window washing. Thanks for the book offer. I’ll cross my fingers.

Erin from Long Island April 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

My boyfriend tends to be a lot pickier than me when it comes to produce. I use the peels off his carrots (which he washes first) for soups and sauces, his leftover squeezed lemons and limes for the zest or to make iced tea, and his kale stems get cooked and pureed into sauces.
There are more examples, but I think you get it 😉

Jennifer Zink April 12, 2013 at 6:25 am

That’s a great idea! Your fruits and veggies actually get used twice.

Mary Lloyd April 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm

It’s a small thing, but when I feed our dogs, I use a paper towel over the bowl of food in the microwave, then I use the same paper towel to wipe out their water bowl before I refill it. That’s one paper towel per day!

Aimee April 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I stopped using paper plates and never bought more. My husband gradually used the few we had left in the cupboard and never remembers to add them to his personal shopping list, so it’s a win for now. He refuses to go completely without paper towels, but we are compromising on 100 percent recycled ones.

stephanie April 12, 2013 at 5:10 am

I try not to buy stuff or at least minimally packaged stuff

Deb from Iowa April 12, 2013 at 5:39 am

We say “Yes” to experiences and reaching out to others. We say “No” to personal burdens such as “things” that cost money, require dusting, cleaning and the expense of throwing it away. We raised our family in a much smaller house than we could afford. When the bathroom issue became a problem, we put mirrors they still have years later in our kid’s rooms… problem solved. Composting, gardening, and learning from my daughter to shop only second-hand has added to our lives. In fact, I bought Zero Waste Home and had it shipped directly to my daughter who lives far away for her birthday, but even though I am dying to read it, I am abstaining. However, if I should receive a copy, I would donate it to my library that would NEVER buy it as a form of spreading the good word. 🙂

Linda Gertig April 12, 2013 at 6:04 am

I think I waste as little as possible but I would be delighted to learn to waste even less.

Rowen G. April 12, 2013 at 6:57 am

So many good ideas here. 🙂

Just a few of my own practices: composting veg scraps for the garden, always carrying cloth shopping bags (some of mine are over 20 years old), making most of my own clothes from a fabric stash I accumulated years ago, combining errands with my sister, who lives nearby, and haven’t used a dryer in about 15 years – don’t need one in Colorado. Most of my kitchen gear was either my mom’s or my grandmother’s, so no need for cheap new stuff. Linen tea towels from the thrift store or estate sales for kitchen towels. Cloth napkins. A group I belong to which has about eight potlucks a year bought dishes and flatware (all used) last year to avoid the paper plate / plastic fork waste. I donated the cloth napkins & tablecloths (from yard sales.) Another woman does the “dishes” for the potlucks, and I do the “laundry” in with my own, and we have nicer potlucks.

Robin April 12, 2013 at 9:17 am

I cut my kids old homework papers in half and use the blank side to write my grocery lists, notes, etc!

Stacy S April 13, 2013 at 3:34 am

Me too!

Katy April 12, 2013 at 9:17 am

We use cloth napkins instead of paper. Feels fancy!

Victor April 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

We composte, my son loves doing this! Win win!

Juhli Newkirk April 12, 2013 at 10:50 am

We make rags out of old t-shirts and clean with a vinegar water mix.

Donna April 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

I don’t let any food go into the garbage, we either use up all of the leftovers, but if we do have any scraps still left I feed it to our dogs or goats as a snack for them.

Natalie April 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

I buy oatmeal in a 25 pound bag. Lasts us about a year with only the bag as waste.

Colleen April 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

We buy food as close to the ground as possible, take our lunch in reusable containers, and shop at Goodwill and yard sales.

Lisa K April 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I use rags instead of paper towels. They clean up any mess so much better, and take up hardly any space in a load of laundry (washed with homemade detergent, of course!).

Carolyn April 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

We have a towel bar behind our kitchen door, and on it we keep our “happening” rag (actually an old bath towel). It got its name when my children were small and would regularly spill milk or juice or whatever they were drinking. My husband would reply “It happens”, and then take out what the kids called the “happening rag”. We still call it that, and we still use it almost daily for one kind of spill or another, and the kids are now 20 and 23 and are away at school. And I never, ever buy paper towels: I just use the happening rag instead.

Chrissy April 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

We don’t waste food. Leftovers become lunches and anything that doesn’t get used up the dogs get to eat.

Kristi Taylor April 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Whenever possible, I buy in bulk (usually non-perishable items so there is no further waste), and transfer as needed to the “original”, more manageably sized container. Over-packaging is one of those issues that really gets under my skin…

Karen Shade April 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I recently started composting. It sure doesn’t smell nice but I have really reduced our waste and I’m looking forward to adding it to my garden. 🙂

Kimberly in So Cal April 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I try to do so many little things; one is my (near) faithful use of reusable bags, which I have been doing since 1990.

Wanda April 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

I started using my own glass containers when I buy my meats( a tip I picked up from the frugal girl) at the butcher. We also recycle,use cloth bags,don’t buy in bulk.

Rachel April 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Pack our lunches using tupperware, cloth napkins, and real silverware – no trash!

Jess April 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I brew coffee cup-by-cup in the regular old coffee pot, and I don’t dump the grinds right away. When I want a second cup, I dump another cup of water into the machine and brew a second cup with the used grounds from the first cup. MMmmmmmm 🙂

Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares April 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

We have a compost bucket in our bathroom to collect hair and other compostables.

Daisy April 12, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I try to compost all non glossy newspaper ads we get weekly into the veggie garden.

Pat April 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Divorced my husband almost 3 years ago!! When he left so did the use of paper towels, plastic eating utensils, paper plates. I completed my kitchen remodeling project of 8 years (he just couldn’t get around to doing it). Biggest thing was stopping the fast food eating out nearly everynight; starting to cook at home so less spent for food, better meals and no consumable containers to throw out anymore. All this lead to trash pickup every 4-6 weeks instead of every week.

Doris G April 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm

We don’t use coffe filters. We use our french press. And cafe comes out so good, that we never have to buy any 🙂

Caroline April 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I buy a big bag of salad at the beginning of the week, but if by Friday, I haven’t eaten it all and the greens look like they’re beginning to wilt, I throw them into the pan (along with some chickpeas, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and curry powder) to make a healthy stir-fry!

Ruthie April 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm

YES! I want this book so much! I stick to very simple style of clothes and shoes so that I don’t end up with a ton of clothes I only wear every once in awhile. Everything gets worn out and then turned into crafts!

kathleen April 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm

One thing I have been doing to reduce waste is trying to buy things in bulk whenever possible (although if I know I cannot use product up, I rethink it, as I dont want to waste anything either)

Giselle Feuillet-Tunis April 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I measure portions out as much as possible before cooking to keep the leftovers to a minimum. I also save and wash my mother-in-law’s dog food containers (she buys Beneful) to freeze 1-cup portions of chili, pesto and other soups/stews/sauces.

Jennifer C April 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm

We use cloth kitchen towels instead of paper towels when washing veggies. I have been reading Bea’s blog for quite a while now, I would love this book!

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