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Lauren Singer and Generation ‘Zero Waste’

“I never anticipated that actively choosing not to produce waste would turn into my having a higher quality of life. I thought it would just mean not taking out the trash.”

lauren singer

Imagine housing two years worth of rubbish in a single mason jar. Impossible, right? For 21-year-old Lauren Singer, an environmental student from New York, this dream has become a reality. Taking inspiration from a Californian family of four, dubbed the ‘Zero Waste Home’, who produce little to no rubbish, Lauren decided to transform her life.

Lauren documents her first steps into the transition on her blog MindBodyGreen: “I stopped buying packaged products and began bringing my own bags and jars to fill with bulk products at the supermarket. I stopped buying new clothing, and shopped only secondhand. I continued making all of my own personal care and cleaning products. I downsized significantly by selling, donating, or giving away superfluous things in my life, such as all but one of my six identical spatulas, 10 pairs of jeans that I hadn’t worn since high school, and a trillion decorative items that had no significance to me at all.”

Personally, I have taken on several small steps myself to significantly reduce the amount of waste I produce as discussed in My Secondhand Wardrobe.

Lauren recalls an all too familiar portrayal of life pre-zerowaste saying, “I would find myself scrambling to the supermarket before it closed, because I didn’t shop properly, ordering in takeout because I didn’t have food, always going to the pharmacy to get this scrub and that cream, and cleaning constantly because I had so much stuff.”

This way of life is now a thing of the past for Lauren whose “typical week involves one trip to the store to buy all of the ingredients [she needs]. This trip isn’t just for food, but also for cleaning and beauty products, since all of the things … can be made with simple, everyday ingredients. Not only is it easier and stress free, it’s healthier (no toxic chemicals!)”

If you want to start reducing the amount of waste you produce check out these measures you can take:

  • Buy a compostable bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one (mine is from MakeItNaturally on Etsy, £7.74 for 3 brushes)
  • Swap paper towels for cotton napkins or tea towels
  • Replace makeup for eco friendly alternatives in reusable containers (I love Lush for this) or have a go at making your own homemade makeup (recipes at WellnessMama)
  • Swap cotton balls or pads with reusable cotton rounds (mine are from CuteandFunky on Etsy, £4.65 for 10)
  • Swap tampons for menstrual cups such as MoonCup and sanitary pads for washable cotton ones
  • Swap tupperware for mason jars

For more information check out:

Lauren’s site Trash is for Tossers

Get inspiration to become a fully fledged eco-warrior at MindBodyGreen

Buy some waste free products at The Green Shop


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