22 Zero Waste Tips for 2022

With less than two months left in 2021, I thought it would be fun to share 22 easy tips for going zero waste as we ring in the new year.

If you are looking to set some sustainability goals in 2022, keep on reading!

1. Invest in reusable containers

Let’s start off with one of the easiest and most obvious swaps – single-use plastics. While a lot of people have realized the negative effects of plastic, there’s still a long way to go. If you are heading out to eat or grab coffee, always bring a reusable straw, cup or utensils. It’s easy to forget if you are rushing – so try setting the items out on the table or in your bag the night before.

2. Switch to a solid shampoo and conditioner

It is estimated that plastic bottles sold in 2021 will reach to 583.3 billion. You can help to reduce this number by switching to plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars. Not only will you be reducing plastic waste, these bars also take up way less space in your shower, last longer, and are great for travelling!

3. Buy less clothing and support B Corp brands

With all the new year craze, you might feel like it is time for new workout clothes or a new dress for the New Year’s party, but hold on for a second. Do you really need it? Can’t you just wear what you already have?

If you decide it is time for new clothing, try supporting brands that are B Corp. These brands made a pledge to be more sustainable and pay their workers fair wages.

You read more about sustainable Canadian brands in this article I wrote a while ago.

4. Bring reusable produce bags while grocery shopping

Did you know that plastic material can take millions of years to decompose? The plastic crisis is one of the biggest threats to our environment. By ditching plastic bags, you greatly reduce the plastic waste that ends up in our landfills and oceans. Keep a few in your car so you don’t forget to bring them. These produce bag sets come in three different variations. Plus, they are versatile and can be used for more than just grocery shopping!

5. Start composting

Composting is one of the most impactful ways to live sustainably and help preserve our beautiful planet. Composting can be done at any time of the year and reduces the amount of rotting food that ends up in landfills. Whether you create a compost pile, use a compost tumbler, or start off with kitchen composing, you will feel rewarded knowing your scraps are turning into nutritious soil!  

6. Change your light bulbs to LEDs

Did you know that LED light bulbs consume around 75 percent less energy than regular light bulbs? Start by replacing the bulbs you use the most like the kitchen and family room – this will conserve the most energy and save you the most money!

7. Plan your meals as much as you can

Planning meals in advance can help you save time, money, and reduce the likelihood of food going to waste. Keep track of what’s in your fridge, freezer and pantry to plan meals around expiration dates. Since zero waste meal planning is all about being organized, check out this zero waste meal planner to get started.  

8. Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush

Bamboo toothbrushes are completely compostable. Reduce the number of toothbrushes that end up in landfills every year by making this easy swap. If you’re switching out the toothbrush, why not consider trying a toothpaste tablet at the same time? To learn all about toothpaste tablets, check out this article here.

9. Go paperless for all your bills and receipts.

Most banks, companies, and retail stores are offering paperless statement options to customers. Paper is a major environmental concern, making up about 25% of landfill waste. Opting for email statements will help to reduce C02 emissions.  

10. Make your own home cleaning products

There are plenty of home cleaning products that you can DIY with simple ingredients that you already have. Store-bought cleaning products (even the so-called “eco-friendly” ones) contain harsh chemicals that are toxic for your home and the environment. Investing in a zero waste cleaning kit is another way to make cleaning more eco-friendly.

11. Use wool dryer balls when doing laundry

Replace harmful dryer sheets with these simple to use wool dryer balls. Not only do they reduce wrinkles and static in your clothing, wool dryer balls actually decrease drying time by up to 25% - which lowers your electricity use!

12. Switch to a sustainable period product (for women)

Swapping out traditional period products like pads or tampons is a great (and maybe a little awkward at first) way to go zero waste in 2022. Thankfully, there are several options available to women including menstrual cups, cloth pads, period underwear, and organic tampons.  

13. Share your zero waste journey with friends and family

One of my biggest tips for going zero waste in 2022 is to simply share your journey with friends and family! Tell them why you are making lifestyle changes for the environment. Hopefully, it sparks an interest and inspires them to try it for themselves.

14. Stop using cling wrap and other plastic wraps

Cling wrap is rarely recycled and only adds to the massive waste issue. Opt for beeswax wraps or silicone bags to preserve your food. These storage solutions can be washed and reused over and over again.

15. Engage in a sharing economy

The sharing economy promotes sustainable societies by reducing overall consumption and waste. It has exploded in recent years with both local and global business models. From local bike rentals to the giant Airbnb, there are countless ways to share access to goods and services. Check out this article to read more on sharing and circular economies.

16. Start using sustainable apps

Sustainable living? There’s an app for that. From tracking your carbon footprint to avoiding food waste, tech tools are making it easier to live more consciously. Start making small daily changes using apps like Flashfood and Random Acts of Green.

17. Make homemade gifts

The season of giving is upon us! Homemade gifts are a chance to get creative and make the perfect gift for a loved one. If you aren’t ready to DIY a holiday gift, you can also check out my eco-friendly gift guides here.

18. Refuse promotional flyers or items

Have you ever walked into a store and been given a flyer advising there’s a 50% off sale – only for that piece of paper to end up in the trash? You can politely decline meaningless promotional items when they are offered to you.

19. Re purpose and reuse everyday items

Instead of throwing them out, find creative ways to reuse everyday items. For example, you can turn old t-shirts into cleaning cloths, or an old candle jar into a plant pot.

20. Buy in bulk

Stock up on package-free foods and household items whenever possible. Not only will this save you money in the long run, you’ll end up making fewer trips to the store – resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions!  

21. Build a zero waste kit

We all lead different lifestyles. Maybe some tips on this list aren’t exactly practical for yours – that’s ok! Build your own zero waste kit and put it in the trunk of your car or bag so you’re always prepared. A zero waste kit can simply be a few items that will come in handy for your specific lifestyle and goals. Check out my online shop for some products to include in yours.

22. Choose plastic-free packaging and reduce recycling

You might be thinking: but isn’t recycling better than throwing something in the garbage? Yes – but remember, zero waste is about eliminating any type of waste. It’s about doing less in all areas of your life! Aim for no packaging or compostable packaging, eliminate plastic, and buy second hand items as often as you can.

Whether you are well into your zero waste journey or just beginning, I hope this list gives you some eco-friendly ideas to implement into your life this new year.  

What if we all could make a positive impact by having zero waste goals in 2022? If you found this list helpful, consider sharing this article to help spread awareness on the zero waste movement!