A girl's quest to live on the greener side.

Zero Waste School Year: Sustainable Supplies + Waste-Free Ways to Improve Your School

zero waste school year

Ready to have a zero waste school year? I haven't been in school since 2016, but I can honestly say I miss the excitement that comes with buying new school supplies. That said, I'd do things a little differently now, thanks to zero waste living. To make your life easier, I've compiled a list of all the zero waste school supplies you'll need to thrive this year, all in one place. Plus, I've included several waste-free ways to get involved with your school and make a real difference (at the bottom of the post). After all, why stop at school supplies, right? Zero waste is about so much more than just getting new, plastic-free things. It's about changing your lifestyle, making a difference, and getting involved.

Zero Waste Beginners Guide: 20 Tips to Get Started

zero waste beginners guide

A lot of people ask me "how did you go zero waste?" The answer is: Research. Tons and tons of research. I read articles, blogs, books, watched videos, documentaries. I was like a sponge, soaking it all up. Then, I applied that research and started making more conscious, educated choices. Yes, I bought a few new items (like my reusable water bottle, travel mug, etc.) but it was more of a mindset change than anything else. Zero waste living isn't so much about what you buy: It's about how you live, and what you do with the items you buy/already have. For example, you could already have a reusable water bottle, but it doesn't mean anything if it sits in your cupboard all day long, not being used. Zero waste is about developing a relationship with your items, learning to cherish them and purchasing with end of life in mind. If you're new to the zero waste lifestyle, all of this can be quite overwhelming. That's why I've created this zero waste beginners guide: It's everything you could want to know about the zero waste lifestyle rolled into one. Here I'll explain exactly what zero waste living is, along with 20 actionable tips to get started. Are you ready to dive in and start making a difference?

How to Stay Zero Waste at a Party

zero waste at a party

Staying zero waste at a party can be pretty challenging. Whether it's a family event or a friend's party, I get it. Waste happens. Between all the disposable plates, cups and utensils, it's hard to feel like the environmentalist you are. However, I'm here to tell you there's hope. While you can't completely control the actions of others, you can control your own. I've been to several parties, family and friend, and I can assure you, I know how to stay zero waste at a party. If you're confident, pleasant and polite, you won't have any problems. You may slip up every once and a while, it happens to the best of us, but I'm here to give you my tips and tricks. Follow these general guidelines and you'll go home feeling more proud of yourself than ever. Here's how to stay zero waste at a party.

Zero Waste Bug Spray

zero waste bug spray

Mosquitoes love my blood, so creating a zero waste bug spray was a high priority this summer. I'm sure many of you can relate: You're sitting outside, enjoying the summer evening, and before you know it, you're covered in bug bites. And worst of all, they itch like mad! Not sure about you, but whenever I get a mosquito bite, it starts out small, then swells up like a big balloon on my skin. It's so uncomfortable and disgusting. 

But worse yet, there's very limited zero waste, all-natural options for bug repellent on the market. Unfortunately, most store-bought bug sprays contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) - try saying that three times. In studies on rats, prolonged DEET exposure led to diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes. The study concluded humans should stay away from it as well. However, other studies have shown that many people are fine when they use DEET products on a sporadic basis. 

That's all well and good, but I don't like to take chances with my own health. I'd rather eliminate the risk altogether and stick to using something natural. Plus, lets face it, making your own insect repellent is way cheaper. Who wants to spend X amount of dollars on one can of bug spray when they can buy ingredients that make them multiple cans of bug spray? Here's how to make your own all-natural zero waste bug spray.