A great way to ensure you produce minimal waste is to dedicate a free day/period of time (depending on your schedule) towards preparing everything you might need during the week.
This way, you won’t be rushed to get these things last minute, which might lead to less eco-friendly choices.
Personally, I prefer to do this on Sundays. I call them “sustainable sundays.” I try to do at least some tasks that help me build a low waste week. Sometimes this means spending time researching sustainable lifestyle ideas, other times it means crossing things off of my “being green” to-do list.
Below, I’ve outlined some sustainable tasks that could be performed on an ideal day.
By making these products beforehand, you know you won’t have to go to the store to get any during the week. That way, you avoid the packaging that typically comes with these items.
Oat Milk + Cookies
Oat milk is super easy to make and very low waste! Since I don’t like to soak my oats because it can make them slimy, it takes me less than 10 minutes to make the milk. Also, a side note, I like to add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of 1.
At the end of the process, I also have quite a bit of leftover oat pulp in the nut milk bag. While a good option is to compost it, I like to make it into cookies. Waste not, want not.
Our best friends deserve the best treats. You can easily bake your own. However, if your dog doesn’t like the first recipe you try, don’t be discouraged to try another! Dogs can be just as picky as humans (*cough my dog cough*).
During the hot summer months, you can also make your pup some ice cream treats to help them stay cool.
Yogurt takes a little more preparation than the aforementioned products so I suggest starting it at the beginning of your time off. That way it can sit for 4 hours while you get other things done.
You can also make an easier vegan yogurt.
Preparing this Week’s Meals
It’s also a good idea to prepare your meals ahead of time so you limit the times you go out to eat per week. That way you end up wasting less single-use plastics.
Some good examples of preparations are: cutting up this week’s fruits, pre-making salads, cooking a large pot of oatmeal, preparing some easy dinners, and/or packing lunches for work or school.
If you know you’re going to go out to eat, it’s a good idea to put together a kit of silverware, straws, napkins, etc. in case where you’re going only offers paper and plastic options.
Self Care Items
If you know you’re running low on some self care items, make them at the beginning of the week so you don’t end up rushing to a store and buying a not so eco-friendly version.
If there are products you don’t feel comfortable making at home, take this time to order them from a eco-friendly brand; or, if there are sustainable options near you, go out to buy them.
Below are some very easy things you can DIY with items you probably already have.
Body Scrubs are super easy to DIY and provide great exfoliation. For the most part, they use ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
Face and Hair Masks
Most DIY masks use produce and other natural ingredients that won’t stay good very long. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make and use them during your time off. You can still cook whilst wearing them.
Making your own natural toothpaste is better for a handful of reasons.
First of all, it can double as dog toothpaste (just check in with your vet first, every dog is different).
It’s also easier on sensitive teeth and gums.
Plus, there aren’t any strange ingredients that’ll do you harm. It’s nice to know I could eat this toothpaste without throwing up.
You can easily store it in a silicone travel bottle. That way, you can simply squeeze it out when you need it. You can also keep it from being exposed to air whenever you’re not using it.