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Fresh Vegetables in Basket

Going Zero Waste

Picking up zero waste habits is a journey, and we all start somewhere.
Where do you see yourself today? 
Take a peek at the next level on this self assessment tool.
Maybe you'll see something you can start tomorrow?
Go Zero Waste
When going zero waste, this...
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becomes this.
Level 1:


"Yes, I am happy to support green!"

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I say "no thanks" to:
  • Bottled water

  • Disposable coffee cups

  • Plastic bags

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Shop local:
  • I try to shop locally and buy organic whenever possible

  • I go to Farmers' Markets or produce stands and buy produce that is in season and from our area

I always bring my own:
  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Reusable coffee cup or travel mug

Level 2:


"I want to do more!"

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I don't get or use:
  • Thin plastic bags for produce off the roll in the produce section

  • Disposable napkins

  • Disposable cutlery and straws

  • Milk in a plastic carton or bag

  • Bread in plastic bags

  • Cleaning cloth made from polyester or microfiber

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I get:
  • Milk in deposit/return bottles

  • Natural fiber cleaning cloths

I always bring my own:
  • Reusable produce bags

  • Reusable napkin, cutlery and straw set

  • Bread bag

I make my own:
  • Snacks, like cookies, granola bites or sliced fruit

  • Cleaning cloths made from old towels or other textiles

Level 3:


"I want to do as much as possible to reduce waste!" 

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I don't get or use:
  • Disposable takeout containers

  • Plastic wrapped meat, fish or cheese

  • Soap, shampoo, or conditioner in disposable packaging

  • Cleaning supplies in disposable packaging

  • Rice or pasta in plastic

  • Cans (sauces, veggies, fruit, beans, etc)

  • Beer in cans

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I refill:
  • Shampoo, conditioner, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent at bulk refill stores

  • Nut butters in my own jar

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I fold paper bags from old newspaper for my green bin
I always bring my own:
  • Reusable container to get takeout

  • Reusable container for meat, fish or cheese

I get:
  • Rice, beans and nuts in bulk in reusable bags

  • Beer and wine in deposit/return glass bottles

  • Yoghurt in return/deposit jars

I use containers and beeswax bags to store and keep things fresh such as bread, veggies and cheese
Level 4:


"My goal is zero waste (or fit it all into one jar)!"

I make a monthly or bi-monthly trip to package-free stores to buy in bulk:
  • Olive oil

  • Household or balsamic vinegar

  • Tofu

  • Maple syrup

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I make my own:
  • Salad dressing

  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, salsa)

  • Deodorant and lip balm

  • Moisturizer, make-up

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Pet food

  • Yoghurt

  • Juice and kombucha

I go to delis to get package free or in paper:
  • Butter

  • Cheeses

  • Cold cuts

  • Olives

I also:
  • Get on all 'no-mailing' lists

  • Avoid mail orders

  • Try to fix everything

  • Buy clothing second hand

  • Use Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home book when I need to find or replace a packaged item

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Looking for more detailed tips?

Check out our tools, tips & tricks page for some detailed explanations of steps you can take to reduce your waste, from folding newspaper bags to zero waste frozen fruit.

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