5 Simple Tips for a Zero Waste life

1# Stop buying single-use plastic water bottles
Giving up single use water bottles is a true money saver. There are hundreds of fun aluminum, stainless steel, glass and even durable plastic reusable water bottles out there for sale. Go ahead and  buy one if you will get good use out of it, but if you are like me, first try and opt for the true #zerowaste choice. Just reuse that empty salsa jar. I prefer the 16 FL OZ glass jar of TJ's organic mayonnaise which can be easily washed. Do more than recycle, re-use something first.
#2 Skip the Straw
Say it with me: "I'll have a water, with NO STRAW PLEASE"
It's a hard habit to break, but almost every single bartender/waiter/waitress will automatically give you a straw with every beverage ordered. This is totally not necessary. Do you use straws to drink water at home? Why would anyone need 2-3 in one sitting? Americans use millions of straws daily which don't get recycled and often end up as litter on our local beaches. 
#3 Buy loose fruits and vegetables, not pre-packaged ones
Start by simply eating more fruits and veggies.
Lemons and avocados from farmers market still come in a mesh bag. My solution has been to empty the avocados, lemons and limes straight into my reusable bag and I give the mesh bag right back to the vendor for reuse. Easy
#4 Take a reusable coffee mug with you- everywhere
Tea, coffee, free water - whatever. Coffee is awesome! Go ahead #hugyourmug some coffee shops will even give you a discount for bringing your own cup. Plus, coffee stays warmer longer in a reusable mug vs. a disposable cup.
#5 Give up buying paper towels
This might seem like the hardest one to do but believe me once I committed to never buying paper towels 5 years ago, I have not once questioned my decision. Having a washer and dryer easily accessible will make this more convenient. At home, my kids use small square-ish shaped cloths made from old t-shirts and adults use cloth napkins.
BTW, big advocate of using cloth napkins for eating anything BBQ'd. 
For things like cleaning up a pan full of bacon grease, I use leftover restaurant napkins that I like to keep in the credenza. (Yes, I sometimes eat bacon and take a few extra napkins from the restaurant) #notvegan #tryingtobevegetarian #sometimes #zerowaste