We all know the perils of taking the bins out. The awkward shimmy of trying to extract the bag, the moment it rips and releases the rotting remains of the week gone by, and, of course, bin juice. So, imagine how great it would be if you never had to take the bins out again because, well, you didn’t produce any rubbish.
Meet Lauren Singer, who managed to condense seven years’ worth of rubbish into one glass jar.
While she’d always been a fan of nature, it wasn’t until she witnessed a class mate at university using single-use plastic cutlery, bottles and packaging every lunch break. Alarmed by the amount of waste produced, she vowed to go waste-free and attributes her success to four key lifestyle changes – and with zero waste week in full swing, there’s never been a better time to follow her lead. Firstly, Lauren started composting her food waste rather than chucking it in the bin. Speaking on her Instagram page, she says “Composting is one of my favourite things to do!” and explains that because she lives in New York, she keeps her leftovers in a bowl in the freezer and empties it at the farmer’s market at the weekend – a great solution if you don’t have a garden.
Next, she avoids buying food products that comes in packaging, bringing her own storage to the farmer’s market to restock directly, and buying loose fruit and vegetables.
As well as ditching all food packaging, she also makes her own beauty and cleaning products. For her haircare, Lauren uses shampoo bars and freshly-cut aloe vera as conditioner, and has a four-item beauty regime consisting of homemade toothpaste, facial oil and deodorant. Plus, she uses natural ingredients like white vinegar and baking soda to whip up everything from toilet cleaner to surface spray.
These three lifestyle changes allowed Lauren to eliminate almost all her every day waste – and the rest, she keeps in the jar.
“I get a lot of questions about what I still put in the jar, and the biggest things are the piece of plastic that connect a price tag to clothing, produce stickers and festival/concert bracelets,” she says on Instagram.
If you’re thinking of going waste-free, check out our round up of eco-friendly beauty brands as well as the small steps towards going plastic-free you can take to get started today!