Going Zero Waste: Tips for Teens and Students

If you’re a teenager living at home or a college student sharing a room with others in an apartment or dorm, it can be quite difficult to go completely zero waste. Maybe your parents do most of the shopping, want to cut costs, don’t want to deal with zero waste, or you have roommates who aren’t sustainability conscious. These tips are for you! Hope this helps you on your journey to zero waste or just trying these tips.

1. Savings

Start by going to local thrift stores and checking out what they have. You might find something you like. Even save household items like mason jars to buy in bulk. If there aren’t any thrift stores near you, try apps like Depop, although it’s not exactly effective in trying to go zero waste with packaging, delivery, etc. . I don’t always recommend used shoes, but as with anything you save, just be sure to wash all items.

2. Exchange your school supplies

A good way to slowly move towards zero waste in your daily life is to switch to better school products. This could be creating your own journals, not buying spiral binding, using recycled pencil cases, and even buying refills for your pens rather than buying new pens. Another way is to go electronic – when it comes to taking notes or doing rough work to avoid the use of paper.

3. Switch to a menstrual cup or cotton products

Anyone familiar with the once-a-month call can also try these products to be a little more eco-friendly. Switch to menstrual cups that can last for years, get a subscription box of durable feminine products, or switch to cotton products/cloth pads. Really, it’s just a good idea to examine a product’s packaging and what it contains that could harm the earth and avoid it.

4. Bulk purchase

To spend less time driving, less time at the store, and less worrying about food, decide to buy in bulk. This can be a bulk purchase at a Costco or a Sams, which is still a step above going to the grocery store every week. To go further, find stores that allow you to bring your own cloth bags, mason jars, jugs, etc. so as not to use plastic or paper.

5. Get in on the action

If you are interested in caring for the environment, get involved in your neighborhood and your schools. Find ways to encourage others to try to become zero waste or to be part of your projects. Organize a clean-up of the beach, the street, the esplanade, block or plant trees, seeds for the bees, etc. opt for zero waste even if they don’t want to drastically change their current lifestyle.