Baby Steps to Zero Waste

Here's six things you can do now to lessen your environmental impact
Marina Qutab zero waste living sustainable trash recycle compost

This mason jar holds all the waste “Eco Goddess” Marina Qutab has made in over two years. It contains everything she can’t recycle or compost, such as the plastic clothing tags that even thrift stores use.

Baby Steps to Zero Waste

Marina Qutab is known as the Eco Goddess online for a good reason. She’s committed to living a sustainable lifestyle, aiming to approach zero waste, reduce trash and manufacturing waste and live in harmony with nature. Read our feature on Marina here, and the sustainability minded places she loves to go, eat, shop and work in her North County San Diego neighborhood. While going zero waste can be daunting, even just baby steps make a huge difference. Here, Marina shares six things you can do now to lessen your environmental impact:

Start fresh.

Use everything up in your pantry and fridge, then fill it with fresh, local and organic produce from the farmers market, homemade pickles, package-free snacks, bulk beans and nuts and other staples packed in glass jars that can be repurposed later.

Say goodbye to plastic.

Swap toothbrushes, chapstick, razors, sponges, feminine hygiene products and hairbrushes with sustainable and reusable alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, sustainably sourced paper, wood or metal.

Just say no.

Refuse bags, straws, plastic utensils, napkins, twisty ties, elastic bands, plastic bags and containers, freebies and other single-use disposables.

Make it.

Makeup, cleaning products, personal care items and nut milks are easily DIYed with recipes you can find online—or on Marina’s YouTube channel. See her Vegan Beet Blush recipe below.

Shop in bulk.

Bring your own produce bags, glass containers and reusable bags when you shop. Make sure you get the tare weight of any vessels so you don’t pay extra for items.

Shop second hand.

Only buy what you need, and bring items in to trade or sell back should your style or size change.

vegan beet blush recipe zero wasteRecipe: Vegan Beet Blush

Marina uses this simple recipe to make a natural blush.

1 small beet, washed

Oil-based face lotion (Marina uses Yay for Earth sensitive skin face lotion)

1. Make a small incision in the beet and place in the freezer.

2. Once frozen, thaw for one minute or until it “bleeds.”

3. Rub the lotion into your face, then blend the beet juice onto your cheekbones.

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