How to Adopt the Zero-Waste Method in Your Kitchen
Lauren Singer lives in Brooklyn and manages to produce only a single Mason jar’s worth of trash every four years.
If you're interested in reducing your clutter or carbon footprint, you may have heard of Lauren Singer. She's the founder of The Simply Co., a brand behind sustainable products for the modern age. Singer began her venture into the sustainable business after launching Trash is for Tossers, a blog where her signature voice and lifestyle reboot spawned Internet-celebrity fame.
But what really turns heads is the fact that Lauren Singer has achieved green-living nirvana: She’s the woman who produces a single mason jar worth of trash in just four years – while living in a city that is famous for its trash.
You may ask yourself: how can someone live a lifestyle where all the trash produced in their home is pared down to a single Mason jar? Well, it’s no easy feat. Singer readily admits that her transition into a zero-waste lifestyle requires people to switch over to a buy-in-bulk system, which isn’t a viable model for thousands of chain stores across the country.
Singer uses a lot of her own developed recipes to replace common household items that are heavily packaged, adding to the bags of trash that we often produce daily. At the head of the Simply Co., a burgeoning brand launching with a single product, Singer is turning these hacks and wholesome approaches to products into a business. Singer’s Laundry Powder promises clean clothes without dyes, synthetic preservatives, chlorine, or other petrochemicals. It's made with only with four ingredients: baking soda, washing soda, essential oils, and organic, vegan castile soap (it retails for $20).
She also shared her recipe for her zero-waste toothpaste with Elle in their September 2017 issue – 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda, 25 to 30 drops of organic food-grade peppermint essential oil, and as much stevia as you’d like.
Perhaps the most shocking thing is that Singer doesn’t produce any waste in her kitchen, given how many products these days are packaged completely in paper or plastic.
Yet, she seems to have an answer to everything – Trash is for Tossers has a whole section on living the zero-waste lifestyle in your kitchen, where Singer shares recipes for meals that seamlessly come together after shopping in bulk and her tips for making sure your meals aren’t feeding landfills.
You won’t be surprised to hear that Singer swears by the farmer’s market and has a very specific system to how she maximizes her weekly purchases.
Her secret to meal prepping is using stainless steel reusable containers – her favorite seller is Life Without Plastic. She has a complete set of tools that enable her to take lunch to work everyday without producing an ounce of trash.
But her dedication to reducing waste goes beyond food – she makes her own reusable napkins and cloth-based produce and sandwich bags at home, uses a glass French press for her daily brew, and stores uneaten produce (like carrots) in water to avoid wilting or spoiling.
While the zero-waste lifestyle is not something that can be achieved overnight, we’re betting that Singer’s Trash is for Tossers might have a few pointers to help you reduce how much trash you take out everyday. And we’re all for a delicious recipe that might help reduce our footprint, too.