WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE: Start Your Zero Waste Life With 3 Items You Already Own




Anamarie is an Earth advocate with passion for zero-waste, traveling, self-reliance, and regenerative energy and waste. You can find her in the Fort,

I am pleased to be a part of Loam Magazine's "Work With What You Have Project" that encourages readers to view their consumption behaviors and create innovative alternatives.

Most would never leave the house without their keys. Others can’t leave without grabbing their bike, some snacks or, for the parents out there, their child(ren).

As a zero waster there are three things I would NEVER leave the house without. I always carry a reusable cup, cloth napkin and eating utensils, because I know there's a high-chance I will eat on a trip out of the house.

For the month of September Loam readers are taking the Zero Waste Challenge to begin a path to zero waste living. It all starts with the three zero waste essentials, all of which are AVAILABLE IN YOUR HOME.


Take your favorite cup for a ride

You may not have a $30 steel thermal cup or a mason jar, but you have a cup! Go with a cup that has a top, like that random travel mug you won at a convention, but if that doesn’t work go with the next best thing. I recommend something with a wide mouth just incase you want a smoothie, it makes the pour easier. You can also buy juice or water that comes in a cute glass bottle (think San Pellegrino, Lakewood, even Snapple) and make that your designated travel cup.

Make a custom napkin

You may not have Waverly-inspired cloth napkins stashed away for entertaining, but you do have old t-shirts. The t-shirts you snagged for free at events, borrowed after a night at your friends or simply your favorite t-shirts you’ve outgrown. Either way, there’s an opportunity to make a cloth napkin.

Using a t-shirt, preferably with graphic design, mark a square around the design and using scissors cut the square part of your shirt. Ta-da! You know have a custom, reusable cloth napkin. You can make extras with the leftover material, or if you’re a DIY-er try this necklace tutorial.

Tag along your forks and spoons

Let your kitchen drawer be your passport to the zero waste life, by using the forks and spoon you already own. No need to buy a collapsible spork or camping utensils if you already have forks and spoons at home. Save your money for things you may not commonly have lying around like stainless steel food storage, or bamboo toothbrushes and straws.


CALL TO ACTION: Post pictures of your zero waste essentials, on Twitter and Instagram, include the hashtag #fortnegritalovesloam for a chance to win a bamboo straw, for enjoying smoothies in zero waste style!

Kate WeinerComment