Trash-Free Bathroom: Face Cloths

Check out this great post on reusable face rounds! Easy way to reduce a year (or a lifetime) worth of wasteful one-time cotton rounds. If you don’t have time to make them yourself, check out Etsy for dozens of retailers.


To wash my face in the morning and evening, I have made several reusable cotton washcloths. I made them from the scraps of one of my cotton dresses in the Compostable Wardrobe Series. I used pinking shears when cutting them out so the edges don’t unravel and sewed the sides up with 100% cotton thread.  […]


Waste-Free (& just FREE) Facial Scrub

Level of Difficulty: Easy and not only is it WASTE FREE, IT COSTS ZERO DOLLARS!



We are slowly but surely running out of the cheap knock-off St. Ives walnut face scrub we buy from target. Now, I’m sure there are several amazing, well-developed and well-tested waste-free/all natural DIY facial scrubs that would put many store bought scrubs to shame. But of course I don’t have time for that, because I’m writing a dissertation and have NO MONEY. So here is what I did…

I took two day’s worth of coffee grounds and let them dry out on my counter (please use organic, because it’s your life, your body– your face!).




Once they were nice and dry, I grounded them again in the bean grinder to get the grounds extra fine.


I put them in a tiny jar– one that used to be a candle jar. Because…jars! 


Next, I put the tiny jar in my shower and then used the coffee grounds with a little bit of bar soap. Side Note: I feel quite crunchy going from Oil of Olay to coffee grounds and bar soap, but hey! The environment! And…my face!

That’s it! I literally just 1) wet my face, 2) rubbed my hands with bar soap, 3) lathered my face, 4) sprinkled some of the grounds in my palm and then scrubbed face in circular motions before rinsing.

Face feels clean and I’m sure the extra exfoliation and a nice zip of caffeine will make me more beautiful…or something…fingers crossed. 😉

Try it!

Also, if you have of any other face scrub ideas, recipes etc. please send my way in the comments section. It’s hard to beat free, but I would love to try a face scrub that does not have to be added to bar soap or other soap products , because I am THAT lazy.

Almost Waste-Free: Thrift Store Dog Toys

Praise the Lord for ZanyGreenQuest, who recently commented on my post about waste-conscious dog ownership with the ingenious idea to search local thrift stores to find inexpensive pet toys. So that is exactly what we did last night!

We found a treasure trove of inexpensive used stuffed animals at the local

Disabled Veterans Charities

6343 San Fernando Rd
Glendale, CA 91201

Open: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Family and friends know that my dogs have a special love for stuffed toys, and specifically, the act of de-stuffing said toys. I haven’t been ready to shatter their dreams with our new quest to live waste-free, BUT this waste-conscious alternative to spending hundreds of dollars each each year on brand new dog toys is the best we’ve come up with so far! Take a look at our loot:


20150404_20283620150404_202856 20150404_20292120150404_202845 20150404_202927 11081245_10103362434610943_6074594088911849789_n

Because… Jars



So as I mentioned before I get pretty excited about in-home recycling and upcycling of product packaging. Specifically, I want to highlight the many possibilities for used jars and plastic ware.

The ultimate goal of course is to either transition away from products with packaging or bring your own packaging to purchase the products that you need. Also, I like to try and support bussinesses that have bulk or refillable purchasing options. But until you feel like you are in the position to make that transition (slowly, and a few products at a time), upcycling is a great option I have found!

First step: unless you have several projects or needs for your recycled jars, you will need a small place to store them until you are ready to use. If you make a place for them upfront, you are more likely to start washing and reusing them instead of throwing them away. I must admit, this hoarding practice drove Corey nuts ever since he moved in with me, but when he saw how much money we saved around holidays, birthdays, or on host gifts (see below), as well as the money we saved on plastic baggies for his lunches, he has since quit harassing me and has created a cozy nook for them.
Here is our small place for jars and reusables just above the microwave:
Some packaging I keep and reuse:
  • Candle jars
  • Pasta sauce jars
  • Peanut butter jars
  • Pickle jars
  • Jellie jars
  • Plastic and glass spice containers/shakers
  • Mixed Nut containers (Costco size) or similar
  • Lunch meat containers
  • Butter and oil spread containers
  • Soap bottles and dispensers
  • And any other jars or plastic containers that are a useful size
(From Alfredo, Peanut Butter, and Candle Jars to Art Storage)
A few ways that I re-use these items: 
  • Homemade sauces and soup storage
  • Leftover storage in general
  • Corey’s and my daily lunches
  • Flowers vases (around the house and as gifts) and centerpieces
  • Holders for utensils, paint brushes, makeup brushes, dish wands, and/or toiletries
  • Refillable spice containers
  • Refillable bulk food containers
  • Save for homemade personal care and cleaning products
(From Pasta Sauce Jar to Flower Vase: Doubles as Easy and Inexpensive Way to Gift and/or Share Herbs)
(From Pickle Jar to Coffee Table Centerpiece)
(Wedding Favor to Nightstand Storage)
(Refill and/or Relabel Spice Containers)
(From Product Jar to Dish Sponge or Wand Holder)
(From Pickle, Roasted Pepper, and Candle Jars to Bathroom Storage) 
Now, my two big waste conscious goals in this area are to stop buying pasta sauce in glass jars (a HUGE staple in our glass jar waste department) and lunch meat in plastic containers. In order to reduce waste in those two areas, I am going to start making my pasta sauces completely from scratch and getting fresh lunch meat at the meat counter (bringing my own containers).
I know these things might sound simple, but they will be a big change for us. In fact, it will probably reduce how much we eat pasta and sandwiches during busy/hectic weeks. But …the environment… and scary amounts of unnecessary product packaging! In fact, if you want to feel a little convicted about how much waste you actually produce from reusable containers, simply start saving them! This is what gave me a pretty accurate picture of what I can start moving away from in order to achieve a more waste-conscious lifestyle.
Give it a try and stay tuned for how this works out for us!