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An Omaha Mom’s Step-by-step Guide to the Zero-Waste Movement

zero-wasteThe average American sends 4.4 pounds of trash to the landfills every single day. Only 9 percent of waste is recycled. There are many manageable steps moms can take to slow down this plastic pileup. The zero-waste movement is gaining momentum! There are many resources to do so right here in Omaha.

Compost Your Food Waste

Food waste is a large part of the waste problem. Forty percent of the food across the country is tossed in the garbage!

Hillside Solutions

Hillside Solutions is an amazing local waste management company. Their primary efforts are to reduce landfill waste at large-scale events, schools, and businesses. Fortunately, for busy moms, they offer a residential composting service!

For an affordable monthly cost, load up the provided green bin and bring the bin to the nearest drop-off point. Check out this link for more details and the opportunity to sign up.

Gather Your Reusable Shopping Supplies

When going zero-waste, moms need a few supplies for success. 

  • Reusable food containers for takeout and food storage needs like mason jars and stainless steel containers
  • Reusable shopping and produce bags made of cotton or other natural materials
  • Reusable straws made out of steel, glass or bamboo to tote along in a purse or car
  • Reusable food storage supplies such as silicone Ziplocs, beeswax food wrap, and silicone suction lids

Exist Green

We have access to a brick and mortar zero-waste store for these needs. Exist Green, located in the heart of Dundee, offers a variety of home and shopping supplies. Moms can get off to a great start on their zero-waste journey! They sell a variety of bulk foods and fresh produce like nuts, oils, herbs, and soaps. When the products are gone, they are truly gone! Wondering how to get goods home? Bring reusable containers that the store can sanitize or purchase containers.

Exist Green is located at 4914 Underwood Avenue in Dundee. It is open between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Learn to Grow Your Own Food

zero-waste gardeningPackaging accounts for thirty percent of all household waste. Two-thirds of that percentage is food packaging! 

Common Soil Seed Library and City Sprouts

The Omaha Public Library system offers a Common Soil Seed Library along with classes that are available year-round.

City Sprouts is another incredible local resource for gardening. Their main goal is to educate people of all ages to raise their own food.

They offer events and workshops like Little Sprouts’ experiences for young gardeners as well as a weekly CommuniTea for families during the winter months. I highly recommend this amazing resource!

Reuse Everything You Can

As recycling outlets become more limited, finding new ways to reuse everything life leaves behind becomes a priority. That is why I created a list for ways to reuse almost every last piece of trash your family creates. 

Think Before You Buy

second handOverconsumption is a lot of the “why” behind the zero-waste movement. The things we want or even feel like we need are not necessary. Borrowing or consignment shopping is a means to acquire possessions. Omaha has many possibilities for secondhand shopping. Here is a link to many of them.

As long as you’re reducing, you’re heading toward zero-waste!

If there is more than a mason jar of trash at the end of the year, it is not a failure. We aren’t perfect, but we can continue to try. If we try a little to reduce our landfill contributions, our children have a better chance of enjoying nature as we do now.

About the Author

Julie M. Smith is a green-living blogger for natural-minded moms at Go, Green Mamas. She formally studied environmental toxins in-depth for a year in order to bring moms the most accurate information. This blogger is a mom to two little girls and wife to her tech-support guy. When she’s not writing, she enjoys travel, culture, and wandering charming neighborhoods.

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