I’m a Sustainability Expert, And Here’s How to Actually Reduce Your Waste At Home

Over the last few years, we've watched sustainability experts and influencers shift toward the low- and  zero-waste lifestyle.

And it makes sense as to why: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an average American produces about six pounds of trash a day, which is over 2,000 pounds of trash per person, per year. (Is your jaw on the floor, too?)

But for us non-experts, going low waste sounds extremely intimidating—and there isn't a clear-cut starting line. To get the intel, Sophia Bush sat down with sustainability expert Jhanneu on our recent episode of Need to Know to share real, actionable ways you can reduce waste at home, even if you're still finding your footing with the eco-friendly way of life.

The first spot to scope out? The trash (yes, really).  "Looking in your trash kind of helps you determine where you're creating waste in the first place," she says. As Jhanneu started her own low-waste journey, she noticed an excess of food and plastic bags being thrown out. (*Feeling a little too seen right now*.)

After you identify what takes up most of your waste, Jhanneu's next target is the kitchen. Find reusable alternatives to your current plastic bag situation, but pro tip: If you already bought a bulk stash, use the rest of your bags, and then move onto an eco-friendlier option. Jhanneu's go-to are stasher bags, which are reusable silicone sandwich bags that are versatile, as well as dishwasher and microwave-safe. (A win-win.)

As for the food waste, start composting. (It's easier than you think.) Made dinner, but have a bunch of veggie scraps you'd regularly toss out? Grab a brown paper bag, stick it in your freezer, and once it's filled up, bring it to your next local farmers market, Jhanneu says.

At the end of the day, it's all about trying to find ways to bring in less, so you ultimately waste less. And that extends to all your spaces, even the car you drive. Hydrogen-powered with zero emissions (you heard it here, folks!), the Toyota Mirai is probably one of the most stylish sustainable practices you can take on this year.

Watch the video above for more tips on how to reduce waste at home, according to a sustainability expert.

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