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This woman kept seven years' worth of rubbish in one jar - and this is how

Waste not, want not.

03 Sep 2019

We all know the perils of taking the bins out. The awkward shimmy of trying to extract the bag, the moment it rips and releases the rotting remains of the week gone by, and, of course, bin juice. So, imagine how great it would be if you never had to take the bins out again because, well, you didn't produce any rubbish.

Meet Lauren Singer, who managed to condense seven years' worth of rubbish into one glass jar.

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7 years and going strong. This photo, taken by @hellaerwin years ago, doesn't look too dissimilar from what my jar looks like now! I get a lot of questions about what I still put in my jar, and the biggest things are the pieces of plastic that connect a price tag to a piece of clothing, produce stickers, and festival/concert bracelets. 👍 What are the items that you have hard a hard time avoiding on your path to reduce your waste?

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While she'd always been a fan of nature, it wasn't until she witnessed a class mate at university using single-use plastic cutlery, bottles and packaging every lunch break. Alarmed by the amount of waste produced, she vowed to go waste-free and attributes her success to four key lifestyle changes - and with zero waste week in full swing, there's never been a better time to follow her lead. Firstly, Lauren started composting her food waste rather than chucking it in the bin. Speaking on her Instagram page, she says "Composting is one of my favourite things to do!" and explains that because she lives in New York, she keeps her leftovers in a bowl in the freezer and empties it at the farmer's market at the weekend - a great solution if you don't have a garden.

Next, she avoids buying food products that comes in packaging, bringing her own storage to the farmer's market to restock directly, and buying loose fruit and vegetables.

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THIS is what waste free groceries look like: colorful, healthy and plastic-free! 😍 I love using these canvas bags from @packagefreeshop to shop for produce, grains and nuts. They're super helpful in keeping me waste-free and hold so many delicious food items, my fridge and pantry are stocked for days on end. 🥬🥦🍅 Tag me in your grocery shopping pictures and help show just how awesome waste free shopping can look! 🥰

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As well as ditching all food packaging, she also makes her own beauty and cleaning products. For her haircare, Lauren uses shampoo bars and freshly-cut aloe vera as conditioner, and has a four-item beauty regime consisting of homemade toothpaste, facial oil and deodorant. Plus, she uses natural ingredients like white vinegar and baking soda to whip up everything from toilet cleaner to surface spray.

These three lifestyle changes allowed Lauren to eliminate almost all her every day waste - and the rest, she keeps in the jar.

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Almost 6 years and counting!

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"I get a lot of questions about what I still put in the jar, and the biggest things are the piece of plastic that connect a price tag to clothing, produce stickers and festival/concert bracelets," she says on Instagram.

If you're thinking of going waste-free, check out our round up of eco-friendly beauty brands as well as the small steps towards going plastic-free you can take to get started today!