What it’s like to live a zero-waste lifestyle as an influencer

Lauren Singer says she’s been living a zero-waste lifestyle for the past decade. She shared with Insider how she spends a typical Saturday in her home in New York City.

Lauren Singer in a package-free shop

Lauren Singer at her store, Package Free.

Courtesy of Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer told Insider that she began living a zero-waste lifestyle in 2012 when she realized that her values—taking care of the planet—didn’t align with her actions.

“I thought that caring was enough, but it turns out that my lifestyle was creating damage and contributing to the systems that I was actively talking about fighting,” she said of her decision to create less waste.

In 2014, she started Trash for Tossers, a blog about her experience transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle.

Three years later, she founded Package Free, a store full of products that support a sustainable lifestyle. The products minimize packaging in design and are made from materials that can either be reused, refilled, composted or recycled.

That same year, she posted a video on her blog sharing that the last four years of her trash fit into a 16-ounce mason jar.

When she wakes up around 7:30 a.m., Singer brushes her teeth with a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush and toothpaste she made herself.

Toothbrush routine without waste

Courtesy of Lauren Singer

Singer said she usually starts her day brushing her teeth with toothpaste she makes herself from coconut oil, baking soda and essential oils, a recipe she’s shared with her 359,000 followers on Instagram.

Then it’s time for coffee. Singer said she buys whole roasted coffee beans in bulk and uses a French press to brew her java in the morning.

Lauren Singer pours hot water into a French press full of coffee

Singer makes coffee using a French press.

Courtesy of Lauren Singer

Singer said she buys coffee beans in bulk and grinds them fresh every morning.

While she waits for the coffee to brew, she takes her dog, Rose, out to use the bathroom.

Between 08.00 and 09.00 Singer drops the compost at a local composting site.

Lauren Singer takes her compost to a local site

Singer takes food scraps to a compost bin.

Courtesy of Lauren Singer

Singer said she puts the compostable in a paper bag and puts the bag in a reusable bag before going to the site.

When she gets home, Singer Rose makes her weekly meal using chicken, zucchini, apples, carrots and potatoes.

Lauren Singer cooks food for her dog

Singer makes chicken soup for her dog, Rose.

Courtesy of Lauren Singer

Singer said she boils the chicken and vegetables to make broth and puts Rose’s food in a stainless steel container that will last a week in the refrigerator.

Chicken for Rose is the only animal product she buys, she told Insider.

Ultimately, Singer said her day-to-day isn’t that different from anyone else’s. She only makes conscious choices about what she buys and consumes and prioritizes recycling and composting.

Side by side photos by Lauren Singer

Singer pictured with a year’s worth of trash (L) and a sign outside her store (R).

Courtesy of Lauren Singer

Singer said anyone can implement environmentally conscious changes in their lifestyle by assessing the areas of their lives where their trash comes from and making adjustments to reduce it.

“The average American makes four and a half pounds of trash per day, so anything to get closer to zero has a positive impact,” she said.

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