UI/UX & Visual Design

Thoughts On

Design ∙ Sustainable Living ∙ Business


Reduce Before You Buy (ZeroWaste)


Since I moved to Arizona to be with Pankaj aka my other half, we have both been 100x more conscious about the amount of waste we produce. Lately, the more I buy the more aware i’ve been that we throw out so much stuff, typically thinking it just disappears, but fully knowing that’s not the case. So now when we go to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Sprouts, we buy with awareness. Before grabbing those baby carrots, we look to see what else is available that doesn’t include plastic, and doesn’t harm the environment. I was so happy to see at WholeFoods that they are now carrying bulk carrots, meaning without rubber bands or plastic.

About a year ago, I stopped buying produce with the tiny, plastic bags because I was more concerned about how many bags I was wasting and fully knowing how I was going to clean them, then who and what had touched them before me. Now, I’ve noticed many others doing the same. YAY!

How can all of us start reducing our waste (including food)? Start slow, but not too slow. Here’s a list Pankaj and I have come up with so far that we do on a daily basis, and some of the goals we will be hitting in the near future:

  1. Portion Control - If you know yourself and you don’t typically eat everything on your plate, order less, or make smaller portions, or save some for later (in your glass container).

  2. Reusable bags - Make sure to bring those reusable bags to the store (and not just the grocery store), like your life depends on it! You also have two arms & hands, hold your purchases if you have a small load.

  3. Reusable containers - Go to the coffee shop a lot? Rock that cute mug you just got at the local makers market or that cheeky mason jar from the thrift shop. Skip adding that plastic lid to your coffee, and just drink it (snap it’s headshot real quick tho) and be productive already! Same goes with water, filter it and sip. There’s some stylish flasks out there these days - Hydroflask, Yetti, Swell, Hay (Danish design!), etc.

  4. Compost - Do you live in an apartment or don’t have time to grow a garden? Find your local compost site or ask a friend who composts and share your food waste (maybe you can even work out a deal with your friend).

While writing this, I realized, you may have to start eating healthier because most of the shitty food we buy comes in plastic bags, containers, or styrofoam. 

Turns out some of the “recyclable” materials our food comes in isn’t actually recyclable after we eat it, like pizza boxes (guilty), and peanut butter jars, and other items like envelopes with plastic windows, and brightly colored paper. These items all turn into CONTAMINATION. 

It’s our job to be aware and reduce before we buy 

I am def not perfect, so let’s help keep each other accountable for this and share ideas! The more people show they care make impacts to those around them, and the circle of life continues.