Thrive Market has been on a journey to zero waste since the beginning. But first: here’s a quick primer on what “zero waste” really means, because the phrase is actually a bit misleading. According to the EPA’s definition, for a company to be zero waste, it means 90 or 91 percent of material that comes into a facility must leave it in a sustainable way. The other nine or 10 percent can head to a landfill. At our HQ and fulfillment centers, Thrive Market diverts more than 90 percent of waste into a recycling stream, and we recently announced that our brand is now carbon neutral, thanks to a combination of renewable energy, efficiency improvements, and carbon credits. If becoming a zero-waste family sounds daunting, stick with us—you can make a lot of progress with just small changes to your daily routine.
What Is Low Waste?
We already tackled zero waste (which leaves room for some items to be thrown away), so here’s the scoop on low waste. If you choose a reusable form of something that’s traditionally single-use, such as straws, water bottles, and plastic bags, it’s considered low waste. By opting for stainless steel straws and glass food storage, you’re on your way to embracing a more low-waste lifestyle.
Benefits of Going Low-Waste
Going low waste has positive repercussions for both you and the environment. In your home, you can save money by purchasing fewer single-use items. Although it takes an initial investment to stock the kitchen with containers or get each family member a reusable water bottle, you can have confidence knowing these items will be used (and reused) for quite a while. On the environmental front, packaging alone represents about 65 percent of household trash, and reports suggest upwards of 500 million plastic straws are used every day. When you eliminate plastic straws, you help prevent this plastic from flowing into our oceans and waterways.
Tips for Low-Waste Living
There are a few easy swaps you can make now to help make low-waste living a daily habit.
- BYOS: Bring your own straw whenever you can—to the coffee shop, bar, or anywhere else that might offer a plastic straw in your drink. Alternatively, you can simply decline a straw if it’s offered.
- Buy in bulk: To avoid extra plastic, aim to buy some items in bulk. You can provide your own reusable bags, and will skip having to throw away a plastic tub or bag.
- Compost: Composting is a great way to help ensure your scraps are put to good use. Get started with a countertop bin, and check out our guide below for more tips.
Top Low-Waste Brands
Get to know some of the most sustainable brands on ThriveMarket.com, plus their most-loved products.
Founded in 2012, Bee’s Wrap offers an innovative alternative to plastic. Each washable wrap is handmade made from organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil, and serves as eco-friendly food storage.
Assorted Sandwich Wrap
Get a taste of what Bee’s Wrap has to offer with this convenient 3-pack. The set features a variety of sizes so you can wrap up snacks, sandwiches, cut lemons, cheese, and more.
Stasher started in 2005 as a way to encourage consumers to drop traditional single-use plastic bags and reach for reusable options instead. The brand’s signature silicone bags help keep plastic out of landfills, and they are 100% BPA-free, recyclable, and odorless.
Reusable Silicone Bag
Goodbye, single-use plastic bags. Hello, washable silicone. Stasher’s clear storage bags are a customer favorite and truly versatile. You can use this nontoxic bag to store travel gear, snacks, sandwiches, and yes, even cook in it! (Try it the next time you sous-vide, boil, or microwave veggies.)
To-Go Ware is all about convenience—especially when it comes to meals on the go. Whether you’re packing for school, work, or a long travel day, this brand has a stainless steel container that’s just right. Each tin is dishwasher safe for easy clean up, and helps reduce your plastic use.
2 Tier Stainless Steel Food Carrier
This stackable tiffin two-pack makes for a reusable lunchbox system you’ll love. (Bonus: the lid doubles as a plate if you need it).
Low-Waste Ideas for Your Home
Our blog is full of ideas for lowering your environmental impact at home.
Tips for Going Zero Waste at Home
Looking to live more sustainably? This blog post has tips for making your home more eco-friendly.
Composting Tips From Thrive Market
Don’t let being a composting newbie stop you from getting started. Our guide walks you through the benefits of composting, how to set up your pile, and what food items to add (and avoid) when you’re building it.
All About Recycling Numbers?
Confused about what recycling numbers mean? You’re not alone. Before you toss something, consult our article about what each number stands for, and some of the items typically included in each category.