Heat wave alert!

California is having a heat wave today and tomorrow. Around San Jose, it’s supposed to get up to 102°F or so! Whew! It’s time to take extreme evasive maneuvers, which means camping out in air-conditioned buildings!

J and I rarely use the air conditioning (or heat, for that matter). My preference is to leave the windows open at night to bring in the cool air or just tough it out if it’s too warm. If it’s too hot to sleep (usually > 83°F), we turn the AC on for a few hours before going to bed. If it’s too hot during the day even for sitting at a computer, though, I would rather just go somewhere else.

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How to go low-waste in the bathroom

This includes bathing and skin-care, mostly.


  1. Use less shampoo. For example, focus on shampooing your scalp rather than the length of your hair.
  2. Shampoo less often. If you shampoo every day, try every other day, then every third day. You’ll find that you can go a whole week with no shampoo!.
  3. Buy shampoo that comes in a returnable, refillable, or glass bottle.
  4. Buy your shampoo in bulk (and bring your own container) if you have a extensive bulk store nearby.
  5. Make your own shampoo. This can be as simple as using bar soap or liquid soap on your hair, or you could make really fancy concoctions.
  6. Go low or no ‘poo. There are many alternative haircare routines that generate less (plastic) waste, are cheaper, and are better for you.
  7. Take navy showers. Only have the water on to get yourself wet and to rinse.
  8. Make your own exfoliating scrub. A classic is sugar and/or baking soda in oil. Commercial scrubs often contain plastic microbeads, which aren’t removed in the water treatment process and end up polluting the environment.
  9. Use a washcloth, bath brush, natural loofah (compostable) in place of plastic loofahs (those mesh scrubby things).
  10. Use less soap on your body. Soap up less often. The oils you’re taking off keep your skin moisturized.
  11. Use bar soap for washing your hands and body in place of body wash and liquid soap. Bar soap can be bought loose (no packaging) or in paper, which can be easily recycled.
  12. Use oil as lotion. But if you’re using it on your face, make sure to check comeodogenic ratings first. These tell you how likely an ingredient is to cause acne. The lower the number, the better.
  13. Use a menstrual cup and cloth menstrual pads (or use prescription birth control to get rid of your period).
  14. Use a straight razor of double-edge razor instead of a disposable razor or razor with disposable heads. Here’s help to get you started!
  15. As always, don’t use disposables. Question if you really need that disposable item. If you do, then see if you can find a reusable replacement.

It’s been so long since I de-wastified my shower and skincare routines that it’s hard for me to think of suggestions for this. If you have any questions, like what to replace a particular product with, just ask!

10+ intermediate tips to help you produce less waste

Here are some more tips you can use to reduce the amount of waste you produce! Please start with this post for simpler, and more beginner-friendly tips.

These tips are more difficult, simply because you can’t just swap out a reusable product for a disposable one. These require behavioral change (which is hard!). But do your best! You may find some of these simple to adopt. Continue reading “10+ intermediate tips to help you produce less waste”

10+ easy things you can do to produce less waste

It can seem really daunting to try to reduce the amount of waste you produce. The extremes are so extreme: hoarders at one end, and the (unreachable) goal of zero waste at the other. Instead of trying to be perfect right from the beginning, make small changes that will have a big impact in your life! You’ll likely find that a majority of your trash is generated from just a few activities; if you can reduce the waste associated with those activities, your overall trash production will go down a lot!

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How to unsubscribe from junk mail

Junk mail is really annoying and wastes a ton of resources. Streamline your life and save yourself some time by unsubscribing from mailings you’re not interested in.


DMAchoice (junk mail)

National Do Not Mail list (junk mail)

Catalogue Choice (unsubscribe from specific catalogues)

OptOutPrescreen (pre-approved credit card offers; will need to provide your Social Security number since that’s how credit is organized)

General junk mail info

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