Zero Waste

A maker’s guide to creating with zero waste

What is the zero-waste movement?

The zero-waste movement is a lifestyle change with the intention being to completely eradicating plastics from the waste we throw away. In practical terms this means no plastic bags or packaging.

It sounds like a challenging task, but some people are managing it, and are proving to the rest of us that it is possible to live without creating a monumental plastic footprint.

Decrease of 3% household waste in 2019

In 2018 the total amount of household waste that ended up in landfills in Norway was 2190 000 tons. As interest has grown around pollution and waste, some have become more conscious of what they throw away. This has lead to a decrease of 3% in household waste in 2019. Should the general public follow and become as diligent as these select few, we could expect a much higher drop in the total waste produced. Now in 2020 there are food manufacturers like Gilde, Coop and even First Price products that are helping to combat the waste problem. Food is being packaged in smaller plastic containers or paper packaging. This is a small, but very important step to tackling this huge problem. Let’s hope that this can become a common practice in the future.

Creating with zero-waste

How can we apply the zero-waste methodology to our hobbies and small creative businesses? Is that even possible? Please feel free to comment below and share your ideas on how we can achieve this.

Here are some examples of creatives that are experimenting with making their products zero-waste.

Studio Safranek

Zero-waste soft toys. All fabric offcuts are used to fill these adorable toys.


Eco O'Clock

All natural ingredients and no plastics.


Mountain Roast Artisan Coffee

No waste – Full flavour artisan coffee from Stavanger



Plastic-free packaging handmade soap


GizUp Bags n' Bits

Upcycled denim bags, wall hangings, and other practical items.


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How to create with zero waste

There are simple steps that you can take to start to transition your creative business over to a more environmentally sustainable model. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • What are your waste materials?
  • What can you make/ use these waste materials for?
  • If you cannot use them yourself, are there other makers that work with these waste materials? Do they accept donations?
  • If you cannot use your waste materials or find a makers that would happily accept them, are there alternative materials that you can use that produce less waste?
  • Is your packaging plastic? Can you find or create packaging that is not plastic?
  • If your materials arrive in plastic or paper packaging, can you reuse this packaging in any way?
  • Follow the five R rule below


Say no to excessive packaging


Cut down on what you use and throw away


repurpose, reuse and buy second-hand


If you can’t avoid packaging, make sure to recycle it.


Make compost from your kitchen and garden waste

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