Zero Waste Body Butters to Make or Buy

Zero waste body butters and lotions in compostable, reusable, or recyclable containers | Litterless

May is a time to remember that I do, in fact, have skin under all those layers of winter clothing. That feet will not always be shod in socks, and that short-sleeve shirts will allow elbows to once again move freely. In short, it's a time to dig up some thick salves and body butters, if only as a way to remember that during all those months when it was 99% covered for 99% of the day I did, still, have a body.

Sometimes I make my own balms and butters, but more often lately I've been buying some from companies who package theirs in compostable or recyclable containers, like tins or cardboard tubes. Below, some notes on both ends of the make/buy spectrum:


-My favorite homemade body butter is still this one, which is a concoction of a few different solid ingredients whipped together into a light-as-air cream. It leaves a bit of a greasy feeling on your skin for a while, so it's best to use a very small amount or to have a set of pajamas to put on afterwards that you don't mind getting slightly, ah, ruined. It's also good for feet under a pair of thick socks.

-I've also been known to love an oil-and-beeswax based homemade salve, which is something I usually just wing, combining half olive oil and half beeswax in a double boiler with a few drops of essential oils until I like the consistency. If you've never made one before, this famed recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs is easy to adapt and a good place to start.

-Either of the above can be poured into whatever clean, empty container you'd like to reuse: perhaps a saved lip balm tin, a glass jar, or something bought especially for the purpose. They're satisfying recipes for refilling an empty balm container bought elsewhere after the original runs out. I poured a recent small batch of mine into the tiny unlabeled glass jar pictured second from right, which was one I saved from something-or-other that ran out earlier this year.

Zero waste body butters and lotions in compostable, reusable, or recyclable containers | Litterless


-S.W. Basics: I've been a fan of S.W. Basics since learning about founder Adina Grigore's approach to natural beauty when I first read her book a few years ago. Their products all have a super-short, super-clean ingredients list and come in glass or metal containers; their reputation for being the cleanest beauty brand out there is well-deserved. They make a three-ingredient unscented cream that I really love (you can test out the $10 mini version to make sure you love it, too). It comes in a glass jar, which I'll re-use or donate once I run out. 

-Mes Amies Soaps: The one-woman powerhouse behind Mes Amies Soaps sent me a tin of her flora body balm, handmade in small batches in her traveling studio van (truly!). I would say that I haven't been able to stop smelling it if that didn't sound like such a cliche - it smells deeply botanical and spring-like. (Plus, it clocks in at an affordable $7).

-Dulse and Rugosa: The mother-daughter duo behind Dulse & Rugosa turns botanical ingredients into bath and beauty products made by hand at their studio in Maine. I wrote about their vegan body butter in this post last month, but as a quick recap: it's flower-strewn and luscious. I love it.

-Fillaree: Fillaree products are handmade in North Carolina with zero waste in mind While their main offering is a line of refillable home cleaning products, they also make a few beauty products, like their body butter. I haven't tried it myself, but when the owner Alyssa told me that she takes the jars back by mail for reuse (though you'll need to supply your own mailer), I was sold.

-Meow Meow Tweet: These guys make all-natural, cheerfully printed bath and beauty products in the United States (I was excited to learn recently that the cardboard tubes that some of their products come in are made right here in Chicago). Their repair balm comes in a compostable tube, uses candelilla wax in lieu of beeswax so is a great choice for strict vegan folks, and smells just the right level of medicinal.

Favorite balms? Favorite containers for balms? Favorite recipes? Thoughts on any of the above? I'd love to hear.

Make or Buy is a series that acknowledges that sometimes we want to make things ourselves, and sometimes we want to buy them in compostable or recyclable containers. More in the series, here. A few of the balms shown here were sent to me to review for this post.

Nothing New: Air-Drying Clothing

How to air dry your clothing without buying anything new | Litterless

Quarters loom large in the life of this apartment-dweller. A pair of quarters received as change from a cup of tea is a step closer to that week's laundry; rolls of quarters from the bank are housed incongruously with more typical cleaning supplies like laundry detergent and rags.

This is all to say: where I can save 'em, I save 'em. Using the dryer as little as possible when doing laundry is one way to do so. In addition to smoothing out the minor inconveniences of quarter-based communal washing machines, air drying clothing also helps items last longer, uses less energy, and means one fewer trip down to the basement dungeon where my building's machines reside. 

I don't air-dry exclusively: I do typically dry sheets and towels in the dryer, and when I buy secondhand clothing I make sure to wash it in cold water and then dry it on hot before wearing it the first time. And of course it's easier to manage air-drying in a household of one or two people than, say, in a household of five or six. But those exceptions aside, air drying has been, for me at least, convenient and easy and a semi-enjoyable household task.

I have three drying racks (pictured here): two bought new, and one acquired several years ago from a friend moving away from the city. Storing them is a pain - even in their collapsed state, they're bulky - but I use them all regularly enough to warrant keeping a shelf in my coat closet permanently devoted to them.

However, there are a few ways to commit to air drying without buying a single thing:

-Hang wet clothing on hangers. Clothing can often come off a collapsible rack with a fold down the middle where it hung over the rod. This makes drying racks perfect for things like towels, napkins, pillowcases, socks, and exercise shirts, and less ideal for everyday clothing. The latter I tend to hang on hangers and either put back in the closet (in a cleared area where each piece of clothing will have enough breathing room to dry) or placed on my shower rod (as shown above). Since you already own hangers, you already have what you need to air dry at least some of your clothing. This also means fewer items you have to put away, since once dry they're already on hangers. Magical.

-Put up a clothesline. It can be permanent or removable, indoors or outdoors. If you have a length of cord and two hooks, you have all you need to make a simple clothesline. If you're missing one of those elements, consider asking a friend - likely someone has what you need lurking in a basement or mudroom.

-Make use of existing towel racks and hooks. It's helpful to get over the notion that you have to air dry everything in order to have an impact. If you do three loads of laundry and air dry one, it's still an environmental boon, especially when you think about that impact multiplied out over the next decade. There are already many places in your home to hang damp laundry if you approach the matter creatively. Throw a sheet over the shower rod, let a wet towel dry on the towel rack in your bathroom, hang up a damp tea towel in your kitchen where you usually hang a dry one. Depending on how many surfaces you cover, this might impede your normal routines slightly, but I've never found it to be too bothersome.

Other ideas for making line-drying simpler? What do you use?

Nothing New is a series to explore ways to go zero waste without buying anything new. Read more posts on the matter, here.

Where to Donate Rubber Bands

Where to donate rubber bands for a zero waste home | Litterless

I'm giving up my beloved apartment next month, moving to a yet-to-be-determined new space (more on that later). Long store short: cue the decluttering. It's well-known that the question "Do I want to have to move this?" is a kick in the pants like no other, so with that in mind, I've been taking some time to clear out the backs of drawers, cull my closet a bit, and just generally pare down things not worth bringing to my next home.

Which brings me to rubber bands. As a child, rubber bands were a treasure, a step on the road to fulfilling dreams of making a record-breaking-sized rubber band ball. As an adult, I've found them both completely useful and then completely useless. Essential for holding together the bundle of kale I pick up at the grocery... and then what? I don't buy much packaged food any more, so their kitchen utility has plummeted to nil. Nor, of course, can I throw them away. Instead, they accumulate in the back of my silverware drawer in a brightly-colored heap, until something like an impending move spurs me to action.

Except for the fact that they land in a pile unused, the rubber bands that come home with me on greens and herbs and other things are fairly harmless. They're smaller than the plastic twist-tie with a plastic tag that bundles up some leafy greens, and more useful, too. Still, what is a zero waste blog if not an esoteric deep-dive into ways to avoid making trash out of small, daily types of items?

The only way to truly avoid the rubber bands that come on grocery goods is, I think, to shop at a farmers' market and ask the farmer right then and there if you can take the band off and give it back to them for reuse. During a Midwest winter, this isn't a method that I can wholly rely on: hence, they pile up.

Yesterday, I gathered up all that I could find and plopped them in a glass jar, ready to be donated. In that spirit, I thought it might be helpful to share my ideas for where to take them to be reused. Mostly, I just wanted to hear what you have to say on what you do with yours, too.

Where to donate rubber bands for a zero waste home | Litterless

A few ideas for where to take them:

-Ask around at the farmers' market. My local farmers' market is incredibly busy on weekends, so I haven't mustered up the courage to corner someone at one of the vegetable stands to ask if they could use a jar of reused rubber bands. I tend to wonder if their packing operations rely on having ones of only a similar size and shape, at any rate. If I don't return the band on the spot, chances are I won't bring it back to the market. But I applaud any of you who do!

-Stock your office supply cupboard. This is what I used to do with mine, but I was skeptical if they would actually end up getting reused. What do people do with rubber bands in an office setting, truly? And will they pick through the rubber band box to find the ones not printed with the word "kale" on them? Assuming so, I cast about for a different solution.

-Give 'em to a creative reuse center. Also known as secondhand craft supply stores, these spots specifically accept donations of used school, art, and office supplies. People can then come buy the supplies they need, like picking up a jar of secondhand rubber bands rather than purchasing a brand-new bag of them at an office supply store. My local spot here in Chicago is where I'll be taking this jar of rubber bands later this week.

-Find a school classroom in need of them. This is where I wanted to hear from you: any teachers out there able to chime in? Are rubber bands something you use in art projects or other school work? Are donations helpful, or are they not needed? I'd love to hear.

More ideas for using up or passing along rubber bands? Do you collect yours? What do you do with them?

Packing a Zero Waste Travel Kit

Packing for a zero waste trip with low-waste travel gear | Litterless

This post is sponsored by MATTER, makers of ethically produced clothing and accessories that are hand-printed and naturally-dyed.

A mental checklist of the things I bring with me when traveling or leaving the house often looks something like: Water bottle, cloth napkin, reusable fork, handkerchief, produce bag, compost container, menstrual cup. If staying zero waste while out and about means endlessly digging around in the bottom of my purse for the aforementioned items, I'm not sure I'm cut out for this. (Kidding. Though I do hate digging around in the bottom of my purse). But the fact that I do travel with more gear in tow now that I'm trying to reduce my reliance on disposable goods is ineluctable.

Packing for a zero waste trip with low-waste travel gear | Litterless

Thanks to MATTER, I've finally found one solution to keeping everything a bit neater. MATTER makes clothing and accessories with a focus on sustainability: both for their workers (they're transparent about their relationships with the folks in India who block-print and stitch their clothing) and for the environment (they use natural fibers like cotton and linen, emphasize printing and dyeing with natural or toxin-free dyes, and make classics that are designed to last). 

They sent me a set of their travel pouches to test out on my recent trip, and since getting these two zippered bags into my clutches, they've hardly left my side. I'm not saying you need a dedicated pouch for holding some of your travel essentials, but I am saying it's been helpful for me of late. Here's how I've thought about using mine to corral a few zero waste essentials - and just life essentials - for traveling:

Packing for a zero waste trip with low-waste travel gear | Litterless

In the larger of the two pouches, I put together a set of the items I typically use when I'm out and about. I laid out a small cotton towel for drying my hands after washing (in lieu of paper towels), my well-worn linen napkin with a metal fork plucked from my kitchen drawer tucked inside, a reusable silicone bag for holding any bits of pieces of compost made throughout the day, a produce bag for grabbing a croissant or an apple or a bagel, a handkerchief, and a mini tin of homemade lip balm.

These are pretty much my essentials - yours may look different, and certainly I could pare these down to a smaller selection. (But then I'd probably need the item I took out, and regret not bringing it). Together, they cover most of the situations I encounter. I used to throw all of these pell-mell into my bag, making for a cluttered mess at the bottom: a fork that often came unwrapped and got dirty, a napkin that collected the crumbs that inevitably sink to the bottom of a bag. With the help of this zippered pouch, it was nice to keep them all in one spot, clean, and intact. Plus, having them all tucked away together means I can easily throw this pouch in whatever bag I'm carrying that day, instead of having to painstakingly gather every item afresh. HELPFUL.

Packing for a zero waste trip with low-waste travel gear | Litterless

In the smaller of the two pouches, I pulled together a small kit of airplane essentials. Plane trips are similarly afflicted by the whole pawing-around-in-my-bag-looking-for-a-tiny-item thing, and having a dedicated space to keep headphones, a toothbrush and small pot of toothpaste, a glass jar of hand balm, a handkerchief, and an eye mask is a much more convenient solution.

Packing for a zero waste trip with low-waste travel gear | Litterless

You can find these pouches in a set of two or in a set of three. I chose the gold, but all of MATTER's block prints are striking and lovely.

What do you bring when you're traveling? Items I missed, or items I've left out? Are you already hip to the whole pouch-using system?

This post is sponsored by MATTER. Thank you for supporting Litterless.

Secondhand Wardrobe: Activewear

How to shop for secondhand activewear and exercise gear | Litterless

Spring has finally - finally - arrived in Chicago, and after one of my first outdoor runs of the season yesterday, my thoughts turned to what I reach for these days when pulling on exercise apparel. 

Everyone exercises differently, so of course I mean only to share my own philosophy, not dictate one for you. I mostly do a mix of yoga, pilates, and running. For the former two, I wear leggings, a sports bra, and a cotton sleeveless tank. For running, my attire depends on the season of course, but I usually wear athletic shorts, a sports bra, and whatever old high school or college t-shirt comes first to hand.

The rule I try to keep to for purchasing activewear is: if I'm buying it secondhand, it can be synthetic. If I'm buying it new, it should be mostly made from natural fibers. Because synthetics are made from plastic, tiny microfibers shed from clothing in the washing machine and enter the water stream, winding up in drinking water, fish bellies, and many other places they shouldn't be.

Whether you can make space in your wardrobe for a few pieces of cotton workout apparel to replace synthetics depends on your feelings about wicking materials. You may be devoted to them, in which case, congratulations: the majority of secondhand sportswear out there is made of these quick-dry types of fabrics. You'll be walking into a bonanza of wonderful options.

If you're hoping to phase out a few of your synthetic pieces and replace them with cotton, the secondhand market is a bit harder to navigate. I either purchase these pieces new, or repurpose apparel from other categories where cotton is more commonly used. For example, most of my yoga shirts are secondhand sleeveless tops like this one - not officially intended for exercise, but perfectly suited to it nevertheless. Many of my yoga leggings are pulled not from the rack of exercise gear, where synthetics abound, but from a selection meant for everyday wear, where cotton is more common.

Cotton without any elastic or spandex tends not to hold its shape, instead fitting more loosely than cotton with synthetic fibers added for stretch. So while you'll find that t-shirts are often one hundred percent cotton, fitted apparel like leggings and sports bras tend to have at least a small percentage of synthetic fibers to allow them to mold to your shape when wearing them. Still much better than nothing, I say.

Below, where I look for secondhand exercise gear, and a few brands to keep an eye on. (Note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links).

How to shop for secondhand activewear and exercise gear | Litterless

Secondhand options

As usual, I recommend ThredUp, Poshmark, and your local secondhand stores as good places to start your search. Look for the brands you already like and know work for you. For me, I search out secondhand sleeveless tanks by Everlane, mostly-cotton leggings from any brand, and sports bras by Patagonia. Although I'm always open to a stellar find from another source, I don't want to spend all of my days seeking out secondhand athletic wear. Knowing what I like, and searching mostly for that, helps narrow the field and speed up the task.

A few specific places to consider searching:

-Patagonia WornWear: Though their selection tends to fall more on the spectrum of outerwear and travelwear than activewear, this is a good place to look for used Patagonia items - you'll find jackets, shorts, vests, backpacks, and lots more for whatever activity suits your fancy. Items are sold directly by Patagonia, not an individual seller, so you can trust that they'll be fairly clean and of useable quality.

-REI Used: Find secondhand outerwear and sportswear, especially great for camping and hiking enthusiasts looking to replenish their supply. They sell more than clothing as well, like tents, shoes, yoga mats, foam rollers, and more. REI checks over each item before re-selling it, ensuring that though your purchase is secondhand, it's still high-quality.

-eBay: The place to turn to when you're in the market for especially specific secondhand pieces, or for sports items beyond clothing. Since no one is checking the quality the way they are on sites like Patagonia's and REI's, carefully reading the description and peering closely at the photos helps ensure that you'll get an item in good condition.

-Local secondhand sports stores: Growing up, the one near me was called Play-It-Again-Sports. There might be a similar option near you, too. These local spots tend to emphasis gear over clothing, so search for balls, rackets, nets, and all manner of sport-y things. Bonus: this is especially great for finding deals on gear when you're tired of constantly buying your kid a larger tennis racket as they grow.

If you play a sport or prefer an activity with a specific set of gear or clothing, of course, where you look will be different. I'm not sure I've ever seen a rack of secondhand swimsuits, for example, but my partner Julian is a cyclist and often sells and buys secondhand jerseys online (he recommends eBay).

How to shop for secondhand activewear and exercise gear | Litterless

New Options

In case secondhand exercise clothing skeeves you out - understandable - or you can't find things you like, a few brands to turn to to for new gear:

-Conscious Clothing: Working in Michigan with natural fibers, these folks make lots of different types of clothes, including exercise basics that don't scream exercise. They generously sent me a pair of their leggings and sports bras to test out - pictured here - and the cotton feels cool and comfortable against my skin; I also love the unconventional shape of the sports bra. For yoga enthusiasts especially, this is a lovely place to shop for ethical, made-in-the-USA sportswear.

-Patagonia: Whether new or secondhand, I try to prioritize buying from these guys. When you no longer need your Patagonia garment, they'll take it back for resale, repair, or recycling. Plus, a portion of their profits goes to protecting wild lands. Many of their items are made from synthetic plastic fibers, but a few are made from natural materials.

-Pansy: Their pieces are sewn in California from fabric with a 90% cotton content, and are pricey but pretty. (Like these leggings and this sports bra). 

-Everlane: A good spot for affordable cotton basics; many of their cotton and linen tanks would do dual duty as exercise gear (and are easy to find secondhand on ThredUp); their recently launched cotton bras have a sports-bra vibe that could be a good option.

-Girlfriend Collective: Though the cute tops and leggings here are synthetic, they're made from 80% recycled plastic. If wicking material is your jam and secondhand shopping is not, this is a good possibility for you. I'll be looking for a secondhand version of this pretty set; in the past, I've bought a few pairs of their black leggings on ThredUp. (If you're interested in buying a brand-new piece, you can get $10 off using this link, if you'd like).

Since winning a perfection prize isn't the goal, do whatever you need to do to exercise comfortably and happily - even if that means you don't have a single piece of secondhand gear in your arsenal. In that case, your focus can turn to maintaining your clothing's longevity: scrupulously taking care of your swimsuit, goggles, watch, climbing shoes, or whatever you use most.

Questions? Suggestions? Other brands doing good work in the athletic wear space?

Multipurpose Beauty from Dulse & Rugosa

Zero waste, sustainable beauty from Dulse & Rugosa | Litterless

This post is sponsored by Dulse & Rugosa, makers of handcrafted bath and beauty products at their studio in Maine.

I’m not a bathroom minimalist: step inside the bathroom of my small apartment, and you’ll find shelves piled a bit precariously with various potions and unguents. Most are in glass jars, sure, and many are homemade, but they’re there nonetheless. Because sometimes I want to use body lotion, and sometimes body butter. Sometimes eucalyptus bath salts sound just right, and sometimes I want to pour in some homemade lemon-scented bath oil. Some days a pink clay mask seems called for, and other days a green tea clay mask. My philosophy is: I can keep on hand as many things as I want, but I have to make sure to use them all up. No throwing out half-empty containers of lotion or letting a shampoo lurk in the back of the cabinet until it gets too old to use.

When traveling, though, minimalism in the bath and beauty department is something to aspire to. When one item can serve several purposes, it frees up suitcase space and means I can have the joy of traveling just a little bit lighter. So on my recent trip to London, I brought along a shampoo bar and tin of body butter from Dulse & Rugosa, to see how many different types of uses I could find for each. And just like being a bathroom maximalist at home, being more minimalist on the road proved a pleasure.

Zero waste, sustainable beauty from Dulse & Rugosa | Litterless

Dulse & Rugosa is a line of handcrafted bath and beauty products made in Maine by mother-daughter duo Claire and Carly. Their soaps and salves are packed with botanical products that they grow and harvest themselves on Gotts Island, a small island off the coast of Maine. You’ll find things filled with nourishing seaweed, flower extracts, and herbs. Each is handcrafted and made in small batches, so the parcel that comes to your door will be bursting with ingredients that feel fresh and vibrant.

For my trip, I packed their seaweed-rich shampoo bar in this rust-proof travel tin, plus a tin of their vegan body butter. The former comes in paper packaging that I recycled before popping it into the reusable tin, which is sold separately. The latter came in a metal tin that, once empty, I can refill with something the next time I travel, use as a container for my own kitchen beauty experiments, or pass along to a friend in need of a travel soap tin.

Zero waste, sustainable beauty from Dulse & Rugosa | Litterless

Then came the moment of truth: I’ve always been curious about shampoo bars, but haircare can be such a tricky thing to get right, so I’d never tried them. But they’re so appealing for bringing on a trip, since there’s no chance of them spilling all over your suitcase, and you won’t have to wedge them into the increasingly full ziploc bag of liquids in your carry-on. Eager to give the bar a try but still wary, I found Dulse & Rugosa’s instructions on switching to a shampoo bar to be really helpful. Namely: be patient and experiment.

A great thing about bringing their shampoo bar as opposed to a liquid version is that it can easily double as a bar of soap (and I’m all about bringing my own soap to avoid plastic-packaged versions at hotels, if need be). A shampoo bar can work for hand washing, as body wash, and even to create suds for doing laundry in the sink, in a pinch.

Zero waste, sustainable beauty from Dulse & Rugosa | Litterless

Like the shampoo bar, their body butter more than earned its keep. The vegan formula comes flower-strewn and feels light as air, with a whipped texture that’s incredibly pleasant to dip your fingers into. A little goes a long way, and I used it after showering before padding around in slippers and a robe for a bit to let it fully sink in. Like the shampoo bar, it works for much more than its intended use: it’s a wonderful body lotion, of course, but also serves as a hand cream, lip balm, flyaway-tamer, and possibly more. Instead of traveling with a jar of body lotion and a small pot of lip balm, it was nice to have one product that could be both.

Multipurpose zero waste beauty products from Dulse & Rugosa | Litterless

Dulse & Rugosa also makes other things, of course. You can peruse their website for more Maine-made goodness, like shaving soap, body oil, and nourishing balms like this one. (Next up, I’d be eager to try this lovely-looking sleep balm). And, if you’d like, you can take 15% off your purchase at their online shop using the code “litterless” through the end of May.

Do you have a few favorite products that do double (or triple) duty, at home or while traveling?

This post is sponsored by Dulse & Rugosa; all thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting Litterless and the companies who are working toward a more zero waste world.

Travel Tip: Keep Your Transit Card

Zero Waste Travel Tip: Keep your transit card | Litterless

You won’t hear me saying that staying zero waste is the only – or even the best – way to reduce your environmental impact while traveling. (And good thing, too, because staying zero waste while traveling can be tricky). For example, eating most meals in restaurants can be a food waste bonanza, so I try to be realistic about what I order, even if I’m dying to try most everything on the menu.

Another saving grace for both my wallet and my conscience is trying to rely on public transportation whenever possible. Of course, not all locales have a good enough transit system to make this feasible, but many do, especially big cities: there’s BART in the Bay Area, trains and buses in Seattle, SEPTA in Philadelphia, MTA in New York, the Underground in the UK, the CTA here in Chicago, and so many others.

Most public transportation services give you the option to buy either a single-use ticket or a reloadable plastic card. The single-use tickets, while typically made of paper, aren’t always recyclable: they tend to be plastic-coated, are often printed on paper containing BPA, and usually have a magnetic or metal strip that makes them difficult or impossible to recycle into another type of paper. This may be one instance in which choosing the version made of plastic, which can be used again and again, is actually the better choice long-term.

Zero Waste Travel Tip: Keep your transit card | Litterless

Choosing the reloadable plastic card keeps all those individual paper tickets out of the landfill, but recently I’ve been taking things a step further and making an effort to hold on to my plastic card once the trip is over. There are some cities I return to again and again: New York, San Francisco. For these, keeping the card tucked away in a drawer and pulling it out again in a few years for my next trip makes perfect sense.

There are other cities for which the idea of going back before the card expires seems like a long shot. For this, my friend Ann recently texted me with a brilliant solution: lend those cards to friends headed to that city. As long as you haven’t connected the transit card to your credit card or bank account (usually done by registering the card online), your friend should be able to use it just fine, adding their own money at a kiosk once they arrive. And once they’ve borrowed it, it’s your call: do you want it back, in case you travel there again? Or do you want to ask them to pass it along to the next friend heading that direction?

If all else fails, you can look for a gift card recycling program for any extra plastic transit passes. But starting a little borrowing club among your pals or your local zero waste community keeps old cards out of the landfill, reduces the demand (however slightly) for brand-new cards to be made, and means that maybe you’ll get to use the remaining $5 left on your friend’s transit card that would otherwise be wasted.

Would you do this? Have you?