Zero Waste Guide

The best local resources for reducing waste and its impact on the planet, and communities near and far.

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The land the Town of Dexter occupies is the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg – (including Odawa, Ojibwe and Boodewadomi) and Wyandot peoples.

Getting Started

Your Zero Waste Survival Kit…

There are a few things you can take with you that will open us a lot of zero waste options. These are just suggestions so feel free to customize your zero waste survival kit to fit your needs

Do your best not to make any new purchases while putting together your kit. For example you probably have cutlery at home you can bring along instead of buying a new “to-go” set. Most of these things you can find at home or at a second hand shop. Some of them you can even make!


Tupperware or Food Container

Essential for to-go food or getting things from a deli counter.


Reusable Bag

Comes in very handy, especially if you come across an unexpected zero waste store!


Cloth Napkin

Replaces tissue and paper napkins, can be used as a food container in a pinch.


Reusable Cutlery

For eating on the go, or if a restaurant is using disposable cutlery.


Cup or Mug

If you need a drink while out and about.


38% of Michigan’s Municipal Waste Is Biodegradable

Aside from not buying new things, making sure your food scraps get composted is likely the very best thing you can do to reduce your personal waste footprint. Here’s how to get composting in Ypsilanti:

Use the Share Waste app

Get connected with neighbors who want your food waste through the Share Waste app.

Start your own compost

If you have a yard you can consider making your own compost pile! Here’s a good intro how to video.

How do I transport compost?

We’ve found that if you need to keep compost in your home it’s best to freeze it in a bag. That also makes it easier to manage when you’re transporting it to your nearest compost.

Grocery Shopping

Build your zero waste shopping routine…

Food is where you will find the most friction when trying to reduce waste.

Get What YOu Can Close to home

Go to the store you tend to shop at and do a completely zero waste shopping trip. That way you know what you can reliably get without changing routine.

Find a great bulk Store

For the things you can’t get at your usual store you’ll need to find a specialty store that fills the gaps. Filter the map above to find your closest bulk store. 

Build in a Trip To The Market

If you can find a market close to home, or somewhere you visit often, it’s great to build a routine around market days. E.g. every Saturday go to the library, walk downtown, and pick up food from the market on the way home.