A woman who has become a TikTok sensation thanks to her eco-friendly lifestyle has shared her top tips to save money and the environment – including turning leftover wine into vinegar.
Kathryn Kellog from Maine, New England, US, has been a zero waste warrior since 2014, when doctors told her to limit her exposure to endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals found in household items.
The 30-year-old, who lives with her audio engineer husband, has spent the past seven years avoiding products including mouthwash, fabric softener and toothpaste.
She also no longer uses tampons, creates her own dry shampoo and has swapped store-bought shower gel for a homemade coffee granule body scrub.
With climate change at the forefront of people’s minds in 2022 – and many trying veganism in January – Kathryn has shared some of her tips on how to save both money and the environment.
“It might be surprising but I didn’t start going zero waste because I loved the planet,” the writer, who documents her journey on her blog Going Zero Waste, told Jam Press.
“It was out of financial necessity and for health reasons, making these changes coupled with switching out disposable products with reusable ones.
“For example, I swapped paper towels for cloth towels and it saved me a lot of money!
“It all clicked for me when I moved to California that the changes I was making for my personal health weren’t only better for me, they were also better for the planet.”
Since shunning single-use products in favour of DIY beauty and cleaning items, Kathryn claims her acne, mood swings and hormonal balance has improved.
Keen to get others on board, Kathryn shares eco-friendly advice with her 235,900 followers on TikTok.
In one video, she reveals a dry shampoo recipe made from cornstarch and cocoa powder, which she stores in an old salt and pepper shaker.
In another clip – which has been viewed 151,000 times – Kathryn reuses lemons to create a kitchen cleaner by letting the fruit soak in apple cider vinegar for a week.
She also reveals why you shouldn’t throw away scraps like potato peels – pop them in the oven instead and make crunchy snacks.
You can also use banana stems and peels to make cake.
Kathryn believes anyone can pick up eco-friendly habits and it’s easier to start than you might imagine – and you don’t need to give up meat completely either.
Start small and work your way up to the bigger goals.
She said: “”Living a zero waste lifestyle has saved me a lot of money, streamlined my time, and allowed me to be a happier person.
“It’s proven that focusing less on material objects and more on the things that truly matter in life makes you happier.
“To me, it’s just about wasting less and being a good steward of what I have.
“Buy fewer items. Use that last drop of shampoo. Upcycle your glass salsa jar to store leftovers.
“Reuse that promotional cotton tote until the straps fall off and then stitch them back on. Invest in products that will last a lifetime.
“Focus on timeless things that bring you joy rather than trends. Shop second-hand. Eat fewer animal products and more plants.
“And, remember it’s not about being perfect.”
Social media users have been quick to applaud Kathryn’s eco-friendly efforts and zero waste lifestyle.
“You’ve been so inspiring! I’ve adopted so many of your tips! I’m 59 so never too late to start zero waste living!” wrote one person.
Commenting on the video that sees Kathryn reusing lemons into kitchen cleaner another fan said: “Wait this is genius! Thanks for the tip”.
Another social media user commented: “Wow! Have to try this!”.
Others joked on her video explaining how to turn leftover wine into vinegar.
One Tiktoker said: “I don’t understand ‘leftover’ red wine…?”
“Leftover red wine? Sorry, in Italy we don’t have it”, another follower added.
Kathryn also points out that governments and companies need to do more to provide a “safe environment”.
She added: “We need to hold corporations and legislators accountable to ensure safe access to clean air, clean drinking water, and a safe environment for everyone.
“I started my blog because I wanted people to know they could save money, be healthier and be more eco-friendly.
“It seemed like a no-brainer and I wanted to help people make this transition easy and fun.”
For anyone feeling overwhelmed in going zero waste, Kathryn reveals four things that you can start with – including ditching straws, plastic water bottles, bringing your own bags to the store and avoiding coffee cups lined with plastic or other items that aren’t recyclable.
She added: “Very rarely do we have waste problems; we have creative thinking problems.
“It’s not about perfection; it’s about making better choices.”