Oh hey, guys! I recently started moving towards a more zero-waste lifestyle, which is something I hadn’t heard of until recently, let alone considered undertaking. I had always supposed that since I recycled lots, avoided meat and dairy and didn’t eat loads of processed food, that I was doing my bit for the environment. After reading Béa Johnson and Lauren Singer’s blogs, I decided that I simply wasn’t doing enough.
It has taken a bit of adjusting, but I am feeling good about the progress I have made. I have filled about half of a mason jar with waste from this month but I hope to produce even less in the future. I definitely have a lot to learn, but in the meantime, I thought I would compile a list of easy things to switch out and replace with zero-waste items!
- Buy a water bottle and remember to bring it with you – Before I switched to zero-waste, I was buying about two bottles of still water and one 2L bottle of sparkling water a week. I am actually amazed at how much plastic I was throwing in the recycling bin. Once I made the switch, I went to TKMaxx and bought a BPA-free reusable plastic bottle. Granted, a plastic bottle isn’t ideal, however, my bag gets thrown around a lot in college and it wouldn’t be safe for me to use a glass one.
- Use bar soap instead of shower gel/shaving foam – Shaving cream is a joke in my opinion. Maybe you might need it if you have extremely sensitive skin, but seriously, just try lathering up a bar of soap and using that as a lubricant instead!
- Look at Lush for cosmetics – The great thing about Lush is that you can return to the shop with empty containers and they’ll reuse them. Moreover, if you collect 5 black tubs, they’ll exchange it for a free face mask!
- Replace conventional toothpaste with homemade stuff – I will have a recipe for this coming up soon, but I assure you it works. My dentist has given it the all clear and honestly, my teeth have never felt cleaner. Regular toothpaste tubes are generally not recyclable and often contain microbeads.
- Make sure to always have a zero-waste snack when you’re out and about – If you get hungry, you don’t want to be caught out and have to spend loads of money on a plated meal or have to buy a snack with packaging. Fruit and nuts are my go-to choice.
- Stop shopping (except for second-hand) – Holy crap, have I saved money since I stopped shopping on the high street. Another perk is that you won’t be contributing to the exploitative clothing industry either. (I might write more about this some day). The only issue I have with this second-hand only rule is that I need a dress for a ball next Tuesday and have NO IDEA where to start in terms of second-hand, affordable options! Disposable fashion is definitely more convenient…
- Convert worn-out clothes that can’t be donated into handkerchiefs
- Switch to a menstrual cup (awk) – Tampons and disposable pads are evil. Enough said.
I hope this might be helpful for anyone who’s thinking of switching to zero-waste. I still have so much progress to make but I think I have made a good start. I am thinking of making this a monthly series, so call back next month where I’ll have a new list of zero-waste alternatives I have found on this little journey of mine!