Zero Waste. It’s such a strong word. Can we ever be 100% completely zero waste in this day and age? We would have to know where every single food, garment, book, oven, table, toothbrush and so on came from and know if there was waste within their supply chains. Now that’s a little extreme, but I bring this up because in order to live waste free, we would have to purchase things that were made without any waste. This can become a tedious process, and when things are too difficult, us as humans can lean towards not doing it all.
The simple answer is, we can’t be 100% zero waste but we can be more conscious and live a more minimal waste lifestyle. When you start to think about where to begin or what to do, it can get a little overwhelming, so I’ve curated a list of simple swaps in 5 categories that you can do the next time you need to shop for sepcific items. Let this list help you ease the transition to your minimal waste journey. The key is to acknowledge that this is a journey, and appreciate the little things that we do to become more mindful of the waste we create.
Please note that if you are already using the items on the left, do not throw them out. Wait until you have finished using it up before and when you need to buy more, opt for one of our suggested swaps.
1. Kitchen Swaps
Plastic Wrap ⟶ Beeswax Wraps
Plastic Produce Bags ⟶ No bags / Fabric produce bags / Make your own produce bag
Plastic Containers ⟶ Mason jars / Glass tupperwear
Plastic garbage bags ⟶ Compostable garbage bags
Plastic recycling bags ⟶ Brown paper bag / Biodegradable recycling bags
2. Bathroom Swaps
Plastic bottled shampoo/conditioner ⟶ Shampoo/Conditioner bars
Plastic bottled body wash ⟶ Soap bars
Plastic bottled hand soap ⟶ Hand soap bars / Refills in glass jars at bulk stores
Plastic tooth brush ⟶ Wood toothbrush
Plastic hairbrush ⟶ Wood hair brush with wood bristles
Cotton face pads ⟶ Organic cotton reusable pads
3. Laundry Swaps
Drying clothes ⟶ Hang dry
4. Everyday Swaps
Disposable coffee cups ⟶ Bring your own reusable cup / Drink your beverage in the cafe
Plastic grocery bags ⟶ Bring your own reusable bag / Reuse a plastic bag you may already have
Plastic straws ⟶ Metal straws / No straw
Plastic water bottles ⟶ Bring your own resuable water bottle
5. Pet Swaps
Plastic dog waste bags ⟶ Biodegradable dog waste bags
Plastic leash ⟶ Ecofriendly, hemp collars
Plastic bottled shampoo ⟶ Shampoo barThank you so much for reading this post! I hope the next time you are shopping for any of these items you will refer back to this list and choose a less wasteful item instead.
If you want some social inspiration, here’s a list of some zero waste accounts we follow:
All photos sourced from Unsplash and Canva