Commit yourself to a trash-free lifestyle by swapping out everyday items for zero waste products. This is a great way to reduce waste, minimize carbon footprint, and save money too!
Zero Waste Tips
You already know this is a global waste problem. Plastic is cheap, versatile, and valuable resource in many ways. However, it has created a disposable lifestyle. 50% of plastic is just used once and thrown away.
Bottles, straws, coffee cups, beverage containers, plastic bags, cutlery, cotton buds… the list is long and we all know it. This is indeed a major concern. But the good news is that it’s entirely up to us to take the first step: to refuse.
Plastic pollution is an unsustainable waste of that resource and it has become an environmental issue. So basically, do you want to continue being part of the problem or are you ready to take a small step to reduce our collective plastic footprint? Here are some small changes you can make to change your lifestyle and help the environment.
Buy your own shopping bag
Reusable bags are easier to use for both loading and unloading groceries, and your purchases are more likely to survive the trip to and from the store. Leaks are less likely to be a problem with reusable bags, and it’s easier to control where reusable bags have been and what germs they may carry. While they cost a little more upfront, there are many benefits of reusable bags, particularly when it comes to easing plastic bag pollution and the effects of plastic on the environment.
Bring your own coffee cup
When purchasing coffee on the go, bring your reusable coffee cup. It will cost you a bit more upfront but will save waste in the long run. In addition, many coffee shops now give a small discount if you bring your reusable cup.
Use reusable water bottle
Around 2.5 million water bottles are thrown out every hour making it one of the top ten items collected in beach clean-ups worldwide. In addition, plastic bottles contain harmful chemical compounds including Bisphenol A or BPA which poses a number of health risks including problems with liver and kidney functions. So forget bottled water and just take your reusable water bottle with you!
Use your own eco-bags for fruits and vegetables
Reusable produce bags can have great benefits for both yourself and for the environment. They can cut down on your plastic waste, benefit the health of your home and surrounding ecosystems, keep food fresh, and even save you money. You can make your own net macramé produce bag, for example, it’s a simple and great DIY!
Use your own lunch box
No time to make a packed lunch? Just pack your lunch box! Some cafés and restaurants accept to serve your food in your own lunch box, helping you to enjoy single-use-plastic free lunches on the go. It’s important to keep connecting conscious consumers with like-minded businesses and do what’s better for our planet!
Use glass jars to store food
You can save your glass jars and bottles, purchase bulk food, and store it in those jars. You can also take the jars to the bulk stores if you prefer, and weigh them before filling them, but it might be more practical to just take reusable produce bags and put everything in jars when you get home. You can label your jars, to make it easier to identify what’s in them.
Use reusable straws
This simple switch could help save the environment. The plastic straw, an item that you probably didn’t think twice about using a few years ago, has become a source of controversy as concern over pollution from single-use plastics has grown. Reusable straws can be made of metal, silicone, bamboo, or glass. They are made from recyclable materials, easy to clean, light, and durable enough to keep in your bag. Thanks to reusable straws, you can still sip on your favorite summer drink while also being environmentally friendly!
Bring your own cutlery
We throw away billions of utensils every year. Like many plastic items, cutlery often finds its way into the environment, where it poses dangers for animals and can take hundreds of years to break down. Cutlery is listed amongst the “most deadly” items to sea turtles, birds, and mammals. A logical solution is simple: to carry your own set of reusable metal cutlery! Carrying cutlery requires a habit change, but it’s really no different than taking a mug, water bottle, a pen, even sunglasses.
Use a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes are made from non-renewable fossil fuels. They are essentially indestructible, which means that the first toothbrush we had when we were kids is still hanging around in some form, somewhere polluting Mother Earth. Bamboo toothbrushes are an eco-friendly alternative, because bamboo is a natural plant, fully biodegradable, thus a renewable and sustainable resource. Bamboo toothbrushes are also naturally antimicrobial – this attribute ensures that bacterial growth is limited extremely!
Use stainless safety razors
While the initial outlay will be more expensive than you spend on a disposable shaver, where you will save is in the purchase of razor blades and in the environmental impact. This material can be recycled compared with plastic covered replacements for conventional razors that cannot.
Make your own products
A shampoo and conditioning bar can last up to three months depending on how often you need to wash your hair, and you don’t consume any plastic. Regular bottled shampoo and conditioner are not only more expensive, but more wasteful too, creating more plastic packaging isn’t a good thing particularly if there are minimal waste alternatives and let’s not forget the energy that needs to be consumed to recycle the material. You can read my post about Castile Soaps, with homemade recipes for beauty and household products.
Use a menstrual cup
One conventional sanitary napkin contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags as well as other chemicals that may irritate the skin. It can take hundreds of years for one of these items to decompose not to mention the waste it contributes to landfills. By opting for reusable cotton pads or a menstrual cup, a woman not only minimizes her waste but saves money in the long run as well, as these last for up to 10 years!
Try plastic-free alternatives
Explore plastic-free hair accessories and tools. Nowadays you can buy all types of accessories made from plastic-free, biodegradable materials!