" You cannot do all the good that the world needs,
but the world needs all the good that you can do."
In today’s blog post I share 10 easy zero waste swaps. Honestly, I don’t really like the term zero waste, because it seems too restrictive. In today’s world it is impossible not to make any waste. I think zero waste is not about not making any waste, it is about to do the best you can to make less waste. If yo can only do one thing from this list, that’s great! It’s better to have a million people doing small changes then it is to have one person making every change!
I use these products almost every single day. You don’t have to buy expensive products, you just need to swap the products you use to more eco-friendly ones.
1. Reusable coffee cup
Although a lot of people think take away cups are made from paper and they are recyclable, the truth is, they are not. Simply because they are not just made from paper, there’s a thin layer of plastic in it which makes the cup durable, and it makes almost impossible to recycle. Each year over 300 billion single use cups are manufactured, and 99% of them are never get recycled.
If you are addicted to coffee as I am, you can make a huge difference by simply using your own reusable cup. Most coffee shops even give you a discount for doing so. I own two reusable cups, one from ecoffee cup and an another one from rCup. The ecoffe cup is made from bamboo fiber and the rCup is made from recycled singe use cups. I made a video about the pros and cons so check it out if you want to. When I bought them for me it was important to buy something which is made from organic or recycled materials, but I’d like to emphasize that you don’t have to choose a pricey cup to be a “good zero waster”. It is totally fine if you buy a cheaper cup or you can even make your own reusable cup by using a jar from your kitchen!
Ladies, use menstrual cups. When I first heard about menstrual cups, it seemed incredibly weird, even unnatural. But then I saw more and more people talking about menstrual cups, and how easy it is to use them, and how you can reduce your waste with this super easy little thing.
A woman uses approximately 11 000 disposable pads or tampons in a lifetime. And this is just one individual. Tampons and pads with their packaging create 200 000 tons of waste in every year (pads are around 90% plastic!).
But this is not just about creating a huge amount of waste. Chemicals are used for making tampons and pads, and it’s not only unhealthy but also the chemicals get soaked up by the earth while they are on a landfill.
After reading this information I thought I give menstrual cup a try. I bought mine from Organicup but there are several brands out there so I suggest a research. Organicup is donating menstrual cups for girls who live in developing countries, where they don’t have access to tampons or pads. This is an important mission so I thought this is the company I’d like to support.
I’m not gonna go into details, but for me it was super easy to use from the first time and it’s incredibly comfortable so it’s seriously a game changer! And in 10 years instead of using 2640 tampons, I use a single menstrual cup.
3. Canvas lunch bags/ Produce bags
I bought my handmade canvas lunch bags from a small Hungarian company called The Sorting bags. Before I had them I always used plastic produce bags but since I have them I use them all the time! I carry some kind of food with me almost every day, even if it’s just some snacks or fruit. But they are also perfect when we travel or I can use them as produce bags too when I buy loose produce.
4. Reusable utensils
Use reusable utensils! If you buy a lot of take away food or you travel this tip is for you! Instead of plastic utensils you can use your own reusable ones. I use bamboo utensils, which came with my coconut bowls. When I travel I always keep them in my bag, just in case. The easiest and cheapest solution is to carry one of your utensils from home. That’s a nice example of zero waste which shows that you don’t have too buy expensive equipment in order to join the movement.
Utensils from Coconut bowls:
5. Say no to straws
Say no to straws! We use them for 20 minutes but it is hardly recyclable and takes 500 years to breakdown. In fact, plastic never disappears it breaks down into tiny pieces called micro plastic which cause a serious damage to out marine wildlife.I’m sure we all saw the picture about the turtle with a straw stuck into it’s nose. It’s sad to think about that something we use for only 20 minutes can cause such a huge damage! It’s super easy, you just have to say no straws please or if you feel you can’t live your life without straws, you can buy bamboo or stainless steel straws which you can reuse as many times as you want. In this topic I unfortunately can’t recommend a brand because I don’t use reusable straws, but you can find several options online.
6. Use tote bags for shopping
Instead of plastic bags you can use canvas bags. I usually keep one in my bag and one in the car too so I can make sure I always have a bag on me. I’ve been using tote bags for 4 years now. Sometimes companies give free tote bags so it is possible that you have some at home too and also you can get them for free!
7. Cloths instead of paper towels
For cleaning it is a good idea to use cotton cloths instead of paper towels. I have approximately 10 cloths home, which didn’t cost more than £2. Again, it is super easy to use for cleaning and you just have to give them a good wash and you can use them again.
8. Soap bar
Liquid soap comes in plastic packaging and to reduce my plastic waste I started to use soap bars. I buy them in my local health food store. Try to buy naked soaps, which come without packaging or in paper, because you don’t want to buy something wrapped in plastic if the whole point is reducing plastic, right?
You can go further and use soap bars for shower and even shampoo bars. I live with my boyfriend and using soap bar was a huge change for him so I decided to go in small steps instead of changing everything he is used to.
9. Reusable lids
My reusable lids are from The Sorting Bags, the company from whom I bought my produce bags. It’s a nice way to save your leftovers without using foil on top. They are washable so you don’t have to worry if it gets dirty. They comes in two sizes so they fit every pan or bowl in my household.
10. Reusable water bottle
I carry my water bottle with me everywhere I go! It is super important to stay hydrated during your day and I know if I’m thirsty I buy water somewhere which comes in plastic. I drink tap water but if you live somewhere where tap water tastes funny, you can always buy water filters.
So these were my easy zero waste swaps I hope you find it helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have any other easy zero waste tips!
I don’t think I live a zero waste life because I know in which parts of my life I can improve, but I try to do my best! I think we all can make small changes in our everyday life and these changes will make a huge difference in the long run.
My reusable cups
Menstrual cup https://amzn.to/2UJHfBa
Reusable water bottle https://amzn.to/2UJHfBa
Produce bags and lid https://thesortingbags.com/
Not Plastic tote bag https://greenrebel.teemill.com/produc...
*please note that some of these links are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item you don’t pay more, but you support my lil’ passion to share my journey.
MY FVOURITE CHANELS IN THE TOPIC:
The Fairly Local Vegan