After last week’s post, I thought I’d add some extra tips on starting a zero waste lifestyle. Yes, suddenly giving up everything in packaging may be a bit drastic but you can start here…
- Cling film and plastic wrap
Think about how rapidly you get through clingfilm, and how thoughtlessly you use it. Probably because it’s so flimsy. Despite how easy it is to rip this stuff, especially when you don’t mean to, it doesn’t degrade. Obviously. But it has also been suspected of leeching harmful chemicals into food, like much plastic. There are some awesome and beautiful alternatives out there. Wrappa and Goldilocks wraps are just two examples. They are fabric with a wax coating so with a little heat from your hands they mold right over your dishes or around your food and keep it fresh!
2. Water Bottles
This is another example of plastic coming into contact with things we consume. It’s bad for us and for the environment. I love my Klean Kanteen because they are clean and beautiful looking (I’m 99% sure they are the ones that started the milk-churn-water-bottle trend) and because of the ethics of the company.
3. Tea Bags
They may seem innocent enough, but the terrible truth of it is that many tea bags are not recyclable and even often contain plastic. Make the easy switch to lose-leaf tea and treat yourself to a single-serving tea strainer if you don’t want to fuss about with a tea pot every time. Otherwise, check your bags are biodegradable or compostable.
4. Paper towels
Start to use microfibre cleaning cloths instead of paper towels. This may not be a matter of getting rid of plastic but it leads to less waste and will save you money in the long-run!
5. Reusable mugs
Like the water bottles, this one is obvious and splashed all over the news. Single-use coffee cups are not recyclable!! Klean Kanteen also sell insulated bottles. They are elegant and larger than a coffee cup and leak proof. 1000x better if you ask me. Plus many coffee shops offer money off if you bring your own cup.
6. Feminine Hygiene Products
One girl will use around 285 tampons/pads each year. Aside from the cost, think about the plastic from applicators and packaging. Consider switching to a mooncup or to washable pads. I got both a luna cup and period panties from earthwisegirls who sell an awesome array of zero waste health and beauty products including awesome panty liners.
7. Shampoo and conditioner bars
There are plenty of vegan and more eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner options out there. A lovely little shop near me offers refills of Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner but when I am travelling, it’s essential to have shampoo and conditioner bars. They are lighter than liquids and you can pack them in your hand luggage. Lush is where I normally get mine!
8. Coffee Pods
Those single-use coffee pods and sachets are awful. I’m sorry but they are. Use a machine which uses real coffee or get a french press or an aeropress. There are so many options.
9. Silicone Baking Tray
Swap tin foil for silicone baking sheets. They are easy to clean and super unlikely to stick.
10. Lunch Box
Don’t wrap your sandwiches in plastic or tinfoil. Buy a cute lunch box like these cute ones from monbento.