Resources for Moving Towards at Zero-Waste Lifestyle
One of my recent goals has been to work towards a zero-waste lifestyle by refusing certain disposable goods, choosing to bring my own reusable items when possible, and finding more sustainable and long-lasting goods to purchase. Because I know that I can get a bit extreme when a goal I really care about is involved, I’ve made the decision to try to reduce waste and move towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle slowly and steadily, so as not to stress myself out and make the process of moving towards zero waste less enjoyable than it can be. I’ve compiled a list here of some of my favorite swaps to make to reduce waste with links to Amazon, however, you should try to find these products or similar ones at your local health food store if possible to support small business!
- Reusable grocery bags (try to pick ones made of sustainable materials if possible)
- Reusable produce bags
- Reusable coffee cup for iced coffee (I reuse the glass mason jars my favorite salsa comes in)
- Reusable coffee cup for hot coffee
- Glass or stainless steel straws OR collapsable straw for easy travel
- Reusable utensils
- Glass containers for storage of produce and left-overs
- Beeswax wrap to replace plastic wrap
- Reusable hand towels to replace paper towels and napkins
- Diva Cup or other menstrual cups (much more convenient as they only need to be emptied once in the morning and once in the evening, plus they reduce the waste otherwise produced from tampons and pads; try different brands if you find that a certain one doesn’t fit comfortably for you)
- Wool drier balls to replace drier sheets
- Soap berries to replace plastic containers of laundry detergent
- Getting a membership to your local library to avoid purchasing books or e-readers that will need to be replaced before their carbon footprint has been negated by the number of books read on them
- Buying local and organic produce when possible to reduce the carbon footprint of production and transportation
- Purchasing items in bulk, avoiding single serving packaging, and buying products with less packaging when possible
- Bringing my own glass containers when purchasing nuts, seeds, and grains in bulk
Most of these are swaps I have already made or am in the process of making, however, it’s important to remember that it’s often the goods you don’t buy and choose to go without, borrow, or thrift when possible that can make the biggest environmental impact. Really ask yourself if you’re ready to make a change before investing in a reusable product because buying that and not using it will create even more waste than just continuing as is.
Additionally, a big thing I’m working on is buying more sustainable clothing and less clothing overall, whether that means made from environmentally friendly materials like linen, extra durable to last longer, fair trade, or thrifted. Feel free to ask me about some of my favorite clothing brands if this is something you’re also interested in! Also plan clothing swaps with friends, and consign or donate clothing etc. that you have no use for anymore instead of trashing it.
Finally, try switching to non-toxic soaps and skincare products. This avoids putting toxic chemicals in your home, on your skin, and into our water systems. Oftentimes natural products will also come with less packaging, glass packaging, or recycled plastic packaging in comparison to traditional home and body liquid products.
And a special resource from from Amanda, Meghan, and the rest of their classmates: