I hope this post finds you well and that I do annoy you with this theme. I know there is a lot of talk out there about this sort of stuff. My aim with this post is to give you some quick and easy ways to go waste-free and hopefully encourage you to keep living your best life mindfully 🙂
- Zero-waste in your shopping
First things first, stop using plastic bags for your groceries. Do not depend on recycling and all that jazz. Do YOUR part. Bring reusable bags for produce and all your groceries. You can get some really cute bags as well and they are so durable!
- Go to the farmer’s market to get your fruits, veggies, and eggs. Guess what? You can buy most of these without packaging at all. What’s more is that your eggs or certain fruits that come in small cartons can be given back to the people you buy them from or you can reuse them yourself to get more eggs or berries. I do this and it’s easy. Refill your egg cartons, your trays for berries, and put your loose products in little bags like you see in the photo.
- Buy in bulk and refill! If you like nuts, grains, lentils, chic peas, oats, and all that, you can put them all in glass jars and refill them when you need to stock up. Stores like Hetu or the Source Bulk Foods in London are great for this. Holland & Barrett is another, as well as Whole Foods Market. You can even fill up your dish soap, laundry detergent and softener. Ecover has big boxes you can buy with a refill cap. The boxes of detergent and softener are 15L each. They smell divine as well.
2. Zero-waste when eating on the go
Bamboo utensils are a great alternative to plastic cutlery. I know that life gets busy and it’s easier and more convenient to eat out and we foget all about the environment. However, you can make small efforts and they will go a long way! Bamboo, reusable utensils, bamboo reusable straws, reusable coffee/tea mugs, and off course reusable water bottles. Lastly, don’t forget to pack your means. Reusable contains and natural Bee’s Wax wrap to put over your food. You can use these when you put things in the fridge as an alternative to plastic wrap.
- Try buying food that has less packaging. For example, you can get salads for take-away in cardboard boxes instead of plastic. You can get soups in paper cups as well. Anything you can do to reduce plastic and waste, essentially.
3. Zero-waste around the house
- EcoCoconut has great brushes for around the house and bathroom. Made from bamboo and coconut these products are durable and biodegradable. They work very well and are good to our planet. I love them!
- Also, check out e-cloths and Loofco Washing up pads for your kitchen. They are cheap, they last for ages, and they also are good to the environment, as they use bamboo, coconut husk and other biodegradable materials. They clean so well and they have a variety of products for different household needs. You can buy through The Plastic Free Shop where they have natural, organic, and even biodegradable products AND packaging! They are great.
- Once more, the Source Bulk Foods offers different cleaners that are all natural and mixed with various essential oils with different fragrances to choose from for a clean, fresh, and toxic-free home. Don’t forget to bring your jars to their store and fill it up! You can get different cleaners and they are effective. This also includes laundry detergent and fabric conditioner. You can get bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner, washing up liquid etc.
4. Zero-waste in the kitchen
Make your own milk. That’s right, you can easily make almond or cashew milk at home. If you dislike these milks then perhaps skip this bit, BUT let me tell you, this will be way better than the nut milks you have tried. They will not have all the added rubbish, that’s for sure. Just soak your nuts over night. Drain them the next morning, put them in a blender until it becomes nice and frothy. Use a cheese cloth or milk bag (you can buy these at the stores mentioned) to put over a fine mesh strainer and let it drain into a measuring bowl of your choice, that oyu will place underneath. Gently squeeze the cloths fills with nut bits and get all the milk out. Poor the whole thing into a glass jar and keep for a few days. Some people like to add a date or two for added sweetness. Some add cocoa powder. It’s up to you. Have fun with it.
- Grow your own plants if you can. Rosemary, thyme, mint, aloe vera, basil, etc. Not only is this so fun but it’s really convenient. You kitchen will look and smell nicer too 😉
- When you do buy your herbs, do as you would with your food and place them in reusable bags. You can get little straw bags which are brilliant for herbs. Of course, you can also place them in small jars. The same applies to tea. You can buy tins and then get them refilled.
- Now that you will have bought all your foods in bulk and placed them in jars, you will cook with so much less waste! You will have everything readily available to you and you will notice the difference in your rubbish (or lack thereof) at the end of the week!
- Compost of course. The movement is continuing so do your best to help it along.
- Lastly but not least, buy what you NEED. It’s so easy to buy way more than we will eat and then throw it away when it goes bad. It’s a waste of money too so that should be enough incentive.
5. Zero-waste in the bathroom
- Bamboo toothbrushes. These are my favourite new thing. I am so picky with what I use on my teeth but these toothbrushes are so gentle and they clean so well. Not to mention that they are also biodegradable.
- Try using soap bars rather than plastic bottles. Or, get glass jars, make your soap from home or fill it up at a bulk store of your choosing. The same applies to shampoos and hand soaps you keep in your bathroom. There are some really simple and delightful recipes all over the internet. Just to give you an idea: standard castile soap, almond, coconut, or avocado oil (or a bit of all of them), and some essential oils and BOOM you have a nice wash. You can use which ever oils you want, I just happen to prefer those. On your face I would recommend apricot and jojoba oils. The latter especially because it is the oil whose chemical make up is more similar to our natural sebum. You can also just buy bottles and jars and fill them with body, face, and hair washes and conditioners. There are many zero-waste and AFFORDABLE zero-waste options out there.
- Ok ladies. Bio degradable, non-toxic, zero-itch or sting tampons. Yup! They exist and they work! I like to use Natracare. I get 6 boxes of 18 (different absorbency) for less than 20 GBP. You can get them almost everywhere. There is also the possibility of the period cup. I have not tried it, but I now some who have and they love it.
- Recycled toilet paper. Peace With The Wild has everything from biodegradable sponges, recycled toilet paper, biodegradable Q-tips, and many more zero-waste alternatives!
- For more DIY natural beauty recipes check out Natural Beauty Recipes or visit Beauty Lagoon – Natural Cosmetics for my line of natural cosmetics 🙂
Stores that are great for this:
- Peace with the Wild
- Eco Coconut
- Ever Eco
- The Source Bulk Foods (they even have Kombucha on tap!)
- Farmer’s Markets
- Amazon has some solid products as well. The only problem is all the packaging…
- Pestle and Herbs
- Neil’s Year Remedies
- Whittard of Chelsea (my go-to for English Breakfast and Earl Grey especially)
- The Plastic Free Shop
I hope this helped and was a good start to your zero-waste journey! Contact me directly if you have any questions.