Looking for a few zero waste ideas? Well, our below list of easy zero waste swaps will have you transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle or just a more eco friendly one, in no time.
Going zero waste doesn’t have to be as hard or as overwhelming as one may think. By swapping out a few everyday items with a handful of zero waste products, you’ll be making your space a little more earth friendly than it was before.
Zero Waste Products for Beginners
Why is Zero Waste Important?
Short and sweet. The concept of zero waste living is to create as little trash as possible. The entire principal is to use reusable items in an effort to eliminate and not contribute to trash in our landfills, air and oceans.
If you’re asking yourself “how to go zero waste” the first thing you should ask yourself when purchasing item, is it reusable?
If the item is not reusable, then it is not considered a zero waste product.
The second thing you should ask yourself is what happens to the product after I use it? If the answer is, it goes in the trash and cannot be either recycled, composted or re-used by someone else then its not considered a zero waste product.
By changing your buying habits and purchasing reusable products vs. single use items, you are single handily helping offset negative environmental impacts trash and over consumption can cause.
Can Zero Waste Products Save You Money?
Sure can. Think about it. If you are using reusable products, you no longer have to buy your weekly or monthly supplies of plastic water bottles, straws, sandwich bags or even dryer sheets.
The items you once threw out after one use now sit at home waiting to be used again and again. Convenient, right?
One super easy way to kick start a zero waste lifestyle is to purchase a zero waste kit. Zero waste kits make it easy for beginners looking to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Coming complete with a handful of zero waste products, zero waste kits like Zero Waste Lunch Kit, the Sustainable Guru or the Zero Waste Gift Box are great jumping off points to a more zero waste lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to eliminate single use plastics in your home and our landfills is to stop buying it. Duh, right?
One of the first zero waste swaps is cutting plastic water bottles and jugs out of your life. Instead, go the much more sustainable route with a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are durable and stay fresh.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about nasty BPA chemicals in your water.
Another easy zero waste swap is converting from plastic straws to reusable straws. We’ve all seen the horrific videos of plastic straws getting stuck in sea turtles noses. Save a sea turtle and the planet by saying no to single use plastics and be a champion of reusable straws.
Easy to pack in your bag, bring reusables straws to bars, restaurants or on your next adventure.
We get it. You’re in the grocery checkout line and before you know it, your groceries are being placed into plastic bags to just be carried out to your car and then into your house.
Plastic grocery bags are often used for only a few minutes but spend ages in landfills. Come to the grocery store prepared and ready to save the environment with your reusable grocery and produce bags.
Looking for an alternative to sandwich bags and plastic food containers? We have a few easy zero waste swaps for your food storage containers below.
Glass or tin containers are great alternatives to plastic food containers. Reusing mason jars or glass pasta jars are great DIY zero waste ideas. Bees Wrap or Stasher Bags make a great zero waste alternative to plastic sandwich bags. Plus, Bees Wrap is a great alternative to parchment paper and aluminum foil.
Zero waste dish soaps and zero waste hand soaps are an easy eco friendly alternative to your cleaning and care routine. Instead of buying dish and hand soaps that come in plastic pump bottles, go the bar route. Going the bar soap route eliminates the use of plastic altogether and once your bar soap is gone, no waste is left behind. Easy peasy, right?
Big plastic, chemical ridden laundry detergents and single use dryer sheets aka the dynamic duo of most house hold laundry routines.
Laundry detergents can contain a lot of unnecessary chemicals that are bad for you and the environment. Plus, the dryer sheets you use are the true definition of a single use item.
Make the zero waste swaps and replace your every day laundry routine with eco friendly detergent pods and reusable wool dryer balls. Made with no harsh chemicals and leaving behind zero waste, these items will have your laundry smelling fresh while you save some cash and the environment.
Hosting a get together? What about going on a picnic or doing a little camping? Skip the plastic utensils and plates and opt for something that is a little more eco friendly.
Bamboo cutlery and compostable plates and bowls are amazing zero waste swaps to eliminate the use of plastic to-go utensils, bowls and plates. And when possible, always opt for cutlery and dinnerware that is made from recycled materials.
Think of how many toothbrushes you’ve gone through in your lifetime and how many more you still have to go through. Now times that by the entire population of our planet….YIKES. Loads of plastic toothbrush waste that just sit in our landfills and oceans.
Next time you need to refresh your toothbrush, go the zero waste route with a bamboo toothbrush. After the bamboo brush has run its course, simply remove the bristles and compost the handle.
Paper towels are another single use item that contributes to negative environmental effects through its manufacturing process and to top it off, they don’t recycle all that well. Instead of using paper towels use rags or dish towels to clean up kitchen messes. Once the dish towel is dirty, simply throw it into the wash machine and boom, you’ll be ready to use it again.
Who doesn’t love a good to go coffee or tea? It’s a simple and enjoyable way to start your day. But what’s not enjoyable is that most coffee and tea paper to-go cups are lined with plastic, making them hard to recycle.
Instead, bring your own mug to the barista and have them use your reusable to-go mug vs. a single use to-go cup.
Eliminating unnecessary waste is the name of the game when it comes to zero waste essentials. Solid hair care bars like bar shampoo and conditioners are prime examples of zero waste products.
Solid shampoo and conditioners eliminate the need of plastic packaging liquid shampoos and conditions require. Going zero waste in the shower has never been easier.
Lather. Rinse. Save the environment.
We don’t know about you, but shaving razors are a product we often overlooked as having a negative impact on our environment. Before the mass production of plastic, razors done with all-metal we’re zero waste.
Let’s go back to that time shall we? Razor blades and razor handles made from metal can be recycled after use and all metal razors can reduce the amount of single-use plastics that go into our landfills and oceans everyday.
Free of harsh chemicals and coming in a refillable glass bottle, this eco All-Purpose Home Cleaning Spray is a great zero waste swap. Perfect for cleaning floors and counter tops, Meliora uses all natural ingredients that cleans up mess and washes away grime.
Not all foods, like meat, can be composted but the foods that can be composted, like vegetable scraps and eggshells, can be kept out of landfills. This small, stainless-steal compost bin can be kept in your kitchen so it’s easily accessible. Once the food composts, you can transfer it to a local compost facility or add the nutrient-rich compost to your garden soil.
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Coming in a zero waste package container, this all natural, zero waste deodorant stick is the perfect go to for odor-control. Made with non-toxic, vegan ingredients like organic plant oils, this aluminum free deodorant is effective and environmentally friendly.
How long does it take to clean your ears? Let us guess, a few seconds after a shower, right? That’s all good and dandy, but those q-tips you use for a few seconds last a lot longer in landfills.
Forgo the cotton swabs and q tips that have plastic handles and materials and go the biodegradable route.
Made from biodegradable and compostable materials these plastic free q tips are a great zero waste swap product to use for your after shower care routine.
If you are still hungry for more ways to go zero waste, check out “101 Ways To Go Zero Waste” by Kathryn Kellogg. At the end of the day, whether you make a few zero waste swaps or go all in for zero waste living, you’re making this world a better place.
Money Saving DIY Zero Waste Ideas
Now going zero waste doesn’t mean you have to buy new. There are plenty of items at home that can be turned into zero waste products.
Check out the list of DIY zero waste ideas below.
- Reuse mason jars as drinking glasses or food storage containers
- Use your old t-shirts as rags you can use for cleaning
- Use an old fuzzy sock (instead of swifters) when dusting
- Reuse glass pasta jars as drinking glasses or food storage containers
- Use plastic bottles or aluminum cans as potters to grow plants
- Use pillow cases as produce and grocery bags
- Reuse newspaper as gift wrapping paper
- Reuse cardboard shoe boxes as compartment storage units for drawers and closets
- Use twine and clothespins to hang pictures from
- Use old ladders as a coat rack to hang towels, clothes, etc.
- Reuse old, wooden crates as storage for records or books
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