When going zero waste, you realize that just about everything around you is covered with single use plastic. I have already created a guide to plastic free living which you can get for free here! There are some products, which instead of swapping single use for longer term choices, you can just completely eliminate from your life. Here are the 5 things I stopped buying since going Zero Waste!
While I am generally not a sweet tooth, despite trying some delicious vegan recipes, I am lucky enough to not crave chocolate, biscuits or anything like that. (I partially attribute my lack of cravings due to the amount of healthy carbs I eat) Unfortunately, I am a huge sucker for chips. All these snacks though, come heavily wrapped in multiple layered single use plastic. Instead, I have started making my own granola bars / cereal : which ends up cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
2. Takeaway Containers
The UK uses 7 million coffee cups a day, USA uses 400 million single use coffee cups while Australia sits around 2.7 million cups a day. These are astonishing numbers, leaving us somewhere in the billions every year filling up our landfills. While some of these cups can be recycled, the dependence on people’s coffee addictions is severely costing our planet. You can do your part by eliminating your disposable coffee cup by : making coffee at home, sitting down and enjoying your coffee at the cafe or purchasing your own disposable cup!
However, this is not limited to coffee cups : this applies to any take away containers. Every time I do not finish a meal, I feel an enormous amount of guilt asking for it take away as the boxes are often created from styrofoam, plastic and even lately biodegradable options. Many places boast that their containers are biodegradable, but I urge you to look at these with sceptisism, many do not actually biodegrade, or they do with releasing harmful gases. So you have options : carry around your own tupperware or simply finish everything on your plate. 🙂
3. Yogurt and Milk
This is a big one that I struggled with, apart from the quick zero waste oat milk method, I have been unable to find a vegan – non packaged yogurt.
(All you need for oat milk is :
- Vanilla flavouring
- Strong blender
Then combine all of the above, strain through a cheese cloth or just leave the tiny pieces of oats in there.
I have read that you can make vegan zero waste yogurt (by first purchasing some packaged yogurt) and then making your own. Ideally, the yoghurt with the highest fat content is best : coconut.
Remove about 1/2 cup of cooled coconut milk, and mix in with the store bought coconut yogurt. Stir well. Pour the mixture into sterilised jars! And tada!! No more packaging.
4. Shampoo and Conditioner
As many of you know, I have now not washed my hair with shampoo in over a year! This has helped my hair grow healthy without needing to purchase over 12 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and saved over 1200l of water! While some people might not be ready to go fully shampoo free, there are plenty of zero waste options out there : Lush has shampoo bars you can check out, you can depend on lemon & baking soda mixes or even beer!
5. Menstrual Products
Another topic I have already covered in my zero waste bathroom essentials : menstrual products. There is no longer a need to use plastic heavy, disposable, chemical filled tampons and pads. There are three wonderful alternatives (although I am an avid user of the menstrual cup.
- Menstrual Cup : You can buy it in just about any pharmacy or online.
- THINX – The undies to replace liners or even pads! Use the code ZEROWASTE for a discount off your first order. Discount from Alexis and Josephine and their epic ZW channel just became ambassadors!
- Reusable Pads – You can get plenty of these on etsy or somewhere online. They allow you to save plenty of money by simply washing the more comfortable, chemical free pads!
These are just the first five things that come to mind, remember I do have a full guide to living plastic free available, where you can decrease your impact on the planet even more!