To celebrate Zero Waste Week, we've highlighted our top five zero waste swaps. They're easy, they're convenient, and above all - they don't contribute to waste!
Over the last few years, the Zero Waste movement has been getting plenty of well-deserved recognition. It essentially teaches us to shift from a linear (wasteful) to a circular economy. The aim is to reduce waste and reuse as much as possible: by reducing what we need, we're ultimately reducing what'll eventually be thrown out.
People are finally examining their waste output and re-evaluating their actions in order to make for a more sustainable lifestyle. We all know the price to pay for momentary convenience: cheap plastics, non-recyclable & toxic materials, and single-use products. The detriment to our environment is cause by our global obsession with excessive waste.
Whether you’re just starting your sustainable lifestyle journey or you’re a seasoned zero waster, we’ve selected our top five zero waste swaps you can make to slash your waste output.
Read the original, full-length article here, or the abridged version below:
Zero Menstrual Cup
If you menstruate, you will be all too familiar with conventional methods of sanitary protection such as period pads and tampons.
The average menstruator uses approximately 11,000 tampons in their lifetime, equating to 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. Single-use period products are laden with non-recyclable plastics and toxic chemicals harmful to the environment and our health.
Zero Cup is a reusable menstrual cup made from medical grade silicone that can be used for up to 10 years. Our instructions are printed on recycled paper and our Zero Cups come in a cloth storage bag.
Reusable Water Bottle
If you live in a country where the tap water is safe to drink, then there’s virtually no excuse to not make the switch.
Highlighted by National Geographic, a shocking 91% of plastic is simply not recycled. PET plastics take around 400 years to decompose in a landfill, and that is of course presuming that they do indeed make their way there. Ironically, plastic bottles are made from PET, which itself is easily recyclable: it is clear we have a larger issue of littering and laziness to correctly recycle our water bottles.
The majority of shampoo, conditioner, and liquid soap comes in excessive plastic packaging, yet there are so many simple and effective alternatives! Simply switching to bar soap reduces the need for plastic packaging as they’re often packaged in cardboard or paper.
Zero waste living is directly tied to the impact our actions have on the environment, so it is important to steer clear of soaps that contain lard, tallow, and unsustainable palm oil. We love products that are free from harsh chemicals such as SLSs, parabens, and triclosan.
Single use plastic straws are often the poster-child of the zero waste movement. And for good reason! In the United States alone, over 500 million plastic straws are used and disposed of every single day. By swapping to a reusable straw alternative, we end up reducing the amount of litter we dispose of.
As with plastic bottles and straws, we have a global problem with littering when it comes to single-use plastic bags. Unfortunately, due to their make up, plastic bags are notoriously hard to recycle, so many recycling plants simply do not.
A plastic bag takes between 500 - 1,000 years to fully break down. The lifespan of a bag is approximately 12 minutes of use.
Whether you bag your shopping in a cute canvas tote bag, your trusty handbag, or your hold-all rucksack, just know that your efforts contribute to a more sustainable future. You might want to consider using bags for specific purposes when doing your grocery shop: for instance, a heavy duty jute bag would be great for heavy canned goods, whereas a thinner canvas bag would be suited for lightweight veggies.