"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." - Anne Marie Bonneau
From plastic in our oceans to global health concerns, there are several reasons for adopting a zero-waste lifestyle. At its core, zero-waste means sending no waste to landfills, incinerators, and the ocean. It encourages a more circular approach to the way we use our resources.
A zero-waste lifestyle may seem daunting, but keep it simple, take stock of what you discard and find items you could replace with something more sustainable. Small changes still make a big impact, so don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much at once.
Our guide below walks you through our top picks for simple switches you can make to help lessen your daily waste and kick-start your zero-waste journey.
Our top picks for zero-waste switches:
- Aluminium Foil
- Dental Floss
Most dental floss on offer is plastic and coated with a Teflon-like substance that contains highly toxic PFCs (Perfluorochemicals). Silk floss is a great alternative and is completely plastic and chemical-free.
- Grocery and produce bags
Plastic bags can easily find their way out of a landfill and can lead to all sorts of problems for both humans and animals. Reusable cotton or crochet bags are a great alternative as they are stronger, less likely to leak, and more hygienic.
Most mainstream menstrual product brands contain plastic. The average pad contains the equivalent of four plastic bags! Luckily, some wonderful alternatives still provide the same amount of comfort and protection, these include menstrual cups, cloth pads, and compostable organic tampons.
Paper plates, napkins, and towels
Many assume that using disposable products will save water, but we forget about the amount of water used in the production and manufacturing of these products. The switch here is easy, use real plates, cotton cloth napkins, and towels.
Single use drink-ware
Most single use drink-ware such as cups and straws almost always ends up in a landfill or as litter, as the majority cannot be recycled. BYOC or ‘’Bring Your Own Cup’’ is a global movement aimed at reducing single use drink-ware by bringing your own reusable alternative such as reusable coffee cups or tea infuser flasks. There are also many new straw alternatives such as bamboo, stainless steel, and even glass. Be the change you want to see, and invest in reusable drink-ware.
Every plastic toothbrush created still exists since its invention in the 1930s! Instead of your regular plastic brush, try out bamboo which makes for a great alternative.
Another common household staple that can easily be switched out with alternatives like beeswax wraps or better yet, cotton fabric wraps.
Plastic earbuds have been found on many beaches globally and there was even a photo that went viral of a sea horse carrying around one! Many brands are phasing out the plastic sticks from their earbuds, using compostable paper sticks in their place.
Almost all body washes are packaged in plastic tubes or bottles. Make the switch and use a bar of soap instead, so long as it comes in paper packaging.
The zero-waste movement is guiding us into a new era of conscious consumption. With simple and straightforward steps for reducing and eliminating waste, everyone can play their part, no matter how small.
Whether you’ve just begun on your zero-waste journey or are undecided, we hope you found our guide useful.