I’ve been making small changes in all aspects of my life, trying to consider the waste implications my purchases may have and trying to overcome this as much as possible. Today I wanted to share some of my favourite swaps with you and some that I’m currently researching to purchase soon:
This is a super easy swap! I originally purchased some silicone baking mats from ikea but I foolishly used a knife to cut something and it went through the mat too! I have since bought some perfect ones from amazon and they work like a charm when I need little more than just grease a pan. They can also be put in the freezer if you’re into doing chocolate work.Composting:
This has been one of the big game changers for me and my bin consumption. Also, I’ve learnt that foods can’t decompose in landfill because they aren’t properly aerated which makes composting even more beneficial.
Paper cupcake liners are compostable, so it’s not the worst thing in the world to use. However, reuse comes before rot! I have some silicone liners from ikea and I really like them, they seem to cook thoroughly in my oven too. I use them for cupcakes and muffins (obviously), but I also like to use them for the boys “dip dip”.
Swapping out shampoo, conditioner and body wash for bars of soap was easy and is inexpensive. Especially as the hair products seem to last double the time. I pick mine up at Lush so they are often package free but wrapped in paper for transporting home.
I haven’t braved making my own cleaning products as I just don’t feel confident in this area. Instead I was recommended to try the Koh product. It is as good as the reviews make out, I love how easy it is to use and the simplicity of being able to use one spray all over my house with one cloth. I have purchased some toilet cleaner (not bleach) from peace with the wild but I wasn’t overly impressed so I’m still on the lookout for something to replace that.
Nappies & Wipes:
This is no doubt, the biggest and best swap I made. I halved my bin consumption just by using reusable nappies and wipes on my youngest, Seth. I have written about this swap previously, please go check out that blog post for more information.
Dryer balls aren’t super vital for laundry but since making the investment my clothes dry quicker.
Using from bulk stores/ refilling shops is the way forward but can be very overwhelming. I recently found Cero Waste online. Everything is delivered in bio-compostable brown bags which makes it an easier option. I’ve also changed to using a glass milk delivery, fresh fruit and vegetables delivered, unpackaged and I go to the butchers & fish monger for all our meats. Anything left over I do go to Sainsburys and ultimately that’s wrapped in plastic, but I’ve made a dramatic change on our bin consumption .
Now, disclaimer, I haven’t started my periods after having Seth ad yet. But I have been using pads for incontinence. A lot of the mainstream tampon and pad brands use a combination of bleached rayon, conventional cotton, and contain plastic. The average pad contains the equivalent of four plastic bags. The pads I’ve bought from Bloom & Nora are super comfortable, cute, and I never have to worry about leaks! There are other options on the market, like menstrual cups, knickers and compostable organic tampons.
Instead of paper napkins swap out for cloth. The hardest part of this switch is remembering to wash the dirty ones because I didn’t want to store them in the laundry hamper.
Plates & Cutlery:
A lot of people assume that using disposable products will save water. It takes 8 gallons of water to make one paper plate! Dishwashers use 3-5 gallons of water per load.
My biggest complaint with paper towels is that they push water around instead of absorbing it. I have more luck with cotton towels or compost able dish cloths.
Plastic Grocery Bags:
Switching out plastic bags was a change made compulsory in the UK a few years ago and it’s a change I never noticed I’d made! These are the best changes, the ones that aren’t noticeable, they just fit and work with your current lifestyle.
Another change that I hadn’t even realised I’d made. Carrying a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest habits to get into. Before I leave the house I check I’ve got my phone, wallet, water and keys.
If you like wrap, then beeswax wraps will be the perfect swap for you. They easily cover bowls or wrap unused food up, all with the heat of your hands. You can also get silicone stash bags that do the job just as well.
You might not even need a reusable straws, I received mine as a present and find them useful for the children. They can be made from bamboo, silicone, stainless steel or glass.
Switching from paper tissues to cloth hankies is much needed in the colder months. I love how much choice there is of prints and designs.
Did you know it takes 37 gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper!? Beyond the water, think of all the trees it takes. Surprisingly, there are a lot of options when it comes to toilet paper, but you’re going to want to look for toilet paper with recycled content or even made from bamboo. I purchased a years worth from the company called Who a Gives A Crap and love how I’m helping just a little.
Instead of using a plastic toothbrush why not swap for a bamboo toothbrush. I have an electric toothbrush and have also found the changeable heads can be compostable, which is an amazing concept. Every plastic toothbrush ever created still exists, isn’t that mind-boggling!
Now onto the items that I’m looking to purchase in the future, once I’ve found the one that will work for me and I’ve run out of the product I already have.
Disposable coffee cups can’t be recycled due to having a plastic lining. Most coffee houses now accept you bringing in your own cup. I have my eye on a Keepcup , they look stylish and should last a long time.
There are a lot of companies that are bringing out zero waste makeup. Some do refillable make up which I’m very excited to try. I have to be careful with my skin as it’s very prone to blemishes when using certain products. Also, some companies offers recyclable packaging like glass and steel, I’m currently on the lookout for all replacements in my makeup bag.
I thought a fountain pen would be awful for a leftie, but I’ve been assured it’s the best writing utensils, so I’m interested to give it a try.
I’ve been warned that switching to a safety razor is a little different than using a disposable razor, but once you switch you’ll get a superior shave. Plus, you’ll save money! I am wary of this change and are looking at all options on the market.
I know I left some zero waste swaps out, so let me know what you’d add to the list!