ZERO WASTE: My Current Stash
This post is the follow-up from my last zero waste post, where I let you know what I found the easiest and most difficult when reducing my rubbish. We'll be covering my food and drink pieces, my self care stash, how I buy clothes to produce as little waste as possible, plus a couple of extras at the end. (In case you missed it, I asked you folks if you wanted to see this on my Instagram stories; join me on Instagram to hear what's coming next!)
Interested in seeing my zero waste purchases? Scroll on down...
LOW WASTE FOOD & DRINK
Reusable Water Bottles
I currently have two that I use*, both of them in the BPA-free plastic you see above. I'd love to explore what plastic free options I could try in the future, but as these work well I don't feel the need to replace them for the sake of it. I carry a full one in a tote bag or an empty one in my rucksack to avoid spillages in my rucksack.
Fabric Food Bags
I strongly believe that one of the biggest ecological game-changers in the UK was the introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge... So much so that, when I've holidayed elsewhere or watch YouTube videos from other countries, I find it completely alien to see plastic bags used and disposed of in such a casual manner. While larger plastic bags are subject to a 5p cost, smaller, disposable produce bags are still commonly used for loose fruit and vegetables. To avoid more plastic, I use little fabric bags like these organic cotton ones to save me using yet more plastic.
Reusable Coffee Cups
It's so great to see more and more coffee shops offering discounts to customers using reusable cups. I've mentioned my obsession with my KeepCup before, but a quick web search will lead you to plenty of options that will suit a wide variety of budgets. Mine lives in a little fabric bag in my rucksack until I need to use it.
My bamboo cutlery set travels with me everywhere, just in case. They're really lightweight and, being bamboo, compostable too. In the same pouch I keep my cutlery is my metal straw; I'm just getting in the habit of saying "no straw please" when eating out and I am so pleased to see some restaurants stating that they won't offer straws unless asked. (My local Zapato Lounge want give straws unless requested and only has compostable straws, also a good sign).
Packaging Free Toiletries
My deodorant, shampoo and body exfoliant all came from Lush and can be bought without any packaging. In place of shower gel I use a bar of soap (I cannot remember the brand of this one, but it is very similar to this one).
Low Waste Grooming
My beloved safety razor is one of my favourite switches. Set the head to being "open" and use fresh blades for one of the longest lasting and smoothest shaves of your life. I'm currently keeping a stash of dead blades until I can get rid of them (anyone know where to source and return sharps boxes?) and appreciating plastic-free shaves every time.
I also love my Lush Buttered Brazils Lip Balm; I can't seem to find a link for it, but it's a smoothing vegan balm I really appreciate.
I also have some re-usable cotton pads; these ones were made for me by a friend using this pattern by Moral Fibres, but there are options on Etsy if crochet is not your thing!
I only burn soy candles, with a preference for those containing all-natural ingredients. I've burned Pur Candles before and will be giving my New Forest Aromatics Lavender candle a go too. Both come in cardboard boxes and are made from great quality glass, ideal for recycling or re-purposing.
Tote Bag Goodness
My favourite of my many tote bag children, were I to choose, would be my Yellow Bourbon Coffee Roasters one. They're my coffee spot of choice in Northampton, but I have a host of other great tote bags in my "collection". I keep an easily foldable one in my rucksack at all times, and carry another nearly every time I leave the house... Given there are so many stylish choices out there, this may well be the easiest switch to make!
Lease My Jeans
I love the idea behind Mud Jeans... Instead of buying jeans and eventually letting them go, Mud allows you "lease" a pair, then to send them back so they can then recycle them, as long as you return the lease agreement label that is attached to each new pair. It's such a unique idea and their styles are also really gorgeous too. They feel so well-made; I'm really into this idea, in case you couldn't tell!
Wear Vintage & Hand-me-downs
Most of my favourite clothing is vintage, with another chunk being hand-me-downs from family members (thank you, twin bro: I'm wearing your old hoodie as I write this). Vintage shopping is having a well-deserved and possibly Macklemore-related revival and I am here for it. Secondhand items are cheaper and usually better made, given that most fashion nowadays is designed to be purchased and disposed of almost immediately. I love Cow Vintage, Beyond Retro, and Arbor Vitae for you lucky Brooklynites.
I now write with my fountain pen as much as possible, refilling it with an Parker ink bottle*. This ink bottle does come with a plastic lid, but it can be recycled and lasts longer than using multiple plastic cartridges. I've had my fountain pen since I was twelve and it is still going strong: no more plastic biro waste.
Go secondhand! I'm now so into reading books and passing them on – to friends or charity shops – rather than feeling I have to hold onto them for eternity. There are exceptions made for my absolute favourites, but there's something great about reading a well-loved book that someone else has enjoyed... Plus there are a few secondhand bookshops in my area that I have just discovered, and can't wait to browse more thoroughly.
What are the zero/low waste switches you have been able to make? I would love to know; I'm also planning a post listing the changes that I would like to make here too. Any suggestions for what I should try next would be so, so welcome!
*Please note I use some affiliate links in this post