Reducing your waste doesn’t have to be hard or daunting, in fact, the simpler the changes you make, the more likely they will stick for years and years to come. This Zero Waste Week I want to show how you can make a positive impact without completely overhauling your life. Yesterday I quickly covered a few things to get you started and today I want to expand on that by giving 7 simple zero waste steps you can take.
Reusable Cleaning Cloths
Cleaning cloths have long become disposable, plastic-based or in the form of kitchen roll, all of which has an expiry date and will end up in landfill. So, now is a great time to ditch those disposables and opt for more eco-friendly products. The easiest way of finding new cleaning cloths (for surfaces, for the bathroom, for dusting) is to just simply make your own – and nope, you don’t even have to be good with a sewing machine! Take an old towel, baby muslins, old clothing and just cut them up into usable squares. Not only does this give items you already have a new lease of life but it will also save you money and are all washable.
If you wanted to purchase reusable cleaning cloths there are now lots of options available in shops as well as online. The idea of being more eco-friendly has really caught on and this now means that we can find items like this really easily.
For washing up, choose compostable sponges and brushes that can go into your garden waste or compost bin.
Period products are an essential item but most of what we are constantly shown in adverts are single-use and a large waste problem for our environment. Switching to reusable period products can sound pretty daunting at first but once you find a product you love, you’ll honestly never go back. I would have to say that for comfort, for ease of use and for truly feeling as though you aren’t on your period at all, the period pant is the best option here. With a wide range of sizes, absorbency levels, pants for teens and postpartum as well as for swimming, you should be able to find ones that will work for you throughout your menstruation. My personal favourites are WUKA period pants and with their basic range starting at £12.00, they are also really affordable.
Simply choosing not to purchase fruit and veg that is wrapped in plastic and opting for the loose versions will not only help you on your zero waste journey but will also send a clear message to the retailer that we no longer want our food packaged this way which is the only way that real change can happen. You don’t even need to have fancy produce bags, just pop them loose into your trolley or basket and wash well when you are home.
It is time to ditch those face wipes because they aren’t just bad for the environment but they also don’t do your skin any favours at all. Instead, everybody in your household can simply wash with soap/facial wash or cleanser and use a flannel that can be washed and reused for years.
Reusable Baby Wipes
As above. Baby wipes often contain plastic, they contain perfumes that can be damaging and drying to babies skin and they create an awful lot of waste that could be easily avoided if you switched to reusable wipes. These are essentially flannels which you make wet and clean your baby’s bottom up with (as well as hands, faces, clothing, spills etc etc) These are very affordable, they will save you money in the long run plus they work so much better than single-use wipes. I have more information on reusable baby wipes in these posts here:
Reusable Water Bottles
Ever heard this term?
“Bottled water companies don’t produce water, they just produce plastic bottles”
We are all very lucky in the UK to have access to clean drinking water from our taps so instead of going out and buying bottled water, simply purchase a reusable water bottle and fill it up before you go out. If you run out when you are out and about, you can either look for a refill station or ask a cafe if they can fill it up for you – they shouldn’t really say no. By being prepared and taking your own bottle you could save approximately 150 plastic bottles from going to waste each year.
Reusable Coffee Cup
When you take your reusable water bottle out don’t forget to also pack a reusable coffee/tea cup too. There are so many designs now on the market and if you get a collapsible cup you will be able to easily carry this in your bag or keep it in your car. Britain alone gets through around 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups each year so by always remembering a reusable one, you could be making a difference to this figure.
Making small changes to simple everyday things in your routine will all add up. This is why we need more people doing what they can rather than a small amount doing lots. We have to work together to tackle our waste problem and show large companies that their wasteful products and packaging are outdated and no longer wanted.
Of course, there are plenty more changes that I could have added here but I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. For more swap ideas I have this post here. Let me know in the comments what your favourite zero waste items are.
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