I’ll start this post with a disclaimer: I don’t like the term ‘zero waste’. zero waste is not achievable, and most of the zero waste bloggers and activists I’ve come across are only zero waste as far as their own household waste, not taking into account the wider impact of their choices. I’m not interested in how many rubber bands are in a mason jar, I’m interested in making sustainable and conscious choices about what I eat, buy and wear.
so, on this blog, when you see the words ‘low impact’ know that this is what I’m referencing: a life that is as close to zero waste as possible, without beating myself up for occasionally buying a plastic wrapped sandwich.
whether you shove a few carrier bags in the bottom of your handbag, buy a reusable cloth shopping bag to carry around or get crafty and make one out of a t-shirt, there are so many ways to make sure you’re always ready for a last-minute supermarket trip!
this is one of the things that has made the biggest impact on me. not only do I no longer have to use plastic straws anywhere, it also generates conversation with those around me regarding the use of disposable straws and I’ve even inspired some of my friends to get their own! there are so many options to choose from, but here are some of my favourites:
- bamboo drinking straw by mr crypt
- 4 pack of stainless steel straws by steel city craft shop
- reusable silicone straws by boobalou
carrying a water bottle around means that not only are you more likely to stay hydrated, but you aren’t going to be contributing to the 400 billion plastic bottles that get sent to landfill every year. reusing one from a previous drink is a cheap and cheerful option, or you can spring for a stainless steel one if you’re feeling fancy.
if you’re as much of a caffeine fiend as me, a travel mug is a great way to reduce your everyday waste. not only does it mean you can always have a coffee on you (public transport is so much better with a good hot coffee in hand) but you also get money off in most coffee shops if you use your own mug! there are too many travel mugs that I love for me to list them here, but if you’re after one then get on etsy immediately and have a gander.
one of the things I never really considered before consciously trying to reduce my environmental impact was how much plastic is contained in our toothbrushes. with the recommendation being to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, this really adds up. a bamboo toothbrush is a great way to ensure a sustainably clean mouth. mr crypt does some lovely designs, and the bam&boo do a subscription box to make sure you replace those grotty bristles on time!
reusable makeup wipes
when I tell you that these face halo wipes have changed my life, I’m not kidding. who would have thought that a little round of microfibre could easily remove all my makeup, including waterproof mascara, with just water?! they come in a pack of three, and one tends to last me a full week (I don’t wear a lot of makeup) and can then be thrown in the washing machine to get it pristine and ready to use again. if you’re a crafty type, you can also crochet these little pads to use with existing makeup remover. my mama made me some and they’re wonderful for heavier makeup days where the microfibre just doesn’t quite cut it.
reusable cleaning tools
replace your kitchen roll and antibacterial wipes with teatowels and a microfibre cloth. not only do teatowels look so much cuter in your kitchen, they’re also more absorbent and zero waste! these e-cloth wipes, sponges and scourers are an ideal replacement for our usual throw-away cleaning products. they’re stronger and more effective, as well as being machine washable for extra life.
solid shampoo and conditioner
these are products which are a bit controversial – some people absolutely love them, and some people despise them with every fibre of their being. I adore solid shampoo, I find it incredibly easy to use as it’s just like soap, but solid conditioner had me beat for a while. because it doesn’t froth like shampoo I found it very difficult to use and I probably did more harm standing with the shower running trying to use it than I did by eliminating plastic! I’m still working on loving them, but I’ve found that shaving off a portion of the bar and mixing it with hot water has made it much easier to use! I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you’re also struggling with solid conditioner.
remember – so much focus in the zero waste movement is about eliminating plastic altogether, but it’s really about reducing our daily waste. a plastic lid on a travel mug you’re going to use 100 times is better than a paper cup that gets thrown away after one use. making more concious, longer lasting decisions is where the real wins are made.
what are your low impact daily essentials? have I missed anything that you love?
catch you next time,