You guys know that I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to buy anything to be zero waste. And even though in this post I’m going to be talking about the zero waste swaps I love, I still stand by that.
I started my low waste living journey almost two years before I started making some big swaps. I think a bamboo toothbrush and reusable straw were my first swaps. But they’re pretty accessible.
The point I’m trying to make is that it took me time to make these swaps. If you’re just starting a low waste lifestyle you shouldn’t feel like you need to go out and buy anything.
I was successfully low waste for almost two years without any big zero-waste purchases and it worked out fine.
But oh man have these swaps absolutely changed my life for the better. A few of them I made over time and some I just made recently!
I wanted to share these swaps with you because I could talk forever about the things I love and I love to share them with you in case you’re swimming in a sea of zero-waste swaps not knowing what to buy!
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The 5 Zero-Waste Swaps that Changed my Life:
Ok, I know, Things like the hydroflask and reusable straws are like the poster children for the zero-waste movement. And when I see influencer or “VSCO girls” flaunting theirs like an accessory it gets me kinda mad. Any reusable water bottle (plastic or not) is better than disposable.
That being said I decided to treat myself to one for my birthday earlier this month and I am obsessed.
Hydroflask is a trailblazer in the sustainable living realm and always keeps my water nice and cool. (Because I don’t like cold water to begin with.)
But the reason this bottle is different from the rest and truly changed my life is that before it I never got my recommend 64 ounces of water.
I sprung for the 32-ounce bottle which means I only have to drink two of them to reach my goal. It seriously makes it so easy to keep track of my water intake.
I also got the straw lid attachment with a handle so it’s easy to carry and drink on the go without having to unscrew the lid.
2. Shampoo and conditioner bars
Switching to shampoo and conditioner bars was something I was going to do eventually but I didn’t actually bite the bullet until a few months ago.
Bars can run a bit expensive which was my initial hesitance. But because they’re so concentrated I’ve found that a little goes a long way.
I know some bars are better than others and that some take quite a bit to get a lather going but these from HiBar lather really quickly which also means I’m using less product.
A single bar can last me 3-4 months so the price really levels out.
Before I switched over to any form of sustainable period products I was using regular pads. Tampons just never did it for me. The problem I had with pads was not only were they incredibly wasteful but traditional pads come loaded with a lot of harmful chemicals and bleach.
My first switch was to cloth pads and while I like them and they do the job, my biggest issue was they slid around a lot. Because they’re reusable they don’t have that sticky side that single-use pads have.
That’s when I decided to try thinx! Reusable period underwear! I know it can sound intimidating and maybe even gross by the concept but when I tell you they have been life-changing, I mean it.
They’re a bit of an investment upfront but you only need to buy a few pairs once and you’re set for life! They’re so comfortable which is what I need during my arguably most uncomfortable time and I haven’t had a single problem with leaks.
( A full post and how-to-use period underwear is coming soon!)
Read: How to have a zero-waste period
My relationship with thrifting has had its ups and downs. I’ve actually been buying second hand my whole life.
But when I was younger and before I switched to a more low waste lifestyle, I was thrifting out of necessity. We didn’t have a lot of money and second hand was the most affordable option.
It wasn’t until I made the decision for the sake of the planet that my relationship with thrifting changed. it’s now the number one way I shop. If I ever need anything I always check to see if I can get it second hand first.
Shopping second hand is a great swap that helps combat fast fashion and save many items from the landfill.
Read: The benefits of buying second hand
5. Making my own products
I choose to make a lot of my own products fro two reasons: To reduce the number of chemicals I expose myself and the planet to and to reduce the amount of plastic waste I consume.
I’m very passionate about keeping the products I use clean from beauty products to cleaning products. These chemicals when applied topically soak into our bloodstreams and when washed down the drain and used in cleaning can harm the planet as well.
Making my own allows me to be in control of what’s being used. Since switching to my homemade laundry detergent, my eczema has gotten so much better as well!
Same for the packaging. Most products come in plastic and then are wrapped in plastic and there’s just so. much. plastic!
I can get a lot of cleaning and beauty ingredients in bulk and larger packages to help reduce the amount of plastic I take in.
The ultimate list of zero waste cleaning recipes
DIY makeup you should be making instead of buying
As I mentioned earlier (and all the time) I’m a huge advocate for using what you have. That being said, these zero-waste swaps have truly changed my life and while theoretically I could live without them, I don’t want too. And I think the planet agrees with me.
What are some of your favorite zero-waste swaps? I’d love to hear them so leave a comment below!
As always, thank you so much for reading! If you liked this post please don’t forget to share it and follow me on Instagram for daily low waste living inspiration.
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