This post is inspired by my friends at Bestowed Essentials.
Recently, I’ve been working to reduce the waste I generate in my daily life. While I’m an environmentalist, I am also a creature of habit, and so a lot of the products I use daily are ones that I’ve used forever without a second thought. And, of course, most of those products are heavily packaged, disposable or wasteful. Living in a more sustainable way requires us to dismantle a lot of our consumerist behaviors and acknowledge that convenience can come at a serious cost, so I’ve slowly been making some changes at home and unlearning a lot of those behaviors.
I’ve long used a reusable water bottle, metal straws and bar soap (which, weirdly enough – people always ask me if bar soap is unsanitary? That’s a myth!) but I decided it was time to make some new swaps.
Swap #1: Plastic Produce Bags to Mesh Produce Bags
For the longest time, I admittedly put all my produce into those thin plastic bags at the supermarket – even produce with skin, like avocados. I always had these concerns that the cart or checkout lane were unsanitary (never mind that I could just, you know, WASH my produce). Now, I either skip the bag, or use mesh produce bags for products where the skin is eaten.
Swap #2: Standard Deodorant to Myro Refillable Deodorant
With this natural deodorant, you can pick your refillable case color and simply replace the deodorant pods when needed. I wear Pillow Talk, which is a blend of violet leaf, ylang ylang and wild amyris. Also, it works!
Swap 3: Dryer Sheets to Bamboo Dryer Balls
I was never really into dryer sheets until I met my husband, who used them obsessively. I guess I just used scratchy towels my entire life? But we recently made the switch to these vegan bamboo dryer balls (generously gifted from our friends at Bestowed Essentials) and are loving that they make our laundry soft without the added waste of disposable dryer sheets. Plus, all Bestowed Essentials products ship plastic-free.
Swap 4: The It’s Not Really a Swap But it’s Reducing Waste
My friend recently gifted me a 4ocean bracelet – each one funds the removal of one pound of trash from our oceans and coastlines. This pink bracelet specifically helps support the Coral Restoration Foundation. In less than 2 years, 4ocean has removed 5,430,547 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines.
Swap 5: Stain Remover to Plastic-Free Stain Stick
I spill coffee (and wine…) on myself a lot, and as a result, have used a lot of plastic-packaged stain removers in my day. This stain stick eliminates that issue! To use, dampen fabric and stain stick, then rub the stain stick on the stained fabric (like it’s a big crayon!) until lathered up. Wait ten minutes and then wash as usual.
Swap 6: Makeup Wipes to Makeup Remover Rounds
I LOVE these makeup remover rounds! The ones I really wanted were sold out, but a friend recommended these and they are great! They absorb my makeup remover well, and they come with a little laundry bag so they don’t get lost in the wash. I’m much more satisfied with these than I was with trying to cut up an old washcloth to use for the same purpose (it didn’t absorb the makeup remover as well, and wasn’t as soft).
Swap 7: Plastic/Paper Bags to Reusable Bags
Okay, so this isn’t something new, but to be honest…I used to forget my reusable bags. A lot. Happily, my city just banned plastic bags, and most stores have implemented a charge for paper bags! Hey, sometimes we all need a little help remembering to be eco-friendly. I’m all for environmental legislation.
Beyond these, I’m looking to make a few other swaps in the coming months. I still use disposable razors (I know! But I used to work for a disposable razor company – weird right? – and again, old habits die hard), and am looking to switch to a safety razor. I also am interested in getting some food wraps once our last roll of plastic wrap is gone, and I like that these are vegan, as opposed to the ones that are usually beeswax.
What are your favorite low- or zero-waste swaps? I’m always looking for new ideas!