Zero Waste Favourites

Zero Waste Favourites

Buying less, eating a plant-based diet, supporting independent businesses, and walking or using public transport instead of driving everywhere are all excellent ways to live more sustainably. I’m fortunate to have a market, bakery, and bulk store within walking distance where I’m able to buy the majority of my food shopping, packaging-free.

There are also a few items I've purchased, thrifted, or been given that have made reducing my waste a whole lot easier. If you want to avoid disposables and adopt more eco-friendly habits, these are my favourite products and the best zero waste switches I've made.

Face Cloths. One of the first switches I ever made was to swap disposable cotton balls for washable cloths. They’re so much better for your skin and the planet. I have a set of cotton rounds from Love The Planet and face cloths by Vesta Living (gifted). They wash nicely without any staining and keep their shape. Switching to face cloths or cotton rounds means no more disposable cotton balls for removing makeup or applying skin care.

Bar Soap. Simple, cruelty-free, earth-friendly, and more sustainable than all those plastic bottles of liquid soap. Switching to bar soap is an easy most of us can make. Low to no packaging soap can be purchased online (my favourites include Nathalie Bond and Ravenscourt Apothecary) or in store (try your local bulk store or Holland & Barrett). I also recommend using a soap dish to prolong the life of your bar soap, mine is from KT Robbins Ceramics (gifted).

Reusable Cup and Bottle. There's really no need for single-use plastic bottles and disposable coffee cups anymore. There are plenty of options for buying a reusable cup from buying new (pretty much everywhere sells them!) or purchasing second-hand. I carry a stainless steel water bottle everywhere I go and take my Corkcicle tumbler (gifted) with me any time I travel.

Composting. Even in an apartment it's possible. Get Composting is a scheme aided by the government to help make home composting more affordable. I bought my compost bin from there for less than £20 and I'd like to buy a water butt too. I've heard there are similar schemes in other countries so check with your local authority websites for more information.

Safety Razor. I had been using an epilator so I hadn't used a disposable razor for years but when it broke I wanted to look for a more affordable replacement. In came the safety razor. It's nowhere near as scary as it looks and the shave is closer and less irritating to the skin. I wrote all about using a safety razor if you're thinking about making the switch.

Produce Bags. I use these for everything from buying loose veggies, keeping bread fresh, and carrying grains back from the bulk store. You can use them as lunch bags, for washing delicates in, or even as travel packing cubes.

Plastic-Free Toilet Roll. Ever since I worked with Who Gives A Crap I've become a regular customer. Bulk buying non-perishable essentials is a fantastic way to save money and reduce waste but it does require more money up front and space to store the items. It's a plastic-free, low waste, and eco-friendly alternative for a household essential.

Reusable Baking Mats. Silicone baking mats are fantastic and do away with the need for tin foil or parchment paper. The sheets are non-stick so anything you cook on them crisps up nicely (even without oil) and peels off the mat with ease. You can buy them in most homewares stores and online.

Natural Deodorant. This might not be a switch everyone is prepared to make; finding a low waste deodorant that works for you can be tricky. I use a crystal deodorant because it lasts all day and is kind on the skin. You can buy these completely packaging-free online. Looking for other suggestions? Here's my natural deodorant commendations.

Washable "Paper" Towels. Disposable kitchen towels are prolific in UK kitchens so this was a quick fix for eliminating the waste they cause. I switched to buying a roll of Ecoegg Bamboo Kitchen Towels. They're strong enough for kitchen spills and bathroom cleaning, an can be washed over and over.

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