A Zero Waste Recap: The Best Sustainable Swaps Of 2021

A Zero Waste Recap: The Best Sustainable Swaps Of 2021

Avoiding unnecessary purchases is the first step in reducing waste. We can't shop our way to a healthier planet. However, there will always be things we need (and want). In order to live a less wasteful life, we need to shift our necessary purchases to eco-friendly options.

When something has been used up or worn out, the next step is to find a less wasteful, more sustainable alternative. Knowing where to find those eco-friendly options, what brands to support and which products to buy isn't easy. Particularly if you leave it until the last minute to replace something.

I'm sharing my favourite sustainable swaps of 2021 in the hopes it inspires you to consider how you might make better purchases in 2022. You can find more zero waste swaps here, and a few sustainable resolutions to try.

Supporting Small Businesses

I've always been a huge advocate for buying handmade, and supporting local independents. I'm a small business owner who crafts minimal jewellery so I know the importance of showing our appreciation for the indie brands; whether that's by placing an order, leaving a review, or simply recommending them to a friend.

In 2021, I bought all my gifts from small businesses, and tried to promote them as much as possible wherever I could. This included placing orders online, shopping local, reviewing products I'd bought, and sending links to friends and family. There are so many different ways we can support small businesses, and it's important we prioritise them if we don't want to see our favourite brands disappear.

Sustainable Dog Food

Living zero waste with a dog is never going to be easy. There's always going to be some unavoidable waste involved. When it comes to our companions, we have to make the best decision based on their needs rather than ours especially when it comes to their diet. For me, that meant compromising on what to feed him.

After a lot of reading, I opted for the most sustainable and ethical option that didn't compromise his health. He's fed Yora Insect-Based Dog Food purchased in bulk with a topper of Lily's Kitchen Vegan Dog Food in fully recyclable packaging. Learn more about zero waste dog care.

Safety Razor

I didn't actually make this swap in 2021; I switched in 2019. My original safety razor broke making it unsafe to use. I temporarily switched to using a spare disposable razor while I decided which sustainable alternative to replace it with. It was during these couple of months that I realised just how great a safety razor is. The disposable didn't get a close shave and caused ingrown hairs. Something I never experienced with a safety razor.

I ended up purchasing the Jungle Culture Razor with a stand. It has a lovely weighty feel that makes it easy to use (no dragging on the skin) and it achieves a super close shave without irritating the skin or causing ingrown hairs. The stand helps dry the razor out between uses, and makes storing it easier.

A Zero Waste Recap: The Best Sustainable Swaps Of 2021

Eco-Friendly Sweets

I wouldn't say I have a sweet tooth but I do occasionally like a treat. If you've ever tried to find packaging-free sweets (especially vegan-friendly ones), you'll know how extortionately priced they can be with very little choice. In 2021 I found Vegummies.

All their sweets are vegan-friendly with plastic-free, eco-friendly packaging. They have a choice of pick & mix, and sweet pouches. Although the price is noticeably more than standard sweets, they do run frequent promotions throughout the year as well as offer discount when you buy in bulk.

CBD Balm

After being diagnosed with PCOS, I was left struggling with chronic pain that often isn't acknowledged by doctors. I didn't want to be constantly taking over-the-counter pain relief, which is often ineffective and causes a lot of waste. Medical necessities aren't something anyone should consider when it comes to living low waste. But it did start to bother me when the medication wasn't working.

I started using a high strength CBD balm, applying it to help with back and pelvic pain as well as inflamed joints or irritated skin. It's been a fantastic complementary aid alongside traditional pain medication. All Kloris products come in recyclable packaging with vegan-friendly ingredients. Their bath blocks are excellent too.

Handmade Advent Calendar

Even though the holidays turned out rather different to what I'd planned, thanks to catching Covid right before Christmas. I still made the most of it. One of the highlights was the zero waste advent calendar I made.

It was filled with festive activities and gifts that we picked at random as a family, and shared together. Every day there was a little Christmas magic to look forward to. All the gifts were things we wanted or needed, bought from small businesses or thrifted. The activities were simple yet fun, and encouraged us to the enjoy the holidays.

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A Zero Waste Recap: The Best Sustainable Swaps Of 2021 A Zero Waste Recap: The Best Sustainable Swaps Of 2021