Beginner Zero Waste Swaps
Hey internet folks! I've realised that I talk a lot about making swaps and behavioural science, but never the actual swaps to implement. How can I help you to change if I don't give you a manual but no parts?! So here it goes...
1- Buy a Guppyfriend Bag
Okay, so we're not starting off with an easy one, but I think you'll like it. A Guppyfriend bag is a bag that you put clothes in in the washing machine so that microplastics don't enter the water system. Super beneficial to animal (including human) life and fairly easy to implement as long as you remember. I recommend putting the bag near the washing machine as a visual prompt to use the bag.
2- Laundry detergent to dropps pods or alternative
Whether you like liquid or pod detergent, we can all make swaps to better the planet when it comes to our cleaning supplies. Many big box stores have detergents that contain toxins and even carcinogens. Not great for the planet or our health. Please don't DIY you're soap unless you know how, and opt for a zero- waste detergent that can be used just the same. I recommend buying this detergent before the other one runs out so that you can easily swap without forgetting and buying a new plastic one.
3- Shampoo and Conditioner to bars/refills
Pretty straight-forward. Try your local bulk bins/zero waste store, a farmers' market, lush even sells shampoo bars. I've heard Earthling bars are good, and so are Alter Native by Suma if you're in the UK. Research which shampoo bars are good for your hair type. I've also heard that Ethique works well for curly hair, so there are definitely many options. Email us if you would like us to test out different bars and review them at firstname.lastname@example.org
4- toilet paper to recycled or bamboo toilet paper
It can be hard to find recycled or bamboo toilet paper, however, it is a swap that I recommend because most conscious toilet papers are subscription services and therefore the habit becomes easy and second- nature. Just think for a second about how much toilet paper each of us must use in a year!
5- Paper towels to unpaper towels
Reusable options are pretty much always better than single use items. Use dishtowels, reusable napkins, or reusable kitchen roll.Etsy is a good place to find these.
6- Hand soap to bars of soap
I have used Dr. Bronners for years now and.I recommend it to everyone. I have really sensitive skin but am not irritated by this formula. It lathers well and can be bought in most big box stores. Why not give it a go?
7- Face soap to ZW face soap
It can be really hard to find brands that cater to our beauty needs whilst meeting our ethical and environmental goals. This is why most people opt for a DIY, however, I don't recommend DIY-ing because you often will cause more skin damage than good. In the UK try Alter Native by Suma, and in the US try ethique or Osea (it is pricier). Ethique has good formulas and I believe is in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK with EU options opening soon.
8- Let's Talk Straws
Probably the most talked about single use plastics are bags, straws, and cups. Straws are a big issue for marine life and are easily replaceable. Try adding a straw to your eco kit. And as much as I dislike Amazon, you can probably find reusable straws and basics on their website.
9- Let's Talk Plastic Cups
Same story as before however this is some of the most frequently produced single- use plastic. The US throws away 50 billion coffee cups according to Earthday. This is such an effective swap. Try asking whoever makes your coffee (including yourself) to put it in a reusable cup and imagine how happy the turtles are- just kidding! But don't forget to save the turtles!
10 onwards are just the swaps, not explanation:
10- plastic free deodorant
11- cotton rounds to reusable cotton rounds
12- cling film to beeswax wrap and tupperware
13- toothpaste to toothpaste tabs
14- sunscreen to reef safe, zero waste, vegan, clean, cruelty free sunscreen (lots of goals)
15- dishes utensils to sustainable cleaning sponges and gloves
16- cleaning products to safe ZW cleaning products- try your local ZW grocery store
That's all! Have a great day!