5 Things to Help You on Your Zero Waste JourneyKate Stuart
When you are at the beginning of your journey to producing less waste, it feels like a bit of a contradiction to hear that there are things you can buy that will help you along the way. We’re meant to be buying less, using less, and throwing away less, right? A lot of what we already have at home will do fine, whether it’s plastic or not, and should be used until it reaches the end of it’s natural lifespan, but it’s all the single use items we get through that can make us feel that our efforts are for naught. So here is a definitive guide to the five main items you can buy, all from small, independent businesses, that will help you say goodbye to all the single use “stuff”, and get you set on your journey to less waste.
We all have boxes and little packets of tissues all around our homes – and besides loo roll, they are probably the most commonly bought single use item. Swop them out for some cloth handkerchiefs. you can make them so easily yourself from old t-shirts or buy some from an independent seller. Wash them with your ordinary clothes wash and discover how much nicer on your nose a cloth hankie feels! Find some at great prices here and here!
Cling film. We wrap our sandwiches in it. We cover leftovers in the fridge with it. Found lurking in kitchen drawers everywhere. Beeswax wraps (and soya wraps for vegans) are cotton, covered in a beeswax based solution that allows you to keep your food fresh at home and away. Get a drawer full of these and say goodbye to single use plastic coverings forever! Another make that are pretty easy to do at home, find out how to DIY in this blog post! If you don’t have time or energy to make them yourself, you can buy some here and here!
We go through so many single use cotton wool pads – for make up removal, nail polish removal, and a myriad of other things. Re-usable cotton pads are very easy to make yourself, even if you’ve never crocheted before – check out this how-to from the Moral Fibres blog. If you’d rather just buy some, there are a whole host of independent sellers on Etsy who make them in all the colours of the rainbow. Find some here and here!
Cloth Produce Bags
Many of us head to the supermarket with our own shopping bags these days, and are well versed in the thanks but no thanks when we’re offered bags at the checkout. But the bread and fruit and veg isles throws up a quandry when we’re presented with flimsy, single use plastic bags to pack our bread and loose veg in. You can avoid this entirely by taking your own produce bags with you. Make them from old, un-used pillowcases at home, or buy some here and here!
Possibly one of my favorite swops – we used to use so many plastic sponges or scourers for washing up – we’d use them for a week or so, often less, and then they’d get thrown in the bin. These UnSponges by Rowan Stillwater are fantastic and get great reviews. Made from cotton and hessian, they get your pots clean without damaging the planet, plus you can put them in the washing machine every few days, dry and reuse. Get one in the Rowan Stillwater Etsy shop here.
Reducing waste and changing mindsets can be a really hard thing, but taking it one little step at a time, one change at a time, together we can make a difference. Saving money and saving the planet at the same time. What’s not to love?
Have you crafted something as a great plastic free swop to help your own zero waste journey? Tell us about it by emailing Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to feature in the next edition of No Serial Number Magazine!
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