Hey there, sustainability superstars! Today I’m sharing some of the best tools to help you on your zero waste journey. I wrote a while ago that one of my “birthday resolutions” is reducing my waste consumption, and I’m following up with some of the tools I have acquired to help me reduce waste! If you’re wondering why reducing waste and particularly plastic waste is such a big deal, I invite you to check out my plastic post, where I share some pretty compelling evidence about the effect plastic has on our environment. Let’s dive in!
- Bamboo straw! Obviously the straw thing is super hot right now. More and more cities and counties are starting to ban the plastic straw, and Starbucks recently announced that they were going to be discontinuing the use of plastic straws. I’ll save my thoughts on the plastic straw media for another day, and just recommend that you get a bamboo straw ASAP! My family got these ones on Amazon and we love them. They come in all different thicknesses and there’s even a straw in the pack thick enough for the tapioca balls in bubble tea (bless). Pro tip: make sure to always carry one of these in your car or purse or bag so you’re never stuck somewhere without one!
- Reusable water bottle! Yes, I know we’re really starting with the basics here. But sometimes I still see people carting around single-use plastic bottles! I used this one litre Nalgene for two years until I tragically lost him on the metro (RIP) and now I use this one from Amazon. Now that I’ve lost my Nalgene, I prefer to keep water bottles plastic-free even if they’re reusable – it’s probably better for your health and results in less plastic production!
- Reusable grocery bags! A lot of towns are also starting to implement a grocery bag tax (including my town – shoutout Oak Park!) so reusable grocery bags really offer a great return on investment. You can buy these at Trader Joe’s or many other grocery stores, and they’re often only a dollar, aka what 10 grocery trips’ worth of that bag tax would cost you.
- Tupperware! If you’re going out to eat and know that you’re going to have food left over, why not bring your own tupperware and skip that takeout box? Takeout is one of the biggest areas I feel like I waste single-use plastic on, and I don’t even go out to eat all that often. If you’re a restaurant enthusiast, this tip is sure to drastically reduce your plastic consumption! Tupperware can also be used in place of single-use ziploc baggies to store or transport food.
- Washcloths! Another area of waste I’m seriously trying to cut down on is napkin use. I am a very messy eater, so I tend to use a lot of napkins. I’m starting to replace my average paper towel per meal with an old rag or washcloth. If you choose to use napkins, make sure to compost them!
- Menstrual cup! Pads and tampons end up racking up a lot of waste over the years. Plus, having a menstrual cup can actually save you money in the long run! And if you do still use tampons, try applicator-free ones. I like these ones!
- Super-thick cotton undies. If you’re not a fan of menstrual cups, these undies are another option to cut down on waste during your period! They absorb blood so you don’t need to wear any pads or tampons. I admittedly haven’t tried these, but a lot of my friends have and they really like them! She Thinx is the brand they’ve recommended!
I hope you guys enjoyed a peek into my toolkit to reduce waste! Reducing waste is something I’m always working toward, and I love sharing the journey with you all! What items have you invested in that have helped you seriously cut down on your waste?
PS check out Why Vegan and Inside Cape Town’s Water Crisis