Easy Sustainable Lifestyle Hacks – Part 2
Welcome back to my 2nd installment in our Zero Waste Replacement mini series.
The beginner list was 20 products of simple sustainable replacements that people can make as their items either run out, or stop working. If you checked out that post yet, feel free to click HERE and see our initial list before you dive into our next round of zero waste and sustainable products.
So let’s get started!
Reusable Cloth “Paper Towels”
This has been one of my favorite replacements to-date. Utilizing towels for spills and cleaning instead of disposable paper products were not only wasteful, but add up expense wise. Through reusable “paper towels” we can clean up and just pop the used cloth into a large jar, and wash everything weekly, or bi-weekly. We have already had our clothes almost 2 years now, and besides a few stains they are perfect.
** If you NEED to have paper towels for children’s spills or animals, I would highly suggest purchasing a more sustainable option like bamboo paper towels!
Swap Paper Napkins for Reusable Cloth Napkins
Reusable cloth paper towels are a great Segway into our next replacement: Reusable Napkins. Ideally, I like to keep these separate from my “paper towels” for meals and fancy events. But why waste on disposable napkins when you can have washable options on hand. Can we see all this extra money starting to snowball?
Replace your Keurig with a French Press or Reusable KCups
I used to love the convenience of Keurig machines, until I realized the amount of waste it contributes into our landfills. My easy solution would be to replace those EXPENSIVE k-cups with a refillable option with your preference of ground coffee. (Most of these cups can even be washed in the dishwasher.)
If you want to take it up a notch, opt for a French Press (which is now my coffee connoisseur preference) – Reduce the waste, not the amount of coffee you’d like to drink!
The is a strange concept when you are coming from always buying tubes and tubes of tooth paste, but I really gave these I try when me and Isaac were traveling. SUPER CONVENIENT, TSA carry-on friendly, and zero waste. If chewing on your toothpaste isn’t something you can handle, you also have the option to buy toothpaste in a glass jar, reducing to plastic pollution and consumption!
On the topic of oral care, you can not only have tablets for tooth paste but for mouthwash too! Simply drop one tablet into a small cup of water and gargle. No need for plastic bottles or liquids, prepare your mouth wash wherever you go!
Bulk Shopping Containers
Lots of shopping items that come in unnecessary packaging can be purchased in bulk – Produce, Oats, Rice, Nuts, Salt, Flour, Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Coffee, etc.
Shopping for bulk items and storing these items in containers at home can drastically reduce your packaging and can vastly minimize your trash.
I have also found that shopping in bulk is much more affordable as you don’t have to pay for the packaging or brand names of specific products.
Water Saving Shower Head
Zero-waste is not only something we should think about when we buy items, but what we can do in our homes everyday.
Reducing electricity and water is also a big part of using less resources and can even save money long term. Installing water saving shower heads can reduce water use by up-to 40% without even having to think about it.
Ditch your Plastic Bath Sponge for a Wash Cloth
Mold can breed in body sponges, as well as germs, dead skin cells, and remnants of dirt, oil, and grime that we scrub off our bodies. By utilizing a wash cloth, you can still wash your body but you can wash and disinfect as needed. These clothes should last a lifetime with proper use, but if needed they can also be recycled
Makeup / Skincare in Glass / Reusable Packaging
Skincare and makeup products are apart of our everyday lives, however majority of these items come in plastic and or non recyclable materials. When you refill your body care and makeup products opt for brands that can provide these products in glass, bamboo or refillable options.
Plastic Lighters for Matches / Rechargeable Lighters
Traditional lighters are not only filled with lighter fluid but are covered in plastic and cannot be recycled. Using traditional matches can easy be composted or rechargeable lighters can be used time and time again.
Repurposed Gift Wrap
Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled or reused. These items are thrown away within 60 seconds which is a huge waste (both economically and environmentally). Opt for wrapping your gifts with cloth, brown paper, news paper, or even reuse paper that come into your online shipment.
Upcycle (Cans, Jars, Clothing, etc).
Not only is it important for us to reduce consumption, but it’s just as important for us all to reuse things we have. This is especially true as products run out and we are left with the packaging such as cans, jars, paper etc. Gift wrap is just one simple up-cycles one can make!
So that wraps up our intermediate zero waste list! Twelve more items to help you on your sustainable journey. Thirty-two when you include all of our swaps from our first Zero Waste Beginners Guide Video. So which items will you be replacing in the future?
Let me know which replacement has been your favorite in the comments below!
Be sure to check out the full video on our YouTube Channel.