We were born into a society that favors consumption. So many items, like disposable cutlery, paper towels, etc. are made for a single use. With our economy basically on hold right now though, we may not be able to find items that we are so accustomed to using in our daily lives. It’s time to take advantage of the opportunity we’ve been presented with and switch to more reusable options. We’re excited to share 10 easy zero waste swaps that you can make this quarantine that will have you wondering why you didn’t make the switch sooner. Prepare to be blown away!
Reusable Coffee Cup
Did you know disposable coffee cups can’t be recycled? Not only that, but buying coffee out of the house can get expensive fast. Switching to a reusable option can help you cut down on personal waste and save you money in the long run! We love this one from Planetary Designs because it’s a to-go French press. Now you can make amazing coffee or tea for yourself and take it on the go.
Increasingly, there are more design and material options of reusable cutleries to choose from. Whether your personal preference is bamboo, stainless steel, or some new bio-degradable option we recommend going with what you like best. For reference, one of our favorite options is a bamboo cutlery kit from To-Go Ware.
Reusable Paper Towels
We all know that finding paper towels and toilet paper can be difficult right now. While paper products are starting to be restocked in stores, wouldn't it be great to have reuseable, zero-waste options already at home? This is the perfect time to switch over to a zero-waste paper towel option. The Unpaper Towels by Marley’s Monsters are especially cool because you can wrap them around an old paper towel roll and store them just as you would a traditional paper towel roll. How cool is that? Simply wash and reuse after they get dirty. What’s not to love?
Bees Wax Wrap
A lot of us don’t realize how much plastic wrap we use when cooking and storing food. It can quickly get out of hand, leading to a pile of plastic that is destined for the landfill. The original Beeswax Wrap is an alternative to plastic wrap that helps store food and keep it fresh longer. It comes in a variety of sizes, making it useful for wrapping a variety of foods. It’s ideal for more solid foods such as vegetables, cheeses, sandwiches, or bread. Simply clean the wrap in cold soapy water after each use to bring it back to life. Beeswax wraps will quickly become one of your favorites!
An eco-friendly lifestyle starts in the home. Stasher bags are amazing because they replace Ziploc bags. Stasher bags can not only store your food but can be frozen, microwaved, put in the oven, and even boiled. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, they’re one of the most versatile items on this list.
Right now we’re all stuck inside, but it doesn’t hurt to get prepared. If you’re normally an on-the-go type of person, a reusable lunch container is a necessity. There are a ton of different options out there to choose from, but we favor this stainless steel option from Eco Lunchbox. When we dine out we love taking ours to the restaurant for any leftovers. Another suggestion when picking up food at restaurants is to request they put your food in your to-go container.
It’s estimated that over 2 billion plastic razors are thrown out in the US each year. This means they’re not only super hard to recycle, but they enter our landfills at staggering amounts! Switching to a safety razor can help cut down on that waste significantly. Instead of throwing out the whole razor, you simply replace the blades over time. The blades also last a lot longer than plastic razors, reducing the amount you’ll need to purchase over time.
Period Underwear, Reusable Sanitary Pads or Menstrual Cups
For all the ladies...the average woman goes through thousands of disposable pads, pantyliners, and tampons in her lifetime. When you think about how many women there are in the world…that’s a lot of waste! Not only is it wasteful, but it can be extremely inconvenient right now to find organic disposable period products considering the stay at home order.
Luckily, there is a growing market for reusable and sustainable period products. When it comes to choosing which item is best for you, it depends on your personal preference and lifestyle. Some women like period underwear better while others may prefer the cup. We recommend trying out a few different options before committing to one to ensure you end up with a product you like. This is especially important with a period cup, which varies in shape, flexibility, and size depending on the company that makes it. The same is true for our vaginas, so it may take a few tries or cycles before finding a cup that works for you. We've found that most women like to keep their options open and have different products on hand so they are prepared for any situation.
Switching to a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. It’s just a matter of making the right swaps that work for your lifestyle. While we continue to follow stay-at-home orders, it’s time to consider making switches that will help you maintain the health of yourself and your family along with saving you money. Let us know if you try out any of these products in the comments below. We look forward to hearing your feedback!