Look, I know:
Going zero waste does require some effort. But it's not that difficult as you may think.
People who can fit all their year's garbage in one mason jar have indeed made some serious revisions in their lives and changed their daily habits drastically. However, I believe that going zero waste is not an action; it's a process.
You may end up living with one jar as your garbage bin, but if you don't - it's okay, too. As long as you do small things every day, it still counts.
It's been over a year since I started my journey, and in this blog post I'll share my top finds that will help you start yours - easy and effortlessly.
Let's get started:
1: Bamboo toothbrush
Replacing my plastic toothbrush for a bamboo brush was probably my first and easiest swap, and it literally took zero effort.
Made of bamboo - the material that's known for being strong and fast-growing - these toothbrushes are biodegradable, which means that you can simply throw it on the compost once the brush has served its time.
Where to buy: I got my bamboo brush at my local grocery shop; it's made by a brand called The Humble. However, you can also order online from Brush with Bamboo, Environmental Toothbrush, or find one on Amazon.
Price: starts at $1.75 / €2 per brush
2: Shampoo + conditioner bars
There are contradicting opinions about shampoo bars and conditioners - some love them, some hate them. I happen to be satisfied with my finds from Lush, which I've been faithful to for half a year now.
I've heard from other users that shampoo bars make their hair dry, and I kind of can agree. That's why I use it together with a conditioner, which seems to level things out.
I guess, what I'm suggesting is: try and see. If dry shampoo bars end up working for you, the planet will be thankful - after all, over 552 million bottles get thrown away every year.
Price: starts at about $10 / €8 per bar.
3: Beeswax wraps
After I started to pay more attention to my food waste, I immediately realized that my use of plastic wrap was increasing. I used the plastic wrap to keep my leftover fresh and appetizing-looking after a few days of storage...and it turned out I have too much to cover.
That's when I ordered beeswax clothes - they do the work just as good and actually look much nicer than plastic wraps. Apart from that, it makes me feel good that I've replaced plastic with something reusable, easy to clean (seriously - just wipe it), and biodegradable in the end.
Did I have to change anything else in my life by bringing beeswax wraps in my kitchen? Not. A single. Thing.
Where to buy: there are some brands that make beeswax wraps, like Bee In and Bee's Wrap. I ordered my set from Etsy from a seller called EcoHabit, but there are many other sellers who make beautiful and eco-friendly beeswax clothes.
Price: starts at $3 / €3 per piece
4: Memobottle flat water bottle
I don't have a Memobottle myself but my good friend does, and I think it's a great invention. It's a flat, elegant-looking water bottle that fits where other bottles don't thanks to its smart and compact shape.
Memobottles come in various sizes - from A7 that would fit in your small crossbody bag, to A5 that you can slip in your backpack. Take it everywhere and fill it from the tap. And forget about disposable plastic bottles.
Price: starts at $22 / €22
5: GENECIE wallet with a built-in shopping bag
I have a full drawer with textile bags, and I bet you have at least one reusable bag at home as well.
Getting a textile bag isn't the problem. In fact, I haven't bought ANY of my bags but received them as gifts in conferences, on birthdays, etc. The challenge is to remember to take these reusable bags to the shop.
A person uses up to 400 plastic grocery bags a year, and 98% of that plastic ends up in landfills. GENECIE is a wallet that combines two functions: to hold your money and to make sure you always have your textile bag with you when you go shopping - seamlessly hidden in a classy-looking wallet. Perfect for those who don't plan their shop visits.
Price: $69 / €58.93
6: Bamboo cotton buds
The famous photo by Justin Hofman with a seahorse swimming with a plastic cotton swab made millions of people around the globe to stop and think. It also made me swap my plastic cotton buds for a pack of organic, bamboo ones - because, yes, I also took this photo literally.
Compared to their plastic counterparts, these bamboo cotton buds are biodegradable and can be disposed in your compost bin instead of rubbish bin. Another small swap that didn't take any effort.
Where to buy: Etsy
Price: $4.83 / €4.15 (per 200pcs.)
7: Lady cup
A woman uses between 9600 and 14000 tampons in her lifetime that go straight to the landfill, making up over 140 kg of waste. Remember that these numbers are per person, and there are millions of us (women) in the world.
Now, replacing your tampons and pads for a silicone cup may not be the most seamless swap. However, it's well worth the effort because once you get used to it, menstrual cups have many advantages apart from being environment-friendly. For example, it takes almost no room in your travel bag when you go on vacation.
Price: starts at $24 / €24
8: Deodorant bar
Over 79% of people in the UK - roughly 50 million people - buy deodorant regularly. These are the stats for just one country, so you can imagine the total number of empty plastic sticks that are thrown away every year.
I found my packageless deodorant in Lush and fell in love with it. Not only because it smells like heaven, but also because it works. It's made of absorbent powders and various essential oils, and this combination seems to work very well and keep me fresh for hours.
Price: starts at $9.91 / €8.20