The last person you would expect to educate you on sustainability is Zac Efron. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by his new Netflix show ‘Down To Earth With Zac Efron’, hosted by the man himself and Superfoods Expert Darin Olien. As I was watching the London episode, where they are litter picking by the Thames, the idea for a zero waste swaps article came to me. In this post I will be suggesting the easiest swaps for things you use everyday, that will help you reduce your waste. I will link everything on Amazon as it is super accessible but urge you to shop local where possible.
Single Use Plastic vs Reusable Water Bottle
The first swap most people make, in an effort to be more environmentally conscious, is from single use plastic bottles to a reusable one. Plastic bottles may be convenient but are an unnecessary expense. If you buy plastic bottles in bulk as an alternative to tap/sink water, I recommend investing in a water filter. You can get a refillable jug or for a long term solution a tap attachment may be preferred. Both options are pretty affordable under $30.
A reusable water bottle not only looks more appealing but can be more specific to cater to your needs. For example, some styles will keep your water cold for long periods of time and can come in supersize or compact styles, depending on the use. I read that “every minute the world uses one million plastic water bottles.” When only around 9% of plastic waste produced between 1950-2015 was recycled, it is essential we eliminate the use of single use plastic wherever possible.
A popular and trusted water bottle brand is Chilly’s. They sell both regular and mini sized water bottles and have an extensive selection of colours and patterns. Not to mention, their bottles are supposed to keep your drink cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours.
Plastic or Paper Grocery bags vs Net
Fortunately, many supermarkets have already swapped plastic produce bags for paper ones. This is preferable, because paper is easier to recycle than plastic and these can be reused a couple of times if you preserve them. However, a great zero waste swap is using net or mesh produce bags that you bring to the store yourself. After each use you can wash them and reuse them the following week.
Disposable Cotton Pads vs Washable
If you use cotton pads to remove your makeup everyday or to apply a skincare product, I encourage you to purchase a set of washable cotton rounds. This set on amazon can be purchased with a small net laundry bag to wash them in.
I always used to go to reach for cotton rounds and realise I had forgotten to buy more, so it’s a relief knowing I’ll never have to purchase them again. At $10 for one-off purchase, these bamboo makeup remover pads will ultimately save you from spending $1 every few weeks. Bamboo is not only more sustainable produced than cotton but these rounds are hypoallergenic and compatible with sensitive skin.
Shampoo Bottle vs Shampoo Bar
It had never considered to me before to use a bar rather than buying a new bottle of shampoo each time, until I watched a surfers Youtube Haircare Routine and she whipped out a shampoo bar. Not to be dramatic, but it blew my mind. It is thought that shampoo bars often last longer than ordinary shampoo, if stored well and not left sitting in water.
I have thick, wavy hair and so many products do not agree with me. I suffer from product buildup and stickiness if I use the wrong products. I really wanted to like the Lush shampoo bars but I quickly realised all of them contained either Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Coco Sulfate, which are not curly girl approved. As an alternative I discovered Earth Kind shampoo bars, which are sulfate free, cruelty free and made in the UK. For anyone in the US, try Trader Joe’s new Peppermint and Tea Tree shampoo bar, which is also sulfate and paraben free.
Although reusable items initially appear a more expensive option, investing in reusable items is the smarter option in the long term. You will need to replace them far less frequently, thus saving you more money. If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy my first post titled How To Save The Planet by Shopping, where I share 5 sustainable companies I am obsessed with at the moment.
Disclaimer – This post is not sponsored, though some links may be affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission if you do decide to shop through them.