So far in my zero waste journey, I’ve committed to buying less, saying no to plastic straws, keeping a reusable mug and water bottle with me, and using grocery totes instead of plastic bags. The next step focuses on other disposables like plastic flatware, paper plates, etc. Kathryn stresses the importance of using “real stuff” in her blog, meaning actual dinnerware and cloth napkins over disposables. I think the hardest swap for me will be my dependence on paper towels. I like cleaning with them and I’m glad they can be composted, but I’ll try to switch for cloth ones where I can.
Another benefit of switching to cloth napkins and cleaning rags instead of paper towels is that it’ll encourage me to upcycle old clothes and turn them into rags, napkins, and towels. Of course, not everything is fit to be repurposed, but I’m trying to put as little in the garbage as I can. Here are some other swaps from single use to reusable I’d like to try in the next month:
I found the most adorable reusable sandwich bag! I just love it. I’m also going to ditch the plastic wrap and switch to reusable food storage options like wax cloth or fabric bowl covers.
Instead of a cheap disposable razor, use one that takes replaceable blades or an electronic option.
More companies are making toothbrushes that are plastic free such as this nifty bamboo one!
Most toiletries come in some kind of plastic bottle or other plastic packaging. Several companies are starting to develop shampoo and soaps that come in bars to eliminate the need for packaging.
Laundry detergent comes in large plastic bottles. Consider an option that eliminates the packaging.
One alternative to dryer sheets is wool dryer balls. They’re natural yet still eliminate static.
Finally, there are a number of products that currently rely on plastics, but you can easily find plastic-free options such as tea bags, dental floss, cotton swabs, etc. For a big list of other great zero waste swaps check out this guide to eco-friendly alternatives or this comprehensive list complete with popular brands!