If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re working towards living a more sustainable life. Well, say goodbye to single-use plastics and hello to sustainability with these easy and affordable zero-waste swaps.
Metal Drink Bottles
Why would you keep buying plastic water bottles when you could pick up a cute, affordable metal one? Reduce your waste and keep your water (or alcohol) cold for hours at a time with an insulated water bottle. You’ll never buy a Pump bottle again when you’re walking around with a Hydroflask (or Kmart alternative).
I’m sure you’ve already jumped on the metal straw train a long time ago, but I couldn’t not mention them. Sure, you might use a metal straw around the house, but make sure you’re packing them in your daily bag too! Loads of cafes still haven’t made the transition to paper straws, so make sure you’ve got a metal one with you just in case. You can grab metal straws at your local health food store (or Kmart has some too! They’re packaged in plastic, but they’re on the zero-waste path, I guess. Your choice).
Alternatively, don’t use a straw at all. Who needs ‘em?
Silicone Zip-Lock Bags
I use silicone zip-lock bags constantly—when packing sandwiches, when storing cheese, and even to carry around the rest of my zero-waste kit. They’re thick, easy to clean, and always encourages a “ooooh, where did you get that from?” reaction from my friends. Take a look at your local kitchen store, zero-waste store, or Kmart to grab yourself some. Alternatively, Coles sells plastic reusable zip-lock bags. They’re not as sturdy, but they’re cheap and will definitely do the job.
Makeup Removing Pads
As someone who wears makeup consistently, these were an absolute lifesaver for me. Makeup remover wipes often irritate my skin, giving me rashes and flaring up my eczema. I used cotton pads for a while but I went through so many that I just felt horrible about the waste I was causing. The makeup remover pads I use are fantastic! One side is flannel and the other side is cotton, so I can gently take off my makeup without irritating my skin (using the makeup remover of my choice). Have a look at your local markets, Etsy, or you can make your own!
I never really liked pads, and tampons make me stress about Toxic Shock Syndrome. Then I discovered menstrual cups. Terrifying, right? Well, yeah. But it’s absolutely worth it in the end. No need to change your tampon every 4-8 hours—just pop a menstrual cup up there and stop stressing. Of course, it’s not one size fits all—what worked for me might not work for you—so there’s a quiz to see what might work for your vagina!
Beeswax wraps are a life changer. Say goodbye to plastic wrap forever (and say hello to fresh produce, even when you’ve cut it in half and thrown it in the fridge for a day or two)! You can buy some at your local health food store, online, or you can make your own.
Surely you’ve got some lying around already (Look! You’re already a little bit zero-waste!). If not, grab one of those roll-up ones from Woolies, buy a cute Van-Gogh-inspired one from a local chemist, or make your own!
Reusable Travel Mug
Go enjoy a coffee without feeling bad about hurting the environment. Most cafes even offer a small discount for bringing a mug (and helping the environment). There are so many fantastic and unique options for mugs that you really have to pick what’s best for your needs. Grab one that collapses from Cotton On, a glass one from Keep Cup themselves, a cheap one from Kmart, or grab one from your local café. Hell, bring a random mug from the back of your cupboard—who cares? As long as you’re being conscious of the environment.
This one’s quite obvious, I know. Cut out the middleman (plastic) and use a bar of soap instead of body wash. Pick one up from your local market—that way you’re supporting local businesses and you’re making less waste. How cool is that?
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
This won’t work for every hair type, but it’s worth trying at least once. Just like the soap bar/body wash situation, shampoo and conditioner bars remove a heap of plastic (and last much longer too)! Buy some from Priceline or Lush and make your life just a little bit more zero-waste.
What are your favourite zero-waste swaps? Let us know in the comments below!