EARTH DAY: 10 Easy Zero Waste Swaps
In honor of Earth Month, I wanted to share some easy zero waste swaps that you can start incorporating TODAY! Learning about zero waste is something that I've become incredibly passionate about recently. I've always tried improving my overall waste but it wasn't until recently where something really began to click in my head on the amount of waste I even create with still being somewhat conscious of it. The amount of plastic bags stores give us without even asking, plastic utensils and straws, cleaning products and so much more that are completely unnecessary and are doing more harm to the environment than anything else. I've been trying to become more aware of where I choose to spend my money and starting to thrift shop more for my clothes.
I am nowhere near perfect as I have just begun this journey of trying to reduce my waste but I do want to share with you this new and exciting journey in hopes that it might inspire you to start making small changes as well. Once you run out of something, replace it with these zero waste items. I've been doing some of these for a while now like bringing my own coffee cup and grocery bags but some are fairly new to me.
#1 - Reusable Straw
It's estimated that over 500 million straws are used EACH DAY in the U.S. which just ends up in the oceans are harmful to birds, fish and many more. These pink glass bendable straws are my favorite! They're sturdy, easy to clean and so cute! They come in a set of 6 so it's fairly easy to throw in your purse, gym bag and whatever else to make them easily accessible.
#2 - Reusable Grocery Bags
Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes per day and only 1 percent is recycled. 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually. One of the easiest switches is bringing your own shopping bags wherever you go. When you empty your bags, hang them by the door and bring them to the car on your way out. These Baggu compact bags are my favorite because you can literally store them in any size purse and they're so cute.
#3 - Reusable Water Bottle
Not only do we waste SO MANY plastic water bottles but they also cause hormonal disruptions because of the chemicals found in plastic. Bring your own water bottle wherever you go and fill up when you can. The Hydroflask water bottle is my favorite because its lightweight, keeps it cold and has an additional straw lid.
#4 - Reusable Utensils
40 billion plastic utensils are used each year which is ridiculous. For the most part, when ordering takeout, we're just bringing it home so tell them you don't want utensils and napkins. These reusable bamboo utensils come in super handy if you're always on the go. They have everything you need and can easily be thrown in your purse or left at your desk (or both) so you always have them.
#5 - Reusable Produce Bags
This is one thing that I ended a while ago. For the most part, I don't even use produce bags because I wash my food when I get home and to be honest, these foods were already touched many times before you put them in your cart. I do though, keep these reusable produce bags with me at all times for certain loose items like mushrooms, brussels sprouts, etc. These are another super easy switch to reduce your plastic waste and can easily be stuffed in your reusable grocery bags.
#6 - Bamboo Toothbrush
3 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year and where do they go? Oceans and landfills. Bamboo toothbrushes are inexpensive, you can buy a pack of 8 for $11 and they are biodegradable. They're also much cuter than a plastic toothbrush in my opinion!
#7 - Reusable Coffee Cup
16 billion paper cups are used each year when you could just use one. Treat yourself to a cute reusable coffee cup that becomes part of your daily ritual. I love my MiiR coffee cup for the colder months and now that it's become warmer, i've switched to just a mason jar and this lid (which is super affordable) because i'm never sure if I want iced or hot drinks. Wash it the night before and throw it in your purse so you never forget it! Coffee shops almost always offer a discount anywhere from .50-.75 cents for bringing your own cup.
#8 - Reusable Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads + Coconut Oil
Makeup wipes are totally unnecessary and can be easily replaced with these reusable bamboo makeup pads and coconut oil as your remover. They come with a bag to put them in and just throw it in the wash when they're dirty. In my opinion, they also feel better than makeup wipes.
#9 - Reusable Ziplocks
These Stasher bags can be expensive out the gate but they are worth it. Made with silicone and can be used for so many different things. I tried going cheap with Blue Avocado bags and two years later bought Stasher Bags and wow do they make a difference. They are dishwasher and microwave safe!
#10 - Silicone Baking Mats
Aluminum foil and parchment paper are another thing that is unnecessary. Opt in for these reusable silicone baking mats to make your cookies, roast veggies and so much more.