Easy Zero Waste Swaps
If you’re thinking about beginning your Zero Waste journey, even if you’ve already started, you may be wondering “what’s next?”. It’s important to note that while you embark on your zero waste adventure, you don’t want to rush it. Don’t start buying things you don’t need or throwing out things that haven’t been used up yet. Reducing your waste is a process that can’t happen overnight. Making changes, or swapping things out for an alternative is what this is all about. That’s why our team have put our heads together to create a simple guide of easy zero waste swaps that you can start making today.
1. Ditch those plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner
When we start talking to our fellow low wasters, we noticed that one of the first swaps people make is their shampoo and conditioner. It is such an easy step to take. Did you know that more than 552 million shampoo bottles could end up in landfills every year? That’s a lot! But, the alternatives are super simple to access, easy to use and are plastic-free.
Now, ditching plastic is a great move in itself, but we also have to mention the other amazing benefits that come with switching to these bars. We absolutely love solid shampoo and conditioner because they’re so compact. You can pop them into your backpack or luggage before you head out on your next trip. Although they are small, they are still powerful! Many shampoo bars will allow you to get almost double (if not more) washes when compared to a plastic bottle of shampoo.
At Naked Pinecone, we offer a huge selection of solid shampoos and conditioners. From creamy nourishing bars like this one to earthy and fragrant bars like this! There is so much fun that comes with trying out new products as well. So, experiment a little and find the right one that works for you.
2. Period products that make a difference
For those of us that menstruate, you’ll know how many single-use items are necessary every month. Tampons, pads and panty liners along with their packaging and individual wrapping generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. If you’re someone who cares about the environment, you simply can’t ignore the fact that having a period is not sustainable right now. Not unless we all start making some serious changes.
With all of the information reaching the surface, people are starting to want to find alternatives to their monthly routine. There are so many new products that are hitting the market and a lot of buzz and conversation that’s happening.
Our selection of period products include a whole range of options, so there’s something with everyone in mind. We have tampons that are organic and chemical-free in a variety of sizes. We also have period cups that are the one thing you’ll need for a low waste period! Whatever method you choose or works best for you, you can relax knowing that you’re making a difference.
3. Shopping at plastic-free shops
When you’re looking to cut down your waste, shopping plastic-free is the obvious move to make. Most cities or communities have fruit stands or markets that are close by or just a bike ride away. When you go to these markets or stalls most of the fruit and veg will be provided in its natural state - not wrapped up in plastic.
Plastic wrapping started as a way to keep food from perishing quickly. It was a scheme for grocery stores to transport fruit and veg from all over the world and keep it on their shelves for weeks so consumers had time to buy it. Now, there are a couple of issues with this. First of all, unnecessary plastic waste. Second, the carbon emissions that come with travelling food long distances. If we encouraged shops to buy locally they wouldn’t need to wrap their produce up to keep it from rotting on long journeys. Instead, we would have fresh local food with a small carbon footprint.
Zero Waste shops are popping up all around the globe. These stores allow their customers to buy things in bulk. You’ll need to bring your own bags, jars or sacks to put everything in and fill it up to your hearts content. Not everyone lives near a zero waste shop though. But, there are still alternatives. When you’re buying your grains why not look for things that are wrapped in cardboard instead of plastic? Or, go for the fruit that is grown locally instead of avocados from California. These easy zero waste swaps will have a huge impact in the long run.
4. Bamboo Everything
We love bamboo. It’s an incredible plant (well, grass) that can grow all around the globe. It develops super quickly, reaching unimaginable heights while emitting a ton of oxygen into the atmosphere. Bamboo is also an extremely durable material. They even use it instead of scaffolding in Hong Kong!
This special grass has amazing qualities. It has natural antibacterial properties making it a great material for almost everything. It’s also a deodoriser. So, for any work out clothing or baby diapers - this is an amazing substance to use. Bamboo is being used to make amazing toothbrushes to scrub away with. Soap holders to keep your soap nice and dry. Cotton swabs for an endless list of reasons. Even bicycles are being made out of this durable material. There are so many things that make bamboo and amazing material, this list can go on and on.
Basically, bamboo is one of the kings and is coming to take on plastic production head first. Swap out anything in your life for bamboo and reap the benefits of this fantastic sprout!
5. Somethings fishy over here
Did you know that dumped fishing gear is the biggest polluter in our oceans? More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots and traps used in commercial fishing are dumped and discarded in the sea every year, the same weight as 55,000 double-decker buses. By eating fish we are supporting the fishing industry. The same people destroying our oceans. But, there’s no need to panic - there are easy swaps that will have an impact.
Sushi is one thing we never thought could be replicated. But here we are being proved wrong again. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Netherlands, check out Vegan Sea Star - and, if you’re not, try out this vegan sushi recipe at home (we promise it’s amazing!). There are just so many amazing alternatives nowadays, it just makes sense to make the switch.
If sushi isn’t your thing but you like fish fingers or fish and chips have no fear. There are so many restaurants and recipes that are challenging the status quo and creating amazing culinary masterpieces.
When it comes to living our lives, as human beings, it is impossible not to create waste. We have to eat, we have to work, have shelter and take care of ourselves. The most important thing we need to do is to be mindful. Every choice you make is going to have an impact. Learning to refuse the things you don’t need is going to make a huge change in your life and have a massive impact on the environment. Starting or living a low waste lifestyle is not always an easy task - but trying every day is what makes a difference.