I remember my friend Kim telling me about something called ‘Plasticdieet’. It’s a challenge to not use single-use plastic during the entire month of July. Ever since I heard about this project two years ago I slowly became more and more conscious about the amount of wrapping and ‘unusable’ stuff I throw away. It’s insane. And then I decided not to go to Bali for a holiday, because I wouldn’t want to face those beaches covered in waste. I am living my life with blinders on, right?
This week it’s Zero Waste Week and even though it’s not as long as a full month, it’s a challenge to not produce any waste of any material. It got me thinking, how am I supposed to do this? Where can I even start? I’m probably not alone in this one, so I’ve done a little research. Here are 6 ways to not produce waste that have been on my mind for a while now. The good part? They are very easy to implement!
1. When ordering a drink, make it a habit to say you don’t want a straw.
It’s easy, but takes some getting used to. I mean, last week I forgot to say it before my first drink, but then while ordering the second drink I did. The waitress mentioned their straws were biodegradable. It will still be disposed of, so is it zero waste? It did make me feel a bit less bad about the first straw.
2. Get reusable face pads to clean your face.
Ok, I have to admit I still use the throw-away pads that are already soaked with lotion. I throw away a few everyday. But that will end soon, I am going to make reusable face pads to wash my face. When you type in ‘reusable face pads’ in Pinterest so many options show up. Just pick an example you like and follow the instructions. Then when you’ve collected a bunch of dirty ones, throw them in an old pillow case or bra bag and throw them in the washing machine! And if you want to go zero waste completely, find a recipe to make your own cleansing face wash with your favourite essential oils. ;)
3. Bring your own bag.
While setting foot in the big chain supermarket down the street the other day, I noticed the local grocer who recently opened up right across from it. I decided to buy my veggies at the local store and walked out of the supermarket. The grocer packed my potatoes and beans in brown paper bags, but it wouldn’t look weird if I’d bring my own bags. So I’ll do that next time. Paper is still a lot better than plastic, but no waste is better!
4. Buy naked goods.
My favourite store for self care products is Lush. I'm an absolute fan girl! I love love love their products and have bought them in three world continents. Lush focuses on a cleaner and better world and they offer a lot of ‘naked’ products. That means they’re without packaging! My favourite is a pink shower gel that’s shaped like the bottle. I buy it in bulk, haha. Here's a little video to show you how to use the naked shower gel.
5. The menstrual cup.
I was sceptical when my friend first told me she loved it. After a few months, and some greatly targeted ads on Instagram - haha, I ordered the OrganiCup. I was never a fan of having my period, who is? But now that I have the menstrual cup, besides having some cramps, I completely forget about the bleeding part of my period! All I have to do is empty it in the morning and evening and that’s it. I can do everything while wearing it, even swimming and exercising. I literally gospelled the use of the cup to all of my female friends and got quite a few to order one too. Hehe, I'm such an influencer. The menstrual cup means you no longer have to throw away pads and tampons every month. It saves a lot of money when you think about it. Only plus sides to this product!
6. Get a water bottle.
I gave my boyfriend a Dopper for his birthday, because he kept buying plastic water bottles in bulk for his work commute. Drinking water is good, but all that plastic use is insane. Invest in a Dopper or a similar kind of water bottle, because:
- Worldwide, only 1% of plastic is recycled.
- 50% of plastic is thrown away directly after use.
- Each day, freight-loads of plastic reach our oceans -often unintentionally- via streets, canals, rivers and seas.
- The five largest ocean areas where this plastic waste converges, can contain up to 36 times more plastic than plankton.
- The plastic enters our food chain in small particles via marine life and birds.
- Annually, the plastic in the oceans causes the death of 1 million seabirds and 100.000 marine mammals.
- And last but not least: it requires 1 liter of water and 1 liter of oil to produce a single plastic bottle.
Any thoughts come to mind? :) What are the things you do to waste less? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat!
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Disclaimer: all of the brands I mention are personal favourites. This is not a sponsored article, it's just me sharing my experience and enthusiasm. :)