The term "zero waste" can be intimidating. It seems impossible to live your life without throwing anything away. But what it's really about is just reducing the amount of waste you produce.
Voting with your dollar: when you buy something, you are telling the producers “I want more”. There’s a difference between throwing away your plastic shampoo bottle and then going out to buy a new ‘zero waste’ shampoo bar, and finishing what you already have before you recycle the bottle and find a zero waste bar.
Here are some swaps for everyday products when the time comes to invest in replacements. We’ve researched and linked some of the best quality items and price deals (many from Amazon), but if these items are available at a local business it’s best to check there first to avoid shipping waste. If you do end up ordering from online, try to be conscious about packaging and shipping (opt for minimal packaging by waiting to buying multiple together instead of individually ordering them).
Plastic toothbrush → Bamboo toothbrush (& keep the plastic one for a cleaning tool!)
Body wash and gel hand soap → Hand Soap bar
Cotton makeup pads → Washable makeup pads
Floss → refillable, plastic-free floss
Disposable razors →Dollar shave club / Blade changing razor
Plastic produce/grocery bags → Mesh produce bags & reusable shopping bags
Paper napkins → Cloth napkins
Paper towels → Old rags
Cleaning solution → Make a 1:1 ratio solution of water + apple cider vinegar or use natural solutions
A lot of companies will accept empty containers when you need a refill:
Glass bottles. If you drink dairy milk, there are several local, small-scale dairy farms sell milk in glass bottles that can be traded in. For many of these companies, you pay a small deposit fee along with the milk that you will receive back once you return the bottle.
Package free shops