Reducing the waste I put out into the world has been one of my goals for a couple of years now, so I thought that I would share a couple of really easy tips and tricks I have learnt so far.
I'm going to skip the obvious in this list, swapping your shopping bags to reusable ones and buying a reusable mug and water bottle, because I think they are things we have all heard before and, I'm hoping, made the swap to by now. After you have read this list maybe you will be making a few more changes level up your eco-warrior status.
7. Carry a set of cutlery in your bag
Ok, so I have started with one that sounds a little weird, but it totally eliminates the need for any plastic cutlery on the go. Just pop it in a little pouch, drop it in your bag and away you go. Better yet, take a packed lunch with you too, saves the plastic of a Gregg's and gives you some money to put in your holiday fund!
6. Make- up remover cloths
This is one of the earliest swaps I made after watching a documentary where they were picking disposable wipes off the bank of the Thames and it looked like the ground was made of layers of mud and wipes! I used to use at least one wipe every day to take off my makeup, clean the kitchen or sanitise my hands. It shocked me that they were just loose in the water, floating their way out to sea. On that day I bought a reusable make-up remover cloth from amazon, it cost me £10 for 4 and I still have and use them every day. I haven't had to buy makeup remover wipes since and the cloth doesn’t leave my face feeling stripped and dry like the wipes used to. This swap alone has saved a huge number of products being thrown in my bin, keeping the beaches (and my face) clean.
5. Kitchen cloths
On a similar note to the face cloths, cleaning cloths are the easiest swap in the world. Any bit of fabric will do- old towels, old clothes, old bed sheets, just cut them up and voila! If you fancy going one step further you can even make your own cleaning products using water and vinegar, add a few drops of essential oil and you'll have your home sparkling and smelling like its filled with some pricey candles!
4. Soap bars
Soap bars always seemed a little old fashioned to me. But recently I have dived back in and now I can't get enough! I have one for my body, my hair and my face! They eliminate the need for plastic bottles, work just as well and last WAY longer! If you are feeling brave, try the solid shampoo bars from lush, they leave your hair feeling so clean and healthy. They might be a little more expensive, but they last for months!
3. Shop your wardrobe
Everybody loves some retail therapy, but if you're anything like me your draws won't close, your wardrobe is bulging, and you have clothes that still have the tags on. So, I bring you an alternative- shopping your wardrobe. This entails going through your clothes, rearranging them and finding pieces you had totally forgotten you had! Going through your wardrobe doesn’t only stop you spending but it prevents money going towards fast fashion which is one of the biggest problems our environment faces. If you have the urge to splurge however, why not try charity shopping? It’s cheaper, the money goes to a good cause and you can really find some gems!
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is the holy grail of the zero-waste lifestyle. It’s uses are endless which lets you cut down the number of products you have, therefore the waste you produce. Coconut oil can be used as a facial cleanser, and many people claim it has worked miracles on their skin. Using an oil cleansing method seems counter-intuitive if you have oily skin but, in fact, oil helps to break down oil, leaving your face feeling clean and moisturised without having to put on any creams. Coconut oil also works great as a hair mask or conditioner, it's a great base for homemade beauty products like toothpaste and, my personal favourite, it makes the perfect shaving cream! As well as the uses in the bathroom, coconut oil is a great alternative to olive oil in the kitchen, it cooks at a lower temperature than olive oil meaning less unhealthy fat makes it into your dinner. As someone who doesn’t like the taste of coconut, I can promise you won’t taste the difference.
1. Beeswax food wraps
These food wraps are the perfect alternative to cling film in the kitchen, whether you use it to wrap up your sandwiches or fruit and veg, they are easy to wash, store and will last for years. You can even make your own if you don’t want to spend the money!