Do you want to start living a waste-free life but are not sure where or how to start. Keep reading and I will help you figure out exactly what waste-free essentials you need to get started on this journey.
I mentioned in a previous post that you do not need to get rid of everything own to start a zero waste life. Clearing out the clutter and learning what brings you joy is a very big part of this process. I found the letting go of “stuff” to be really liberating. That said there are a few waste-free living essentials that make the transition a little easier. If you focus on adding these essentials to your daily routine, you would already have made a huge difference.
Zero Waste Essentials
- Reusable bags. Yeah I said it….again. This is such an obvious swap but every time I am out I see plastic bags being packed and in trolleys. It can get a little annoying when you arrive at the cashier and you realise you have left your bags in the car, it has happened to me countless times and we have been using reusable bags for years. Invest in a few reusable bags, leave some in your cars and somewhere near the front door.
- Veggie bags. I invested in a few of these a few years ago before we started with our veggie box and I am so glad I did. Every now and then we do get a fruit and veg from a store and I only buy the loose produce, these veggie bags really do come in super handy. I got mine from Checkers and Pick n Pay but you can get them from Faithful to Nature and Unwrapped (and probably many more places)
- Glass jars. You do not have to buy these, start building a collection. We use glass jars for everything from storing food to making cleaning materials to drinking. Image credit
- A travel mug. We have had travel mugs for ages. David used to do triathlons so we would leave home before the sun came up and obviously you can’t leave that early and not take coffee with. When we do get take away coffee, which is so rare now, then we always take our own cups. The kids each have their own as well and when we travelled we used them for their hot chocolate or tea. Avoid getting this cheap plastic ones, mainly because they don’t last well. There are some amazing sustainable brands making their own mugs.
- Water bottles. There is absolutely no reason to still be buying bottled water. If you are worried about the water quality then get your water from one of those water outlets where you can refill large containers and then full smaller water bottles when you go out. My folks have a water filter that they put all their drinking water through. We have a growing collection of water bottles. Kiara and Emma have a little obsession with them so we have a range but the tin and glass ones seem to work the best.
8.3 billion plastic straws pollute coastlines around the world
- Steel straws. Kiara only drinks from a straw. I think it has to do with her sensory issues which is why this swap was important for us to do. Thanks to the pandemic we don’t go out much but when we do we try to remember to take these with us (I say try because we do forget). We bought our set over 2 years ago, I think it might have been the very first essential I bought and we are still using the same set.
- Beeswax wraps. I started using beeswax wraps last year and I love them. We use them almost daily to cover left overs etc. You get them in different sizes and they last really well. So when your cling wrap finishes, don’t buy more get some beeswax wraps.
When you start your journey, don’t try to get all of these items at once. Get them as and when you need them, it is possible that you won’t need to get straws or maybe you don’t drink coffee on the go. It is more important to do what works for you and your family – that way it is at least sustainable.
What are some of the waste-free essentials that you have found useful?
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