Trying New Things On My Road To A Zero-Waste Lifestyle

This might surprise you, especially since I haven’t really shared this part of my life with you, but I’m pretty crunchy granola. I mean, we used cloth diapers when our son was a baby – which most of our friends thought was pretty weird and extreme. I loved it! And having such a good experience with soft bamboo and organic cotton diapers led me to reusable menstrual products, reusable shopping bags, and nice glass and stainless steel bottles for water and coffee when out and about. 

Then the last few years I got a bit lazy and having my son accidentally throw another reusable snack bag in the trash at daycare made me decide that regular Ziplocs would be easier. But as we approached 2020 I decided I wanted to make a few more changes – very slowly – that would take me a bit closer to a zero-waste lifestyle.

Now, let me stress a few things – I’m not going to ever be militant about things. We will still have paper towels in the house for really gross messes (I have a kid) and I don’t see myself ever giving up toilet paper (seriously, that’s a thing) but I do think the changes I’ve made so far and the ones on my list below make my life easier, and it’s fun – it makes me feel good. 

So, I went to Pinterest and started doing some research and made a list. I started with bamboo cotton rounds to replace cotton balls, a bamboo toothbrush to replace my plastic one, and I got samples of shampoo and conditioner bars. This last one was the weird one, but I was intrigued from reading about them and watching a few how-to videos on YouTube. I went with a company called Ethique because they offer samples, are available on Amazon, and got rave reviews across the board.

The cotton rounds and bamboo toothbrush took no time getting used to at all, but I was really worried about those bars and then I took my first shower and felt like a freaking goddess!  The shampoo and conditioner bars were LOVE at first use, they smelled good, they lathered well and were just really easy to use. My hair felt, looked, and smelled fantastic! I was completely hooked. I barely waited to order full sizes and a cute container to hold them in the shower. 

The next item on my list was a lotion bar, regular old soap bar as shaving cream, and buying reusable coffee basket to replace filters and new reusable straws (we have a few but I would like a few more). So, I ordered another sample pack from Ethique that had body bars and went to work and I’ll be honest, I’m not in love with the lotion bar yet. My skin feels great afterward, but it’s a bit tricky to slide on my skin – I’m either too damp or too dry, but I’m going to keep trying until the sample is gone to make up my mind 100%. Oh, and regular old castile soap – we use Dr. Bronner – works great as shaving cream so that was also a win!  I haven’t bought the coffee basket or straws yet, but they are next on the hit list.

Other items to look for or buy – mesh produce bags, those silicone baking sheets instead of using foil all the time, and beeswax covers or something else to cover food instead of saran wrap. If you consider yourself eco-friendly or zero-waste what else should I add to my list?  I’m trying to buy or find a few things at a time, and also figure out what around the house I can already use or repurpose.

Even if this seems extreme to you, what new things have you tried this year? It can be scary to step out of our comfort zone, even if it’s something we want to do, so know you are not alone and that being a little nervous is totally normal. If you’d like some help or just want to brag on yourself – because we need to celebrate the small wins – comment below and let me know!