I’ve become extremely passionate lately about zero waste and the attempt of leaving a greener footprint on the planet.
Moving to Berlin really gave me the possibility to make a difference in terms of making my daily habits greener and more zero waste oriented, as well as being more responsible in terms of the trash that I can avoid to produce and of the awareness as a consumer.
I started interesting myself to simple ways that could allow me to achieve this. And this is what I came up with so far. As a minimalist, my attempt is not encouraging people to buy stuff (please don’t consider this a “haul” kind of post!!) but there are some things that really can help in simplifying and making my life much more sustainable. And they are all, so far, pretty easy swaps!!
Do not consider zero waste just a way to make things difficult and way more expensive, it’s not so. Hopefully I can inspire some of you reading this and make you understand how small little changes can create big results!
If you want to see which items I use, here’s the video I made on my Youtube channel:
This is what I decided to adopt so far:
- zero waste food shopping kit: a large reusable tote that can carry everything, some cotton totes for loose fruit and veggies or even bread, a couple of drawstring bags for nuts, and some glass jars. I never buy the jars though, I just re-use the ones in which some products came in (for example jam, olives, etc…)
- lunch ware: stainless steel water bottle and a stainless steel lunch box (mine conveniently came with a snack box). I prefer for now not to but any traveel-size cutlery, I mostly bring my lunch at work, and there I can find the necessary cutlery I might need; if I happen to bring lunch really on the go, I simply organize myself in advance and bring it from home. I also use glass jars in case I need to bring soups or something that might leak from the lunch box (it doesn’t seal completely, so I have to be careful if I bring liquids).
- kitchen: so far we only made a couple of swaps. The most recent one is a wooden dish washing brush with replaceable “head”. It really gets the job done! We can just simply replace the brushing part by buying replacements at our local bulk store or health food store, and it is way better than throwing away one of those synthetic scrubby sponges that, by the way, are poorly short lasting. The other swap concerns tea: we now buy loose leaf tea (me and my boyfriend are not heavy tea drinkers anyway) and instead of having to get a whole pack of tea bags, we can just simply buy as much loose leaf tea as we want/need, and we’re good. That’s why we use a tea strainer now. If you’re wondering, for coffee we use a typical italian espresso maker (it requires only loose coffee powder and water, so no caps gets thrown away).
- period: MENSTRUAL CUP!!! This has been the most challenging and the one that made me most scary/skeptical to try. For some weird reason, even if I use it since almost 6 months, it does leak a bit and this forces me to wear pads or liners (I buy the organic ones) to avoid bad surprises. But despite the little problem, there’s no way I will go back to tampons!! Being tampon-free has been the biggest revelation ever. I personally use a Lunette Cup in size 2 (the bigger one).
- toilettres: another things that I want to shout out loud. DEODORANT!! Not only it’s a diy thing that anyone, no exception, can make at home, but it’s also inexpensive and, more importantly, the best deodorant you can possibly try. It doesn’t block perspiration tough, but that’s okay because it is a natural function of the body, but it works wonders in blocking the odor (personally tested in the very first hot days of this year). Fresh for the whole day! all you need is some coconut oil, baking soda and some arrowroot powder, and eventually essential oils to make it scented. The other swap, the most recent of all made, but already a favorite, are toothpaste tablets, that we get unpackaged at our local bulk store. You simply need to chew one to make little crumbs and then brush the teeth as normal. They are completely natural, no fluorine added and they clean the teeth very well. They even have a minty flavor, what could you ask more for? 🙂
And you? What do you use as a simple, zero waste alternative? I would love to hear from you!
Please share this post!! I am myself not an expert at all, but because I am not an expert, I want to show to people how little it can take to make a big change. The planet has always been kind to us, we should do the same. For ourselves and for future generations. Too many resources get wasted for nothing in these days! It’s not true at all that a single person cannot make any difference. By doing simple but major actions that can be noticed, like bringing our own reusable bag at the food store or using a reusable water bottle or glass jar to drink, we can positively influence other people around us.