ZERO WASTE , ZERO EFFORT – 5 small changes I’ve made whilst still living life in 2021

Going ‘zero waste’ is becoming more and more popular now, for years I’ve used recyclable cups, glass Tupperware and ditched the baby wipes but I’ve never realised just how much single use plastic I contribute to landfill on even a daily basis.

With more and more lifestyle changes becoming accessible now I feel like it’s time to actually educate myself in this area and see just how damaging my efforts are and how even some simple small changes can help. The thought of going fully zero waste can be daunting and it’s not something that can be done overnight.

Problem areas

So the first thing I did was actually look at my lifestyle personally to see where I’m wasteful, there’s no point implementing a reusable coffee cup if you don’t even drink coffee right? My main issues were overbuying and buying single use. I’ve had glass Tupperware for a long time yet still buy fresh lunch everyday that use a lot of single use plastics.

Here are 5 changes I’ve recently implemented over time:

Facial cleansing – Despite being in love with beauty and skincare regimes frankly the last thing I want to do after a twelve hour shift is spend a good amount of time cleansing so I’ve been known to use micellar water and cotton pads. Now cotton is biodegradable sure, but lately I picked up two different options from TJC. The first is my more permanent solution and it’s the silicone facial brush from Opatra.

Opatra pure brush duo features two silicone sonic cleansing brushes with different sized bristles either sides and contoured to gently exfoliate the face.

You may have seen these in many iterations, they help cleanse your face with gentle sonic vibrations and there’s nothing single use about them! With the silicone material it’s easy to clean and not porous so no need to worry about bacterial growth.

Pack of 4 makeup cloths each suitable for approx 500 washes

Secondly I picked up some erase your face reusable wipes. Made from a gentle cotton blend these are good for on the go cleansing when I don’t have my opatra pure or for applying anything that I wouldn’t want to use my hands for. I am a bit conscious of bacteria growing on these so do wash them frequently but it’s a far better choice than baby wipes and cotton pads.

Bambody period pants – let’s normalise talking about periods! I haven’t used pads or tampons for years! For one I find pads ridiculously uncomfortable and tampons have toxins in them, but secondly the sheer amount of these you get through is ridiculous! I tried out a moon cup for a few years which I had on and off success with, sometimes there would be leaks and on days like that I was always on edge, but when it worked it was amazing, it was so freeing and felt really clean.

I decided to try bamboo body pants as an alternative. I had a few reservations at first, what about leaks, or smells, but I’m honestly overwhemlmed at the success! There’s a weird feeling on heavy days after you’ve been to the toilet that frankly you’d just have to try to understand but they’re hygienic, they make me feel like I’m safe and secure, they even alleviated some cramps once with the elasticated band putting on just enough tension in that area.

They’re ridiculously cost effective over their lifespan and bamboo is renowned for antibacterial and anti microbial properties. I paid around £25 for three pairs which have done me for even my heaviest days, I think I’ll buy one more pack because even though I’m good at washing them straight away it’s just peace of mind. A three pack should do you fine if you wash and dry regularly but if you have a busy schedule or can’t guarantee they’ll dry in time ( you can’t put them in a dryer and they do take a while to fully air out) then just two packs is still cheaper than what you’d pay for a year of period products.

Reusable tote bags – This one doesn’t need much explaining and people have been doing it for years, it’s such a simple idea but something I never do, I always forget to pack bags but this year I’ve made a conscious effort to just have one in my bag constantly and if I go shopping and forget it in the car I’ll just nip back out for it instead of dismissing it. I feel like this is something everyone is aware of but so many just forget or don’t dedicate time to it so if you need a sign to make this a habit then this is it!

Buying loose fruit and vegetables – now the markets have been closed this has been tough for me for things like fruit lately. Back home I used to be subscribed to a weekly fruit and veg box that was all loosely packed and perfect portion sizing, as my schedule is so changeable here I’ve not looked into one locally because I don’t want the food going to waste, I have however been buying any veg I can loose and when things open up again I will definitely be shopping around for both food that has no single use plastic and also is more locally produced.

Conscious food buying – I have really started buying just what I need, I have a small freezer (just one shelf within my fridge) so can’t fit anything in for storage. A lot of food would go off before I could finish it and usually it would be in single use bags so I’ve really started evaluating sizes of food I’d buy and if I’d get through it or not. The biggest change I found wasn’t actually for me but it was buying my cats food in tins. The amount of disposable packets I’d bin on a daily basis just for convenience of dishing up was shocking when they piled up whereas tins can be recycled.

Overall thoughts

Realistically I think going completely zero waste is kind of impossible in our current world but reduce reuse recycle goes a long way to helping that. I’m tired of seeing the needless amounts of single use plastic in supermarkets specifically on fruits and veg as that’s such a large portion of my diet! I try to buy loose where possible but today for example I needed some ginger for a sore throat and a small piece of ginger was in a big single use plastic bag! I got home and realised literally next door was a local supermarket that has fruit and veg available loose! I guess the lesson here is that this is a lifestyle that you are proactive with and don’t beat yourself up over, you make small changes a day at a time until it’s second nature and just think over your decisions a little more. It’ll take time, but it’ll get there.

Are you or Have you ever thought about zero waste?

If there was even one change you could make what would it be?

Let me know in the comments below!

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