It’s not about perfection, it’s about doing what you can.
There’s a quote that says “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” And it couldn’t ring more true. I’m by no means perfect when it comes to my waste, I’m very far off it. But I’m doing a hell of a lot more than I was a year ago. It’s very easy to feel bad when you see others doing so much more than you are (I know I do) but it’s all about doing what you can, not what you can’t. Here is a list of some very easy swaps that you can do to help lower your waste!
1. Use reusables.
The idea of reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and straws has probably been drilled into your head a million times by now because these are some of the easiest swaps to make. I’m not really a coffee drinker so I don’t have a reusable coffee cup but my Chilly’s water bottle goes pretty much everywhere with me! I also don’t use straws because I don’t have any need for them, but for some, they are a necessity. But using reusables doesn’t stop at bottles. You can switch out cotton wool balls for reusable cotton rounds (or just use a flannel-like I do), you can buy reusable shopping bags for loose fruit and veg. There’s a lot of options out there!
2. Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars
I can’t even imagine the amount of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles I’ve got through in my life. This was one of the first switches I made and I’m never going back to the bottles! The products I use are from Lush because my hair gets on with them the most, but I’m very aware that these are on the pricier side. There are some shampoo and conditioner bars that you can get for half the price of bottled shampoo and conditioner! They also last a lot longer than the bottles (I’ve had my shampoo bar for two months!) and are much more convenient when you’re traveling, even if you will get stopped by security because they think it looks like a candle…. Yes, that really happened.
3. Switch to bar soap.
For the exact same reason as I mentioned for shampoos and conditioners! This is another swap that is so easy to do, and one that anyone and everyone could make. The soap I use costs me £4 and lasts for absolutely ages! When Lush has so many cool looking bar soaps to offer why would you even want to use boring soap in a plastic bottle that doesn’t have any fancy patterns on it? I certainly don’t!
4. Look for face moisturisers that comes in tins rather than plastic.
I used to use grapeseed oil as a face moisturiser, but my skin suddenly did a U-turn and decided that it didn’t like it anymore, So I had to search for an alternative. I knew I needed a moisturiser, but I didn’t want one in plastic, so I found one in a tin container instead! Tins have a higher recycling rate than plastics. It’s not a perfect swap, but if I don’t want my skin to be dry, this is what I have to do!
5. Use literally any oil as make up remover.
Like seriously, you could use any oil. I personally use coconut oil or grapeseed oil, but you could go to the kitchen and use olive oil to get rid of your make up. Not kidding. Oil works wonders as a make-up remover and I’ve found that it doesn’t dry out my skin as makeup wipes or remover has done. I’m now a firm believer that buying things that call themselves ‘make up remover’ is a way to fall victim to #capitalism (of course, I’m joking, but seriously use oils as makeup remover)
6. Bamboo toothbrushes are your friends.
I count this one as a bit of a luxury and is a privilege if you can afford one because they’re quite expensive if you take into account that you can get plastic toothbrushes for under £1. But if you can afford one, get one because they biodegrade!
7. Those to menstruate, switch to reusable period products!
There’s a lot of options. You can buy tampons that biodegrade. You can use reusable pads, or even sponges (what!) I personally use a menstrual cup and I bloody love it! Again, this is a bit of a luxury as the upfront cost of it is pretty high, but it does save you money in the long run. I use a mixture of the Organicup and the Ruby Cup which you can purchase from The Cup Effect who will donate two to those who need them for every cup purchased. You can also use my code BRONTE10 for some money off at checkout!
Of course, not everyone will be able to do all of these switches and not all of these options will be available for everyone. But if you’re really looking into helping the planet, these are some of the simplest things you can switch and are often the biggest culprits when it comes to the waste we produce. Just do what you are capable of doing!