I love that sustainability and waste reduction got trendy! Before trends were often related to fashion or make-up or electronics but nowadays zero-waste ideas are cool, so is it to replace plastic in the household, even DIY solutions are cool rather than odd. And social networks like Instagram push waste collection events on beaches or sustainability challenges. All these little steps are little steps in a good direction. In a direction where we care more for our planet and its preservation, for the poor and for the future of our children.
When I started my own first steps in the field of sustainability and waste reduction and told friends about it, the reactions were often negative „I’m personally not using much shampoo anyway, so I’m fine with buying plastic bottles“ or „What, you don’t want to buy this car because it consumes diesel?“ , „Why don’t you buy avocados in winter? I buy avocados whenever I want.“ „Coconut oil for the face & hair? That sounds weird.“
I thought about all these words a long time and came to the conclusion these people might rather feel overstrained by the huge amount of possibilities we have to contribute to a sustainable planet, than meaning to judge in a negative way (at least I hope so). And indeed, we have so many possibilities to take responsibility for our planet in everyday life, during grocery shopping, during cooking, while traveling, when showering – in almost every situation of our daily life we have the chance to contribute – isn’t that insane? So why not starting to change little things in our daily routines? Step by step. And see how it feels? And if it feels good, change further things.
There is a quote which I really, really love and I truly believe in it:
„We don’t need a hand full of people living sustainability perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.“
I never tried to convince anybody to do what I do, nor did I put myself as the best example to others. I just want to share how I contribute in order to inspire others to maybe overtake some of my habits and share them with more people. Or to motivate the other to share his thoughts and contribution with me and inspire me. So please, see this article as an inspiration and not proselytization.
So, finally coming to the subject of this article: Zero-waste ideas for everyday life & traveling
Zero-waste idea #1: Use reusable bottles and coffee cups
This is an easy one and many people are doing it already. But at the same time, so many people are buying their morning coffee still in a through-away cup. I was facing this problem as well and was also a bit too lazy to carry my big, heavy thermos cup with me. Till I discovered this amazing, lightweight and foldable silicone cup. It fits in almost every handbag and is super small and light. You can buy it on Amazon, there are various brands which offer it. I personally purchased this one and am super happy with it:
You can find it on Amazon:
Zero-waste idea #2: Replace cotton with re-usable and washable pads
Using a piece of cotton a day to apply your facial tonic adds up throughout the year. There are great alternatives out there, made from cotton, reusable and washable.
I have these, which I use mostly to apply facial tonic:
And in addition, I have these with micro-fibers which easily remove even waterproof makeup. So you don’t only reduce waste, you also save money on make-up remover products.
#3: Replace your shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles with soap bars
…and save space and weight in your luggage!
This picture says it all: Instead of 1.5 kilos of shampoos in your luggage, you can carry this little soap of few grams. This saves money, weight, and space in your suitcase and it is so handy as well: you can even use it to wash your clothes. Are there still any arguments for shampoo bottles?
I use this all-in-one soap for traveling:
#4: Ditch paper towels and use cotton kitchen towels instead
Yes it is handy just to grab a paper towel and clean the mess on the floor, but instead you can just use dish cloth and kitchen towel to clean up without producing any waste.
Zero-waste idea #5: Period cup
This one is for the ladies and it is sooo ecologic and soooo handy in everyday life and especially while traveling. Instead of using normal sanitary products you can use this silicone cup during your period. It is reusable and you don’t have to change it as often as usual sanitary products which makes traveling with it way more convenient as well. I am using this one and can totally recommend it:
Zero-waste idea #6: DIY household cleaners
I personally realized that a lot of my plastic trash comes from cleaning agents like washing detergent or bathroom cleaners. One option to reduce all these empty plastic bottles is to mix your cleaning agents yourself. For me, this was not really an option, because I want to make sure that my home and my clothes are still cleaned in an efficient and hygienic way. And I don’t really have this feeling when considering self-made alternatives from vinegar, lemon or baking soda.
But now I discovered this amazing invention from a German start-up, called Everdrop: They sell cleaning tablets for 3 different purposes which are shipped without any plastic and you can dissolve them in a reusable spray bottle and create the cleaning agent at home. I just ordered my first tablets there and will keep you updated about my experience.
Zero-waste idea #7: Skip all plastic bags in the supermarket
Also a low hanging fruit but there are still way too many people who buy plastic bags at the cash desk in the supermarket. Another way to reduce loads of plastic throughout the year is skipping the little plastic bag at the fruits and vegetable stands. You can either just not use any – because many fruits or vegetables are pealed anyways before you eat them. Or use re-usable cotton nets which are quite common in some countries already.
This is what I mean:
Zero-waste idea #8: Bring your own box or cotton bag
To the butcher, to the bakery to take-away food. You can use glass chars which you purchased already in the supermarket or re-usable tupperware. I also discovered a very cool, foldable box from Ikea which is perfect for traveling:
I hope you like the one or the other zero-waste idea for traveling or your everyday life? I would be so happy if you would share some of your ideas with me and provide some more inspiration to my readers. Just comment below or drop me an email and I’m happy to include your zero-waste ideas for traveling in this post.
We can all contribute and every little step will contribute to a big movement! My last words in this article go this amazing quote:
„ ‘My contribution will not change anything’ – thought half of the world.“
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