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Looking for new products to help reduce your waste? You probably already have the reusable bag, water bottle, and bamboo toothbrush, but we put together a list of some other really cool low and zero-waste alternatives that you might not know about or forgot even existed! Before you start: Remember to use up what you currently have before investing in these products to truly strive towards a zero-waste lifestyle!
Low/Zero-Waste Product Alternatives You Should Know About
Looking for new products to help reduce your waste?
You probably already have the reusable bag, water bottle, and bamboo toothbrush, but we put together a list of some other really cool low and zero-waste alternatives that you might not know about or forgot even existed!
Before you start: Remember to use up what you currently have before investing in these products to truly strive towards a zero-waste lifestyle!
- Kitchen Products
Reusable Paper Towels
Reusable “paper” towels work great for cleaning up spills and other sticky messes around the house. They are far more durable and absorbent than regular paper towels, and you can just rinse them out or toss them in the wash after each use. They also come in many fun colors and patterns!
Own a plastic-free sponge and scrub brush but still having trouble getting that tough, dried-on food off your pots and pans? Try a wooden pot scraper! It doesn’t scratch the metal like other heavy-duty scrubbers might and it can also double as a spatula or garlic crusher.
Stainless Steel Ice Tray
If you don’t have an ice maker on your fridge and have to use ice trays, try these stainless steel ones! They come with a little tongs to help remove the ice and will last much longer than those flimsy plastic ones.
Yes moka pots and french presses are great products to make waste-free coffee, but you already have a Keurig. The only problem is, those little K-cups are sooo wasteful (though they are technically recyclable). That’s where reusable K-cups come in! Not only are they better for the environment, but they’ll save you a lot of money in the long run. They also come in stainless steel!
Activated Charcoal Water Filter Stick
Activated charcoal sticks are super easy to use, you just place one pitcher of water (up to 2 litres) and stick it in the fridge to work its magic. And when you’re done with it, you can just throw it in your compost bin! It’s much better than buying plastic filter replacements for your Brita. If you drink a ton of water and want something a little more durable, you can also choose to invest in a Berkey water filter. Their filters last longer and use less plastic than Britas as well.
Silicone Baking Mats
Love to bake? Try out these useful silicone baking mats! They are non-stick, super easy to clean, and often have helpful measurements to guide your work. They’re much less wasteful than parchment paper and better for your health than aluminum foil.
Silicone Muffin Liners
Silicone muffin liners are another great waste-free product for bakers. You can easily use them in place of paper or foil liners and they come in many fun colors and shapes! They can also be used for storage and separating food in mason jars.
2. Bathroom Products
Sure, you know about solid shampoo and conditioner bars, but did you know there are other types of solid beauty bars? For instance, there’s solid face serum! These products are perfect when you want to avoid wasteful plastic bottles and containers. They’re also great for travelling as you can bring them on airplanes with no limits and they won’t leak in your bag.
Like solid beauty bars, toothpaste tablets are a great way to reduce your plastic footprint and are great for travel! They also often come in glass or metal containers that you can reuse or recycle.
Regular floss is not only terrible for the environment (since it is made from non-recyclable plastic), but it’s also bad for your health — many flosses contain harmful chemicals that can cause serious health problems. Instead, you should opt for dental floss made from sustainable bamboo or even a water flosser (which is great for those with braces!).
Though safety razors used to be very popular, they were forgotten when their cheap and disposable plastic counterpart hit the market. Nowadays, they cost about the same, so why not ditch the plastic and opt for these metal beauties once more?
Mimikaki sticks, or Japanese ear picks, are a great alternative for cleaning ear wax. Rather than push the wax further into your ear canal like traditional cotton swabs, they help pick the wax out instead. Though they are sold in both bamboo and stainless steel, bamboo is softer on your ears. Just be very careful when using them to not damage your eardrum. If the idea of putting a stick in your ear scares you too much, just opt for a reusable silicone swab instead!
Okay okay, reusable toilet paper might sound totally gross, but people have been using reusable diapers for years! You can also use it in addition to a bidet — there are many new easy-to-install options on the market right now. If you’d rather stick to regular toilet paper, check out Who Gives A Crap toilet paper! They make both 100% recycled toilet paper and bamboo toilet paper as a more sustainable and low-waste alternative to the regular stuff.
If you are a menstruating individual who hates using menstrual cups, reusable pads are a great alternative to the traditional products. They are typically made from bamboo and charcoal or organic cotton, and come in many colors and patterns to make things interesting. If you’re still scared of things shifting around throughout the day and don’t mind making an investment, try Thinx period undies! They’re definitely expensive but many people swear by them.
- Bedroom/Laundry Products
Buckwheat pillows, which are made from buckwheat seeds, are traditionally used in Japan. They are much better for the environment than pillows filled with synthetic fibers or down (goose feathers). In addition, they are hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, and even stay nice and cool all night long because the material is so breathable.
Handkerchiefs are a no-brainer when it comes to paper tissue alternatives! The thing is, many people don’t want to carry a snotty piece of cloth in their pocket. Last Tissues are great because they come in a handy container that keeps your dirty handkerchiefs separate from the clean ones. Then, when they’re all used, you can toss them in the wash and clean the container for reuse!
Typical laundry detergent often comes in non-recyclable plastic packaging and is made from toxic chemicals that are very harmful for the ocean. Both Dropps laundry pods and laundry detergent sheets are made from plant-based ingredients, are plastic-free, and come in cardboard packaging. Dropps also has a dishwasher option.
The Guppyfriend washing bag prevents microscopic synthetic fibers from entering our waterways and polluting the ocean with more microplastics. Just place your synthetic clothing in the bag, zip it up, and toss it in with your other laundry to collect all bad stuff!
- Office Supplies
Like safety razors, refillable fountain pens used to be all the rage, but not so much since the more convenient and cheap plastic version came out. But plastic pens are infamous for not lasting long and are basically guaranteed to end up in landfills or break down into ocean microplastics. Refillable pens can last forever as long as you have a bottle of ink handy! Not only are they better for the environment than regular disposable pens, but you’ll look classy as hell using them.
Regular plastic highlighter markers are nearly impossible to recycle and tend to dry up quickly. Highlighter pencils are made from wood and last much longer!
Staple-free staplers produce less waste than traditional staplers and are a lot safer (due to the fact that there are no actual staples involved). Just be aware that they only work on small stacks of paper — about 10 pages at a time.
Honeycomb wrap is a great alternative to plastic bubble wrap as it is made of paper instead!
Electric lighters are much better for the environment than disposable plastic lighters and don’t use fossil fuels to operate. They are also windproof, don’t leak, and look really cool. They even come in long versions for lighting candles.
Find these products (and more!) at BuyChoice, where you can easily shop for products based on your ethical preferences!