There has been a lot of news coverage about how disposables and plastics are ruining the planet. I've put together a brief post covering my five favourite zero waste items to help you get started on your own mini mission to save the Earth!
I loved my insulated bottle so much that I bought the non-insulated as well to hold water! They are durable, smart, safe and come in so many different colours that you’re bound to find one you like. Buy a few in different colours for the whole family! Not only will other family members love having their favourite colour, but they look so pretty lined up together!
Yes, the initial cost may seem a bit steep but consider how much it would cost to buy a new plastic bottle of water or a disposable cup of coffee everyday and you’ll soon offset your investment. When I whipped my insulated KK from my bag to get my “free” latte in Waitrose the other week an elderly lady in the queue behind me was well impressed!
Since I bought my second bottle I am happy using tap water straight from the en suite sink instead of from a glass bottle with kitchen tap water chilling in the fridge. Needless to say this helps me to drink a lot more water.
Stainless Steel Straws
One of the smallest yet easiest and most far-reaching habits to change is to refuse plastic straws. They get used once for about five minutes, then get thrown out and end up in landfill or the ocean for hundreds of years.
If you absolutely need a straw, if you have sensitive teeth, for instance, try a steel or bamboo straw. Sets of them are sold online quite cheaply and usually come with a mini brush to clean them. Steel ones do tend to assume the temperature of whatever you’re drinking, so be careful with them!
Although it’s not often I use straws (turns out I’ve been refusing straws in pubs and restaurants for years not because I was particularly eco-friendly as a teenager but because I thought they only put straws in kids’ drinks and I didn’t want people thinking I was a child), I do have a set of steel ones for when I make homemade smoothies. I even keep one in my little…
Travel Utensil Kit
You can get mini utensil kits online in all kinds of colours and materials. I got this bamboo set because it’s biodegradable, comes in a neat pouch and I can slot one of my straws inside. If you want to go even more minimalist, try a bamboo spork!
If you occasionally get sniffly like me, cotton handkerchiefs are an ideal eco-friendly solution compared to the small acreage of forest needed to produce a box of disposables. Keep a set for everyday use, a larger set of white handkerchiefs for major cold and flu excretions (white ones can be bleached to kill any lingering germs) and maybe some in a pretty pattern or colour…just because!
I bought a lovely set of purple hankies on ebay, ex-M&S. They’re meant to be for men but they’re so much bigger than “ladies” sets and the colours were so much deeper and brighter than the delicate pastel shades in the women’s ranges.
They’re gentler on your nose, easy enough to wash, don’t take long to dry and they don’t disintegrate or leak! If you’re handy with a sewing machine, make your own from old cotton sheets, pillowcases or t-shirts.
Plus, after a short time of using one, you start to understand why Bilbo Baggins was willing to turn around a company of 13 dwarves and a wizard setting off on a noble quest when he realised he had forgotten his pocket handkerchief!
I use my Ball Mason Jars for everything from freezing leftovers, storing my overnight oats and smoothies and even preparing couscous. Use an empty sauce jar to start off with, then if you like it you can invest in a nice set. Make sure they are freezable or leave a gap when filling to allow for the food’s expansion in the freezer.
There you have it! My Top 5 Zero Waste items. For a fully comprehensive list on this topic, check out this blog post from goingzerowaste.com.
What are your favourite zero waste items? Leave a comment below!
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