A Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste Home Products

Zero Waste

Hoping to get started with a zero waste lifestyle in 2021? Or just on the lookout for new zero waste products to make sustainability easier for you? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll share some of our favorite zero waste home essentials that will make reducing your waste a whole lot easier.

Zero Waste Home Products that can be essential for you

Before we get started, a quick disclaimer – you do not need to buy any new products to get started on a journey towards zero waste. However, there are some that will make the transition much simpler, if you’re in the budget. This is just a quick reminder that if you can’t afford some of the products listed here, that doesn’t mean you can’t live sustainably.

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

The kitchen is usually where most of our waste comes from. Food packaging and produce scraps add up and you’ll probably want to get started here if you’re aiming for a zero waste or low waste lifestyle. Thankfully, there are plenty of home essentials for your kitchen to help you out.
Your first steps should be to start getting rid of plastic (especially packaging) and reducing the number of single-use items (such as paper towels). These will help get rid of the majority of waste in your home. Subsequently, you may also want to pick up composting, since food scraps sent to landfill cannot decompose properly and release methane (a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent in the short run than CO2).

Here are some kitchen basics to help you along the way:

  • Reusable produce bags – this will help you skip the single-use packaging of produce and baked goods. Simply choose naked products and put them in your own bags. You’ll find these almost anywhere these days, including supermarkets, although we’d recommend getting them from stores specializing in selling sustainable home essentials or Etsy, to ensure they’re also made sustainably.
  • Unpaper towels – instead of using paper towels, switch to a reusable alternative. You could use any old cloth you have at home or invest in new ones, just make sure it’s from natural fibers such as cotton and not synthetic materials, which release plastic into the water cycle. Peace With the Wild has quite a varied range available.
  • Worm bin – if you don’t have a garden to compost in, you may want to give worm bins a try to give your food scraps the optimum conditions to decompose.


Zero Waste Home Products For Bathroom

Zero Waste Home Product for Bathroom
Although the bathroom seemingly doesn’t accumulate waste as quickly as the kitchen, you’ll likely be surprised at how much waste it gathers if you start keeping track of it. Aside from packaging, there are many single-use products in our bathrooms that are flooding the landfills with waste.
Here are some of the simplest solutions to the problem:

  • Soap bars – this is nothing novel, you’ve certainly used a soap bar in the past. Go back to the basics and pick up a bar of natural soap at your local zero waste store or whole food shop.
  • Shampoo bars – these you may not have heard of before, but they work the same as soap bars, just for your hair! It may take a little while to find the perfect soap bar for you – thankfully they are available from many different brands including Lush, Friendly Soap or Faith in Nature.
  • Facial round/wipes – if you wear makeup, this is the most sustainable way to remove it. Swap single-use cotton rounds for the reusable alternative.
  • Bamboo toothbrush – a simple and affordable swap for anyone is a bamboo toothbrush. They’re available almost anywhere now – Peace With the Wild has a good range.
  • Toothpaste tablets or powder – works just like normal toothpaste, you just chew it or dip your toothbrush in it before use. The ones by Georganics come in glass, with no plastic.
  • Face cloths – if you wash your face with a cloth, Face Theory has super soft organic cotton ones (and also offers a variety of zero waste skincare, if that’s what you’re looking for).
  • Menstrual cup – periods produce a lot of waste. A reusable option such as the menstrual cup can not only reduce your impact on the environment but is also better for your health and your wallet. Mooncup is one of the most popular and comes without plastic packaging.
  • Period panties – if a cup doesn’t sound like something you’re too excited about trying, period panties from brands such as Thinx or WUKA could be right for you.


Cleaning zero waste products

Cleaning your home sustainably is easiest with just two ingredients – baking soda and vinegar! These two will take care of most cleaning around the house. However, there are some products you may wish to use in addition:

  • Sustainable laundry detergent and dishwashing soap – two of the things that may be harder to replace when going zero waste – Dropps offers these in form of capsules packaged in paper.
  • Compostable dishwashing sponge – there are different options for sustainable dishwashing sponges, although our favourites are compostable. You can find these at Eco Vibe and other sustainable stores.
  • Dishwashing block – swap plastic bottles of unsustainable washing-up liquid for a zero waste, package-free dishwashing block. No Tox Life has one popular option, although there are others from different brands available too.


Let’s start using Zero Waste Home Products!

A variety of zero waste home products
While this list is far from exhaustive, it covers all of the basics you may want to try if you’re going zero waste. Have we forgotten about any of your personal favorite zero waste home essentials?
Looking for other article related to zero waste? We have many options, such as article about the zero waste movement, or how to start your zero waste lifestyle!

Resources:
“Methane: The Other Important Greenhouse Gas.” Web. 16 Dec. 2020.
               
Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!