Extra zero waste swaps to help you continue living sustainably

by Lily Friis

“The zero waste lifestyle is about reducing your waste within the context of your budget, your circumstances, and your lifestyle goals. And that’s okay.” – The Zero Waste Collective

These swaps involve a little bit more research and effort to find. But you may not even realise that there are sustainable alternatives to these everyday items:

Deodorant: Most of the brands of deodorant we know and buy come in packaging that is hard to recycle and almost impossible to re-use. And of course the products are rarely made with sustainable materials and processes. However, there are alternatives! All it takes is a google search of ‘sustainable deodorant’ to see just how many brands there are that offer eco-friendly alternatives. Some well known brands include NoPong, WoohooBody and Blackchicken. It can be tricky to find the brand that works best for you, but with some research and trialling, you’ll be sure to find one in no time!

Cotton buds: While this item may not play a major role in your life, you might not have known that there is a sustainable alternative to this beauty product. Stores such as Biome and Flora & Fauna offer sustainable options that are either made with recycled materials or are fully biodegradable.

Toilet paper: Toilet paper is hardly an item that we can choose not to buy, but did you know that you could be buying a more sustainable option? Who Gives a Crap produces 100% recycled toilet paper while also giving back to the community.

Plastic food storage: While storing leftovers or food in a re-usable container is better than using cling wrap, often these containers are still made from plastic. A great alternative is to try storing food in glass jars you already have around the house. If you don’t already keep old glass jars, you should! They have so many uses for around the house, but a great one is food storage. All you need to do is to keep and clean the jars you have. Do this by simply removing the label by soaking in hot soapy water or using a product such as turpentine. Not only does this provide an alternative to plastic containers but it also re-purposes those glass jars!

Typical cleaning products: Many of the cleaning products we buy come in plastic packaging and often include harsh chemicals that can be bad for the environment. Luckily, there are so many natural and zero waste ways to clean that are often cheaper, easier and better for the planet! Some key ingredients include lemons, epsom salts, vinegar and other items. Simply research zero waste cleaning products and choose ones that suit you.

Buying books: Next time you are wanting to buy a book, check if you can buy it second hand before buying it new. This helps in keeping as many books out of landfill as possible. Always check in your local op shop or see if you can buy it from World of Books. Or better yet, see if the book can be borrowed from a friend. These options may not always work for your circumstance, but try and explore these when you can!

Phone cases: Many of us opt for the cheap plastic phone case that ends up cracking or breaking and we throw away pretty quickly. If you are able, next time consider purchasing a case from Pela. Their gorgeous cases are fully biodegradable and harmless to the planet. While these cases are more expensive than others, they are great for the planet, durable and simply gorgeous!

Lip balm: Most lip balms we buy such as chapsticks, come in plastic packaging that cannot be reused or repurposed. But there are so many organic and sustainable alternatives that are easily accessible. Some brands include Hurraw, Dr Bronner or Dearest Lips. Alternatively, there are plenty of DIY tutorials about making your own lip balms that are worth a try!

Cleaning scrubbers: While our go-to cleaning products often include disposable cloths and scrubbers, there are sustainable alternatives you might not know about! Stores such as Seed & Sprout Co offer various plastic-free brushes that are a great alternative.