2015

These are all the changes I implemented during the first year of my zero waste journey (along with goals to tackle in the new year). Though it may look like a lot, I took many baby steps that added up significantly come December.

 

ZERO WASTE MESS KIT

To get into the habit of bringing my own reusable alternatives, I put together a mess kit to tackle the low-hanging fruit of plastic disposables .

- Mason Jar or Canteen vs. paper & plastic cups & water bottles.
- Stainless Steel Straw
- Foldable spork vs. plastic utensils
- Bring a Cloth Napkin
Fabric Tote & Cloth Bags vs. plastic bags
Tiffin instead of take-out containers

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ZERO WASTE TOILETRIES

For more details on my toiletries transition check out my article on the evolution of my toiletries bag.

- Package-Free Soap & Castile Soap in bulk vs. multiple soap products (shampoo, body wash, face wash, etc)
- Bamboo Toothbrush vs. plastic toothbrush
- DIY Lotions using bulk oils instead of having products for every body part
- Zero Waste Makeup: Beauty RMS Organic Concealer & DIY Mascara vs. chemical-laden cosmetics
- DIY Roll-On Deodorant, Hair Shampoo & Lip Balm vs. plastic-encased versions
- Handkerchiefs vs. kleenex
Safety Razor vs. disposable razors
Compostable Loofah vs. plastic loofah (can be down-cycled for cleaning)
Wooden Comb vs. plastic comb
Diva Cup & Reusable Panty Liners vs. tampons
Compost hair and nail clippings

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ZERO WASTE SUSTENANCE

- Believe in BULK! Bring your own containers to the grocery store and look for bulk bins
- Compost food waste
- Mason Jars vs. plastic tupperware containers
- Stainless Steel & Wood kitchen cookware vs. plastic
- Cast Iron vs. nonstick
- Kitchen Towels vs. disposable paper towels

ZERO WASTE UPKEEP

- Repair your electronics: I repaired my iPhone screen using a kit from iFixit - a great resource with repair guides and parts
- Mend your clothing, Repair worn-out shoes
- Natural Sponges vs. plastic sponges
- Bamboo dish rack vs. the plastic kind
- Natural Cleaning with vinegar, castile soap, and baking soda (which I use in other recipes as well) instead of multiple cleaning products
- Reusable Rags vs. disposable paper towels
- Reuse & Down-Cycle bathroom items as cleaning tools: old bamboo toothbrush, face sponges, loofah, etc

ZERO WASTE STYLE

- Embrace Minimalism
- Swap, Sell, & Second-Hand your wardrobe
- Peruse the Free Pile
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Use Compostable or Reusable Gift Wrap, or simply Don't Wrap It

GOALS FOR 2016

- Batteries
- Natural medicinal remedies
- Refillable Pens
- More plants! 
- Rubber lint remover
- Zero Waste Floss
- Refillable lighter
- Condoms