Hey, lovelies! Today I want to share with you my basic techniques to help you start a no-waste lifestyle. Or at least much less waste lifestyle than you’re used to. I don’t like to call my lifestyle zero – waste as unfortunately I’m still far away from there. One day though! So far, my effort is to restrict my waste to the minimum. And how do I do that and you can too? Just keep on reading. .)
These basic techniques and swaps will help you keep the planet healthy, keep you healthy, save you some money, and just make your life much much simpler.
1. Have your no-waste kit always with you
This is what I call my no waste kit and its components:
Reusable cotton bag
Let’s start with the most obvious and the easiest one. Reusable cotton bag!…. So unexpected! Yes, I know. Like if it wasn’t already everywhere in those campaigns against plastic bags advising you to bring your own bag when shopping right?
Yet what surprises me, is that there are still tons of people who don’t give a shit about this. They even buy a plastic bag and spend their money on it. Why would you do that if you can buy yourself a cute cotton bag that you’ll fall in love with and can use it for years?!
And I see this happening in fairly developed countries in Europe. I don’t know how about other continents but rather I’m not even mentioning Asia. I love Asia, but the plastic situation in there is quite sad.
Anyhow, let’s not cry. Instead, let’s take action. Haha!… I use this one, which is fairtrade and out of organic cotton. It is a local Czech brand and the sentence you see written there means “Here grows happiness”.
Reusable coffee cup and water bottle
Ah, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy those coffees to go. I probably like them even more than the ones you’re supposed to sit with. So if you’re a coffee addict like me (and most of the world), this one is especially important for you. No, you don’t need to stop drinking your coffee.
Just buy one of those coffee cups you can use for a veeery long time and save thousands of useless paper cups. I’m using this bamboo coffee cup. It doesn’t weigh much so I can always have it in my bag. Also, all the baristas always smile at me when I take it out and ask them to make me a coffee in that. Not a bad way to start the day right? ,)
The same happens with water. I don’t usually take water with me, I drink plenty of it when I’m at the place but if I know I’m going to need to take one, I take a glass water bottle. The bad thing about glass water bottle is that it’s seriously heavy.
If you try to carry it for more than half an hour in your bag, you’re not going to be able to feel your shoulder anymore. That’s why I usually don’t carry anything. But if you’re a serious water drinker and you like
to have your water handy, you can have a look at these stainless steel bottles.
Bamboo straw and wooden cutlery (or chopsticks)
Summer and its delicious cocktails! I know. And those damn straws!… Always all over the place. But how could you have a cocktail without a straw? No way! It wouldn’t even taste the same and most importantly, cocktails are all about their sipping culture.
If I have a cocktail, for me it’s more about the sipping than about the actual cocktail. So believe me, there’s no way I could have a cocktail without a straw! Luckily someone really awesome, invented bamboo straws. That’s a must have these days.
Whenever I come into a bar, I take out my bamboo straw and play cool. At first, I felt very weird doing this, but since I’ve inspired one whole bar to start serving drinks only with bamboo straws, I feel pretty proud. 🙂 Don’t worry, you’re doing it for the planet!
And the wooden cutlery is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t cook at home and must eat out, at least don’t use that white shit. Wooden cutlery weighs nothing and will last ages. If not, you can always compost it.
A handkerchief instead of tissues
What happened to the old school handkerchiefs? I remember my grandma having hundreds of them in a little drawer in her living room. As a little girl, I always wanted to grab some to take it home and could never decide which one I liked better. All of them were just so beautiful.
And then, I guess I grew out of handkerchiefs? Is that possible? Well, I don’t know. I’m sure though, I’m loving them again now. Once in a while, you just put them in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes and that’s it.
Why on earth do we need tissues? (Okay, yes, when you want to poop in a forest they might come in handy but otherwise, I don’t see a reason).
2. Make your own cosmetics and cleaning products in no-waste packaging
You can make almost all of your cosmetics yourself! Same with the cleaning products. That’s right, if you’d like an inspiration, I share in this post how to make your DIY organic shampoo or even toothpaste. Soon, I’m going to be sharing even more recipes for cosmetics, so stay tuned!
You can find a lot of recipes of all types all over the internet. On my blog, I focus on making them budget-friendly, yet still organic and really easy&quick; to make. Who needs the hassle?
Why should you make them yourself though? Store – bought cosmetics come in plastic containers and contain a lot of ingredients toxic for you and for the planet. That’s a pretty huge reason for me. However, if you’re really busy and have no time to make your shampoo/ toothpaste you can always buy it in zero – waste shops.
3. Prevent all the waste that comes with food
- Buy non-packaged food at farmers’ market
Buying food at the farmer’s market is a great way to avoid all the packaging and you know exactly where your food is coming from. You can choose who you’re going to support and of course, and which farmer you like.
I usually choose my food according to the farmer. If I see a farmer that is loving and caring, knows everything about his products and is willing to share it, I know he definitely takes great care of what he offers too.
And how could a food cared with love not taste good? So far, in my case, this technique worked perfectly. If you use it too or if you try it, please let me know, I would love to know if it works for you too. Also, if I’m not the only weirdo choosing her food according to the farmer.
- Cook at home
For me out of all the things I’ve listed here, this is absolutely the biggest challenge. Cooking at home. Oh, like I have nothing better to do than stare at the pot while something is cooking. And then, after one whole hour of cooking it, eat it in 15 minutes… Don’t get me wrong, I totally admire people who can cook and would so want to be that way too.
But when it comes to cooking, I’m terribly lazy. I would rather skip the meal instead of cooking it myself. That actually happens most of the times. Luckily, by the time passing by I’ve already discovered a few quick&easy; meals that I cook over and over.
Yes, it might seem boring but it’s much cheaper, healthier and you can avoid using plastic containers and anything that might produce waste. Plus you control what ingredients you put inside and you‘re sure you’re eating fresh food.
- When packing your food, use a long-lasting lunch box
While the main reason is clear, I also love about this that it even tastes better out of it. So if you still pack your food in plastic lunch boxes, you might want to try a glass or stainless steel one.
- Compost your food or find a local compost
If you’re traveling or don’t have your own home with a garden where you could actually use your compost, don’t worry! There’s always someone who’ll be happy to receive your compost or ask at organic coffee shops or stores if they know about any public composter. Always a good way of connecting with like-minded people.
4. Shop for clothes in second-hand shops or flea markets
It’s like second hands already made it into their own subculture. You can get there amazing, absolutely unique pieces for super cheap prices. I mean what’s better than that? And the best part, you’re recycling it!!
Remember, you don’t have to do everything exactly 100%. It’s better to take it one step at a time and slowly getting used to it. This isn’t about being perfect. It’s better to maybe just stop drinking your everyday coffee in a paper cup for years than to try quit everything only for few days and not sticking to it in the long run.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with it!
If you have any more tips, or questions, please leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to help you out.