So chances are you have watched a movie, went shopping at a major supermarket, or maybe started a module about one of the 'x' number of subjects related to 'xx' number of environmental challenges we face today, and you came to the realisation that there is so much you were not aware of. Well, many of us, say, environmentally inclined individuals, have experienced something similar to yourself and started making conscious steps to support our environment as you are now by reading this post. We have decided to change our shopping habits, and dictate to the leading change-makers what we want through the way we live, what we demand and what we buy.
Starting a zero-waste lifestyle can be overwhelming, however, the ZW community is very inclusive and many, including myself, share our experiences + tips to help this transition be as easy and hassle-free as possible. Living this way is not about being perfect, you will make mistakes, and you will learn from them. It can be, however, incredibly rewarding and eye-opening.
So, it is likely that you are sitting there thinking 'where the hell does one start?!' Well, you have looked at the big picture, but now it is time to deconstruct it into it's smaller constituents, and a good place to start is your bathroom!
Before I started practising this lifestyle we had countless items in plastic tubs for the face, body, hair etc. You name it, I had it. Full shelves and every surface covered with something, that was the norm... Where they plastic? Most. Where they necessary? NO!
Things you should start with:
1. Learn about your local recycling. Many boroughs do not accept certain plastics. Find out what recycling schemes are in your borough. Look into 'Tetrapack', 'RecyleNow' and your boroughs websites for more info.
2. Finish off all the products you have bought before starting this journey. Recycle them accordingly. You may be surprised how many of your bathroom items end up in landfills, and those that have are most likely still there because the photodegradation process can take up to 500 years or more. The good news is that most of the bathroom waste can be recycled as long as we sort our home waste properly, here is a great article for more info.
3. As you can see in the photo, that is basically all that I have now for my hygiene needs:
-A package free body soap. Natural soap bars are so versatile and ecological, everyone should start using them NOW!
- A 2in1 shampoo bar. I use to have very long hair and as part of the routine used a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask regularly. Turns out all I needed is one natural, moisturising, quality soap bar! I was so sceptical, and yet here I am, and I could not imagine it any differently. Our Ayurvedic Soapnut Shampoo Bar is an excellent option to try. There are so many to choose from, literally something for everyone, so do try different options!
- Safety Razors is another zero-waste inspired discovery that we have made, and we could not be more excited about it. Disposable plastic razors are not only incredibly wasteful but costly too. By switching to a safety razor you will considerably reduce your personal waste, and you will also pay less over-time. The blades are also easy to find and cheap to buy, we have some on G.0 website too.
- Instead of using disposable plastic toothbrushes we have switched to bamboo toothbrushes, you can also find plastic toothbrushes with replaceable heads. For us, bamboo is a no.1 choice, because it is one of the most sustainable and fastest growing plants in the world, natural to touch and antibacterial. The bamboo toothbrush can also be composted. Make sure you take off the nylon bristles because they will stay in your compost forever. Unfortunately, the only other, more environmentally friendly option there seems to be is choosing bore hair bristles. (Most likely taken from bores in China, their living conditions unclear, and as vegans, we stay away from this, but think it is important to mention). We are looking into other potentially, more sustainable options.
- Natural, organic and ecological toothpaste. This option is better for the environment and is DEFINITELY better for you. There are countless articles about the dangerous, hormone-disrupting substances used in generic toothpastes, and it is such an easy change to make, you can even make one yourself! Here is a video where I talk about alternative toothpastes. These days they come in various different forms ie.: Tablets, powder, paste. We tried various options and Loooved 'TRUTHPASTE'!
3. Make sure you always turn off the tap when you're brushing your teeth. Here are six great tips on when you should turn off the tap to save water!
4. When you use the toilet, use the low flush whenever you deem reasonable.
5. Instead of toilet paper, you can install and use a bidet shower to preserve resources. It takes considerably less energy and resources to use water compared to toilet paper. But if toilet paper is an uncompromising matter then go for recycled paper or bamboo paper as sold by a great company called 'who gives a crap?', and if you would like more information watch this video I have made some time ago.
Finally, we think following these tips is a good start to attaining your new zero-waste bathroom habits and it will teach you transferable skills to use in other areas of your ZW life too.
We will move on to the kitchen for Chapter 2! Until then enjoy this new journey of discovery!
If you have any questions or suggestion do not hesitate to contact us!