The zero waste mindset fosters a greater awareness of the earth’s limited resources while emphasizing conscientious consumption. Check out our list of zero waste swaps that promote less trash and more utility in the products we use.
An estimated 30 million plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills each year in the Australia, taking anywhere from 450 to 1,000 years to degrade. That means that every single plastic toothbrush that has ever been made since its invention in the 1930s is still sitting in the landfill today.
The average Australian tosses out 1 toothbrush annually, so that is 23 million toothbrushes in landfill every year. You can reduce plastic waste by opting instead for bamboo toothbrushes, a much more sustainable option that takes plastics out of the equation. The handles are strong and won’t splinter, are entirely biodegradable, and are individually numbered for multi-person households.
2. CLING WRAP
Stretchy and sticky cling wrap is great for sealing up food to delay spoilage but these plastic films can’t be recycled due to the addition of chemicals that make it cling, which cannot be removed.
A blend of beeswax, organic cotton, jojoba oil, and tree resin, Bee’s Wrap can be washed and reused as much as several times per week for around one year. It sticks to itself as well as plates and bowls when you rub it with your hands. When it reaches the end of its usefulness, toss it in the compost. Great Wrap is a new Australian company that has created a wrap that is 100% compostable and now available at Woolworths!
3. DRINKING STRAWS
Using a plastic straw to slurp your bevvy might seem like a small thing, but the amount of waste generated is staggering: 500 million straws are used in America each day. Although slight in size, straws are one of the worst offenders when it comes to ocean pollution, as evidenced by a video shot in 2015 of a sea turtle with a straw painfully stuck in its nostril.
Green + Kind Bamboo Reusable Straws available at Flora & Fauna 50c from every set of straws sold is donated to Sea Shepherd Australia.
Tossed away at a rate of 100 million per year in the Australia, disposable razors are too small and too difficult to disassemble at ordinary recycling plants and so they languish at the dump.
But we can reduce this wastefulness substantially be switching to a safety razor. The one above are by Lilvio Reusable Safety Razor.
5. MAKEUP REMOVER PADS
Disposable makeup remover pads are often made from cotton, one of the most unsustainable non-food crops in the world. Cotton farming contributes to water scarcity, soil erosion, ecosystem contamination, and is very heavy handed in its use of pesticides and chemicals. Using non-organic cotton pads once and then tossing them away means that all that environmental pollution was for nothing. These Planet Revive are a great alternative reusable make up wipe.
6. DENTAL FLOSS
Flossing your teeth once per day has many benefits beyond good oral hygiene but the typical brands of dental floss are made from nylon threading and come in a plastic container – neither of which can be recycled.
You can have squeaky clean teeth without the unnecessary waste by using Green Kind instead. It comes in a refillable glass dispenser that can be restocked again and again.
Conventional deodorant brands tend to contain ingredients that are dubious at best and they are packaged in a plastic tube that can’t be recycled in most municipalities. This Lavender & Vanilla Deodorant Stick by Ethique is one of many deodorants on the market that can be recycled and uses natural ingredients.
8. SHOPPING BAGS
Five trillion plastic bags are produced worldwide every year – and yet less than 1% is ever recycled. That means that practically each bag ever created will remain on earth for a really, really long time. The Swag is a Australian heavy duty shopping bag.
9. COFFEE CUPS
By investing in a reusable coffee mug, you can help divert the epic wastefulness of single use paper cups – which are heaped into garbage sites at a rate of 50 billion per year. That’s right – paper coffee cups can’t be recycled. Huskee Reusable Coffee Cup is a great choice and is 50% made coffee husks.
10. FEMININE PRODUCTS
The ecological impact of menstruation is nothing to shrug at either – billions of feminine hygiene products are trashed in the Australia each year. Not only do tampons and pads contain toxic ingredients that could compromise your health, these synthetic chemicals are persistent organic pollutants that are resistant to degradation to remain in the soil, water, food supply, and atmosphere…pretty much forever. Alternatives are readily available. Modibodi is an Australian option of period undies.
At any one time over 800 million women around the globe are menstruating.
Up to 90% of a menstrual pad and 6% of a tampon is plastic.
One pack of pads contains the same amount of plastic as five single-use plastic bags.
Pads take 500+ years to biodegrade – so the first period and sanitary pads ever made could still be inlandfill.