Starting a zero-waste or minimal lifestyle can seem a daunting task, at least it did to me when I started researching it more and saw all of these beautiful blogs and Instagram accounts dedicated to more conscious living. One look around my abode and having no idea where to get started definitely put me off starting sooner than I should have. That being said, I found that consistency and starting small helped me to find my rhythm. I started by seeking out sustainable options for everyday products that I already owned and then dived into the more complex stuff like fast fashion and sustainably sourced ingredients/materials. I found that a number of products that I purchase have accessible, more sustainable options and some things that weren’t necessities I just quit purchasing. These are easy examples, I don’t know if I will ever be one of those people who can use a jar of coconut oil for a million different uses but something to aspire to 🙂
I am a home scent junkie and this one pained me a little but I never reused the glass jars, I have switched to wax melts instead which often come in little to no packaging.
This is a new swap for me and was inspired by Neutrogena releasing those individually wrapped wipes, are you kidding me?! Anyway, Pinterest is rife with DIY makeup wipes using various oils and reusable cloths. You can choose whatever concoction you like and they are very effective at removing makeup. One of the only candle jars that I ever reused holds my wipes.
I have as many dishes as I will ever need in my lifetime. Entertaining can be tricky but I usually pick up compostable dinnerware, I am also a capricorn so not having enough dishes is a good excuse for not inviting anyone into my space 😛
A reusable tupperware works just as well.
I know this isn’t an ideal swap but I can’t with reusable toilet paper cloths, good thing recycled toilet paper is pretty readily available.
I have swapped these out for reusable cloth rounds, you can find these on Etsy.
I have started using reusable shammies, I also don’t have a ton of messes in my life and this one might not be ideal for all households. I also douse a shammy in cleaner and snap it onto my Swiffer handle so no need to purchase those wipes anymore!
The Method brand offers quite a few all-purpose clean refill bags and I have replaced my plastic squirt bottles with glass ones. Grove Collaborative offers some really lovely glass squirt bottles.
Again, I have enough throw pillows to last my entire lifetime and this includes the ones that I donated. Throw pillows are one of those things that one doesn’t really need but I still like a few to make my rooms feel cozy.
This was more in spite of Starbucks and their ridiculous prices but it’s a lot more sustainable and cheaper to just fill my own thermos with coffee at home before I leave for the day.
I know that pre-cut foods can be useful for some people but for me, it’s not necessary since I can cut and wash my own produce. Also, I recall reading on a box of lettuce that it was ‘triple-washed’ and that sounds like a huge waste of water.
Books, movies and music can all be purchased digitally and I find that I don’t need a physical copy. That being said, I do still get gifted a lot of books and I just donate them once I have finished reading them.
I don’t paint my nails at home but kept purchasing nail polish because every girl needs nail polish, right? Wrong, I chucked out so much it was embarrassing.
I was skeptical about those wool balls but they actually work just as well!
I guess my advice is to start small and do some research but don’t feel like you have to get it all figured out overnight. It takes some getting the hang of and I probably still consume too much to be a true minimalist but getting started is what matters! I hope that my list of swaps/no buys continues to grow as time goes on.