Here are some easy tips and simple swaps that I have been making in my life and maybe you could also make this week:
Toothpaste tubes are not recyclable.
Alternative: Inspired by Lauren Singer, another zero waster, I have been making my own toothpaste. It’s so simple. All you need is:
– coconut oil
– bicarbonate of soda
– peppermint oil
Here is her little film on how to make it.
Tip: Don’t leave out the peppermint oil, bicarb is salty. Don’t leave it in direct sunlight, the coconut oil will melt.
Bonus: Way cheaper than toothpaste and your housemates won’t steal any!
Most toothbrushes are made of plastic and are non-recyclable. Just think, every toothbrush you have ever used will remain on this earth for generations after you have gone.
Alternative: A bamboo toothbrush; these are biodegradable and come in cardboard packaging:
Tip: Order a few at a time to save on postage and packaging.
Bonus: You can write your name on the handle if others in your house have the same brush as you.
I suffer from hay fever, so all summer my bin is usually full of tissues. We’re also now deep into winter cold season.
Tip: Go for dark colours. I was mocked mercilessly by my housemates for asking for hankies for my birthday. Don’t give in to the mockers, it’s character building.
Bonus: I no longer have to spend money on tissues and my bin is far emptier.
4. Make-up wipes
Not only do the wipes fill your bin, but the plastic they come in isn’t recyclable either
Tip: Buy soap that comes in a box, or unwrapped, otherwise you have to send more plastic to landfill. At least you can recycle a box.
Bonus: You run out a lot less often and it’s way cheaper.
5. Cling film
Cling film is a type of plastic you cannot recycle.
Alternative: We mostly use cling film to store food, here are some alternatives, you’ll probably have more I haven’t listed.
– Containers or glass jars with lids, i.e. old ice cream tubs, old jam jars
– A bowl with a plate over the top
– Bee’s Wrap make a lovely, natural alternative to cling film made from cloth and bees wax.
– If none of the above are an option, foil is a better alternative as you can recycle tin foil.
Tip: If you are responsible for the shopping in your house, don’t buy cling film. If you don’t have it, you can’t use it.
Bonus: If you have a cheeky piece of cheesecake left in the fridge and it’s hidden in a bowl with a plate over the top, no-one else will know and it is less likely to be eaten before you have a chance!
This post is part of a series that our friends at Rhythms are writing on minimalism and ethical lifestyles.