Low Waste Living Tips

posted on: Monday, December 23, 2019

Zero waste isn’t possible for everyone. But reducing your waste is. Read on for some on low waste living tips. Better for you, the environment and your wallet.

That Red House soapberries. Low waste vegan laundry detergent.

Reusable cotton bags. Canvas totes. Low waste living.

The first tip is probably the most known one, but we couldn’t leave it off the list.

 

Get yourself some reusable shopping bags.

 

It’s crazy that Australia has now banned single use plastic bags in supermarkets, yet there are still people paying for those slightly thicker plastic bags instead of just buying the reusable ones (which are only 99c btw) or bringing their own.

 

Reusable bags are so much better in every way; they don’t break (well, we hope they don’t), they come in different sizes, you can choose from an endless array of design options and, most importantly, they help the environment.

 

I must admit, I  never thought I’d develop a somewhat addiction to shopping totes but hey, at least I actually use this collection.

 

If you can’t remember to bring them, just leave them in your car, leave reminders on your phone, stick a note on your fridge and I promise, after the first few times, you’ll remember your bags.

 

I even leave one in my handbag for days I’m going out but don’t intend on shopping. I think I’ve used it every one of of those times.

 

If you haven’t switched to reusable bags yet, do it not. You will feel so much happier seeing them instead of the ugly and flimsy plastic bags which become a burden as soon as you’ve put away your shopping.

 

And if you want to achieve super low waste living level, then invest in some reusable produce and bread bags. Which are now so much cheaper than when they first came out. Trust me when I say there are not many things better in life than having an entire cupboard of free space because there’s no longer a mountain of plastic bags crammed in there.

Low waste tips. Cotton totes or shopping bags.

Bag It

Making your own DIY cleaning products. Glass amber spray bottle from target Australia.

A really easy way to reduce your waste and save a heap of money at the same time, is to make your own household products.

 

I know, it sounds like a lot of work but it’s really as easy as mixing a few products you likely already have in your home together in a bottle. If you’re reading this then you most certainly can pop over to google and find out what concoctions to make for what situations.

 

Get yourself a few glass bottles (or reusing some you already might have will score you some extra brownie points) and makeup your detergents, sanitisers and scrubs. My favourite part about this is that I can make them smell how I want with some essential oils and there’s no risk of chemical headaches and burning eyes. Unless you get the mixture in your eyes, but don’t try that.

 

I bought a few amber coloured glass bottles for three bucks each a few months ago and I’ve probably already saved three hundred bucks in cleaning supplies.

 

 

Essential oils for low waste living.

FYI DIY

Perth vegan blogger. Low waste living. Australian essential oils.
Soap nuts Australia. Vegan and natural washing detergent.

But let’s face it, some things are just way to fucking hard make yourself.

 

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have time to make my own washing detergent.

 

Luckily enough though there are a few ways to reduce waste here.

 

The first is to have and wear less clothes. But we’re almost in 2020 here and while a minimalist wardrobe sounds like a dream, that’s not about to happen for me anywhere in the foreseeable future. And because of those I use two different things to wash clothes with. The first is soapberries. The second is bulk washing detergent.

 

What are soapberries, you ask? Basically dried up nuts with contain a natural surfactant called saponin. When in water, the soapberries break water tension and natural foam up. You can wash clothes with them by putting a small handful into a little woven bag into your washing machine and they can be reused until they are all broken up and no longer produce foam. And because they’re just nuts, you can throw them into the garden or compost and they will biodegrade.

 

I love soapberries. But only to an extent. They clean clothes well but you can forget about them removing stains and whitening your clothes.

 

Because of this, I had to find an alternative and being lucky enough to live in a city with quite a few zero waste bulk stores, I have access to bulk washing detergent. Just bring a container and fill her up! If you live in a big town or a city, check to see if there are any bulk stores near your which you can stock up on things like washing liquid. Many cities are moving towards a low waste goal so you might be surprised with such a store near yourself.

Washing on a Star

Bisous makeup remover cloth. Enjo makeup remover pads.
Zero waste makeup remover.
Shampoo with a Purpose. Australian made shampoo and conditioner bars.
Shampoo with a Purpose review. Zero waste shampoo bars.
Shampoo with a Purpose. Low waste shampoo and conditioner.

What about beauty though?

 

Don’t worry, brands and companies are making leaps and bounds in this area after finally realising it’s what their customers want.

 

My favourite hobby recently appears to be trying out different brands of solid shampoo and conditioner bars.

 

I honestly wasn’t expecting much more than hating it but I was seriously surprised.

 

It’s nothing like washing your hair with soap. Well, it kind of is, but it doesn’t leave your hair feeling like you’ve washed it with soap (unless you have, in which case I would advise you to cease doing so), but it leaves your hair feeling pretty much the same as it would had you washed it with regular bottle shampoo and conditioner.

 

It took a couple of washes to get used to applying a bar to my hair but I don’t think I could go back to my old ways now. I’m 100% a convert. First of all, you save a tonne of money (even more if you have long locks like mine) and for some reason, I’ve been experiencing way less shedding.

 

Like I mentioned above, I’ve tried out a fair few brands but my absolute favourites are Bar None, which come in separate shampoo and conditioner bars, and the Shampoo with a Purpose brand.

 

The Shampoo with a Purpose bars though are two in one, so you’re also saving time by not having to condition separate after your shampoo.

 

They take a bit to get your hair used to it, if you have temperamental locks but once you’ve used these, you won’t be able to revert.

 

Not to mention, these bars smell freakin’ AMAZING.

Black Chicken Remedies Axilla deodorant review.

Hairy Situation

Axilla deodorant. Black Chicken Remedies.

Ok, so these aren’t exactly zero waste, but I’m gonna add them to the list anyway because it’s one of my new favourite personal care products.

 

This Black Chicken Remedies Axilla deodorant.

 

I’ve only had them for a couple of months (maybe even a few) but I use them every day and haven’t even made a dent in them.

 

I think that makes them worthy of the low-waste status.

 

These neutralise odour naturally and a free from aluminium so they’re also a lot better for your body.

 

They won’t stop you sweating but they will stop you from smelling.

 

Conventional deodorants usually contain aluminium which blocks your sweat glands, thus stopping you from sweating.

 

But what it also has the ability to do is modify your DNA which, if you ask me is some pretty fucking scary Jekyll and Hyde shit.

 

Another problem with aluminium deodorants is that they build up in your clothes too and leave those awful armpit stains. No, it’s not you, or your sweaty armpits. Literally. It’s your deodorant.

 

So if you want to help your body as well as the environment, (and your wardrobe), switch to a more natural deodorant.

 

Just FYI, these also smell divine, which is pretty much what I’m looking for in a product like this.

 

But if scented isn’t your thing, there is also the sensitive skin option with is also free of bi-carb for those who get a irritated by the stuff.

Reusing glass jars in the pantry.

In the Pits

Reuse glass jars for storage in the pantry.

When I first got my own kitchen, I went to Ikea and spent about $400 on jars.

 

There was no way I was going to have a pantry full of opened bags and un-matching packages like my mum. Sorry mum.

 

And while I love knowing every single item I own and where they are all, I probably didn’t need to spend a fortune on jars for aesthetic purposes (though it does make me happy looking at organised food).

 

In my defence though, as my first kitchen, I didn’t really have any used jars laying around.

 

As my culinary adventures have expanded beyond roast vegetables and instant noodles, I’ve found myself needed some more jars here and there. But since I don’t really want to spend that kind of money on containers from Ikea again, I’ve been repurposing jars from food I’ve finished.

 

Sure, it might not be all matchy-matchy but it works and I kind of like the look of some random jars amongst the organisation. Not to mention, I didn’t have to shell out extra for them.

 

And even if you can’t budge on the matching pantry, you can still reuse jars for things like buying food at the bulk store or for carrying meals and snacks around. Sure, it’s kind of hipster meets op-shop granny, but it beats single use plastic and is zero waste.

Moong Dahl. Buying bulk to reduce waste.

She Had Jars in Her Eyes

Ikea glass and bamboo food containers. How to reduce your waste. Low waste tips.
Zero waste tips. Low waste ideas. Glass reusable water bottle.
Reusable cutlery. How to reduce waste.

But if you really can’t budge on the whole reusing old things thing (we get it, we live in an Instagram world now). at least invest in some solid reusable items.

 

Things on the top of the list would cutlery, lunchboxes, straws and water bottle.

 

I don’t think I’ve bought a water bottle in 5 years and my wallet has been thanking me for it.

 

There are so many options for these every day items that you can get something in pretty much any design you want now.

 

Get yourself a solid water bottle and coffee travel mug and you could be saving over 300 plastic bottles and paper cups a year!

How to reduce waste at home.
Reusable cutlery from Muji and eBay.

Reduce < Reuse