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It has taken me a LONG time to get to the point in my house where most of what I buy is zero, or low waste. There’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of things that don’t work (or work in that moment, but you find better options), a lot of using up what you already have.
If you’re trying to be a little more eco-conscious, and have no idea where to start, try with one of my low-waste favourites below! I’ve been using them for quite some time and absolutely love them all.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
These have been at the top of my list of faves for years. I used to only use them for traveling or camping, but now they’re all I use! If you’ve followed my eco journey, you know that I’ve had a hard time finding a conditioner bar that doesn’t leave my hair feeling…ick. This is what I use! Shampoo. Conditioner. It makes my hair feel amazing! Now, the only plastic bottle in my shower is when I use a colour depositing mask. #lavenderhairforever
Seriously. Bar soap has been a life changer. Weird, I know. But, it’s so wonderful. You can get fancy artisan kinds as a little treat, or just use classic Nivea (Nivea creme soft has zero palm oil, so is my go-to when I’m in between batches of home-made soap).
I use bar soap everywhere. For my body, for my face, for my kitchen, and for my bathrooms. I change up the scents as the seasons change and no longer have to throw out plastic bottles of liquid soap that seems to last three seconds.
French Press/Espresso Machine
We bought a French press because we decided to be fancy one day. Classic drip coffee, pour overs, and true espresso machines (not nespresso pods) are all low-waste options. Get out of that pod coffee habit and into better coffee for you and the planet.
The double love for my espresso machine? I haven’t been to Starbucks in months, and with some chocolate oat milk, syrup, and whipped cream, I don’t miss it!
Recycled Toilet Paper
Okay, so we can’t really be picky because of the crazy hoarders recently, but recycled toilet paper is the easiest, and best, switch I’ve made! I don’t know why people are so obsessed with the thickest toilet paper you can buy…if your booty needs a pillow to be wiped, just use a damn towel at that point. They’re so much softer. How do I know? Because we ran out of toilet paper (all toilet paper) during the first bit of the pandemic because of hoarders and I had to switch to a ‘family cloth’. Yep.
You can buy recycled, or bamboo, toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap. They also do nice things. You can also find recycled toilet paper in your drug or grocery stores. I like cascades fluff enviro because it’s Canadian, breaks down hella quickly (septic system life probs!), and is soft!
Some people will hate this litter, but I absolutely love it. Clay litters require mining for clay. Duh. They also make a ton of dust in your litter tray. So, fuck that shit and move onto recycled paper kitty litter.
It doesn’t clump, but it breaks down to the bottom, so you just gotta scoop the bottom of the tray. It can take a little getting used to, but I love how there aren’t little dust clouds surrounding the tray, or tiny rocks absofuckinglutely everywhere. I also pair my cat litter cleaning with compost bags, so they will break down faster.
Nellie’s Cleaning Products
I love, love, love this stuff! I use the powder for my dishwasher and my laundry. It works so well! Exactly like the traditional brands, but better. It doesn’t have a scent, it comes in powder form, and they are making changes to their packaging to be even more eco friendly. Plus, you can get it in a cute tin, making you feel very housewifey fancy.
This has been my absolute favourite switch. It’s even easier than the recycled toilet paper. Your toothbrush looks 10,000x more chic and you’re not throw away plastic every 3-4months.
It feels the same as a regular toothbrush. Apparently, you can pull the bristles out when you’re done, but I’ve never been able to do so. I just crack the top off, throw it in the garbage, and then compost the handle.
No Container Deodorant
Changing my deodorant has been a bit of a wild ride. First, I was looking for aluminum free deodorant that didn’t have ridiculous ingredients. Then, I was trying to get out of plastic packaging. All while trying to find one that wasn’t a billion dollars and that actually worked.
Eventually, I found not one, but two, that work. One comes without any packaging at all, and I just pop it into a small Mason jar. The other comes in a tiny tin.
Bowl covers, or bonnets as my husband calls them, are the best. They replace saran wrap easier than beeswax wraps and look hella cute. Just pop over your bowl or dish, put in fridge, and away we go.
You can even use it for rising bread. People always use plastic wrap in their recipes. I’ve always used a tea towel, like a normal person.
These things are life changing! So much scrubbier than any plastic garbage you can find in the stores! Once they’re icky, just throw them in the wash and they’re good as new again!
Etee Dish Soap
I LOVE this dish soap. It comes in wax pods, it’s a Canadian company, and it works! It doesn’t have a lot of bubbles since there is no SLS, and honestly, that takes a little getting used to, but once you do it’s awesome. It does have some bubbling action in the beginning, or if you’re just cleaning one cup, so you’ll feel happy as a clam. It works just as well as any regular dish soap out there – just without the plastic.