8 Essential Items for Zero-Waste Living

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These handy items make zero-waste living a breeze!

While you may think it sounds hard, in fact, zero-waste living can be quite easy if you incorporate some simple zero-waste habits into your daily routine.

There are lots of little steps you can take, from composting your food waste, to using reusable food containers and bags, to making your own homemade beauty and personal care products – which not only reduces packaging waste, but also reduces your exposure to potentially harmful chemical ingredients.

Learning to live a waste-free lifestyle means making a few changes, sure, but having the right tools on hand can make it a lot easier to build zero-waste habits into your daily life. Here are a few handy items that will help make zero-waste living a snap:

1. Reusable bags

This is probably the easiest item to get your hands on, and it has a huge impact. I’d suggest buying a linen or hemp bag, as they are typically more sustainably produced and have longer life spans. You can use these for just about anything while shopping.

2. Reusable water bottle

This is another no-brainer if you want to avoid plastic bottles. I love the brands Retap and Soulbottles. If you want to keep drinks either really cold or really hot, Swell is another stylish option.

3. Jars, jars, jars

Once you find a bulk bin grocery store near you, you will probably need jars to store your unpackaged items. I also use my Weck and Mason ball jars to hold nuts or beans overnight, sprout chickpeas, bake muffins or little cakes, carry my lunch, and store liquids.

4. Produce bags

Reusable produce bags that are light enough that you don’t have to weigh them in the beginning are a must for any zero-waste shopping trip. Personally, I love the organic cotton bags from naturtasche.de, but I generally encourage people to support local brands or make their own version if they’re feeling crafty.

5. Reusable spray bottle

Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle also means switching to a toxin-free cleaning product. I put a mix of white vinegar and gin in a stainless-steel or glass spray bottle and call it a day. If you want to switch it up, simply add a few drops of organic essential oils or soak the peels of a lemon or orange in the mix overnight.

6. Menstrual cup/reusable pads

I feel obligated to share this with you as the menstrual cup has literally changed my life and my cycle for the better. I strongly believe that we should not have to pay the amounts of money that we do to take care of our periods every month and that we deserve access to a safe, nontoxic product.

7. Stainless-steel lunch box & waxed wrapper

If you have kids, stainless-steel lunch boxes are a must. Fill yours with goodies wrapped in beeswax wraps—reusable, washable, and ultimately compostable food storage wraps that are perfect for sandwiches and fruit.

8. Composting bin

Composting might be one of the most important components of a zero-waste life. It prevents food waste from going into landfills, where it is deprived of oxygen and therefore can’t decompose properly, resulting in the release of potent methane gas. If you have a garden or are interested in starting your own vermicompost at home, a compost bin can be a wonderful help.

Read more and find more tips for zero-waste living at MindBodyGreen.com


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