The ultimate list of zero waste swaps

Here is my ultimate list of zero waste swaps! I will be updating this list whenever I come across a new swap, alternatively please let me know if there is anything you’ve noticed that is missing from the list!

Everyday Items:

Reusable Water Bottle:

These can be found anywhere. I recommend Chilly’s.

Shopping bags:

You almost definitely have either some bags for life or tote bags lying around! If not you can find a variety here.

Straws:

You can get straws made of many different types of materials. Click here for bamboo and here for steel. I recommend watching Shelbizleee’s video to help you decide which is best for you!

Reusable coffee cups:

KeepCup have a variety of different reusable coffee cups to choose from!

Cutlery set:

This looks like a great set, it comes with a pouch and a cleaner.

Bathroom and Toiletries:

Toothbrush:

I own a this toothbrush from zero waste club, you can keep the base and simply buy another head when it is worn out.

Toilet Rolls:

The brand ‘Who Gives a Crap’ make toilet paper that is 100% recycled.

Safety Razor:

I own this safety razor from the brand Plastic Free, it’s working great so far!

Cotton Pads:

Simply wash them in the washing machine and reuse. Can be found here.

Cotton Buds:

You can find biodegradable cotton buds here.

Hairbursh:

You can buy a wooden hairbrush here, which can eventually be composted.

Toothpicks:

You can purchase a metal toothpick which can be reused here.

Dental Floss:

You can purchase vegan, biodegradable floss here.

Menstrual Products:

The most popular option is getting a menstrual cup. The Diva Cup is one of the most popular. As an alternative you can get reusable cloth pads, there is a huge variety on Etsy.

Nappies:

You can find reusable nappies here and here or a variety of compostable nappies here.

Sponge:

This sponge is 100% biodegradable.

Beauty:

Soap:

You can get a variety of zero waste soaps from Lush. For a cheaper option you can get soap from Friendly Soap.

Shampoo and Conditioner:

You can get shampoo bars from lush as well as solid conditioners. You can also get zero waste shampoo and conditioner from Beauty Kubes.

Lipbalm:

This lip balm from Lush comes in a metal container and is vegan. You can also get a similar product from Hydrophil. You can also try and make your own, there are 100’s of DIYs on the web, here is one example.

Makeup:

Again, (sorry to be repetitive!) Lush have a couple of makeup products, double check that they’re vegan! The brand ZAO sells makeup that can be sent back and refilled, so you can use the same packaging over and over. The brand Antonym also sells products in bamboo, but watch out as their lipsticks are not vegan and some of their products have plastic packaging. You can also have a go at DIYing it, here is a pinterest board for Vegan DIY makeup!

Body Lotion:

Beauty Kubes does a zero waste body lotion which you can find hereLush also have some package free solid body lotions. Again, another thing you can DIY, see an example here.

Skincare:

The brand Beauty Kubes which I mentioned before has some skincare products that you can find here. There is also the company White Rabbit Skincare which offers a returns scheme where you can get a discount from your next product.

Dry Shampoo:

As far as I’m aware, there are no zero waste dry shampoo products out there. But it can be very easily DIYed, this YouTube video tells you how!

Mouthwash:

The brand Georganics sells mouthwash tablets in glass packaging. Watch this tutorial to learn how to DIY mouthwash!

Deodorant:

Another thing that can be DIYed! See a recipe here. There are also tons of zero waste deodorants available on Etsy.

Makeup Remover:

A really simply one! Simply buy coconut oil in a glass jar, mix it with water on a cotton pad and wipe away your makeup!

Kitchen:

Food Wraps:

As an alternative to foil and cling film when keeping food fresh. Find a vegan food wrap here.

Baking Paper:

Click here for a compostable alternative to baking paper.

Kitchen Roll:

You can always swap to a tea towel when possible (probably most of the time!) but for those times when you really need kitchen roll, you can purchase this kitchen roll which comes in compostable packaging. (All kitchen roll is compostable, but most comes in plastic)

Plastic Food Bags:

You can purchase glass tupperware in most shops in order to store food in. If you are looking for an alternative to taking your lunch in a paper/plastic bag you can purchase a lunchbox from Elephant Box, which are made of steel and come in plastic free packaging!

Washing Up Sponges:

You can purchase a sponge made from recycled materials here but there are also various handmade ones on Etsy.

Coffee:

I’m not a coffee drinker so don’t know a whole lot about this, but from my understanding you can purchase a French Press which you use over and over. I believe you can get a French Press in pretty much any shop!

Skewers:

If you ever make kebabs with disposal wooden skewers you can instead get metal ones which you can wash and reuse.

Cupcake Wrappers:

Instead of using normal paper wrapers when you bake cakes you can instead purchase silicone ones that can be washed and reused. See here!

Cleaning Products:

Cleaning products are one of the easiest things to DIY. See here an example of 2 all purpose cleaners.

Napkins:

You can really use any kind of cloth to act in place of napkins, and they often sell cloth napkins in home shops. Alternatively you can find them on Etsy.

Water Filter:

If like me you live in the UK, then tap water is perfectly safe to drink and doesn’t need to be filtered. If you do want to filter your water then you can buy charcoal water filters here.

Spices:

A lot of spices come in glass but have a plastic lid. You can purchase your own spice containers (in pretty much any home store) and buy spices in bulk from a store such as Zero Waste Club.

Misc:

Pens:

You can purchase a fountain pen like this and use this device to refill it. Also do a search of your house, most of us probably have enough pens lying around to last us years!

Produce Bags:

Instead of putting your fruit and veg in the plastic bags supermarkets provide, you can instead buy your own bags to bring. You can find some organic cotton produce bags here.

Magazines:

You can very simply get an online subscription to your favourite magazine, or alternatively you can pick it up from your local library!

Books:

You can invest in an e-reading device and download all of your books. You can also get an app such as audible where you can listen to a range of books. If you’re really a fan of physical copies then check out your local library or have a look in a charity shop. Also consider book swapping with friends and family!

Wrapping Paper:

Last Christmas I used gift bags we already had lying around the house and put presents in there. You can also use old newspaper or any kind of old paper you may have lying around. You can tie gifts with string that can be reused over and over again instead of sellotape.

Batteries:

You can purchase rechargable batteries that have a much longer life than single use ones. You can find them pretty much anywhere that sells normal batteries!

Tissues:

You can buy a hankerchief, there are lots of different designs on Etsy.


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