Favourite Low Waste Swaps

Recently, I have been trying to be more low waste. I know I can never be low waste in every aspect of my life. Some areas of my life will never be low to no waste because I simply know I can’t be zero waste in every aspect. My personal motto is do what you can where you can. I thought I would talk about a few of my favourite low waste swaps!

First, stainless steel straws. I have talked about these before but I love them. I take them to work and use them when I can. Sometimes I forget them but most times I take them with me wherever I go as I like to use a straw.

Stainless steel straw and Mason Jar

Along with the first one a mode of drinking is my personal favourite; mason jars. I know, this is so cliche I know but these are the most useful thing to have around. They can hold sauce, salads, pasta, coffee, water, salad dressing, literally anything you want to store. Even things that aren’t food, makeup brushes, pencils, loose change etc. There is a use for them. I also like to buy things in glass jars and then reuse the jars to store things.

Bamboo Paper Towel and Rag

H&M Tote

Reusable rags and bamboo paper towels. I found the bamboo paper towels at Marshalls and they are amazing! Everytime I wash them they get softer and softer. I also took a few beach towels from home and cut up them into towels for cleaning and for napkins. Now the reusable life takes a bit of getting used to, like if you spill something it’s not as easy as one two throw out and never see the mess again. It requires rinsing off the rag and reusing it once or twice before throwing it in the laundry bag.

Tote bags. I just love a good tote bag. You can get them at a variety of stores and you can get fit many things in them. I have also noticed drastically my plastic bag use decrease. The one I have in the photo is from H&M  and it folds up to a small size that fits in my purse! I am hoping to get a few more as I think they are a great $3 purchase that saves the planet! These are different from typical grocery bags you might buy in the checkout line at loblaws, because they are so malleable you can fit them in your purse for safe keeping and if you buy something whip it out and carry what you need in there.

Reusable cotton rounds

My last personal favourite. Reusable cotton rounds. At first I was wary, but then I had a bunch of yarn and made my own. They are simple to make and they are super effective. My skin feels great, I use them a few times and you can wash them by hand in between uses and let them dry. They are such a great swap and I highly recommend making or buying some for you daily use of toner. If not pro tip: you can use your toner with your hands, obviously make sure they are clean, then squirt the toner on and press into the skin. Voila.

What is your favourite way to be low waste?


My lowish waste day bag

Tuesdays. Wednesdays. The two days of my week that are extensive. My two days that start at 7:30 and end at 8:30. Wednesdays end a 9. As someone who is gluten free, finding food on campus that is not a salad or fries is a difficult task. So I tend to make my lunches on these days as well as snacks and dinner. Wednesdays I do splurge and eat at our on campus eatery.

However, what I have found with working, then going to class was I was so much trash using straws because I make my own iced coffee. Yes, like a hipster, I used mason jars for most things. I have started making my own salads (who am I) and roasting nuts and then taking whatever other snacks I have around like yogurt, bananas, pita chips, and for dinner I take whatever I have made that Sunday or the night before.

 

I am on a journey to produce less waste, I have not committed to the zero waste as to be perfectly honest I have allergies and I use so much kleenex and I still buy things in packaging. There are also other areas that I find are hard because a lot of things you guy come with some packaging (possibly a sign I should do less shopping). BUT where I can I like to keep it low waste. Here are my favourite ways to be low waste on a busy day where all you want to do is buy fast food.

Get yourself a canvas tote. I have this one from h and m. Honestly not the most ethical brand, but this tote has become such a useful tool in my little low waste kit and carries everything rather well. 

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My stainless steel straws. AH. AMAZING. I have been using so many plastic straws and after the last bag I bought weeks ago, I decided to not repurchase plastic ones but to order stainless steel ones from amazon and they come with three cleaning brushes which is really convenient!

My glass containers and mason jars. Yes. I’m that person at work that whips out my mason jar and drinks iced coffee. I make my salad in jars. Old salsa jar? Yah you bet. Classic mason jar? Yah you bet! I also have some glass containers with from anchor glass that do have plastic lids, BUT my main problem with my plastic containers was the fact that they were retaining smell and these don’t. I’m a gross human, I would forget to clean them out. NOW if I do they don’t smell one bit.

A re-usable “napkin”. So I don’t really use this as a napkin, but for example, when I’m done using my straws or utensils I will use this to dry them. My fork I will take off the access and dry it off so it doesn’t make my tote sticky. Yes, maybe that sounds gross but i mean if you think about men used to use hankies so…

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I am by no means a zero waste person, because there are certain things that don’t make sense to me to completely give up. Tissues are a big one, I always need them because I always have allergies. Albeit my allergies have greatly improved, I still need tissues enough to an extent that reusable hankies aren’t going to do. I am looking for brands that make sustainable  tissues but as a student I pick and choose what to budget!

What do you do to try and be a bit lower waste?