Zero Waste Shopping: A How To Guide

One of the most common questions I get is how to shop in bulk or package free. In this series of videos you will learn how to tare your jars to buy bulk, how to buy liquids in bulk, and how to buy solids in bulk so that you can be prepared to shop Zero Waste anywhere that offers bulk!

IMPORTANT: very often I hear that people feel uncomfortable trying to buy things package free because they are afraid the people will look at them like they are weird, or challenge them. Well, guess what, Zero Waste is NOT the norm and it is likely that people might not know what you are doing.

EMBRACE IT! If someone looks at you when you try to shop Zero Waste, it is most likely because you are the first person that they have ever seen shopping that way and they don’t know what you are doing, it’s not that they think you are weird! Take this as an opportunity to educate someone or reach out to them and explain what you are doing in a positive way. Remember, the more you shop package free, the more common it will become for stores and other shoppers and the more comfortable others will feel doing it. I believe in living my values, and so I am never afraid of looking different from others, I embrace it!

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Zero Waste Toothbrushes

In this video I’m talking about living a zero waste lifestyle but also keeping your teeth nice and healthy by choosing a better brush. Check out the video to learn more and to purchase one of these awesome toothbrushes click the link HERE and use code ‘TRASHISFORTOSSERS’ for 10% off!

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Zero Waste Deodorant

Smelly armpits are pretty unanimously unsexy. I hear people saying all the time that they cannot find deodorant that is sustainable or “eco” that keeps their armpits scent free and they go back to plastic packaged, chemical laden store bought deodorant.

That was me BUT NOT ANYMORE because I created a recipe for deodorant that kept me smelling fresh and clean even when working out. Check out how I keep stinkiness at bay in this video.

To make your own DIY deodorant, check out this video below:

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Contact Lenses

I have terrible vision.

When a doctor first told my mom that I had bad vision there was a brief second of excitement, glasses! But then reality struck. It was so cool to see like 70 percent of what was in front of me, but then there was this large range outside of the glasses that I couldn’t see and it was weird and terrifying and so I graduated to contact lenses. I have been wearing the for over 12 years now and can’t see myself going back to glasses (no pun intended) and the thought of getting laser eye surgery isn’t even a thought for me.

So how do I live a Zero Waste lifestyle and still wear contacts? Check out this video below!

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Zero Waste Deodorant

This post has been a very long time coming.

Why? Because of all of the questions I have been asked “how do I make my own deodorant” is by far the most prevalent.

The reason that I waited so long to post this recipe is because we are all different.

If you go into any pharmacy, there are dozens of different types of deodorants. Ones that smell like ocean breeze, or vanilla bean, or man. Ones that make you smell less bad, ones that reduce sweating, ones that eliminate sweating, ones that make your armpits lighter, or softer… the list goes on and on. The point is that there are so many choices because everyone’s body is different which means that different types of deodorant work better or worse for different people.

When I was using conventional (aka store bought chemically deodorant) I was always switching brands. It seemed like after a while one would just stop working, like my body changed, and I had to find something new. I would try brands that worked well for my friends, but they didn’t work for me, and vice-versa.

When I transitioned to a plastic free and zero waste lifestyle I stopped using store bought deodorant. This was for many reasons but the main reasons were the packing, the ingredients, and the fact that the natural version was less expensive and worked really well.

The Packaging: 
Conventional deodorant comes packaged in a plastic container with a plastic or foil (probably lined with plastic) protective thingie, and a plastic lid. Making your own deodorant you can prevent all of that waste from being created because you can buy your ingredients package free and keep reusing the same container over and over. I love to put my deodorant in a small mason jar. I also make a pocket sized version by re-using a glass ounce sized makeup container. It is perfect for when I’m on the go.

The Ingredients: 
The deodorant I make is different from conventional/store bought deodorant because it is free of chemical elements like aluminum which have been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s, propylene glycol which can damage the central nervous system, and parabens which are carcinogenic and environmentally disruptive. All in all, no fun.

I have played with sooooo many recipes. Ones that were runny, ones that were firm, ones that smelled like lavender… I realized that the best way to make the perfect deodorant was to listen to my body. That means making adjustments here and there, but overall the recipe in this video is the one that has kept my armpits happy over the past few years.

BUT OHMAGOSH IF THIS DEODORANT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU PUH-LEAZE DO NOT GIVE UP ON NATURAL DEODORANT! TRY AGAIN!

I can not emphasize this enough. There are so many toxins in conventional deodorant and, again, everyone’s body is different. So if this recipe does not work for you, try another recipe. Play with the amount of each ingredient, leave ingredients out, change the essential oil, and most importantly, give your body time to adjust.

I recommend testing each ingredient on your wrist to ensure there are no allergic reactions (for instance, some people do not react well to baking soda). If that is the case, leave it out. Also, if you shave your underarms, like with any deodorant, I’d wait a few minutes before applying.

Switching to natural deodorant has been amazing for so many reasons: I save money, I do not use any single use packaging, I can adjust the scent and ingredients to make it perfect for my body, and I am not exposing myself to any toxic chemicals. Try it out, share your experiences, and post any recipes in the comment section that work well for you. We can all learn from each other!

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My 4-Item Beauty Routine

Since adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle three years ago, I have transitioned away from all store bought products, minimized my beauty routine, and simplified my life. 

How have I done this? By making all of my own products.

I used to have dozens of beauty products. Multiple lotions, creams, deodorant, toothpaste… all of these things that society seemed to be telling me that I needed. Truthfully, I bought into it, I really thought I needed them. But when I transitioned to a Zero Waste lifestyle, it turned out that I didn’t need most of the products that I was certain that I did, in fact, I only needed four.

My Zero waste beauty routine is now clean and simple: I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth with toothpaste that I make myself, moisturize with my own face oil blend and body lotion, and keep all stinkiness away using my homemade deodorant. I repeat this routine at night. That’s it. Four items and zero waste.

You might be thinking… “​That must be SO time consuming, making all of her own products!”, ​“​I can’t do that”, ​or “​I can’t afford it”​. But the truth is, it is neither time consuming nor inaccessible. In fact, making my own products has saved me a lot of time. In addition to that, it has saved me money, kept toxic chemicals out of my body, and resulted in less trash entering landfill.

I save time.

One of the biggest responses I get when I tell people that I make my own products is, “​ but doesn’t that take so much time!?”​ Nope, it really doesn’t Most of these products don’t take more than a few minutes to make, which is exponentially less time than I would spend walking to the store and back to buy an item. Making my own beauty products is much faster than buying them! For example, for me to go and buy toothpaste at the store would take me about 20 minutes. Making it at home takes about 30 seconds. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of me making it.

I save money.

Going to the store and buying beauty products was not at all cost effective. I’d be lucky if I escaped a pharmacy without spending upwards of $40.00 on a couple of things. Now, instead of paying $6.00 for a natural toothpaste, I pay about $.40 for the same amount. Instead of paying $14 + dollars for lotion, I spend about $1 – $2 to make mine. Besides being drastically less expensive, they are also better for the environment.

I keep toxins out of my body.

This is the primary reason that I started making my own cleaning products. I began learning about some of the ingredients that were lurking in both conventional and more sustainable products: triclosan, ​potentially carcinogenic and disruptive of the endocrine system, a​ nd sodium lauryl sulfate (​SLS), possibly contaminated with 1-4 dioxane, a carcinogen, a​ mongst a long list of others​.​ Realizing that product manufacturers had the ability to put toxic chemicals in the products I was buying, and that by buying them, I was putting myself at risk, I decided to begin making my own products to have complete control over what I put in and on my body. Instead of chemicals, I make all of my products using organic, vegan, and fair-trade ingredients, all of which I would be A-OK if ingested.

I keep trash out of landfills.

Besides saving you time, being less expensive, and healthier, making my own products is super sustainable. When you think of conventionally packaged beauty products they typically come packaged in… plastic. A lot of the time it is plastic that is not recyclable and thus ends right in landfill or in our oceans resulting in pollution. NO BUENO. Instead I buy the simple and easy to find ingredients for my homemade products in bulk or package free and put them into refillable and washable containers to use over and over again, preventing any trash from being created.

It has been over three years that I have been making my own products and I have never looked back. Having control over what I use means that if I get bored of a scent or want to try something new, I can. I have that freedom. I can change my moisturizing oils seasonally, the scent of my deodorant in minutes, and the flavor of my toothpaste in seconds.

I began making my own products to decrease toxins and trash from my life, but what I gained was time, money, and freedom from companies telling me what I should buy, how much it needs to cost, and what they believe is best for me. Every person is different and we all like different products, scents, and ingredients. By making my four everyday products myself I now I have the ability to have each one be exactly how I want them to be!

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