Trash is for Tossers Zero Waste Gift Guide


Holidays = excessive presents = excessive waste = tragic sadness = climate change = end of the world.

Right? No. Not right. Wrong.

Gifting can be fun, waste free, and EASY. I’m going to tell you my favorite ways to gift zero waste so you can sleep stress (and trash) free this holiday season.

Share Experiences
My favorite type of gift is the experience gift. Instead of buying something, wrapping it, and just handing it over, I love the thought of giving an experience gift. Dinner for two? A show? A day at a museum? Cook dinner for someone? A concert? The options are infinite. That way you can grow memories, not trash.

Give Homemade
If an experience gift is not up your alley and you do want to give a physical gift, try a homemade one! I have a few great zero waste options for you: body lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, and granola.

Zero Waste Body Lotion 

Zero Waste Deodorant

Zero Waste Toothpaste

Zero Waste Granola 


Shop Sustainably
If you are neither an experience giver or a DIY’er I have two great options for you:

1) Life Without Plastic for all of their zero waste essentials like stainless steel airtight storage containers and reusable produce bags. If you purchase something and use the code “TIFTHOLIDAY” you will get 10% off of your order.


2) Brush With Bamboo for a bamboo toothbrush packaged in 100% compostable materials.


Once you have figured out what to give to (or do with) your favorite people in the universe then you have to package it up.

Wrap Thoughtfully
If you are giving an experience gift you don’t need to worry about this. If not, I wrap my presents for the holidays three ways:

1) I don’t wrap them at all. Yep. You heard me. I do the behind the back or pull out of my bag method and just hand it over. Works like a charm and is totally zero wage!

2) I wrap them in reusable materials like a reusable bag or a napkin. That is almost like 2 gifts in 1!

3) I upcycle paper bags, newspaper, or whatever paper I can find. I never use tape and instead secure the packages with biodegradable twine, cotton string, or anything else that is biodegradable.


REMEMBER: if you do wrap a present and you want to make sure the wrapping is properly disposed of, take it back! You can use it again or just toss it in the compost bin!

Happy gifting!

 

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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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How to Tare a Jar and Shop Waste Free

Zero Waste food shopping is a weekly activity for me. I go to the farmers market for my produce and use reusable organic cotton bags for items like nuts but for wet items like honey, olive oil, flour, and spices, I opt for jars to keep things organized and make cleaning simple.

Learn how I do it using five simple steps!

Step 1: Choose your Jar (I love mason jars because they have a standard weight, but you can also upcycle your own jars)

Step 2: Tare (pre-weigh) your jar. Why? Because when the cashier gets the jar, they can subtract the weight of the jar from the total weight, so you are only paying for what is inside. You can write the tare on your jar in permanent marker to make it easy to remember.

Step 3: Fill your jar and write down the number of the item you are buying. I like to keep a note open on my cellphone that has the item name and number to expedite the checkout process, plus it’s waste free!

Step 4: Tell the cashier the weight of your jar and they can deduct that from the total weight of the jar

Step 5: Say THANK YOU to the awesome store for letting you bring your own packaging!

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