While the journey towards Zero Waste is never ending, these alternatives will help any step of the way. All of these alternatives have been tried, tested, and approved by me! I would never post anything that I have not researched to the best of my ability and will constantly update this list with new alternatives. Please keep in mind that throwing out an old item for one of the items I have listed is not a good alternative. Use up old products, recycle, donate, give away or sell the rest. The purpose of Zero Waste is to prevent as much matter from heading to the landfill as possible!

Hygiene

The Waste Problem: Disposable Razors

Why:  Non-recyclable, expensive, wasteful

The Alternative: Safety Razor or laser hair removal (more money)

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Toothbrush

Why:  Non-recyclable, wasteful

The Alternative: Bamboo compostable and sustainable toothbrushes

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Disposable Makeup Remover Wipes

Why:  They are wasteful, expensive, unnecessary, and often have toxic chemicals

The Alternative: Organic Coconut Oil and Reusable Cotton Rounds

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Cotton Balls

Why:  Cotton is very pesticide and water intensive and they are not recyclable

The Alternative: Reusable Cotton Rounds

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Body Wash in Packaging

Why:  It is wasteful, not recyclable everywhere, and contains chemicals

The Alternative: Unwrapped Bulk Soap

Where to buy:  Here

The Waste Problem: Bleached toilet paper

Why:  Dangerous chemicals, non-recycled, wasteful

The Alternative: Bamboo Toilet Paper

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Tampon Applicator and Non Organic Tampon

Why:  Conventional cotton is pesticide laden & I don’t want plastic in my life, especially near my…

The Alternative: Menstrual cup such as Lunette cup

Where to buy: Here

Everyday Essentials:

The Waste Problem: Disposable Plastic Bags

Why:  Go straight to landfill, very infrequently recycled, wasteful

The Alternative: Organic Cotton Tote

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Water Bottles

Why: Not often recycled (less than 20%), end up in landfill, completely avoidable

The Alternative: Reusable water bottle

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Straw

Why: End up in landfill, completely avoidable

The Alternative: Stainless Steel or Bamboo Straw

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Wrapping Paper on Birthdays and Holidays

Why:  It goes straight to the landfill and is infrequently reused

The Alternative: Re-Use Newspaper and biodegradable twine from a hardware store

Kitchen

The Waste Problem: Individually portioned coffee and tea and disposable coffee filters

Why: They produce a lot of unnecessary waste, uses plastic, and are not recyclable

The Alternative: A French Press – the coffee tastes better, easy to clean, no plastic, no waste!

Where to buy: Here


The Waste Problem: Plastic Cutting Boards

Why:  You can not recycle them and it is said that these boards develop nicks which foster bacteria

The Alternative: Wooden Cutting Boards

Where to buy:  My friend Chelsea makes amazing boards that I use everyday!


The Waste Problem: Plastic Utensils

Why:  They can not be recycled and there is really no use for them

The Alternative: Stainless Steel or Bamboo Silverware

Where to buy:  Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Cooking Utensils

Why:  They tend to melt and could leach toxins into your food

The Alternative: Bamboo utensils: are naturally antibacterial, absorb little moisture and regenerate fast

Where to buy:  Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Ice Trays

Why:   Most likely not recyclable and could leach toxins

The Alternative: Stainless Steel Ice Tray

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Conventional Dish Soap

Why:  They have a high concern for cancer, high levels of preservatives and other problems

The Alternative: Bulk Castile Soap

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Sponge

Why:  Not recyclable, compostable

The Alternative: Compostable and reusable dish brush

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Plastic Dish Dryers

Why:  They can not be recycled

The Alternative: Lay your dishes out on a reusable towel to dry

Where to buy:  Here


The Waste Problem: Plastic Tupperware

Why:  It poses possible toxicity risks and can leach chemicals into your food

The Alternative: Mason Jars

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Nonstick Pan

Why:  A slew of health problems associated with nonstick coating

The Alternative: Cast Iron Pan

Where to buy: Here

Cleaning:

The Waste Problem: Paper Towels

Why:  Non-recyclable, wasteful

The Alternative: Reusable towels

Where to buy: Here

The Waste Problem: Dryer Sheets

Why:  Synthetic, non-recyclable, unnecessary

The Alternative: Organic Dryer Balls- cut drying time, prevent static


The Waste Problem: A slew of cleaning products

Why:  They contain chemicals and are unnecessary

The Alternative:White Vinegar used as a counter or mirror cleaner, presoak for laundry

Where to buy: Any supermarket

The Waste Problem: Dry Cleaning

Why:  Environmentally Unfriendly, unregulated (yes even the “green” cleaning), global warming

The Alternative: Hand washing, steaming, ironing, and line drying

For more zero-waste living products, make sure to check out my other business, Package Free Shop – your one-stop shop for living a zero-waste life.