The name “Zero Waste” will certainly be familiar to most people. The concept of waste-saving living has become more and more widespread in recent years and is gaining more and more followers. To counteract the enormous pollution caused by plastic waste and packaging, more and more companies are switching to resource-saving and environmentally friendly materials.
This post wants to introduce into the topic and show you how to produce as little waste as possible at home and also on your next vacation, especially in the bathroom.
Most of the products mentioned can be found in drugstores like dm or rossmann. However, you will find a particularly large assortment in organic supermarkets such as Alnatura or in special drugstores, such as the Naturgerie in Cologne.
If you want to produce less waste when brushing your teeth, you have several options. As a substitute for conventional plastic toothbrushes, for example, there are some made of bamboo, for example by Humble Brush. It is made of biodegradable material, sustainably grown bamboo and the packaging is also environmentally friendly. The purchase also supports projects of the Humble Smile Foundation, which runs social projects around the world.
Toothpaste has also long ceased to be available only from a tube – tabs, for example, can offer an alternative.
One of the most popular products, especially for beginners, is probably solid soap. Shampoo, conditioner and hand soap, even body lotion, come in bar soap form. Often these products are also vegan and do not contain chemical additives such as parabens or sillicones, which are not good for skin and hair.
Those who have perhaps been around a bit longer and are willing to experiment can also venture into other things. Like the reusable alternative to cotton swabs, the Oriculi ear stick. It’s actually been used for centuries in Asia and is now slowly making its way into European drugstores.
With razors most are familiar: but instead of one made of plastic, how about one made of stainless steel next time? The plastic-free razors are available from about 30 euros and last considerably longer. Particularly chic models are also available in gold-plated or matte black.
Over a lifetime, unfortunately, a lot of cotton pads accumulate that have only been used once and have not been produced sustainably. That’s why more and more are opting for washable makeup removal wipes. Often they are made of microfiber or you can also sew them yourself.
Ben & Anna under the armpits: seems strange to you? Then maybe it’s time to try the well-known plastic-free deodorant. Along with many other brands, the manufacturers of natural cosmetics also offer deodorant cream and toothpaste. So if you want to avoid constant waste in the form of spray cans or similar, you can switch to the vegan deodorant and thereby support environmental organizations at the same time, with which Ben & Anna cooperate.
Taboo topic period? Not with us!
More and more NGOs are addressing menstrual and reproductive health of women; topics that are still a big taboo subject in many countries and societies. At the same time, this is an intersection with environmental protection, as sustainable products can avoid a huge amount of waste. In addition to pads and tampons made of organic cotton, there is the menstrual cup. Made of silicone, the cups come in all colors and sizes and are boiled with hot water after wearing. Since they can be kept for up to several years, they save waste and money at the same time. You can get cups from brands like einhorn at dm or The Femaly Company, for example.
On the Move
The good news is that these products can also be easily taken on vacation without having to use shampoo etc. in sample sizes. On socialbnb.com you can also find a selection of eco-lodges that are water-saving and environmentally friendly. For example, the Chumbe Island Eco-Lodge uses photovoltaic energy, rainwater harvesting systems and other technologies to conserve water.
Take your time
For most, a shift toward zero waste lifestyles happens slowly and step by step. And some plastic-packaged items may be something you just don’t want to give up. A compromise might be to look for a recycled content in conventional packaging as well, or products that are vegan and made without animal suffering.
If you want to see what impact plastic waste has on the planet, you can find a number of books and documentaries on streaming providers or on the Internet, for example Seaspiracy.