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Zero waste swaps for manageable new habits

We’re a month and a few days into our Zero Plastic / Low Waste lifestyle and it has been a great journey so far. But there is still something that I struggle with when making zero waste swaps and I’m sure you do, too.

Exploring social media and and blogs I see the same products over and over again. And people DIY-ing their own napkins, cleaning clothes, products, makeup, you name it!

And I’ve been thinking to myself. Is it still possible to have a sense of personal style and identity and go zero waste? Is it possible to not lose yourself in the process?

Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic. But entering into this world and committing to making your best effort to waste as little as possible is a heavy task. And I think something not to take too lightly.

It’s not something that you plan to do for a few days. It’s about creating a lifetime of healthy habits and sustainable choices.

As someone who loves interior design, eating healthy, and cooking elaborate meals, finding ways to maintain these hobbies is of the utmost importance in my zero waste journey.

So I’ve taken a look at some of my favorite stores to see how they can help in that journey. I look particularly at practical + beautiful items that can serve dual purposes. They are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Anthropologie

One of my favorite stores of all time in Anthropologie. I find their product to be so elegant and beautiful. And the products are durable. I have a pair of ceramic measuring spoons, a monogram mug, an apron (that’s almost like a dress!), ceramic salt and pepper shakers, and a vegetable peeler that I’ve had for over 10 years and they’re still going strong!

Needless to say, I love anthropologie. Here are some of my favs zero waste swaps on the site now:

Zero Waste Swaps for the Kitchen

Zero Waste Swaps for the Bathroom

Zero Waste Swaps for on-the-go

  • If you want to bring your lunch in style, Anthropologie definitely had your perfect solutions. My favorite it this Tiered Storage Bowl Set, just look at the great pattern! You can also find a great set of plain Stainless Steel Stackable Lunch Boxes or an even simple Eco Lunch Box.
  • The more beautiful on-the-go beverage container that I have seen has got to be the Well-Wishes Travel Mug. It’s completely ceramic. A great solution to keep at your desk at work for morning and mid-afternoon pick-me-ups!
  • I’m a bit tea drinker. And this Tea Infuser, glass, stainless steel, and wood bottle is calling my name. Is it calling yours, too?
  • You can also look to Anthropologie to replace your plastic sandwich bags. They have the ultra useful, reusable Stasher Snack & Sandwich Bags.
  • And don’t forget your Mesh Market Tote to pick up fruits and veggies during your weekly shopping. I always keep one tucked in my purse. It’s a great catch all for your smaller produce bags or can be used alone!

Urban Outfitters

Urban has really embraced the zero waste lifestyle. There are selling a lot of great products to help you on your journey to more eco living, especially when you are on the go.

There are a few of my favorites:

Zero Waste Swaps for the Kitchen

  • As an avid tea drinker I love this Tea Infuser Mug. It’s all ceramic and not to mention super cute. With loose leaf tea these are the best option.
  • If you like to cooking or baking this Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set will make your world a whole lot easier. (I’ll use my plastic ones until they break, but these are a great alternative if you are in the market.)
  • One of my absolutely favorite finds while looking on the site is this To-Go Wine Cup. The lid is actually plastic, but I think the concept is great. And it’s great for picnicking.

Zero Waste Swaps for the Bathroom

Zero Waste Swaps for on-the-go

  • Every zero waster needs a way to bring groceries home from the market and bulk stores. Urban is definitely has you covered with these Mesh Produce Bags. I have really similar ones that I love. They expand to hold so much and take up very little space.
  • Prepare your lunch daily and take it to the office with these the Stainless Steel To-Go Container and the Life Without Plastic Reusable Foldable Spork Utensil
  • Don’t get caught without a reusable cup. Take you coffee (or fill it up at a coffee shop) with the stylish glass Keep Cups and of course Kleen Kanteen has you covered for water. And if you find yourself in need of a straw, be sure to pack this Stainless Steel Straw alternative, it even comes with a cleaning brush.

Free People

One of my favorite clothing brands definitely has to be Free People. I had a pair of coral color jeans that I loved to death. It was a sad moment when they tore beyond repair. But that was after more than 5 years of good use. So I really trust their quality standards.

When I was perusing the site a few days ago I noticed that they now offer home and beauty care products. And to my surprise, maybe of their offerings of perfectly with this lifestyle.

Check out what I found:

Zero Waste Swaps for the Kitchen

  • Compliment your Keep Cup with this beautiful water bottle from Kleen Kanteen. Not only is it functional and plastic free, but it’s stylish. No more of the boring silver one.

Zero Waste Swaps for the Bathroom

  • They also have a wide range of organic soaps and shampoos. Check out this Hair & Body Shampoo and Organic Soap.
  • I recently bought my first bamboo toothbrush and wow! I would never go back. It’s sustainable, plus my teeth feel like a million bucks! There are two available at Free People: The Humble Brush and this Bamboo Toothbrush
  • You can compliment your toothbrush with this Sustainable Floss. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s worth giving it a go.

Crate & Barrel

When I was younger I would love to go to Crate & Barrel with my mom and help her decorate our home. They have quality products that don’t cost an arm and a leg and are quite beautiful. I’ve always loved cooking and am definitely a foodie. So having the things I need in the kitchen is ultra important for me. (Check out some of our meals on instagram @lacuinetadegracia)

Zero Waste Swaps for the Kitchen

  • For water, our main drink at home, we have a Brita On-Tap Filter. And refill recycled wine and sparkling bottles each day. Don’t have a bottle to recycle. These Airtight Glass Bottles and Swing Top Bottle are perfect and have a really long lift span.
  • If you like grilling like we go over the summer, these Stainless Steel Skewers are a great replacement for wooden sticks that have only one days use.
  • Storage items like berries and eggs without plastic can be complicated. But these Berry Colanders and Ceramic Egg Crates are perfect. I have a pair from Michael’s and even one from Target. I love them and they are quite pretty.
  • You’ll need great airtight container to store all your food and spices when going zero waste. I love getting ones that are aesthetically nice, because I know I will have them for a long time and I like to have them on the counter in my kitchen. These Black Matte Canisters and Oval Spice Jars are perfect.
  • With the summer coming. These Mini Ice Cream Tubs are a great find. You can go to your local ice cream shop and come home with your favorite flavors without using paper cups or plastic spoons. I’m getting these right away!

Zero Waste Swaps for the Dining Room

  • One absolute staple of our dining room is our cloth napkins. We were spending so much money on paper towels, tissues and napkins and finally had enough of the waste. Crate & Barrel has many beautiful options that are well prices. Check them out here.

Zero Waste Swaps for the Bathroom

  • I’m used to storing item in the bathroom in plastic containers. I won’t change them out until I have to necessity. If you’re looking for low-waste storage options these Wire Baskets are great. You can even purchase a liner to keep small items from falling through the cracks
  • For more sanitary storage, I like to use glass containers. Crate & Barrel has two nice collections that can go well with any style: More Traditional and More Modern.
  • And if you’re looking to keep everything private, try this Rattan Box, it’s perfect for feminine hygiene or small towels.

Zero Waste Swaps for on-the-go

  • I bring lunch to the office each day (except Thursday) and my glass containers have been indispensable. They are great for salads or leftovers and can be put in the microwave (sans top) with no fear of problems with the plastic. Here is a very reasonable priced set.
  • Like Urban Outfitters, Crate & Barrel also stocks Produce Bags. I like having these in addition to the mesh bags for items that are smaller and might creep through the holes of the mesh bags. They are integral for my zero waste grocery shopping.

Don’t forget to check out the Clearance section on Crate & Barrel. They usually have great and affordable stuff to make your zero plastic / low waste journey easier.

CB2

Crate & Barrel hip little sister shop has a few great items as well for the rest if your house.

Zero Waste Swaps for the Kitchen

  • I’ve had a set of Ikea bag clips that I’ve been slowly losing over the last 6 years and I must say I can’t wait to trade them in for these Brushed Gold Kitchen Clips. Functional and stylish.
  • Another upgrade I would like to make when I leave my furnished apartment is to our hand juicer. This Ceramic Juicer is going to be one of my first purchases for fresh orange juice and lemonades.

West Elm

I was really distraught when I gave up my West Elm bed because I was moving to Europe. It was one of the best, sleekest purchases I ever made. And not to mention durable. They’ve also recently made a commitment to stock handcrafted, local, fair trade, sustainable and organic products. This is something I can really jive with.

Here are a few things for great zero waste swaps that I like from the current collect:

Zero Waste Swaps for the Kitchen

  • Toothpicks are super wasteful. I recently when to an antique store and found a great solution in a set of 4 glass toothpicks. West Elm also has a great solution with these Teak Pineapple and Teak Flamingo toothpicks. They are perfect for parties.
  • Most of the dish racks that I have found are coated with plastic covers even if they are metal or are just made of plastic entirely. Have a look at this more sustainable Copper Wire Folding Dish Rack.
  • These Tea Towels are super cute, locally made, and perfect for your zero waste kitchen.
  • And of course West Elm has more storage solutions for your food products and spices. My favorites are these Textured Kitchen Canisters, their collection of Baskets, and the Glass Jars with Acai Lids.

Final thoughts

When you’re going zero waste you want to make every effort to ensure that it is something that you can stick to in the long run. If that means adding a little character into the items that you use to swap out plastic and paper items I think it is great.

The point is not purchase for the sake of purchasing. When it comes time to purchase in an item in your home think of it as an investment. Don’t just by the plastic storage bin because it was cheaper. Invest in the metal or wooden one because it will last you look and look better. And if it looks better, the chances are you will keep it in your home longer.

Many people think of going zero waste as going as minimal as possible and cutting all of the frills. I don’t see a reason why they things that we use cannot also be beautiful.

I cherish my belongings and keep them around for as long as humanly possible. When we surround ourselves with beautiful things that also have purpose, we are overall more happy. At least in my humble opinion.

I hope this post was able to help you see that you too can build a more sustainable life without having to give up on your sense of self and style.

What beautiful swap have you made that make your proud? Let me know in the comments.

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You can also find me on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.es/aayeshankhan/) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/aayeshankhan/ or https://www.instagram.com/lacuinetadegracia/)

5 thoughts on “Zero waste swaps for manageable new habits

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