My Zero Waste Guide for everyone of you who wants to change his life – or searches for further inspiration. Because we all have to care about the planet.
You may have seen that the topics “sustainability” and “zero waste” have popped up quite often lately on my blog and feed. Because I don’t want you all to get only snippets of the whole topic, I decided to write a full zero waste guide for you all AND tell you, why every single one of us should try to produce less waste and what amazing possibilities we have today 🙂
And not only that! I wanted to show you all, that zero waste is not something we should be forced to do, but something we should want to do – because it made my life so much easier and more fun!
I know this topic is HUGE in capital letters, and one single post won’t do it in the end, but I wanted to write this for all of you who want to do better, but don’t know how. So I filled this post with my own advices and blogs you can discover for yourself 🙂 I also plan a full sustainable fashion and a book buying post in the future. Because the planet is the responsibility of all of us!
Period Panties and Menstrual Cups
Have you ever wondered how much waste we produce with period articles in a year?
A women uses around 10.000 to 17.000 Tampons in her life. (Not counting the napkins/ sanitary bandages.) multiply that with 3,82 billion Woman on earth for around 40 years of their life. (I know this is a sloppy calculation, but I think you get what I want to show you.) This is a HUGE amount of plastic packaging and garbage we are producing. And I hated these little things my whole life in addition to that. But today we get great possibilities, and they are even sustainable, fair produced, bpa free and way more comfortable without any waste! Sounds like a myth?
Let me introduce you to the innovation:
The Menstrual Cup
It really is a tiny silicon cup that you use like a tampon. You can empty it after some hours, wash it, and put it in again. It is comfier than a sanitary bandage in my opinion, and zero waste. There are soooo many companies producing them today, so you just have to go into a drug store or order one online and test them. Inform yourself beforehand, so you will buy the right size and form. You can use a cup for YEARS and most of them come with a cute cotton bag and in a paper packaging. It won’t get any more perfect.
The Period Panty
This is the real burner. These are panties with a special inlet, that absorbs the blood like a sanitary bandage and contains it. You can wear them up to 8-10 hours, depending on if you wear a cup additional to it or if its just a weak period day, more or less hours. And its a bliss! It is super comfy and you don’t have to be afraid to leak or stain your clothes! They even come in nude tones so you can wear it under everything. After using them you just wash them out with cold water and put them into the washer. Thats it. Super easy right? I collected some brands for you.
Dear Kate (international)
Lunapads (not sure if they produce under fair conditions)
The self test:
Sure I tested this first before recommending it to you! The period panty was something I had heard of before and I just wanted it so badly to function, because I hate most period products and find them super uncomfortable. I wore this pants during my whole period and put it always into the washer at the evening and it was dry by morning! It has a super fast drying fabric which makes it perfect. But I think you’ll need up to 3-5 pants per period to wear them without stressing out to wash them daily. If you have stronger bleeding days then you should probably wear a cup additional to the panties. My first day was really strong and I was on the go the whole day and after around 6 hours the panties leaked a bit at the seams. But the other days the panty alone was perfect and it was soooooo comfy! I can only recommend them with my whole heart 🙂
Soap/ Shampoo Bars
I never got warm with the shampoos I used and I changed them every few weeks. Sometimes my hair got oily, sometimes it was super dry, the bottles were shrill and plasticy and I hated how the chaos looked in the bathroom. And when I wanted to travel I had to buy additional little bottles of the stuff I used at this moment to get through the airport passage …. – and well I think you get where I am going. Not talking about all the chemical ingredients and the microplastic in the products!
With the App Code Check you can scan the barcodes of your products and you will see just HOW harmful most of the stuff is that we use on a daily base.
Being a lush bath bomb victim for some time now I soon decided to only use my stuff until all is empty and then buy soap bars instead. There is a great range of fair and natural produced soaps out there, and lots of them are even vegan and bio. You can use a bar approximately for 3-4 month until it is empty. My boyfriend and me are sharing our toiletries and we only use one shampoo bar and one body soap in around 2-3 month together. So it isn’t only better for the environment, your body – but also for your wallet! A soap costs around 5-10€ and man I know I paid way more for all the stuff I’ve put on my body before. The only thing I have to buy additionally is conditioner. But even that one comes in bars nowadays and is super easy to use.
This was such a bummer for me in the beginning. I carried tons of plastic bottles of water around with me in my life. TONS. And just as many leaked into my bags, on my books, and well they are super unhealthy for our body AND the earth, because they also leak away microplastic in our system. So with every gulp from your plastic bottle you also drink little plastic particles. And when you pee it gets into the environmental system and at last into the earth, which is super harmful. I hope I explained that right, but there are several websites on google who explain the problem really good and will make you want to stop using any plastic – like forever.
The better alternative are glass bottles. And because we also didn’t want to buy these and carry them, we ordered a soda stream, and it was the best decision ever. We only have the one glass soda stream bottle, and when we need more we fill the water into several other bottles and make new sparkling water. If you don’t mind drinking from the water tap, then that’s even better!
The biggest sustainable and fair produced water bottle shop here in Germany is soul bottles. I followed them for some time and they really want to make a change. And also they have super beautiful designs on the bottle and different sizes! But every reused glass bottle is better than a plastic one!
I also use brown glass bottles from my oils etc to mix self-made cleaning liquids in them!
Multiway Bottles/ Steel Coffee to go Cup
Sustainable Fashion/ Second Hand Fashion
I will write a full blogpost about that one soon, because its just a big ass topic for itself. So be prepared for a full fair fashion guide soon. But to introduce you into this topic I first have to say some words.
We are so used to t-shirts costing 5€ that we think every other price is just over the top. But please forget the price for some seconds and think about what hides behind this little price. The fabric, the shipping, the people that crafted it for you, the marketing surrounding every product catalogue and more! How could all of this be contained in you paying 5€ for a t-shirt. I know that many of us are just searching for cool and cheap fashion. I did this for around a century now, but then I had to open my eyes to the facts. How often have I preached because of my super comfy cashmere sweater, but why is it that I love it so much, when it had cost me a fortune? Well exactly this tiny little aspect: its super comfy, I want to wear it everyday, its long-lasting and super cool looking. It’s the over all impression that makes a pullover our go to forever favorite piece.
Often when I want something vintage looking or new, I just visit my nearest second hand store first, because they often have amazing secrets hidden and many of my favorite pieces are second hand!
what is better?
I often saw a favorite piece online on Instagram or a catalogue and I NEVER bought this piece – because of the price. Then. I made myself do a maddening search for a similar, cheaper version of this piece and let me give you a little sneak peak: I was never satisfied. Never ever. The fabric wasn’t right, or not was ill fitted, there was a label that scratched me – and so on. And that’s the problem. I was also too cheap to buy the better produced piece and then ended up buying 5-6 pieces in the hope that I finally found something that’s as great as the original.
That has changed since I know what it means to produce fair and cruelty free. My fair fashion pieces are comfy as hell, I don’t need many of them and I am happy whenever they come out of the washer. So now I don’t even need 10 T-Shirts, because I only want to wear the few cozy ones I have 🙂
stainless steel shaver
This one was also super surprising to me. In the past I tried so many shavers and most of them were okay – but not more. Just okay. They functioned for a few weeks, then I was too cheap to buy new heads, so I bought a whole new shaver and the story began again.
This stainless steel shave is different. You only have to buy new razor blades, which are really cheap! (200 für around 20€), and to change them is also super easy. I use one razor blade for around 1-2 weeks and then I change it. In the past I always had irritations on my skin from shaving – but that’s the past. The stainless steel shave does a super great job, my legs are super soft and its a lot more sustainable!
Reusable/ Cotton bags
These come in so many versions and styles! There are millions of bags out there you can use a million times over and over – so why do we even buy plastic/paper bags?
I haven’t bought anything plasticy in month now. When I forgot my bag at home and bought too much to carry, I buy a paper bag and use them as a garbage bag afterwards. (But beware, producing a paper bag wastes as much water resources as producing a plastic bag).
So I bought several cotton bags in different sizes for around 15€ and use them ever since. I only buy my vegetables, nuts etc without packaging and carry my little bags with me too put the stuff inside. Most supermarkets just weigh the loose stuff at the end and you can put them in your own bags. I don’t know hoch much money I have saved since then and it feels so much better!
reusable cotton pads
Last but not least one way cotton pads and cleaning wipes for our makeup. One of my best friends wished herself some of these reusable super soft cotton pads and when I ordered some for her, I ordered a package for myself too. THEY ARE A GAME CHANGER! I don’t even remember why I have ever used something else for my face! They are super super soft and don’t cause any irritations, they really wipe away EVERY trace of makeup and not only half of it, and I can wash them every time. I will probably never need to buy a new package again – which only has costed 15€. I really don’t want to make a calculation about how much money I’ve spent on one time cotton pads.
And some more:
Here are some additional tips I found out for myself these past month, that I really want to share with you 🙂
I collected a lot of plastic and paper bags in the past from my fashion shopping sprees. Before buying any garbage or carrying bags, I reuse these until they are empty. You often can’t decide if you get a bag, so I prefer to use these ones instead of buying new ones.
They same I do with packages. Whenever I order something online, it comes in a package. So when I have to send something away or sold something on Ebay or else, I use one of the packages I got and put the stuff inside instead of buying new packages!
My boyfriend often has used shirts from work that have holes or are damages otherwise. We just cut them down into strips and use them for cleaning until they are falling apart!
Today I only try to buy my food in glasses, like cucumber or chickpeas. And when I ate the food inside of the glasses, I wash them out and often spray the tops of them to match my other glasses and then I reuse these glasses to put things like seeds, tea or wheats in them! Many cities nowadays have zero waste shops where you can bring your own glasses and put new ingredients inside without suing any new packages!
From the parts of my vegetables I can’t use for a recipe I make pestos or dressings, or maybe some chips? You can find the best zero waste recipes on Justines Blog justinekeptcalmandwentvegan ! We can use most parts of the stuff we buy, but we learned from childhood on to waste soooo much food!
My daily inspiration:
and before this posts gets too long I want to list you all my favorite less/ zero waste blogs and also some great books I’ve read! All of this made me realize that life has so much more to offer for us – if we give something back 🙂
- peppermynta magazine
- Charlotte Weise
- plastikfrei leben
And the perfect books for starters:
- einfach plastikfrei leben
- In Ordnung – minimalistisch leben
- Guide to sustainability
- einfach leben
- simplify your home
If there are any questions left or if you have additional tips: please feel free to leave a comment! Id love to discuss this topic with all of you, because its sooo important!