Zero Waste Alternatives


Looking for specifics swaps in your journey to zero waste living? Wondering how to "zero wastify" (my latest verb!) a certain item or action? Look no further! I am in the process of developing a comprehensive guide… but in the interim, please check out tried and tested alternatives from my dear friend and zero waste guru, Lauren Singer, as excerpted from her brilliant blog Trash is for Tossers!


Everyday Essentials


The Waste Problem: Disposable Plastic Bags

Why:  Go straight to landfill, very infrequently

           recycled, wasteful

The Alternative: Organic Cotton Tote 


The Waste Problem: Plastic Water Bottles

Why: Not often recycled (less than 20%),

          end up in landfill, completely avoidable

The Alternative: Reusable water bottle


The Waste Problem: Plastic Straw

Why: End up in landfill, completely avoidable

The Alternative: Stainless Steel Straw


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




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!


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 



The Waste Problem: Plastic Utensils 

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

The Alternative: Stainless Steel Silverware 



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


The Waste Problem: Plastic Ice Trays

Why:   Most likely not recyclable and could leach toxins

The Alternative: Stainless Steel Ice Tray


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


The Waste Problem: Sponge

Why:  Not recyclable, compostable

The Alternative: Compostable and reusable dish brush 


The Waste Problem: Plastic Dish Dryers 

Why:  They can not be recycled 

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


The Waste Problem: Plastic Tupperware

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

The Alternative: Mason Jars


The Waste Problem: Nonstick Pan

Why:  A slew of health problems associated with nonstick coating

The Alternative: Cast Iron Pan




The Waste Problem: Disposable Razors

Why:  Non-recyclable, expensive, wasteful

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


The Waste Problem: Plastic Toothbrush

Why:  Non-recyclable, wasteful

The Alternative: Bamboo compostable and sustainable toothbrushes 


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


The Waste Problem: Cotton Balls

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

The Alternative: Reusable Cotton Rounds


The Waste Problem: Body Wash in Packaging

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

The Alternative: Unwrapped Bulk Soap


The Waste Problem: Bleached toilet paper

Why:  Dangerous chemicals, non-recycled, wasteful 

The Alternative: Recycled Natural Unbleached Toilet Paper


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 or Organic Cotton Tampons




The Waste Problem: Paper Towels

Why:  Non-recyclable, wasteful

The Alternative: Reusable towels 


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


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

© 2019 by Erin Schrode - About ErinContact

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