What is Zero Waste Week?
Zero Waste Week has just come to an end. It is a grassroots campaign that takes place every year on the first week of September, raising awareness all over the world about the environmental impact of waste. Empowering us to reduce our own waste and changing old daily habits hopefully all year round.
The campaign lasts for one week and has been surprisingly easy for us. We were really prepared, ready for our trip away. That is all it takes to start, a little prep and forward planning. Long term, the campaign asks us all to consider if we can do better. Challenging people all over the world to dramatically reduce their waste, for good.
Can you do better? The answer is normally yes. In a world literally drowning in plastic, there are so many small easy swaps, that make a difference.
A lot of essential zero waste items we already had such as a reusable coffee cup, water bottle, tote bag, and bamboo toothbrush. I stopped using fancy makeup removers and cotton wool and swapped to a simple face wash with soap. Sounds too simple, but it works perfectly and without a doubt, my skin is cleaner for it. But with the deadline of travelling looming it certainly pushed us to commit further.
Why Is It Important?
Many countries all over the world have less sophisticated recycling infrastructures than we do. Often, these are the most vulnerable areas, that can’t cope with the amount of plastic used and thrown away on a daily basis. Catering for tourists is a huge part of many country’s livelihoods. Often presumptions are made about what we like. Such as straws in every drink, bottled water etc. We need to show some mercy to the ecosystems that make us venture to these beautiful parts of the world. Now, on a daily basis, we can see the negative effects of single-use plastics, there are no excuses anymore. We must be mindful of our waste in our daily routines and while travelling.
Equally back at home in England, we only recycle a small 10% of the things we put in our recycling bins. This is not to say we should stop recycling, but avoid relying heavily on recycling. Basically, the more waste we can avoid in the first place, the better.
“There’s no such place as away”
What happens when you throw something away?
Out of sight is no longer out of mind. “Away” isn’t some magical place we don’t need to worry about; it’s landfill, an incinerator, the bottom of the ocean, litter on the street or the stomach of an animal.
We want to be a part of the solution, not the continuing problem. So, we invite you to join us and be one of the millions of people around the world working hard to reduce their waste, through refusing unnecessary plastics and reusing materials where possible.
Here is a list of the products featured in our video and where you can find them. All of the links to stores are on our YouTube Video description. (We have not being asked by any of the brands to feature their products, we just love them and they all deserve recognition)
17 easy swaps for zero waste travel:
- Seanik shampoo bar – Lush
I am so impressed with this, they have to be used to be believed. They work so well, I don’t think I will ever go back even upon returning from our travels. Plus it smells amazing, there are lots of lovely options to choose from. I bought the Seanik bar, as it has salt in which helps add volume, which I need. Apparently, they last for over 200 washes. I will let you know.
- Sugar Daddy-O Solid Conditioner – Lush
Again I am really impressed with this, My hair gets really knotted when I wash it, this conditioner works better than most conditioners I’ve used recently. This purple bar is made for blonde hair to help keep light shades looking fresh. Both get extra point for being fair trade products. Boom.
- Face and Body Soap – Dove
We all know Dove, you can pick it up in any supermarket. I find it works perfectly for me as body wash and face wash. It is moisturising, refreshing, and comes in a cardboard box, simple. I also use it to take my make up off at night. I’m pretty sure it works better than most make up removers and, no need for bottled solutions and cotton wool. Plus, so much cheaper.
- Safety Razor and Shaving Soap – Plastic Freedom
This razor was just what I was looking for. With a pretty wooden handle, replaceable blades and beautiful soap. This is one of the best zero waste swaps you can make. I put off buying one of these for months and I wish I hadn’t, the single blade is not scary it is just a little different. Shaves perfectly and just looks nice.
- Bamboo Toothbrush – Acala
Why is this a good swap? Have you seen how many toothbrushes we throw away in our lifetime? It is biodegradable when your finished with it and comes in a cardboard box. Bye bye plastic. It is really nice quality and cleans to perfection.
- Teo Solid Deodorant – Lush
Works a charm keeps me fresh all day long. It’s widely misunderstood that sweat is stinky. It’s actually the bacteria that causes armpits to smell. Packed with sweat-absorbing powders and odour-neutralising essential oils working hard to combat bacteria and microbes to keep you smelling fresh. Perfect.
- Menstrual Cup – Ruby Cup
I can not sing the praises of menstrual cups enough, for anyone who hasn’t tried them yet I say, do it. I’ve never looked back after getting mine. Finding them way more hygienic and comfortable than pads and tampons. They deserve a whole post devoted just to them because there are too many plus points to list concisely.
- Second-Hand Clothes – Yak Clothing
Second-hand clothing is one of my biggest swaps on this journey. With the exception of a couple of new sustainable pieces, I got especially for the trip, such as my Batoko swimsuit made from recycled ocean plastic, and my organic linen long dress from Amberoot. I found just what I needed in this small cute second-hand store in Lincoln, I was chuffed. Genuinely love all of my second-hand finds, they feel very special to me.
- Shoes – Worn (Way more than 30 times)
These shoes were originally from Office about 3 years ago. To say I have worn them over 30 times would be an understatement. They are really handy little sliders, I love the design, and super comfy they, were a great investment. My next sandals I buy will definitely be from fair-trade heavyweights Po-Zu when these finally wear out.
- Reusable Coffee Cup – Keep Cup
If you love a coffee to go, buy one, now. It’s so easy and more enjoyable to drink from than the disposable takeout cups, plus you get money off for using them. I bought a keep cup as I like the glass and cork design (less plastic) but there are so many funky cups to choose from, just take your pick.
- Filter Water Bottle – Water-to-Go
Coming away this was a must, I’ll be damned if we were buying bottle after bottle of water. I don’t do it at home so I am not doing it while I am away. This clever little bottle has a 3 in 1 filter technology enabling you to drink safe from any non-salt water source. Amazing. We have been using it and we are still alive and well.
- Moisturiser – Dr Organic
You can pick up Dr Organic products from every holland and barret, they are lovely to use and have so many different options to choose from. I went for a really simple hemp option as I have sensitive skin. They are reasonably priced and come in glass containers. Lovely.
- Phone Case – Pela
Absolutely love this product, again I think this warrants its own blog post. Basically the long and short of it is, this case is biodegradable. When you get a new phone and your case becomes redundant, instead of gathering dust in a draw or being sent to landfill. Burry, it in the garden and wave goodbye. They are just beautiful.
- Tote Bag – Hilary Hope
I always have a rolled up tote bag with me in case we take an impromptu trip to the shops or something similar. They are super handy, way prettier and cuts out the need for a plastic bag. Stores are beginning to phase out their bags anyways, so this little habit is one that needs to stick. Read our article about totes vs plastic bags for more on this.
- Reusable Cutlery, Napkin and Bamboo Straws
These are some zero waste swaps I have wanted for a long time. They are not fancy, they were kindly given us by a family member who totally gets the mission. So far in Bali, we haven’t needed them which is lovely, but we are ready. I hate eating with disposable plastic cutlery, it is quite literally rubbish.
- Natural Zao Lipstick – Acala
I found this lipstick refill under our sofa weeks after the shoot we did with Acala. It is a lovely subtle colour, moisturises your lips and all natural ingredients. The big plus is they use 90% less plastic than a standard Lipstick tube. Thanks Acala!
- Vintage Sunnies – Peep Eyewear
A whole post about these sunnies is definitely on the way. There is a really great story about how these came into being. For now just appreciate how awesome, unique and pink they are. Revived by the talented team at Peep. I can’t thank them enough for these.
We could have included many more like the toothpaste we made, but that didn’t travel so well and my Re-Kanken backpack made from recycled bottles. But I chose the functional less attractive bag to bring with me, which I think I regret.
The aim of zero waste is to use up all the products you already own, then replace them with better swaps when needed. This way you build up slowly and more affordably, over buying everything in on go. This is why I have done our transition gradually over time, all of a sudden I realised we had a good little collection growing. I am feeling quite proud.
Happy Zero Waste week. Hope you enjoyed the video. We still have a way to go, so let us know your best tips below .
Love Lottie xx
Into The Eco
Video: Josh John