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Updated by divalk75 on Jun 27, 2017
Headline for Top 7 Zero Waste Items for Beginners
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Top 7 Zero Waste Items for Beginners

Adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle can be overwhelming, especially when you start examining the "convenience" items you have made a part of your daily life. The good news is that all of these items have a less wasteful option that can be purchased or made when you are ready to make the change. I should note that throwing away perfectly good items is NOT zero waste. So please use items up or donate them to someone who can before your bring home your zero waste replacements.

1

Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle is an absolute MUST for zero wasters. These can be expensive to purchase, but save massive amounts of money in the long run (you'll find this to be a theme with zero waste products). Opt for stainless steel or glass over plastic, and one that can be easily cleaned (the ones with straws can be difficult). My Klean Kanteen bottle has been with me for five years, traveled the world, and is still going strong.

2

Linen Napkins

Linen Napkins

Remember going to your grandmother's house and eating dinner with REAL napkins? That's what we are talking about here. Switching to reusable/washable napkins eliminates the need to throw paper napkins (and your money) into the trash. If you are good with a sewing machine, consider making your own out of old clothes or sheets. If you are scared to death of sewing machines (like me), you can purchase all kinds of cute handmade ones on Etsy.

3

UnPaper Towels

UnPaper Towels

Unpaper towels are versatile and super cute! You can sew your own, use rags (that's what I opt for), or purchase some handmade ones . Some people even snap them together and place them on a paper towel roll to keep them handy. I ditched paper towels years ago and just use rags now- talk about simplifying and saving money!

4

Reusable Travel Coffee Mug

Reusable Travel Coffee Mug

Ok, ok, ok...so this one seems like a no-brainer, but as long as our landfills are being overrun with disposable Starbucks cups we need to keep talking about it. Just like a water bottle, it's best to opt for stainless steel and something that is easy to clean. Most coffee shops will make your coffee in your reusable mug without using any disposable products at all- just ask :-)

5

Menstrual Cup

Menstrual Cup

Did you know that before tampons were invented, menstrual cups were the way to go? I certainly didn't. But after using one for 4 years, I get why they were so popular. Menstrual cups eliminate wasteful tampons, save you money, and are better for your body (no risk of TSS). I could probably write a book on how amazing these are; I'll never go back to tampons. There are a lot of different cups out there, so please do your research. I use the Diva cup and couldn't be happier- I've even converted a few of my girlfriends!

6

Reusable Menstrual Pads

Reusable Menstrual Pads

I bought some reusable pads when I bought my Diva cup. They are not necessary for me, but I wanted an alternative to my cup just in case. Reusable pads are absorbent, easy to use, and come in super cute patterns. You can sew your own or purchase through a site like Etsy.

7

Produce Bags

Produce Bags

You are probably remembering to bring your reusable grocery bags to the store, but what about all those little plastic produce bags? Reusable produce bags are a great solution. You can purchase these from many companies, hand-made ones on Etsy, or even make your own out of old tshirts; there are no-sew tutorials out there for folks who are terrified of sewing machines (again, me...). Whatever you purchase or make, opt for washable, natural fabrics.