Zero Waste Starter Kit
So, how do you go zero waste? I quickly realized that the process of going zero waste requires some purchasing, some DIYing, and a lot of commitment. So I decided to fashion myself a zero waste starter kit. This doesn't handle everything but it takes a big step in the right direction, and most of it can be purchased on Amazon.com
I prefer brands like Klean KanteenTM and Hydro FlaskTM for these products because they both have high ecological and humanitarian ethics and limit the plastic they use. Klean Kanteen even offers a completely plastic free water bottle!
1. Reusable water bottle
I gave up on bottled water a long time ago, so I already had a 64 fl oz Klean Kanteen bottle
2. Reusable coffee cups
These keep my coffee, tea, or anything else I want hot or cold almost all day! When I order coffee out I hand the barista my mug (without the top), ask for it to be rinsed if it’s necessary, and enjoy my drink the rest of the day!
3. Stainless steel drinking straws
I would go with Klean Kanteen's Stainless Steel Straws, they are the only one's I've been able to find that come with a cleaning brush made out of natural fibers, not plastic!
I use these for everything from smoothies to booze to chocolate milk!
You can DIY these very easily, I chose not to for the time being but probably will soon! I bought a cute set of 10 of these for $19. Two bucks a pop, but when you think about how much you may spend on paper towels, it's definitely cost effective.
This guy works just as well as any sponge, and lasts longer too! Set me back $8.
Natural fiber brushes are going to be some of your best friends in this transition. Not only are they necessary for cleaning in the kitchen (sponge replacements). But you really want them for all of your reusable cups and bottles!
These handy little guys can scrape just about anything off the bottom of a pot, I’ve yet to meet their match. Until I do these will be my replacement for steel wool and sponge scrubbers.
Part of transitioning to zero waste is buying lots of fresh produce, and buying in bulk. Grocery stores provide plastic bags for these, but having nice organic cotton bags works even better.
I bought a set of 7 of these for about $15. I use these for produce and lots of bulk items (coffee, popcorn, lentils, etc.)
These were a huge game changer for me. I use them for bulkier items like apples, oranges, and potatoes that the muslin ones are just too small for. I got a set of 6 for about $17
3. Reusable grocery bags
I feel like this one is sort of a no brainer. Most of us know that plastic grocery bags are wasteful, and these reusable ones are very widely available. You should be able to buy some at your local grocery store for under $5.
The biggest leap to make with the reusable bags is habit. I keep a bag of them in my car all the time, and have a basket by our front door for them as well.
I bought a set of four of these for about $15.00. They are completely plant based, as is the packaging. They are pretty plain and so I drew an A and a P on them so my boyfriend and I could tell the difference between ours.
Plastic #5 toothbrush - Before switching to bamboo and natural fiber, I had started using this 100% recycled plastic #5 toothbrush from PreserveTM. They can be bought in many health food stores and also returned directly to the company for complete recycling. While this is a great system, attempting to eliminate all plastic use is ideal, so bamboo would be my more highly recommended product.
My order from Amazon totaled $111.70, and I already had my reusable water and coffee containers. I was able to make this purchase all at one time, but you could certainly spread it out if finances demanded. There was some disposable packaging that came with these items which I wasn’t thrilled about. Next time I make an order I will weigh what can't be recycled and report it here.
This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.