Easy sustainable swops even you can do

Zero Waste Pantry Shelf

The term 'Zero Waste' can be a bit of a daunting expression and for a lot of households totally unachievable. We don't think that making sustainable changes to life should feel overwhelming and out of reach. It's not a cult, it's not a hippy thing, it's just a few things you can change about everyday life that will improve your environmental impact, mean you have to take the bin out less & most likely make you feel good, doesn't sound too scary does it?

We have put together a few easy changes that you can make, if you're an extravert you'll probably want to shout about your experiences to all your friends and family. If you're an introvert, like us you'll just want to make some swops then chat about them to anyone who spots them.

So you've done the basics already, you own a refillable cup, water bottle, try your best to remember your reusable shopping bags - what's next?

Reuse & Refill in your kitchen

You've already got a drawer, shelf or cupboard full of spice jars, do you really need to buy a new one every time you need some more ground cumin or cardamom pods? Do you really need to take the glass to your local bottle bank & recycle the lid? Could you put it in the dishwasher, then refill it?

There are lots of ways you could do this. If you have a local refill shop that you are able to visit, then pop down with your jars to refill. If you don't have a refill shop, don't have time or aren't able to visit one for whatever reason (we've had people tell us the idea of this is too unknown & daunting!), order online & get your refills delivered. It'll take you a couple of minutes to refill the jar in the comfort of your own kitchen, but compare that to the time spent travelling to a supermarket, perusing the shelves, queuing etc. We'd rather use that time to put our feet up & do something, anything else! You've already got the skills for online shopping, so this should be a breeze. It doesn't all have to be pretty in matching jars, anything can be reused - ice-cream tubs, sweet tins, yoghurt pots as some examples.

Refill & Zero waste in your Bathroom

There are lots of options here from eco-friendly toilet rolls wrapped in paper to shampoo & conditioner bars that once they are finished they are gone - no plastic bottles to dispose of at all. Get back to basics with a simple, but lovely bar of soap to wash your hands with. Bamboo toothbrushes that go in your compost bin or recyclable toothbrush heads are good options. Ditch the disposable razors, go for a reusable one with replaceable blades. Bath salts instead of bubble bath or washable cleansing pads instead of single use cotton wool. All of these things might initially cost you a bit more than the single use alternative, but they will all last you way longer & every time you use them you'll get that great little eco feeling that you're doing something good - how often do you get that when you're putting your disposable razor in the landfill bin?

Cleaning in your home

Washable cloths are an easy win here, you presumably wash clothes at some point, so why not chuck a few extra cloths in too?

Do you really need a multi-purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, kitchen cleaner? Have you ever read the ingredients? They are all pretty much the same! Find your local eco-friendly cleaning expert, they will have done the hard work, research & testing the eco-alternatives for you. Refill - you may have a refill shop or delivery service do a bit of research & find somewhere locally. Treat it like the milkman, leave your bottles out & get them refilled, simple. You'll also get the bonus of less time spent buying new bottles, less time spent doing the recycling, you get to support a local business & use a few less chemicals in your home - what is there not to get on board with?

We'll cover more easy eco-friendly swops in future blogs, if there is anything you would like us to research or find a good alternative for please get in touch to chat to us - hello@pantryshelf.co.uk