Whenever I talk about zero waste and zero waste swaps, I always try to stress the importance of either doing without, finding other alternatives with things that you already have, or even trying to make it yourself instead of buying that swap outright. But what about for products that you can’t really do that for or can’t find a good alternative? Then that is when I put that swap on my wishlist. Since starting my journey, there are a few things that I’ve put onto my wishlist that I am just waiting for the right time to get because I either don’t need them right now, or I am trying to use up as much of the disposable version that I already have. Here is that list.
LastSwab by LastObject
I clean my ears out every morning and every night. If I don’t, then my ears just get super gross. I go through a lot of cotton swabs and I’m not really proud of that. I use the paper based ones instead of the plastic swabs, but for me that just isn’t enough. I really want to get the LastSwab from LastObject because then I have a reusable alternative that I can use instead of throwing out cotton swabs twice a day. It is important for me to buy the one from LastObject, because there have been a lot of knock off brands on the market trying to cut into LastObject’s great idea of a reusable cotton swab. They have a basic version for cleaning out your ears, and a beauty version for touch ups and precision clean up when applying your makeup. Since I don’t wear makeup, I really just need the basic version. I’m looking forward to buying this at the end of this summer and giving a full review on how well it works, how easy it is to clean, etc.
No Tox Life’s Vegan Dish Washing Block
I’ve been trying my hardest to find a way to make my own sustainable dishwashing soap, and the closest thing that I could come up with was using a bar of castile soap instead of liquid. In my apartment at college there is no dishwasher, so I have yet to have a need to find dishwasher detergent (although Dropps is a great company for that). Not only is the block a considerable size, but it is meant to last a long time. Since we also have access to the dining hall for a lot of our meals, we don’t usually have a ton of dishes to do while at school, but I still want to buy the block at the end of summer.
Bamboo Dish Brushes
This is also another buy that probably won’t happen until the end of summer, but I really would like to get a compostable dish brush to go along with my dish washing block. I only really need a pot scrubber since I’m fairly certain that I could just use a washcloth form the rest of my dishes, but I have seen some sets that look promising. I think the best course of action for me is just to start off with the pot scrubber and see if there really is a need for me to get anything else. I personally hate buying something and then never using it, so I think that this is the best course of action.
Cabinet Medicine Pack
So I got an ad on Instagram a while back about this company called Cabinet. They have all the basics that you need for your medicine cabinet at an affordable price sent right to your door. While there is nothing on their website that screams sustainability, I think that they are a great option for anyone looking for affordable medicine, especially at times like these when going to the store isn’t always the safest option. I thought that on my first visit to their site that I saw something about them offsetting their carbon footprint, but I cannot find anything like that now. However, I do still think that they are good value for you money and worth a look if you are looking to restock your medicine cabinet anytime soon.
Buffy Sheets, Comforter, and Pillows
Buffy makes bedding out of eucalyptus and dyes their fabrics naturally with natural ingredients. Although they have a sparse color palette, I can’t wait until I move out on my own and can buy myself Buffy bedding. All the reviews that I’ve seen about them just make them see like the softest and most comfortable sheets in the world. Them being a sustainable alternative is just another added plus at this point.
Glass Food Storage
Another item that I can’t wait to get once I’m out on my own is glass food storage containers. The number one thing that I like about this swap is that it is pretty affordable in terms of sustainability. I’ve priced a few sets from Pyrex and Anchor & Hocking that you can pretty much find at any big box store and they are all under $30. I’ve even found some sets that double as baking pans for cakes and casseroles.
Right now my roommate and I have a few plastic containers that we were gifted after high school graduation, and we get some good use out of them, but when it comes to us parting ways and splitting up some of the stuff that we bought together, I’m just going to let her have the plastic containers and grab myself some glass ones.
Along the same lines as the glass food storage, I really want to get some Stasher Bags once I’m out in the world. I just think that Stasher had such a cool idea creating their reusable bags, because the plastic disposable alternative is just so wasteful.
There is also a similar brand that I found called ZipTop that showed up on my Pinterest feed. They are similar to Stasher but feature flat bottom and leak proof seals so you can store liquids and solid in their bags.
I think that I’ve gotten my laundry routine to be pretty sustainable at this point, but the one thing left I have yet to tackle are microplastics. Any clothes made with synthetic fibers shed micro plastics whenever they are washed and those little particles of plastic end up in our rivers, oceans, and even our drinking water. Guppyfriend is a way to help catch microplastics and make your laundry routine even cleaner for the planet.
Another alternative to the Guppyfriend is actually a whole filter that you attach to your washing machine by Girlfriend Collective, but since I am a college student right now and I’m going to be renting my first apartment and probably still using just a laundry facility, the Guppyfriend is the best alternative for me right now.
Eco-Friendly Lint Remover
This is another product that keeps popping up on my Pinterest feed whenever I start browsing for new content ideas and new swaps. From the videos that I’ve seen of this thing in action, it looks like it works like a dream. The lint remover itself is completely made out of metal, so there is no waste bade from peeling off the sticky parts of a traditional lint roller. I really want one considering that at home with my parents, I am surrounded by our three indoor cats and my own hair is also a problem for me wherever I wear black. My boyfriend and I also want to get a dog sometime down the road and I just know that it will be a shedder. The only reason that I haven’t gotten one of these yet is because the price is a little higher than I’d like it to be. I’ve seen it on sites for anywhere from $30-$50. Of course the high price is nothing if you think about how this quite possibly could be the last lint remover I ever buy for the rest of my life, but I guess the initial sticker shock is still getting to me.
A Cuban mop is a mop that is used widely in Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean. It’s basically the bare bones version of a mop that just consists of a wooden “T” that you then place a towel over to create the mop. They are relatively cheap and something that you can use over and over again. They also look super cute.
Reclaimed Wood Furniture and Flipped Furniture
This is one of the things on this list that doesn’t require me to buy new outright. After building my own ladder plant shelf out of wood scraps that my dad had laying around the farm, I realized how easy it would be for me to make my own furniture out of reclaimed wood. I’ve also found that it isn’t very hard to take older furniture from thrift stores and update and reupholster them to make them your own.