Looking for a way to start building a more sustainable lifestyle? Look no further than the zero-waste starter kit! This handy collection of items is perfect for introducing yourself to the world of zero-waste living. With these supplies, you’ll be able to take steps toward reducing your environmental impact and shrinking your carbon footprint.
If you are looking at living sustainably or moving towards a zero-waste lifestyle, the best place to start would be by building a zero-waste starter kit to set you on the right foot. Building a zero-waste starter kit would also make a great present for someone moving out on their own for the first time, or as a housewarming present for an eco-conscious couple.
I offer a lot of suggestions below, however, you do NOT need all of these things to get you started on your way to sustainable living. Start with one or two you think you’ll be able to stick with the most and build your zero-waste starter kit and new habits over time.
Table of Contents
Some links below are affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission should you purchase using my links, at no extra cost to you.
Source Sustainable Alternatives for Necessities
Your zero-waste starter kit should consider sustainable alternatives for common necessities. For example, switch out paper towels for cloth napkins or rags; use a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one; replace non-biodegradable sponges with more eco-friendly options; and fill reusable containers with bulk items like grains, nuts and spices. Every small step towards creating a zero-waste home adds up – the possibilities to reduce waste in your life are endless!
In this zero-waste kitchen section, you’ll see food storage is where you’ll see the most use of plastic. This is where I started when I first decided to live sustainably.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Another thing to consider when building a zero-waste starter kit is to consider reusable bags. Grocery bags are at the top of the list because I feel everyone should be using reusable bags when shopping. If you are not, start here! It’s so easy to do and it can quickly become a habit. I even carry a small, foldable reusable bag in my purse for those last-minute, unplanned stops on my way home from work.
With Canada phasing out single-use plastic (Yay Canada!), grocery stores are making carrying reusable bags feel normal, wish I could say the same about produce bags.
Reusable produce bags are the next step in zero-waste grocery shopping. Unlike bringing reusable grocery bags, bringing reusable produce bags is not yet a “normal” habit around here. I don’t see many people using reusable produce bags in Niagara. I feel like I’m paving the way here! Join me and let’s start a trend!
Beeswax Food Wrap
Another thing to consider adding to your zero-waste starter kit is a beeswax food wrap. Beeswax food wraps are a zero-waste alternative to plastic wraps. You can use it to cover leftover food or wrap sandwiches or even snacks.
I made my own beeswax wraps. It’s easy to do, maybe a bit messy. You can use my recipe for beeswax wraps) or if you don’t like making messes or having trouble sourcing all the materials you need, you can also buy them.
Add Silicon Bags To Your Zero Waste Starter Kit
The alternative to resealable plastic baggies is reusable silicone bags. These bags are great for packing waste free lunches, packing to-go snacks, storing leftover food items or even cooking vegetables in the microwave.
Mason Jars Are A Must In Your Zero Waste Starter Kit
Mason jars can be so useful and versatile. You can store leftover food, make mason jar salads for zero waste lunches, bring empty clean jars to the bulk store to refill or you can even store your DIY cleaners in mason jars.
Mason jars aren’t just for canning anymore. You can now buy alternate lids for your mason jars. Some have pumps, wide-mouth pour lids, sprayers and flip lids, making these jars so much more versatile. Find new, exciting ways to reuse Mason jars & reCAP! Free USA shipping on orders over $49.
Buy in Bulk or Secondhand
When possible, avoid purchasing from single-use containers. Instead, shop in bulk or find items secondhand to reduce waste packaging. Opt for non-plastic or biodegradable options that are environmentally friendly. Furthermore, ask local stores if they offer refillable options for products like soap, hand washing detergent and cleaning supplies. If available, these products will help you save money and reduce your plastic consumption.
If you want more tips on a greener kitchen, you can read the following posts:
5 Easy Swaps for a Greener Kitchen
6 Ways to Make Your Coffee Habit Eco-Friendly
3 Tips for your First Zero Waste Shopping Trip
Zero Waste Bathroom
After making my kitchen habits more sustainable, I looked at the bathroom to see where I could eliminate plastic.
Skip Cosmetic and Cleaning Products with Single-Use Packaging
One of the major contributors to waste is cosmetic and cleaning products that come with single-use packaging. When making your zero-waste starter kit, try to minimize or avoid buying these items altogether – you don’t want them polluting the environment. Instead, prioritize more eco-friendly options like liquid refillable soap, natural shampoo bars and homemade cleaners. Many DIY recipes for cleaning supplies can be found online!
Don’t Forget To Add A Bamboo Toothbrush To Your Zero Waste Starter Kit
A quick win towards sustainability can be switching your regular plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush. There’s not a real adjustment here! It’s a real no-brainer, and you can feel happy that your toothbrush won’t be sitting in a landfill somewhere 200 years from now.
I would count menstrual products, although very necessary, to be a big generator of waste. The switch to non-conventional period products is not an easy one though. I know because I struggle with this one myself. I am currently exploring options, experimenting and implementing solutions to sustainable period products.
If you want to make a big difference, consider these zero-waste period alternatives:
Cloth menstrual pads
If you can make the switch, try cloth menstrual pads instead of plastic-filled varieties from the drug store. Simply change them as often as you would regular pads. They come ins various sizes and absorbencies. I recently purchased a sample pack from this Etsy Store: ChristinaBEStudio. Come back to greenliceoflife for a future review.
Another tool to add to your zero-waste starter kit is sustainable period underwear. Period underwear are also a great alternative to reusable menstrual pads. And as the name suggests, they are basically underwear (in look and feel) that are absorbent and leak-proof. I have purchased a few from Knix.ca and I’m waiting for the delivery so look out for a future product review!
If you are interested in getting some period underwear of your own, use this referral link for $15 Knix dollars.
If you are a regular tampon user, you might be interested in switching to menstrual cups. So many women use these. I don’t use these myself, but if you are interested, you can read more about it from the blog post on Salads4Lunch. The blog post goes into all the details on menstrual cups that you’ll want to know about.
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Shampoo and conditioners come in plastic bottles and are full of chemicals. It’s time to break up with your shampoo bottle and try some shampoo and conditioner bars and add them to your zero-waste starter kit too. Ditching conventional shampoo and conditioner is also on my to-do list for 2022. Read my review of Lush.ca Shampoo & conditioner bars.
Eco-Friendly Laundry Room
You can also add laundry room items to your zero-waste starter kit. For tips on an eco-friendly laundry room, please visit the following post:
Going zero-waste is quite an adjustment. Building habits take time. If you are having a difficult time adjusting, pick one or two items from the zero-waste starter kit list until it’s become a habit, then add a couple more.
I’m going to leave you with this final thought, but I’ve seen it everywhere…
We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.SOurce: Unknown