If you think about how many times you are taking out your trash bag every week, it is probably more than you would like, especially if you have kids or pets! Before my husband and I started reducing our waste we had a lot more trash than we do now. Currently we throw out one trash bag every 2 weeks or so. If it weren’t for all the weeds we have to throw away in the summer, we would not need a trash pickup every week at all. Think about what you are throwing away in your home and if it could be replaced by one of these Zero Waste items on Amazon.
There are so many things you can do to reduce the amount of waste in your home, and I have put together a list of amazon prime products that we use instead of non-reusable plastics.
1 – Silicone Bags
These are probably the most used item in our home that is on this list. We got this 8 pack on amazon, along with another 4 pack that were the same ones but from a different company. The 4 pack we got ended up coming with two that were fused together so they gave us our money back, but we had no problem with the 8 pack shown below! They can be used in the fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher! We have had them for over a year and they are still good as new.
I highly recommend getting silicone bags if you end up going with one item off of this list! They can be used for anything, they hold a lot, and are so easy to wash! Win, win, WIN!
2 – Produce Bags
Think about going to the grocery store, specifically when you are in the produce section, you probably pull off one of those produce bags off the roller for each item that you are buying. We use to do the same. These produce bags are so great. We currently only have two of the big ones and we just fill it them with any produce we get and separate it at the register. The ones that the stores provide are so thin and they will never be reused, so why bother. We have had our produce bags for over a year as well and they are still in perfect condition. I love the idea of them because a lot of plastic goes to waste in the produce section, so we do our part!
3 – Metal Straws
These straws are so great and they come with a cleaner and a pouch so you can throw them in your purse or car. I had a hard time remembering to say “no straw” at restaurants or fast food places in the beginning, but if you are going to make the switch be sure to always say that as soon as you can. Most of the time at those places they give you a straw before they even talk to you, so bringing it up before they can put it on your table or bag is key to making this work!
We also have a pack of silicone straws that are the same idea, it would just be whatever you prefer. We love both versions of our reusable straws.
4 – Beeswax Wraps
These are probably my least favorite and less used item on this list but I had to bring it up. I liked the idea of not using plastic wrap so I bought this 4 pack of wraps. They were great the first 2-3 times of use but they loose their stick. I think they work best for wrapping cut fruits and vegetables, rather than covering a bowl, because you can just squeeze all the ends together. After the first few uses we just cannot get them to stick well on the bowls anymore so we just avoid having to cover dishes now. If we think we will have leftovers we just put them in our glass containers with a lid instead to avoid having to use plastic wrap.
I know there is also a way to make your own beeswax wraps which would probably be a better idea than putting money towards some that are not going to last. Though, we did really enjoy them while they were usable! You also cannot use hot water to wash them so just be careful with that. Maybe we washed them to much or something, but I think any wash will take some of the wax off each time. Either way, these wraps are still eco-friendly, even if they have to be replaced more often than everything else on here. We are going to stick with other alternatives for now, but would love to hear about your experience with purchasing or making these wraps!
I LOVE these bags! I bought this 5 pack and was thinking “I probably will need more than that”. When they came they were HUGE! Ok, well not that big but they sure do hold a lot and they can take a good amount of weight too. I love love love them! The straps are also long so you can throw it on your shoulder easily, or even tie them so your items don’t fall out in the car. They have a little pouch attached to them that allows you to just fold them up and stuff it into the pouch so they are contained while not using them. We throw them easily in our glove box and then in my purse or my husbands pocket when we go to the store. They really condense down very well, but then have a lot of room when you unfold them. They come in a lot of color and pattern varieties too! The material is so durable and they are going to last us a very long time.
6 – Wool Dryer Balls
These are a great alternative for dryer sheets and they can be used for hundreds of dry cycles. They are not scented, so if you are use to the scent your dryer sheets put on your clothes you can always put a few drops of essential oils on your dryer balls. One side note, if you have dogs make sure you do not accidentally drop one of these while taking your laundry out haha! Our dogs got a hold of one once, and we found it shortly after, destroyed! They are the size of a dogs toy so they knew no difference, just be careful.
Glass spray bottles are a great alternative to plastic ones, especially if you make your own cleaners! We have one of these and it is much more durable than plastic ones we have used in the past. Getting one of these may also inspire you to stop buying cleaners at the store that come in plastic containers, there are a lot of tutorials on pinterest about how to make your own cleaners at home that will reduce your plastic waste even more.
These reusable sandwich bags are a great alternative for lunch on the go. Yes, you can use the silicone bags for the same purpose, but I figured I would share this idea as well. These are made of a lighter material than the silicone so it will not squish your lunch. Plus, because you are going to be doing so well not using Ziploc bags anymore, you silicone bags may be all used at the moment, here is just another option to throw in you reusable item drawer when you need more bags!
Ladies, or gents, no judgement! Think about how many makeup wipes you use a day! Ok, well it is probably one, but still, that could be up to 365 a year; that is a lot of waste plus the plastic packaging they come in! These reusable makeup wipes are so great and they come with a little bag for the washing machine. The pack comes with enough to last you through your laundry days and then some. This is a newer concept to me than the previous, and I am excited to have it added to my less-waste routine.
10 – Bamboo Toothbrushes
Bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes as they are biodegradable. They have many options for these so you can still have a soft or hard brush, but you are using less plastic. If you think about how much plastic is actually on a toothbrush, it is quite a lot for how little they actually last you!
This is one that we probably all already have, and if you don’t you should get on board! Even though we have reusable water bottles, why are people still buying water bottles? Instead of buying water bottles, try looking for a good water filter system and use the bottles that you have at home. This specific collapsible water bottle is really awesome because when it is not in use it does not take up much space in your cabinet. Also, if you are on a hike or exercising you can condense it while drinking so it is not so bulky.
12 – Travel Utensils
There are so many different variations of travel utensils, but I think a fork, spoon, and chopsticks is a great way to keep it simple. You can also find some variations that come with everything you could possibly need including the 3 items in this one plus a knife, straws, and a cleaning brush. When you are out on the go it is so easy to grab a plastic fork when you grab a quick bite, even restaurants or bars sometimes use plastic which is always very odd to me! This one is so simple, but can be so effective.
Next time one of your brushes at home has just gone through too much, consider getting a bamboo brush rather than plastic. They do all typically last a while, but they have to be replaced at some point. You can find any type of scrubber that you use in a bamboo version which is much more eco friendly than a giant plastic handle and bristles.
14 – Portable Coffee Mug
Here is another item that we probably all have, or maybe you just have regular mugs at your house. Getting a to-go coffee mug is a great way to reduce waste when you get coffee form pretty much anywhere these days. It is becoming more and more normal for places to fill your personal cup with your order rather than a plastic cup that you are going to throw away right after. The best way to practice this is to keep one in your car so you always have it on you for when you decide to go to a coffee shop. Heck, I am sure you can bring your ceramic mug in too if that is all you have!
Paper towels and toilet paper are the easiest thing to waste in your home. There are several alternatives for both including these reusable paper towels that are easy to hand clean or they can go in the washing machine. Some other alternatives are to buy eco friendly towels such as tree-free alternatives from places such as grove. Using places that do not package their paper goods in plastic is also a great way to live a more plastic-free life.
I hope that these Zero Waste Items on Amazon inspire you to try using less plastic in your life. Since switching over to zero-waste products we are throwing away a lot less and spending less money by reusing what we have. Don’t forget, nobody is perfect, if you forget to bring something with you, or even forget to use something that you have with you, that is okay! I have done it, we are all doing our best, but we are human. Other than these awesome products, I have a couple more tips for you to start on your plastic free life!
1 – Buy bars of soap rather than soap in plastic dispensers. There are many companies that sell bars of soap that come in a zero-plastic packaging, but my favorite is Lillie’s Handmade Soaps. Okay, I may be a little bias because they are a family owned shop located in Old Town Albuquerque so I can grab some whenever I want, but they have the best scents and they do ship! My favorite scent is the Sweet Almond Spice, and their Pumpkin, Heavenly Honey and Blueberry are also wonderful!!!!
2 – Start making your own cleaning products. As I mentioned before, those glass spray bottles are great to reduce your plastic waste, but making your own cleaning products will reduce the amount of plastic containers that you buy. There are also a lot of ways to make your own skincare products instead of buying them in containers. Pinterest is a great place to get inspired for this kind of stuff!
3 – Buy things that you use often in bulk. I know some people who have gone the plastic-free rout that now eat minimal meat because it comes in plastic. We eat a lot of meat in our house so that is not something we would do, but we typically buy, for example, the bulk chicken breast pack and freeze some (in our silicone bags) because that is a lot less packaging than buying the small packs more often. Same with cheese, we buy bigger packs because we eat a lot of cheese, plus those little bags of cheese have so much packaging! Typically when buying anything in bulk there is less plastic being used than if you bought the same amount in smaller quantities.
4 – Reuse whatever you can! We cannot recycle glass in our recycle bin at home so we try to use glass jars and stuff for other purposes when they are empty. We also just recently learned that there is a free drop off for glass near us so we now keep a box in the garage to put glass in when we do have glass to throw away.
We also keep the containers that our lunch meat comes in as tupperware containers or storage for whatever we need. We usually use our glass containers for food storing, but those come in handy too; and we especially us them if we are giving someone a dish, or really anything, so it isn’t a big deal if we don’t get it back. If you are someone that hosts holidays at your home, saving containers like this would be great to use when sending your guests home with leftovers rather than a paper plate and plastic wrap. Lunch meat containers and to-go containers from restaurants are perrrrfet for this! You can also bring your own container to restaurants to put your leftovers in. I can go on and on!
Using old shirts, or really any cloth, as dish towels or rags depending on the condition is a great way to keep using something until it is just not possible anymore. You know that pile of t-shirts from when you were a teenager that you haven’t touched in 10 years? This is a great way to reuse them.
If you have plastic bags, grocery bags, bread bags, or anything in your house, try to use them as much as you can before it is not possible anymore. Before we started using our reusable grocery bags we always kept the plastic ones and still have a lot that we use when cleaning up after our dogs in the yard and other things that we don’t need a huge trash bag for.
One last thing, we keep our empty dog food bags and soil bags for filling with weeds instead of buying black trash bags. We have a lot of weeds that pop up in the summer, so we will be going through our pile of dog food bags from fall and winter very quickly and soon, but those could even be used as normal trash bags if you don’t have a massive weed problem!
5 – Buy secondhand and donate what you don’t need. Thrifting is pretty popular these days, but many things that we don’t need to buy new, we still do. Before you go shopping for whatever it is, maybe think about if it is something you could find at a thrift store or on letgo. On the other hand, don’t throw out something because you think it is not good anymore, I am sure you can find someone out there that can reuse whatever it is. Try putting whatever it is on craigslist or letgo for free, and if nobody bites, then that probably means it is good to toss as your last resort.
6 – Recycle whatever you can that you also cannot reuse or re-purpose. So many things can be recycled, so educating yourself on what all the recycling symbols mean is so helpful. If you cannot recycle glass at your home like us, find somewhere that does. Just always be sure that your item can not possibly be recycled, donated, reused, restored, re-purposed, or refurbished before throwing it in the garbage can.