DIY : Going zero waste – Christy Lee Zilka – Medium

Ok, the truth of the matter is, we will never be fully zero waste—it’s not realistic for us. However, we are taking the plunge by replacing some typical disposables: cotton swabs, chapstick, toothpaste, deodorant, house cleaner, floss, tampons, and razors.

I’m going to start off by admitting that I‘ve jumped into this haphazardly. I went online, read some good blog posts, saw some good products, and went Amazon nuts. After all that, I felt overwhelmed and I questioned whether I had made the right decision or not. It all added up, and these initial purchases created a lot of waste.

Below is the breakdown of everything we bought so far. I have to stress that this has not been a cheap transition. We don’t use a lot of products to begin with, I don’t use a lot of makeup or hair products, and we don’t buy a lot clothes/shoes or anything really, and our groceries are pretty basic as well. Even with a minimal life style, we had to drop some pretty pennies 🙂 So here it is….

– $19.99: Bentonite clay for DIY tooth powder
– $12.99: Raw cacao nibs for DIY tooth powder
– $7.18: Xylitol for DIY tooth powder
– $15.25: 1lb unrefined shea butter for DIY chapstick
– $10.95: 1lb raw beeswax for DIY chapstick
– $6.69: Metal slide tins for the DIY chapstick
– $1.88: 2 stainless steel ear picks
– $46.95: Edwin Jagger chrome double edge razor
– $6.57: Platinum double edge razor blades
– $15.95: Reusable organic cotton muslin grocery bags
– $18.99: 100% pure potassium alum deoderant
– $15.67: Dental Lace refillable dental floss
– $21.98: Raw Essentials face & body 30spf in a tin
– $15.95: Diva cup
– $11.95: Lush shampoo bar
= $228.94

I’ve also bought white vinegar, Dr. Bronner’s biodegradable cleaner, borax, baking soda, and lemon citric acid powder to make my own multi-purpose house cleaner and hand soap. Honestly, if I had to do it again I’d only buy vinegar in bulk and add water for the house cleaner. As for hand soap, you‘ll probably need the Dr. Bronner’s and maybe add coconut oil and essential oil like lavender.

I’ve probably spent close to $300. At this point, I don’t feel zero waste. There’s a lot of packaging with these initial purchases, and not to mention the environmental impact of shipping and delivery. Ugh, we can’t do it all can we.

I’ll be also be thinking about makeup and clothes. I really like following Going Zero Waste. She has a great list of beauty products. As for clothes, I’m pretty much always buying from Buffalo Exchange, Cross Roads or Goodwill. But of course sometimes need a place like Made Well for some proper jeans. They will take your unwanted jeans, recycle them and take $20 off your purchase.

I’m not yet certain if we’re saving money or not, but definitely in the long run we‘ll be reducing our waste. Never will we need razors, chapstick, cleaner, face toner (I use apple cider vinegar mixed with water), Q-Tips, tampons, toothpaste, or deodorant. All these products and ingredients will last us a long time.

On top of all this, we will be grocery shopping package free. This will probably have the greatest impact. We no longer will buy containers of sour cream, cheese blocks wrapped in plastic, bags of cereal, or chips. As I said before, we won’t be 100% zero waste. We will undoubtedly buy bread in a plastic bag, jar of pickles, cans of soda water, box of something, bag of something, and so forth. The point for us is to try our best to be our best. If there’s an alternative, we will try it.


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