With growing public interest in health and ecology, many sites now offer a range of zero waste alternatives that are good for our health and limit our ecological footprint.
Among these sites, Zero Waste Canada has an excellent zero waste guide with tips and advice to follow on a daily basis for the bathroom, kitchen, cleaning products, etc. You will also find a set of healthy and zero waste products in the do-it-yourself (DIY) recipes in the different parts of this guide EcoLivingGuide.ca.
Why switch to a plastic-free and waste-free environment? There are many reasons and benefits.
- A change of habit can have a real positive effect—refuse any type of paper ads, plastic bags, not buying on a whim (before you buy something, ask yourself: do I really need it?), etc.
- Unused or broken items can have a second life and save us money—Use scraps of cloth for cleaning or other uses, save jars that you can reuse, repair items instead of buying new ones, etc.
- Contribute to a green economy by recycling and composting our waste.
- Dispose of unnecessary products and learn to live a simple life.
How to do it?
This guide will help you choose products that are available on the market, and will also give you access to DIY recipes and tips to follow on a daily basis. The recipes available on our site are ecological solutions, using very few ingredients and with a low ecological footprint. In general, think about the necessity of the products you have and think SUSTAINABILITY. Keep in mind: we are borrowing the planet from our children and grandchildren!
As mentioned on the Association Québécoise Zéro Déchets, zero waste is inspired by the 5 “R’s” principle, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. The site even adds a sixth principle, which is Repair.
TIPS to follow:
- Use reusable (cotton) bags for shopping, and keep one in your purse at all times.
- Use washable handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues.
- Use a stainless-steel or glass water bottles, reusable cups and cutlery (bamboo, stainless-steel, etc.).
- Replace the plastic straws with a washable stainless-steel straw (carry in your bag).
- Think of using rechargeable batteries.
- Opt for fabric gift wrapping (Furoshiki)
In the KITCHEN:
- Replace disposable towels with washable cloth towels.
- Replace paper towels with washable cloth cloths.
- Use bee-wrap to replace the plastic film.
- Replace plastic utensils and containers for wood, stainless steel, glass, etc.
- Replace your sponges with homemade dishcloths.
- Use tea steepers for your loose tea, rather than ready-made tea bags—the same goes for coffee, choose machines that use ground or bean coffee.
- Choose to buy food in bulk (bring your own jars).
In the BATHROOM and TOILETS:
- Replace plastic cotton buds (which are very polluting for the oceans in particular) by oriculis in bamboo or stainless-steel.
- Use a compostable toothbrush.
- Use a stainless-steel razor, not and not a disposable one.
- Replace sanitary napkins and tampons with healthy solutions such as washable pads, menstrual cups, etc.
- Use solid shampoo and soap.
- Use solid or homemade toothpaste.
- Limit the consumption of toilet paper. You can also use a water jet (already used in many countries). Use washable wipes for babies (see also baby hygiene).
You now have a set of tools and tips just waiting to be put into practice. If you don’t know where to start, we suggest that you make the changes step by step. Don’t throw away all your toxic products in the garbage or down the drain. Contact your municipality for toxic product disposal. Replace them as you go along with healthy alternatives. After making changes in one section of your home, it will be easier and more motivating for you to continue with the other spaces.