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6 Easy Swaps to Start A Low Waste Household

During this year one of my goals is to start a low waste household. For a while I haven’t been happy about how much waste a family of five can create. Doing some research I found there are plenty of ways to completely go zero waste. To be realistic that is not what I am working on right now or if it is a thing that I can accomplish. But what if you want to start slowly and keep learning and getting better? I made these simple swaps and I am pretty sure they can help you make an easy transition converting a goal into a life long change.

6 Easy Swaps to Start a Low Waste Household

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Reusable Bags Vs Plastic Bags

Plastic is so harmful to the environment! Is my reason to decide for this swap. It sounds pretty easy but why do we fail at it? In my case I truly hadn’t committed to getting myself to remember to have reusable bags in my car and actually taking them with me when I am shopping! I’ve had my share of slaps in my forehead after I arrive to cashier and do not have my bags. Who has this happened to?!!! You Know it has been YOU!

What I do now is I have in my purse at least one reusable. Having a couple around is the best way to forgetting less. I even have cute ones for when going to the farmers market and the smaller one for produce, this helps eliminate the small bags that you grab.

I will probably keep forgetting for a while. But great to start today than to never start, right!!

Girl walking with a reusable bag
Bag shown is from The Little Market

Reusable Snack Bags Vs. Plastic Snack Bags

I can’t even keep up with all the plastic snack baggies that my kids used to take to school and they never made their way back!! For sure they threw them in the trash. Now I have to remind them not to throw them, so far so good!! And have to say that you can see the difference in the garbage and your pocket with less boxes of reusable snack bags to buy.

You can find different styles and fabric, even customized. Also the bees waxed paper is good and reusable.

Reusable Water Bottles Vs. Single Use Water Bottles

Single use water bottles is one of the major changes I’ve done. It was crazy!!! Even though I don’t drink a lot of liquids the amount of waste generated was major, even when recycling. My preferred option to start are the stainless steel bottles, cups and glass. If you are into drinking coffee all day have a special cup, one that can be washed and reused.

Plastic Containers Vs. Glass/Stainless Steel Containers

In my kitchen I used to store all the leftovers in plastic containers. After all the buzz that have come up that heating plastic or compositions are dangerous… my swap began. It was not a quick swap, things can get pricey if you want to do them at once. Start getting rid of a couple and then a couple more. You can start by donating to places that use them or recycling them. With time you will have what you need.

Fabric Napkins Vs. Paper Towel

I don’t know about you but I am a paper towel lover!! between paper towel and disposable napkins I was a monster. A new one every time I washed my hands or like five every time I ate.

This swap even if it seems difficult it was pretty easy. I got reusable napkins for daily use and have cleaning cloths. And you might say “oh but the germs” or “you will spend more water in the wash” trust me I got both comments thrown at me, Ha!! Of course but I have other laundry too and I use a detergent add on for the germs, did that answer your doubts?

Washable Cotton Pads Vs Single Use Cotton pads

Incorporating washable cotton pads is another good way of creating less waste. You can either make them yourself or also buy them! There are different patterns, colors and fabrics for everyone!

Other Ideas

There are more things you can try to become a low waste or even a zero waste household. Cutlery, straws,tooth brushes, bamboo cleaning tools, menstrual cups and a lot, lot MORE!!!

Final Thoughts

As I venture the low waste household possibilities I learn of more ways to get better at it. Saying that I also know that for me is going to be a slower journey but one that I want to keep for life and pass on to my kids.

For the person out there that is thinking about a change but haven’t truly embrace it, JUST DO IT! You have nothing to loose but we all have something to gain

If you have already started your journey let me know in the comments what was your first swap? Have you done any other Swaps and do you think you will go back?

Go to my Pinterest for more ideas! And You will probably Love My What to Do With All The SH*T I Just Tidied Up

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  • Ya

    Oh, I love these ideas! I feel like my family of five waste so much. I hate it.

    • elementsofalicea
      Ya

      Yesss!! We are five too and it is crazy. It is one of the main reasons I wanted to try the low waste because even recycling generates a lot!

  • Jen

    Excellent post! We do all of these, and I love my cloth “paper towels” they are the best!

    • elementsofalicea
      Jen

      That is amazing, I just started but can see a difference! I haven’t bought fabric cloths yet but even by just exchanging for cloth napkins has made a huge difference.

  • Veronika

    Oh my awesome tips! I loved this info:)

    • elementsofalicea
      Veronika

      Thank you!

  • Megan

    Wow, I’ve never heard of reusable snack bags! I will definitely need to look into those…. We recently started using reusable bags as the amount of plastic bags we had was embarrassing! I also plan to start using less paper towels (i love those, too!)

    • elementsofalicea
      Megan

      Yes!!, when I started I got them at Marshalls and there a lot custom on Etsy!

  • Emily

    These are such great tips! The switch to getting rid of paper towels was such a good decision, and much easier than we anticipated!
    I personally recommend glass water bottles over stainless steel.

    • elementsofalicea
      Emily

      Thank you for the tip, is there any particular reason for your preference on the glass bottles?

  • Katy Malkin

    Definitely on it with the bags and bottles, but need to think about those paper towels for sure!!

    • elementsofalicea
      Katy Malkin

      Let me tell you!! You will notice the difference. I’m just starting so I am still not very consistent but the amount of usage and garbage is way less.

  • Momma tash

    You make it sound so easy ❤ I have started using a reusable water bottle (and forced my family to follow suite) and I will definitely be using these tips to add more accomplishments to my slowly growing list!

  • Shannon

    These are great ideas. I need to invest in some snack bags for my son. We go through so many disposable bags, this would be much better for the environment!!

  • Ashley lavoie

    I really like this list! I thought I was going to be intimidated by all the ways I was causing waste, when I first read the title. But this is all very simple and really doesn’t take much effort at all! Baby steps are key with big goals like having a zero waste household.

  • Alexzandra

    Love love love all of these tips!!! I’m so glad more people are making an effort to reduce their waste.

  • SaraH

    Thank you for writing about this! It was so helpful and offered so many insightful ideas. Keep up the great work! Xo

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