A quick search on the internet throws up a million different things which we should buy to start our journey towards low waste. Am I the only one who thinks buying to go low waste seems a bit counter intuitive though?! Don’t get me wrong, I totally did this when I started looking into low waste. But having been the person who went out and bought these things thinking it was the only option, I thought a post on what you actually need to go low waste would be helpful.
First thing is first though, you may have noticed I have changed the term to low waste. When I first started this journey “zero waste” was the aim, but you know what it just isn’t possible. I think that having the term zero waste attached actually does more damage than good as you strive to achieve something impossible and fail every time. So I have decided from now on in my blog, the term I use will be low waste.
But anyway, back to the point! The below are all things which you do not need to buy to be low waste. Every single one of them is more than likely something you already own, you just need to repurpose it!
As much as matching jars look amazing in the cupboard, if they are not on show, does it really matter? (Even if they are on show, does it even matter?!!) Rather than going out and buying, save up old food jars. You can also ask family and friends to save them for you too. Having gone out and bought various jars over the years, I can safely say I do not like them any more than the old peanut butter jars which sit alongside them now. And as an added bonus as they are all different sizes they are great for holding different things too.
Reusable wax wraps
These would be to replace cling film or sandwhich bags. You can actually make your own with wax and material, apparently they are easy to make, but I just don’t feel I need them at all. Personally I use take away tubs. While I would love to tell you all that I never order take out or when I do I take my own boxes, the truth is, I don’t. I order it and it comes in a plastic tub. Yes it is not ideal, however, that tub can be reused. Whenever I would have previously reached for the cling film, I now reach for one of these. If I need to take food on the go with me they are perfect. Yes your sandwich may come apart a bit, but it really is not the end of the world to put it back together at the other end! They are also fab for putting in leftovers or things for the fridge or freezer.
On the go cutlery set
When I first went low waste I very nearly fell into this one, I mean who doesn’t need a cute little bamboo cutlery set in its own little pouch for on the go. But really just make it! We all have odd bits of cutlery. Get yourself a knive, fork and spoon, make a cloth napkin and then roll them up. You could even use old kids plastic cutlery if you want the set to be smaller. Super easy and it reuses things which may have otherwise ended up in landfill (mismatched cutlery, scraps of material). Yes it is not going to be particularly pretty, but as with jars, does it really matter.
Much as I was very excited to get my see-through veg bags, I also use homemade ones made with any old material. Yes the person on the supermarket checkout has to open to see what the contents are but I have never had any comlaints! My mum has made me a number of them over the years from material she had and they are perfect. Again, scraps of material which may have had no other use can get a new lease of life!
There are lots of really nice reusable kitchen towels for sale, but it is just as efficient to use an old towl cut up. Yes it may not be quite as absorbent, but it definitely still does the job! You could even colour code them for which are for which purpose if you are using different coloured scraps. Blue for bathroom spills, green for kitchen counters, you get the idea.
If you have any other tips please share them below, it is always great to get new ideas!