20 Of The Best Zero-Waste Swaps

Are you looking to learn about the best zero-waste swaps? In this article, we have rounded up the best zero-waste swaps to help you out!

Are you curious about the best zero-waste swaps? In this article, we will cover:

  • What are zero-waste swaps?
  • The best zero-waste swaps
  • How to get started with zero-waste swaps on a budget
  • Quotes to inspire you to go zero-waste

Zero-waste is “living with the aim to send nothing to a landfill,” as stated by Going Zero Waste.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generated 35.7 million tons of plastic in the United States. Some 12.2% of that makes up the total municipal solid waste generated.

Did you know that 91 percent of plastic types are not recyclable? Plastic also never biodegrades and we are using more and more of it every year.

What Are Zero Waste Swaps?

A zero-waste swap is when you switch out a product that produces waste in exchange for a product that can be used over and over again.

For example, a reusable insulated tumbler can be used over and over again, compared to a styrofoam cup. Swapping a reusable tumbler for a styrofoam cup would be a zero waste swap.

20 Of The Best Zero-Waste Swaps

Here are some easy zero waste swaps to help you get started:

1. Silicone Straws

You may have already switched over to silicone straws after seeing the video of the turtle with a plastic straw stuck in his nose. Switching to silicone straws is a great way to get started.

Personally, I have reusable straws at home and a few in my purse for when I’m out and about. For a little while, it’s an instinct to continue to grab plastic straws. But once you become conscious of this habit, it is a super easy switch to make!

2. Cloth Makeup Remover Pads

No more disposable makeup remover pads! These are simple and easy to use and come with a little mesh bag so you don’t lose them in the washer and dryer!

3. Makeup Remover Cloths

Another zero-waste makeup swap! No more disposable makeup wipes! A little oil or makeup remove of your choice on this cloth and your entire face of makeup will come off in a few seconds!

4. Reusable Shopping Bags

Shoppers in the United States use almost one plastic bag per resident per day. Shoppers in Denmark use an average of four plastic bags a year. Imagine the difference we could make by switching to reusable shopping bags!

5. Reusable Produce Bags

Skip the plastic for your produce and use these bags instead! Pack these mesh produce bags with your reusable shopping bags!

Use these for your fruits and veggies when shopping instead of grabbing that tiny plastic bags at the store.

6. Silicone Ziplock Bags

These silicone ziplock baggies save the planet and your hard-earned money! They are also sturdier than normal ziplock bags.

7. Glass Food Storage Containers

Glass food storage containers last longer than plastic, are easier to keep clean and looks way cuter on the ‘gram! These containers are made from borosilicate glass- making them the strongest glass available! These containers are microwave, oven, dishwasher and freezer-safe.

8. Bamboo or Stainless Steel Utensils

Ditch those plastic utensils! Store a set of bamboo or stainless steel utensils in your backpack, lunchbox or purse for convenience.

9. Period Cup

Save money, time and hassle by switching to a period cup. It can be a little intimidating when you first make the switch, but after you adjust, you will wonder why you didn’t switch sooner!

10. Period Panties

Skip the pads and panty liners and opt for period panties instead! There are great option for both light and heavy days.

11. Insulated Tumbler

Coffee and tea fanatics- have no fear! You can still enjoy your favorite drinks using an insulated tumbler. Bonus: your drinks will stay warm or cold longer than a regular coffee cup or styrofoam cup!

Use an insulated tumbler at gas stations, coffee shops, Starbucks, work or anywhere you typically would grab a disposable coffee cup. Some places will give you a discount for bringing your own cup as well!

12. Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Ditch the plastic water bottles! Grab a cute stainless steel water bottle and fill it up a few times a day. It doesn’t take long to fill it up and it will stay cold for hours. If you are not a fan of tap water, invest in a water filter for your faucet. There are SO many options instead of picking up a case of plastic water bottles.

13. Reusable Food Wrap

Use reusable beeswax wraps for a sustainable, natural alternative to plastic wrap. Wrap up cheese, fruit, vegetables, and bread. Cover a bowl or pack a snack for your next adventure. Also makes an amazing zero-waste kitchen gift idea!

These wraps last about a year when used several times per week. Typical plastic food wrap are used typically for a matter of minutes and can linger in our environment for 2,000 years or more and won’t biodegrade.

14. Reusable Dish Cloths

These Swedish Dish Cloths can be used instead of paper towels, disposable wipes, or wiping down surfaces. These dish cloths are chemical free and can be thrown in the wash and used over and over.

15. Reusable Paper Towels

Swap out regular paper towels for paperless towels. These paperless towels are washable and reusable and can last for years. They are also extra-absorbent and designed to be worked hard!

16. Reusable Napkins

Similar to paperless towels, pick up some reusable napkins! These napkins are made of long-lasting material, are quick-drying and absorbent. They are easy to throw in the washing machine as well!

17. Silicone Baking Mats

No need for aluminum foil or parchment paper! Silicone baking mats are oven-safe and super convenient.

18. Reusable Cupcake Liners

Reusable cupcake liners making cooking a breeze! Say bye-bye to the fear of running out of cupcake liners! These reusable, food-grade silicone liners are cost-saving and effortless! They are also freezer, microwave, oven and dishwasher safe.

19. Dryer Balls

Dryer balls are a chemical-free alternative to using dryer sheets and one-time use products. The wool balls will last over a thousand loads! You are also likely to save electricity as your clothes will dry up to 25 percent faster.

20. Reusable K-Cup

40 percent of plastic produced is used just once and then discarded. One example is K-Cups used in Keurigs. Save money AND make a difference by switching to reusable k-cups.

Simply use your favorite ground coffee and fill the reusable filter, then pop it into your Keurig or another similar coffee maker. Wash and rinse when finished!

Quotes To Inspire You To Switch To Zero-Waste Swaps

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Berry

“Plastic is the most destructive weapon than a nuclear bomb or an atom bomb, its impact shall remain for centuries on the future generation.” — Sir P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

“The most environmentally friendly product is the one you didn’t buy.” – Joshua Becker

“Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution.” – Unknown

“Single-use plastic is a ticking time bomb for the environment. Avoid it wherever and whenever possible.” – Jennifer Nini

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American proverb

“Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.” – Benjamin Franklin

“It’s only one straw,” said 8 billion people. – Unknown

“Refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest.” – Bea Johnson

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”— Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Try to leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.” — Robert Baden-Powell

“Buy less, choose well, make it last.” – Vivienne Westwood

Frequently Asked Questions

What are zero waste swaps?

A zero-waste swap is when you switch out a product that produces waste in exchange for a product that can be used over and over again.

What is a zero waste approach?

A zero waste approach is a concept where individuals do their best to send nothing to landfills and create as little waste as possible.

What are sustainable swaps?

Sustainable swaps are items that you can switch out for ones that are not as environmentally-friendly. An example is using a metal or silicone straw instead of a plastic straw.

How do you go zero waste on a budget?

You can go zero-waste on a budget by slowly switching items as you run out of them. For example, when you run out of k-cups, instead of buying more k-cups, purchase ground coffee and a reusable k-cup filter.

Over time, all of these swaps will add up, even on a budget!

Bottom Line

You can save money and help the environment by making a few simple swaps. You can start with one swap and slowly work up to having a zero-waste home!

Related: Ultimate Guide To Intermittent Fasting