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In absolutely no way do you need to buy things to reduce waste. Nor do I recommend buying things until you truly need to. HOWEVER — if you are in the market for something that could replace a more single use or non-recyclable/compostable item AND you don’t have an adequate replacement already (i.e. old cloth rags for cleaning, empty glass jars for storage, existing spoon/fork for your “to-go” kit, etc., more on that below) … read on!
For the house
- Wool dryer balls for when you run out of dryer sheets
- Compostable kitchen sponge and bamboo brushes (with replaceable heads) for when you run out of traditional sponges
- Compostable toilet brush (but only after you’ve used up all your on-its-last-leg brushes)
- Beeswax wraps for when you run out of Ziplock bags, saran wrap, and aluminum foil (it is possible to make these at home as well; I also will use old pillow cases to store bread in the freezer)
- Silicone baking mats for when you run out of baking spray (or just use butter and flour to grease your cookie pans)
- Evercare Lint Brush for when your lint roller runs out (a must in our house since we have 2 sheddy dogs)
- J.R. Watkins Laundry Powder Detergent (biodegradable and in a cardboard box) for when you run out of the bottled, liquid stuff
- Biodegradable dishwasher tablets (biodegradable and in a cardboard box) for when you run out of the bottled or plastic boxed stuff
- Tushy Toilet Paper (made from bamboo and wrapped in paper; there are other paper wrapped alternatives out there as well) for when you need more TP
- Compostable trash bags (we are required to have our trash bagged in our city so this at least allows for the bag itself to degrade) for when you are out of your traditional bags
For on the go
- Keep Cup (got mine on Amazon’s Warehouse Deals) instead of coffee cups from your local coffee shop (an at home replacement is just using a mason jar or even and old jam jar)
- Que Bottle instead of water bottles (again, you can use a large mason jar as a replacement as well but I prefer the size and weight of Que bottles when traveling)
- Stainless steel straws instead of traditional straws (only if you insist on using straws… otherwise, just go straw-free!)
- Cotton produce bags for stashing fruits/veggies/bulk items (these can also be made using old sheets and pillow cases)
- Cotton grocery bags for shopping (however, I am sure most people have a wide assortment of these already given away at different events and stores — use them!)
For your body
- Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream for when you run out of traditional antiperspirant/deodorant (you can even make deodorant at home but I don’t have time for all that! the baking soda free version is what works best for me but feel free to experiment!)
- Bamboo toothbrushes for when you are in need of a new toothbrush
- Safety razor (I bought a vintage one on eBay) and razor blades (recyclable) for when you are ready to take the plunge!
- Pela Phone Case (compostable!) for whenever you get a new phone and are in need of a case (my phones are incapable of being case-less!)