Which Zero Waste “essentials” are essential for me, and what do I regret?

When I first went Zero Waste, I definitely purchased some of the “essentials” that were marketed by the Zero Waste community. Looking back, some of these were great purchases that I still use today, others, well, they clearly were a representation of my former consumerist behavior. Inspired by Immy from Sustainably Vegan and Christina from Sedona Christina, I thought I’d share with you the items I regret purchasing and those that I cannot live without. I want to show how they differ from these fabulous ladies, in order to show how everyone’s journey can be so different.

Both Ladies mention their travel cutlery as a regret. As they mention, you can simply use regular cutlery in most cases. For me, as I travel quite a bit (as sustainably as possible) my cutlery set has saved me from using tonnes of plastic. In airports, they often won’t let you take metal cutlery through security, so the fact that my travel set is bamboo is amazing. But beyond that, I do keep them in my bag, with my lunchbox, and often use them daily.

We also have the opposite thoughts on our to go cups. I brought my keep cup, thinking it was a quintessential thing for a Zero Waster to have.  If I had been really honest with myself, I didn’t often order drinks out all that often. I don’t drink coffee, and I could very seldom justify the $4 for a cup of tea consisting of a tea bag and hot water. This has become even rarer since I became Zero Waste since I no longer use tea bags due to the plastic. If I had to go back, I would probably have skipped this Zero Waste item.

Something that has really changed my Zero Waste life if my water bottle. Mine is single walled, but this doesn’t really bother me, as like I mentioned, I don’t really grab hot drinks on the go. I am often in air conditioning or cooler places, so my water stays cold for a long time, and if I do want to keep it cool for longer, I use cotton wrap water bottle covers that I have from my childhood (but you could just wrap it in a tea towel.

I completely agree with both of these ladies on reusable straws. I rarely used straws before I went Zero Waste, and I often have to force myself to use them now. My partner uses the straws for smoothies occasionally, but we could certainly live without them. Same goes for shampoo bars. The plastic, the storage, the cost, everything is just better with shampoo and conditioner bars. Whether you are Zero Waste or not, they are just better!

Thank you to these 2 ladies for the inspiration for this blog, and hopefully, this shows how different everyone’s journey can be. I would love to hear about your journey and what your essentials are – comment below!

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