It's Go Green Week! This annual campaign is run by universities around the world to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and encourage positive change among students.
As much as we would like to, avoiding plastic entirely is almost impossible, as it is everywhere. What we believe in is progress, not perfection, and rather than not trying at all, we are doing our best to avoid waste and learn as we go!
We packed our bags and went to our local zero waste shop LOLA, and thought about sharing some tips with you on how to shop plastic-free. Guess what - It's easier than you might think.
Bring your own bag: We came prepared with our biggest, most spacious bag - YOSSÏ. Designed to carry more than just your essentials, it would be a great companion during long workweeks, weekends away and visits at your local package-free shop.
Bring produce bags and containers: We used containers from Avoid Waste, which is a Hannover-based startup, just like us! While containers might be a good thing to invest in remember that containers you already own or just empty jars will do, too!
Weigh your containers: When entering the zero-waste shop, you'd need to weigh your containers and get a sticker with their weight written on it. This way, the store will be able to deduct the weight of your container from the total weight when paying for your loose produce. Keep the sticker on the container and reuse it during your next visits.
Take the time to explore: There are many interesting products in package free shops you might have not seen before, like solid shampoos, safety razors, menstrual cups and natural deodorants. Take the time to stroll around the store and familiarize yourself with some of the alternatives these stores have to offer. You might not buy anything at all, but you will learn new things and might be inspired to DIY some of them at home!
Enjoy the process: Transitioning into shopping package free might not be an easy switch, but like anything in life, it becomes easier the more you do it. Have fun and celebrate every small step of success!
Some swaps you can easily find at any zero waste store:
Swap your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one: Same product, less environmental impact.
Use solid shampoo, soap, conditioner and skincare instead of bottled ones: They last longer and come package free. Win-win for the environment and your pocket.
Use a safety razor: Not only it will save you so much money long term, it will also give you better results and a much smoother shave. Trust us, we all use it :) Pro tip: Do not apply pressure on your skin when shaving. Lightly glide the razor on your skin for the best (cut-free) result.
Opt for natural tooth tabs instead of tube toothpaste: It would take some time for you to adjust for this brushing experience, but it is so worth it. Plus, just like the solid shampoo, soap and conditioner, it is travel friendly, which is a huge plus.
Try tin or paper packaged deodorants: They are usually better for your health as they are aluminum-free, and you save some waste from ending up in landfills, too.
Remove makeup with reusable cotton rounds: They are softer on the skin and you’ll never run out of them again.
It’s time to try a period cup: Tampons are expensive and create a lot of waste. Try a period cup or even period underwear and save money and cotton waste.
Use a reusable, stainless steel tea egg: Single use tea bags often contain plastic and are usually more expensive than loose tea.
Reusable bottles and cups Will keep your beverages hot or cold and save you money, as some cafes offer a discount when bringing your own cup.