Going zero waste can be a little challenging while you travel since there are takeaway options galore and often times aren’t geared up with the essentials to reduce the most waste. These items listed can be used during travels or in everyday life which makes them the perfect additions to your zero waste kit. I made a purchase from a zero waste shop a couple of days ago, Weighstead, and it inspired me to help share the items I love in hopes to provide some inspiration for those of you who would like to take the next steps to save our environment. All of the photos shown are from the Package Free Shop if you’re interested, otherwise, I talk about my favorite brands with the product listed. If you’re not sure where to shop zero waste online, I have listed out a few online stores that I have surfed or that I have personally purchased from myself. Thank you for taking interest in a zero waste lifestyle and good luck on your journey!
Where To Purchase These Products
Stainless Steel Razor
I had no clue these existed until a year or so ago, but truthfully, you will never buy another razor after you purchase one of these bad boys. Plastic razors lose their shave quality after the first couple uses and need replacement only after a month or two; globally, that’s billions of dollars going to waste each year and over two billion razors ending up in a landfill. Now, we can continue to toss our money into the garbage, or we have the option of purchasing a stainless steel razor that will last you for the rest of your life, literally. You only have to replace the blade of the actual razor and how much are those you may ask? Fifteen cents. *drops mic*
No zero waste kit is complete without a Hydro Flask. The price of these is what steers most people away, but you’re going to have this water bottle for a lifetime and with the amount of money you’re going to save on buying plastic water bottles, this one actually ends up being the cheaper option! They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes so you are guaranteed one for whatever your aesthetic is. I carry a 40oz Hydro Flask with me no matter where I go and I have found that it’s the perfect amount for my day-to-day and travels.
Reusable Grocery + Produce Bags
Depending on the way that you travel you may only need one of these, but it makes a world of a difference having your own bag when you’re out for groceries or other items. Using a grocery bags prevent constant use of single-use plastic ones and produce bags are a great way to keep your greens and veggies stay fresh, and of course, they eliminate the use of the plastic produce bags offered at grocery stores. If you only need one, you can use any reusable bag that you have laying around that is lightweight and stores easily.
Bamboo Utensil Set
I believe that whether you’re traveling or not, everyone should have a nice set of bamboo utensils. I use these just as much, if not more than when I am not traveling and they have made fruit stops and lunches on the go so easy. Another nice thing about these is that you never have to worry about sanitation if you have your own utensils. There are tons of local shops that sell these, but I love Reel Red on Etsy since she makes her wraps from upcycled fabrics.
Bamboo/Stainless Steel Straw
Stainless steel straws are the new black, and if you don’t have one of these, you seriously should because this is the best way, in my opinion, to begin a plastic-free journey. I carry one around with me even though I don’t use straws in the first place, but if you’re an avid straw user, pop one of these in your bag and you’ll never have to worry about going without one and you won’t be contributing to the plastic straw issue either; a win-win.
Cotton Soap Bag(s) / Tin Case
A tin case is a perfect reusable option to a plastic bag, but the only downside is that it can collect water in it that may make your soap run out a little quicker. However, it is still a solid option for transportation.
The cotton soap bag is a double whammy since you can use it as a loofah if you’d like or you can use it to transport your soap bars. One side is an open mesh for the loofah feature and the other side is a denser weave. In past travels, I have stored my soap in plastic bags, so it’s refreshing to know that on my next trip I won’t have this issue! I look forward to purchasing another one of these if/when it is needed, but if you’re on the hunt for a zero waste alternative to travel with your soap, check these out.
Solid Shampoo + Conditioner Bars
These are essential for ease of travel and ditching bottle waste! Lush is known for selling high-quality, solid hair care products for all types and they even sell reusable tins to put them in that are available for purchase. Generally, they last for a good couple months which is incredible for how compact in size they are. These are great if you don’t want to worry about your products leaking and if you want to free up some room in your suitcase.
I swear by Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap bar because they’re 100% biodegradable and the outer wrapping is made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials. I like that they come in a variety of scents so I can switch up my routine if I want, but my personal favorite is the tea tree scent since it helps keep my skin clear. The smell isn’t overpowering at all and they even have an unscented version for babies or for those of you who aren’t a fan of the scented versions.
Cloth Napkin / Non-Paper Towel
This is one of those products that you don’t know you need until you need it. You can make anything a napkin so don’t worry about feeling the need to purchase something special for this. I use a bandana on and off the road because it has many uses, but if you have an old t-shirt that you can chop a square or two out of, then, by all means, do that. Paper napkins are an unnecessary waste generator that is easily replaceable with a reusable, washable fabric.
Reusable Menstrual Cup
(For all my male readers just skip over this one lol) Okay ladies, so before you go, “that’s weird“, and completely rule out the LIFE CHANGING aspects of this product, hear me out. I used to be in the same boat thinking that this was the most bizarre thing, but after trying it out over two years ago, I will never go back to disposable hygiene products again. There are tons of benefits of a reusable cup, but the most appealing is that you don’t have to worry about leaks, it’s a one time purchase, you’re taken care of for up to fourteen hours, yes, fourteen, you’re not putting bleached cotton and other chemicals where they shouldn’t be, AND you’re saving the environment on top of all of that. My advice is to try this at least once because it is going to change mother natures monthly visit, and you’ll make the switch after using it once.
Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush
To my surprise, most bamboo toothbrushes are not entirely biodegradable because of the bristles, but I do believe that ditching a plastic toothbrush for one of these is a way better option than throwing away a plastic one every three months. It’s a step in the right direction, so while I haven’t found biodegradable bristles, if you want to make a huge difference with something that you need to purchase anyway, snag a bamboo one! They look super cool and you’re saving our oceans!
Pair this with some zero waste toothpaste for the perfect combo!
Stainless Steel To-Go Container
If you like to order takeaway during your travels, this one is going to come in handy for that extra dessert after dinner or to take lunch along on a day trip. Once you combine one of these, the utensil set, and the cloth napkin, you’re going to have everything you need for a zero waste takeaway meal. There is so much waste that goes into ordering food from the spare utensils you don’t end up using, full sauce packets, and the plastic containers that the food comes in. When you’re ordering for takeaway, ask if you are able to receive the food in your own container to save waste.
Refillable Floss + Spools
I never knew this stuff existed until a couple of days ago, but I love the concept and immediately purchased a spool for myself (which now realizing the kind that I bought wasn’t vegan but they offer vegan versions on their site so I’ll know for next time). The non-vegan floss is made out of mulberry silk while the vegan version is made of bamboo charcoal so that’s the difference between the two, but they both come in glass containers with a stainless steel top. The coolest part about these is that you are able to purchase refills for them so you don’t end up with ten different floss containers. I know not everyone flosses, but I am trying to support some quality gum health over here so I know this is easily going to become essential for me.
Reusable Facial Rounds
These are more of a specialty item for my readers out there that pack along makeup or are daily toner users, so while these aren’t an essential for me, they can be for others and that is why I listed them. One side is organic bamboo for cushion while the opposite side is organic hemp fleece that is slightly more rugged to help remove stubborn mascara. Bamboo and hemp are both an antifungal and antimicrobial which make them perfect for skincare and hemp is biodegradable which makes these organic pads a perfect addition to an environmentally friendly beauty routine.
Zero Waste Deodorant
Coming from someone who ditched commercial deodorants a long time ago, do your pits a huge favor and switch to an all natural deodorant. I am currently using a mineral deodorant, but I plan on making the switch to this jarred version as soon as I am finished with the one I have. Not only do natural deodorants last longer than sticks, but the fragrance in them also isn’t overpowering, and they actually take away odor instead of masking it. If you’re tired of smelling rank, your deodorant not doing the job, and if you want healthy pits, try this stuff out.
Biodegradable / Reef Safe Sunscreen
I have used Raw Element’s line of sunscreens for almost two years now and I was stoked to find a zero waste version of my favorite sunscreen. Along with a plastic-free packaging, this sunscreen is biodegradable, safe for all ages, reef safe, water-resistant, broad spectrum, NPA certified natural, cruelty-free, and non-GMO project certified! It has everything you could ever want and need in sunscreen and the packaging is cute!
What is your favorite zero waste product? Share with me in the comments below!
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