The past 3 months were the first time in over a year that reducing my waste felt really difficult. I moved house, I am entering the final few months of my PhD and life has generally been super busy. Because this blog is about the transition to a much reduced waste life I thought it was important to acknowledge that it is sometimes a struggle to change. Many Zerowaste blogs show the finished product but mine is about the process, and I hope to inspire people by showing them that a very normal, non-super human, with a regular life can reduce their impact on the planet and contribute to the solution rather than perpetuate the problem.
One of the things that has given me satisfaction when I found things difficult was that some of the practices I have adopted over the past year are now well and truly habits. The most successful of these are in my personal care routines where I am very very close to zero-waste. It can be difficult to source reduced waste options in Dublin so I hope this guide helps.
Toothbrush: wooden & compostable – available in healthfood stores and the Pearse Street farmer’s market.
Toothpaste: recipe from Trash is for tossers.
Shampoo: solid bar shampoo package free from Lush.
Conditioner: solid bar conditioner package free from Lush.
Soap: package free from farmer’s market.
Razor: stainless steel with blade replacements – a better shave and cheaper. The blades come packaged in a small amount of plastic.
Utensils: Nail clippers, file, tweezers are all stainless steel.
Face wash: Charcoal facewash – packaging returnable to Lush to be reused.
Cotton wipes: washable organic cotton makeup wipes (pictured above) I bought from PurePixie on Etsy. Etsy is great because I was able to request as little packaging as possible and the owner of the shop reused an old envelope to send them to me.
Cleanser: virgin olive oil massaged in and then wiped away with reusable makeup wipes and warm water
Moisturiser: coconut oil, olive oil or rose hip oil from refillable glass containers.
Tea tree oil – in a tiny glass bottle in case I get spots. These bottles can last me years and yes, you can hate me for my good skin but I only put good things inside me to achieve it.
Handkerchiefs instead of tissues – they keep my nose super soft.
Body scrub – a sustainably sourced wood body brush and the charcoal facewash has some scrub capability for my face
Lady products: padkix – absolute success will never go back. Lots of other people have success with mooncups etc too though so there are a number of options out there to find the right one for you you just have to be a little bit brave and try them.
Hair ties – I have some old ties left but I’ve experimented successfully with these upcycled hairties from the minimalist beauty blog.
Cotton buds – fully plastic free, organic and compostable.
Still Working on…
Make-up – I gave some away but have tonnes left to use up. Still thinking and researching this one.
ditto for nail polish
ditto for hair spray
Dental floss – Will probably switch to Ecodent. Not waste free but a better alternative.
Lip balm – still have 2 tins left, will make more myself when it’s finished.
Hand cream – 2 bottles left, will make more myself when finished.
Areas I’m reluctant to compromise on…
This is a section most zerowasters won’t include on their blog but I prefer honesty.
contact lenses- I don’t wear them often but I like them when I get dressed up and I can’t afford laser surgery.
medicines – no way around these. In Ireland containers or unused medicines can and should be returned to the pharmacy to dispose of safely. They are obliged to accept. This aims to prevent any remaining drugs leaking into water sources from landfills or washing in recycling plants.
antiperspirant – I don’t have a sense of smell so I’m not willing to experiment. I buy glass ones with as little plastic as possible.