The Hardest Zero Waste Swaps for Me to Find

I have been diligently trying to switch my life to being more sustainable and ethical one product at a time, but as seasons change, and new predicaments in my life pop up, I’m finding that there are just some zero waste swaps that I cannot find to fit my life. 

This is very frustrating to me because of course deep down I love to be a perfectionist and have everything in my life be in order, but when it comes to some natural and zero waste alternatives, I’m afraid that I just can’t do it. I have to remind myself a lot of times that there is no real way to do zero waste perfectly and by just doing what I’m doing now that I’m making a difference, but sometimes I can’t help but look at others and compare myself to them and their endeavors. 

Dental Care

I have several problems in this category from toothpaste to mouthwash. I have been able to find a bamboo toothbrush that works great for me and my sensitive gums, but not only are my gums sensitive, but also my teeth. It wasn’t until some of my recent trips to the dentist did I find out that I have teeth that are much more susceptible to activities than normal and I needed to start using products that contained fluoride and a remineralizer in order to be able to keep my teeth healthy. I thought that it would be easy to just switch to a zero waste alternative for toothpaste and mouthwash after this, but what I actually found was that many more natural and zero waste dental care products don’t have fluoride in them at all. This really scared me because I wanted to use a better alternative for these products, but I didn’t want to give up my dental health to do it. I have of course found that there are some tooth tablets and formulas that do include fluoride, but until my teeth get a bit better and out of the woods when it comes to my cavity problems, I’m going to stick with what my dentist recommends for me to use. 

Sunscreens

I’ve talked about reef-safe sunscreens on here before, but a lot of the recommendations that I gave still came in plastic. I have found some alternatives that come in plastic free packaging, but a huge part of me is scared of buying and actually using them. While skin cancer is in no way hereditary, complexion is, and my family has had more than a few bouts with skin cancer in the past, so a part of me is very wary when it comes to using a new sun product that I have no experience with using in the past. Part of me is wanting to perform a review of a ton of reef-safe and zero waste sunscreens, but I’m just scared to take the plunge and put myself at risk for skin cancer. I’m definitely going to have to do a ton more research into the active ingredients of some of these brands and get back to you guys at a later time (maybe summer 2021?). 

Hair Oil

I brought this up in my low-waste haircare routine (article here) when I talked about what I was using for hair oil. Basically I’ve been settling for using plastic packaged products that I can get recycled, but I hate settling. A big problem that I’ve found is that a lot of people when it comes to having zero waste hair oil is to just use a straight carrier oil, like coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, and olive oil, on the hair. When I tried this, my hair got absolutely wrecked from it, no matter how little of the product that I used. I’ve been trying to look at some smaller shops on Etsy and some smaller indie brands as well to try to find a solution to this problem, but when I look at the formulas, it doesn’t look very promising. I’ve even been trying to find a DIY recipe that I could make and try, but so many of those solutions are just straight carrier oil. 

Household Cleaners

In regards to laundry, I basically have that to be almost no plastic, but whenever it comes to cleaning your household and being zero waste, sometimes there’s an internal struggle that I face. Mostly because a lot of the DIY cleaners that you can make, aren’t exactly made to disinfect like some of the more wasteful alternatives. I’ve been doing my research on how to disinfect, especially with COVID-19 going on right now, and I just haven’t been able to find a viable option that is also zero waste. It seems as though there isn’t a real way for me to DIY my own cleaners. I have found a few companies that are working on more sustainable cleaning products like Clean Cult, and they look promising. I just don’t really want to spend the money needed to get their products since I’m trying to pinch my pennies as much as possible.

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