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10 Guilt-Free Zero Waste Products (With Instructions) To Help You Be More Plastic Free

Estimated Read Time: 15 Minutes

These 10 zero waste products are easy to implement into your routine with instructions included to help determine which ones are best for you.

How great would it be if we could just nod our heads, blink, and all the zero waste products we needed would appear? *Wistful sigh*

Since that doesn’t seem like it will happen anytime soon, we’ll have to do things the old fashioned way and replace our items one by one. While it can seem like a counterintuitive idea, replacing products you already have, it’s important to remember that this process is not perfect by any means and investing in something now can save so much money and plastic from the future. 

That is one of the main reasons Zero Waste Store exists — to pair people with their perfect zero waste product. We’ve done the research and vetted the company so you don’t have to. We also care about the planet and want to reduce our own waste. Between our personal journeys and being involved in the zero waste lifestyle everyday, here are 10 zero waste products and how to use them. 

Three different safety razors and a tin of shaving balm on a striped linen

1. Safety Razors

Roughly 2 billion disposable razors are thrown out every year. Standard disposable razors are made almost entirely of plastic while other conventional replaceable razors contain plastic, and a variety of other materials, making them virtually non recyclable.

There are so many safety razors out there now that we’re confident there’s a perfect fit for everyone. It’s something that you can implement basically immediately and only a small learning curve to be able to use one like a pro. 

A safety razor is made of metal and uses replacement blades with a single or double blade edge. Safety razors don’t contain plastic and many companies have some kind of blade-return program for easy disposal. 

There are countless videos on shaving techniques and proper blade loading, not to mention the plethora of influencers you can find on social media to help you learn the ropes. 

Safety Razors We Like Include: 

How To Use A Safety Razor 

Specific instructions will vary depending on your razor of choice, but generally speaking you’ll unscrew the razor handle from the head making room for the blade. No matter what type of safety razor you’re using, always hold the blade by the short ends; do not grab it by the long ends. Load the razor into the head, then twist it back closed/together, et voila! 

Shop All Safety Razors & Accessories on Zero Waste Store

Orange shampoo & conditioner bar on soap dish with wood soap saver underneath

2. Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

Solid hair care bars sprung into popularity during the 19th century but during the 1940’s & 1950’s as plastic was taking the world by storm, beauty companies began creating liquid alternatives that of course needed to be packaged in plastic.

Making shampoo and conditioner bars in solid form eliminates the need for plastic packaging, or any packaging at all. It can also be more cost effective since you’re not paying for a bottle of water with a tiny bit of product. 

With the rise of the zero waste movement, there’s been an increase in the availability of solid hair care bars. This works out well because if one type of bar doesn’t work well on your hair, there are a bunch of other options you can try! 

Pro-tip — try to find an influencer who uses the brand you’re looking at and who has a similar hair type to you to get started.

Shampoo & Conditioner Bars We Like Include:

How To Use A Shampoo & Conditioner Bar

Shampoo — Wet your hair and the bar. Massage into hands or directly onto the scalp. Start in small circles at your hairline then work through your hair as needed. Do some extra circles at the nape of your neck then start working into a lather. Rinse out as normal. 

Conditioner — Wet your hair and the bar. Start with your hair under (warm) water at your hairline and gently work the conditioner bar into your hair. Once it’s a bit warm it should go on smoothe. Work through with your hands using water as needed. Rinse out as usual.

Shop All Plastic Free Hair Care & Accessories on Zero Waste Store

Three wool dryer balls in a small basket

3. Wool Dryer Balls

Did anyone else’s mom keep tennis balls in the dryer? As annoying as it is, turns out she was onto something. Wool dryer balls are a super effortless zero waste product to add to your laundry routine. 

Did anyone else’s mom keep tennis balls in the dryer? As annoying as it is, turns out she was onto something. Wool dryer balls are a super effortless zero waste product to add to your laundry routine. 

Wool dryer balls are designed to go in the dryer, replacing the need for fabric softener. The balls tumble around with the clothes, breaking up clumps and keeping the airflow moving, reducing dry time. 

The wool naturally absorbs water from the clothes, then releases it while drying, which helps to reduce wrinkles. They also work as a natural fabric softener so you can kick those non eco-friendly sheets to the curb. (But after using them, let’s not create more waste). 

If you prefer a scent, put 3-4 drops of your favorite essential oils on the dryer balls for a subtle, natural scent.  

Wool Dryer Balls We Like Include:

How To Use Wool Dryer Balls

Toss dryer balls into the dryer with wet clothes. Add a few drops of essential oil for a natural fragrance and skip the fabric softener. Let the dryer balls tumble around with the clothes. Leave dryer balls in the dryer for storage. 

Shop All Zero Waste Laundry on Zero Waste Store

Rainbow colored reusable cotton rounds spread out on a white surface

4. Reusable Cotton Rounds

Cotton balls, cotton rounds, and Q-tips are the epitome of single use products. We’re not even going to talk about makeup wipes. 

Yes, cotton is a natural ingredient, however, when it comes to mass production, fertilizers and pesticides are added while growing, and chemicals like bleach are mixed in during manufacturing.

Reusable facial rounds are an easy switch for single use cotton rounds or cotton balls; plus their fun patterns add a little pizzazz to your routine. Our featured reusable rounds are made from 100% cotton flannel scraps and can be used for any step of your beauty routine. And since they’re reusable, you simply use, wash, rinse, and repeat!

Wool Dryer Balls We Like Include:

How To Use Reusable Facial Rounds

Reusable cotton rounds can be used at any step of your routine. Makeup remover, toner, an extra scrub while washing your face, etc. Wet the fabric a little, apply your product, and wipe away. Once you’ve used it once or twice (or a few times, we don’t judge), toss them in the laundry. Pro-tip — wash them in a lingerie or delicates bag to keep them all in one place. 

Shop All Reusable Cotton Rounds on Zero Waste Store

6 reusable silicone Stasher bags in various colors and sizes

5. Stasher Bag

Stasher reusable bags are a dream come true for anyone who needs to store food and other things. AKA everyone! Completely plastic free, microwave, oven, dishwasher, and freezer safe they can be used for, quite literally, almost anything and are basically endlessly reusable. 

Made from the best silicone, BPA and BPS free, Stasher bags have passed rigorous food safety tests in the US, Canada, and & Europe. If you do manage to damage one beyond repair, Stasher has a return program to make sure they’re disposed of safely and properly. 

Since they come in a variety of colors and sizes they’ll look super cute, saving space in your cabinets and sitting in your dish dryer, or dishwasher; whichever you prefer. 

As there’s only one Stasher, here are a variety sizes: 

How To Use Stasher Bags

If you weren’t a storage bag washer before, that’s pretty much the only adjustment you’ll need to make with stasher bags. When drying, make sure to let air into the bag so they dry properly. Pro-tip — place bag over a tall cup or spoon to keep the bag open for thorough drying.

Shop All Stasher Bags on Zero Waste Store

One roll of reusable towels in rainbow colors

6. Cleaning Supplies

Does anyone else get really excited getting new cleaning products? But when the excitement wears off do you start feeling a little a lot guilty about all the plastic you’re throwing away, wondering what is actually in these cleaning products? 

We’re familiar with that feeling and are here to help! 

The bad news is that there are so many different types of cleaning products and supplies. The good news is there are so many different types of cleaning products and supplies that you’ll most definitely be able to find a few zero waste cleaning products that fit into your life seamlessly. 

Zero Waste Kitchen Cleaning Products We Like Include: 
  • Biodegradable Kitchen Sponges
  • Made from 100% wood pulp they’re completely compostable at the end of their life. They absorb 10X their weight in liquid and are perfect for dishes, countertops, bathrooms, or anything else that needs to be wiped down.
  • Dish Washing Block
  • This block will create all the suds and grease fighting power you need to get your dishes clean while replacing as much as 3 plastic bottles of dish soap. To use, simply wet your dish cleaning utensil of choice, rub directly on the bar to create suds, & wash. 
  • Sponge Cloth
  • Sponge cloths replace the use of up to 17 rolls of paper towels, reducing the plastic packaging and overall waste in landfills. Each cloth can absorb 15x its own weight in liquid (up to 3/4 of a cup) and will clean all kitchen and bath surfaces without streaking.
Zero Waste All Purpose Cleaning Products We Like Include: 
  • Unpaper Towels
  • These 100% cotton flannel towels are a great exchange for paper towels. They roll up allowing you to store them easily and can be used in any situation (and more) where you would use regular paper towels.  
  • Reusable Dusters
  • Used exactly the same way as a regular duster, just with less guilt. This duster is a multilayered blend of flannel, fleece, bamboo, or cotton scraps. As you wash and reuse it, the layers will fray which helps to collect dust — it only gets better with time and use! 

Shop All Cleaning Products & Accessories on Zero Waste Store

3 bamboo straws and a straw pipe cleaner

7. Reusable Straws

What a wild ride we went on with the recent plastic straw movement. While it wasn’t, and isn’t, perfect, zero waste warriors are rejoicing everywhere because what we saw is that if we all come together and advocate for change, change will happen. 

There are so many different kinds of materials and straws to choose from depending on your lifestyle and needs! If you have kids, opt for sturdier, thicker bamboo straws. If you’re constantly on the go, look out for a straw kit that comes in a storage container for easy travel, and if you don’t want to worry about carrying around a straw at all, opt for wheat straws. 

If you live in an area that still stands by straws, it may feel weird getting ahead of the situation and asking for no straws upfront, but what kind of change doesn’t feel uncomfortable at first?

Zero Waste Straws We Like Include: 

How To Use Reusable Straws

Wash straw before first use, take it with you, keep one at home, or have a straw for both. Wash in between uses — best cleaned with a cleaning brush.

Shop All Reusable Straws on Zero Waste Store

A metal tube of toothpaste, a small glass jar of toothpaste tablets, and a metal tongue scraper

8. Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be a difficult swap for a lot of people; some have been using the same toothpaste for years! If you’ve picked up on a theme of this post, change begins the moment you make yourself uncomfortable. And unfortunately, conventional toothpaste tubes and toothpastes just aren’t cutting it anymore.

Fortunately, there are a variety of zero waste and eco-friendly toothpastes available. From tablets, natural pastes in glass jars and recyclable jars, there are options for everyone, making it a relatively simple zero waste product to switch out. 

Zero Waste Toothpastes We Like Include: 

How To Use Zero Waste Toothpaste

For pastes that come in jars — use a small spoon to scoop the desired amount of paste onto your toothbrush. Brush as usual. 

For tooth tablets — chew one tablet in your mouth letting it dissolve, then brush as usual. 

Shop All Oral Hygiene Products on Zero Waste Store

Green and white marble rectangle soap sitting in white soap dish with wood planks

9. Bar Soap

There’s evidence of the first bar soap-like substance dating back to 2800 B.C. meaning bar soap actually outdates most of us. With the invention of plastic in the early 1900’s, everyone got caught up in the craze and liquid soaps took off. 

Fortunately for us, the art of soapmaking never died; so whether you want to go all in and replace every kind of soap you have with bars — there’s a soap for that. Or if you want to put in the most minimal amount of effort and replace one liquid soap with one bar — that works too.

Because it is truly an art, the companies we partner with, and so many others, are making quality soaps that are completely plastic free, moisturizing to skin, and contain no harmful additives or ingredients. 

You can swap out bar soap almost anywhere you keep soap! For extra credit, use a soap saver bag, like this one, to make it go further and easy to travel with. There’s also a plethora of totally chic soap dishes to match whatever aesthetic you’re going for. 

Zero Waste Soap Bars We Like Include:  

How To Use Bar Soap

This feels a little unnecessary but wet hands, pick up the bar or rub your hands all over your soap bar to create suds and proceed to wash hands, or body, or face, or baby, or pet. When done, make sure to store your soap safely for best results.

Shop All Bar Soap & Accessories on Zero Waste Store

Light skinned woman with black nail polish and gold rings holding light blue silicone period cup between thumb, pointer, and middle fingers

10. Menstrual Cup

Attention all menstruators — having a menstrual cup is not only great for the planet but it’s great for your wallet. A one time investment can last you years, quite literally. 

Menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone, free of BPA and latex, and safe to wear for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow of course. 

No more going out and getting stuck without a tampon or running through a pad or tampon and needing to change it in the most inconvenient place. After the first few times wearing one you’ll be able to figure out how often you need to change it and from there you’ll be set. Each company has a guide on how to choose a size that’s right for you. 

Read more info about having a sustainable period.

Menstrual Cups We Like Include:

How To Use a Menstrual Cup

In addition to the instructions you’ll get with your cup, you can also watch YouTube videos about different ways to fold your cup for the perfect fit. With clean hands, fold your cup and insert it into the vagina. Keep it rolled until it’s positioned where you want it then let it unfold. Make sure it has fully opened by sliding a finger around the top rim. 

To remove, do not pull by the stem. Pinch the bottom of the cup breaking the suction and slowly pull it out. Empty the cup, wash, rinse, and reuse. Make sure to sanitize after each cycle and don’t worry about discoloration, that’s perfectly normal and can be cleaned off. As mentioned, this zero waste product comes with a learning curve so be patient with yourself! Once you get the hang of it, it will be worth it. 

Shop All Menstruation Products & Accessories On Zero Waste Store

The beautiful thing about going on a sustainable journey is that you can find and replace whichever zero waste products you want on your time, at your own pace. No one’s going to judge you. With every new thing you learn, you’ll only get more knowledgeable and better at finding the right products for you.

What’s your favorite zero waste product that you can’t live without? 

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