Have you noticed, in today’s world, just how much “packaging” we deal with on a daily basis? There is the product itself; let’s use a bottle of multi vitamins for example. The vitamins are packaged in a plastic bottle, which then gets a little pouch of desiccant tossed in, then there is a wadge of cotton stuffed on top and the bottle is sealed with a plastic or Styrofoam plate that has a plastic lid screwed on and then all of that is vacuum sealed in more plastic. It’s exhausting! That’s all for roughly 30 – 60 tablets of multi vitamins. Everything else gets thrown away. I won’t even get into to those frustrating, hard plastic molded packages that are harder than Fort Knox to get into. In this article we are going to take a look at Zero Waste Home Products and where we can find them.
The Impact of Waste
In doing a quick search on landfills, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not all the facts are bad. Apparently the #1 component in American landfills is food. That’s a good thing. I thought, for sure, it would have been plastic. Unfortunately the majority of that is found in “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, also known as The Pacific Trash Vortex. I touched on the dangers of plastics in an earlier article and the horrendous effect it has on Marine Life. Landfills, on the other hand, can be somewhat useful (Big disclaimer here – can be). According to a report by Floy Lilley in 2009, “More and more landfills are producing pipeline-quality natural gas. Waste Management plans to turn 60 of their waste sites into energy facilities by 2012. The new plants will capture methane gas from decomposing landfill waste, generating more than 700 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 700,000 homes.” I’m not sure if this came to pass but I would like to be optimistic, although I truly believe there is so much more that we can do.
Back in the Day…
I am old enough to remember buying a bottle of Tylenol with a “pop off” lid. That was before some wacko decided to tamper with the bottles back in the early 80s. Because of this we had “The Tylenol Murders of 1982” and because of that, in 1989 the FDA established federal guidelines for manufacturers to make all such products tamper-proof. That includes lots of extra packaging.
I will date myself even further here by telling you, as a child, we were poor. There was a time that my parents had to apply for governmental assistance. Back then there was no such thing as “food stamps” or “EBT” cards. Once a month my father would drive to a distribution center and gather his allotment for 6 children. You may have heard the comedy skit about “Gubment Cheese”. Yep – we got that, along with powdered milk, powdered eggs and peanut butter in, what looked like, paint cans. No brightly colored labels or fancy packaging. Just plain cans and packages stamped with the contents. What I liked were the little brown paper wrapped parcels of sugar, flour, rice, Bulgar wheat and oatmeal. While I was helping to put all this bounty away in the cupboards, I would pretend that I was filling the shelves of the local mercantile of an old pioneer town, or back in London, during the blitz, stashing the rations. I tried to make it fun but, to this day, I can’t stand Bulgar wheat or powdered eggs.
Go into any supermarket today and you will find shelves full of variety, colors, labels and packaging. There will be half a dozen brands of the same product brightly displayed to catch your eye. Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing research to convince you that theirs is the superior product. Me, personally, I prefer the “plain Jane” brands. The plain brown wrapper or cardboard box. Maybe it takes me back to my childhood, I don’t know. I tend to think of these products as “earth friendly” or simple. I know that it’s not always the case, but they do catch my eye more so that the loud, colorful ones.
Where to Find “Simple Products”
During my research on reusable shopping bags and bamboo products (to replace plastic spoons and forks), I came across a wonderful site that sells a plethora of reusable, sustainable, zero waste items. EarthHero has everything from sandwich and storage bags to household cleaners and beauty products. All with minimal packaging and waste. I know that this is only one of many similar sites that can be found on the internet. As I live in a small, rural community and I don’t tend to shop in the “boutique areas”, I do most of my shopping on line. This is very convenient and saves a lot of gas, time and energy. I did find the bamboo utensils that I was looking for as well as compostable paper plates and cups. My next BBQ is going to be guilt free with no waste and all the left overs sealed up in beeswax wraps or reusable silicone bags.
This site, EarthHero.com, is a great place to start.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
Although I gave you one site to look for zero waste products, I encourage you to search and find more. I happen to agree with the policies at EarthHero and want to share their message, and as an affiliate of theirs, they have generously offered a 10% discount to any shoppers that I might send their way. Just use the code “BASICALLYHOLISTIC” when you check out. (some limitations may apply)
There are so many products out there. Hair brushes, tooth brushes, floor brushes and brooms. Household cleaners for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Baskets and bags of all shapes and sizes. Compost bins, compost bags, cutlery and candles. Soaps, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers. Eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, rouge and lipstick. Clothing from the inside out. Baby needs and children’s toys. Pet dishes, collars, leashes and toys. Everything is right there at your finger tips. Happy shopping everyone!
Do you have a favorite “earth friendly” store or an idea for “planet healthy” products? Please let me know in the comment section below. Thank you.
– Dolly –Please share us with your friends on Thank you