11 Simple Zero Waste Swaps That Help Reduce Plastic Use

by Simplify

The term “Zero Waste” can sound intimidating, but in this video, Tannis and Mara walk you through some easy zero waste swaps that can help you to reduce waste and live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle:

Tannis and Marra are experts on this subject: They run The Green Jar in Toronto, a refillery that provides refills on everyday household items, as well as plastic-free storage and packaging alternatives. Their aim is to help people use less plastic in their everyday lives. Here are some of the tips that they share:

Dish soap alternatives

Instead of using plastic bottles of dish soap, use a dish soap bar. You can wipe the bar with a damp brush or sponge to create a lather that you use to wash your dishes.

Plastic sponge alternatives

Instead of plastic-based sponges, you can use vegetable loofa sponges to clean your dishes or even to shower. These sponges can be machine washed or put in the dishwasher for reuse, last six months to a year, and can be composted when you’re ready to get rid of them.

Another option is a cotton and corn sponge, which is extremely absorbent, can last up to 300 washes in a washing machine and dishwasher, and can also be composted.

Toothpaste tablets are one of the best zero-waste swaps

Toothpaste tablets

Instead of individual toothpaste tubes, which are generally made of plastic, you can use toothpaste tablets. You can pop a tablet in your mouth and chew it so it becomes effervescent. Then you brush your teeth and spit the tablet out when you’re done.

Dental floss

Instead of plastic-based dental floss, you can use plant-based dental floss, made of cornstarch and candelilla wax, which is both vegan and biodegradable.


Instead of individual plastic shampoo bottles, you can use shampoo bars. A bonus feature - you can also use the bars as soap for your body if you want to.

The best zero waste swaps

For more tips and a detailed guide to reducing waste, check out the full video, and you might discover that living a reduced plastic lifestyle is easier than you think.

For more sustainability tips, discover how to reduce waste and save money or 10 ugly-but-practical zero waste hacks.

To see more videos, check out the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel.

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 1 comment
  • Kmb33571959 Kmb33571959 on Sep 20, 2022

    I don't use bar soap in the shower - I've always used my shampoo suds to wash the rest of me. As long as I'm lathered up on top, why not spread the joy of it all over me?