July might be our favourite month of the year at Zero Waste Hero. Everything’s perfect – we’re in the middle of the summer, enjoying those long weekend BBQs (at least in Canada and USA), and can celebrate Plastic Free July!
Now, in case you’re not familiar with that last piece, Plastic Free July is “is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.” Founded in 2011, this movement has grown to become one of the most influential and recognized environmental campaigns globally and aims to help us reduce our immediate impact, build long-term habits around avoiding plastics, and imagine what a cleaner future can look like.
This week, in celebration of Plastic Free July, we’ll be taking a deep dive into a few of our favourite plastic-free alternative items at Zero Waste Hero that can help you dramatically and easily cut down on personal waste. However, there is much more to Plastic Free July – you can become a member, donate, take part in events, learn about the journey of others, and so on! If you’re curious, we definitely recommend visiting plasticfreejuly.org for more details.
The regular personal toothbrush was an easy first pick. It might be a surprise, but dental hygiene products have a massive environmental impact, as the use of excessive and unnecessary plastics has become normalized for the products that everyone uses.
Focusing on toothbrushes, 4.9 BILLION brushes are disposed of annually. This represents around 250 million pounds of waste which would be enough to stretch around the world 20 times over! As much as we love keeping those pearly whites shinney, this doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be the case. A new wave of dental products in the market aims to replace plastic with high-quality, sustainable and compostable material.
For example, at Zero Waste Hero, we carry the Bamboo Toothbrush, which uses a modern, ergonomic, and fully compostable handle to cut down on waste. As we’ve covered in our blogs before, we absolutely love the material choice here, as bamboo takes up minimal resources (no fertilizer or pesticides required) to grow more than 4 feet in one day while sinking 2 times more carbon dioxide than regular trees! Additionally, bamboo has natural antimicrobial properties that make it harder for bacteria to collect on the brush. In case you’re curious, we also carry Natural Mint Dental Floss with plastic-free packaging and thread, in case you’re looking to transition your whole dental set!
While plastic toothbrushes have been the unfortunate norm for a while, one new devastating trend bringing about excessive plastic is body wash. Nearly 70% of Canadians have grown to use body wash instead of bar soap, contributing to the over 1 billion plastic body wash bottles disposed of every year. This is a loss for everyone – body washes require far more packaging than soap bars and rarely offer high-quality or natural alternatives, damaging both the planet and skin.
This is all why, at Zero Waste Hero, we’re a big fan of bars when it comes to soaps (but also shampoos and conditioners). In fact, we carry a large variety of soaps to make sure you have all the selections you might need, but one specific option that always stands out is the Recharge Natural Soap Bar. This apothecary soap is handcrafted in small batches from the finest plant-based ingredients, leaving your skin happily nourished and free of any harsh chemicals found in traditional retail body washes. Of course, the bar also only comes in compostable and recyclable paper cardboard packaging and is locally sourced from Vancouver, Canada!
Reusable Water Bottles
It only seemed appropriate to top off the list with the good, old water bottle. Everyone knows the story here – reusable water bottles help cut down on one-time plastics. Yet, we think this trend still has lots of room to grow, as many aren’t aware of how impactful this transition actually is. Just as an overview, around 80% of water bottles we use end up in landfills and will take up to 1000 years to decompose while leaking harmful chemicals into the environment along the way. Despite this, over 35 billion water bottles away every single year just in the USA.
Reusable water bottles are powerful. A single bottle can help you cut back on hundreds of plastic cups and bottles if used properly. Coffee shops and restaurants are also starting to become more open-minded and offer options where you can fill up your own bottle.
A reusable water bottle is an important personal item, so that’s exactly why, just like with soaps, we provide a large variety of choices at Zero Waste Hero. Still, one of our favourites has to be the Insulated Reflect Water Bottle by Klean Kanteen. This product is made of sustainably harvested bamboo, high-quality stainless steel, and food-grade silicone, making it an ecofriendly alternative that can keep your keep drinks hot for up to 20 hours and cold for up to 40 hours. The interior of this bottle is also electropolished to prevent the retaining or imparting of flavours, so your drink will always taste fresh!
Plastic Free July is supposed to be a special time of the year, where we can all help reduce a bit of weight on our planet’s shoulders. However, more important than anything is turning some of the lessons from the month into life-long habits. So, let’s give going green another try one July at a time – with the right set, it’s going to be easier than you could have ever imagined.
About Zero Waste Hero
Hey again! Welcome to Zero Waste Hero. If you’re not familiar with us, we’re a Canadian-owned one-stop shop for sustainable and ethically sourced home and beauty products. Our mission is to make the transition to minimal impact living as easy as possible. Naturally, a big part of this involves educating our consumers, so we’ve begun regularly posting blogs aimed at covering the latest news in the world of sustainability, sharing eco-friendly lifestyle ideas, and so much more.
If you enjoyed this read, sign up for the newsletter and keep an eye out, as we’ll continue to regularly release other informative pieces like this. Also, make sure to follow us on social media and visit zerowastehero.ca for a collection of the best eco-friendly products out there!