In my most recent YouTube video, I speak about 3 commonly touted zero waste ‘essentials’ that I find anything but. In my quest to introduce mindfulness into my trash routine I viewed many YouTube videos about zero waste and was blown away by how many items I found completely useless that were seen as essentials! The task of pursuing a zero waste lifestyle is daunting enough, but to be faced with all of these rules and regulation items makes the task seem much harder. I feel strongly that, as with any lifestyle change, things should be made simpler and more natural in order to ensure follow through. So why create extra hassle that may dissuade you from keeping with this (rather off key) change? Make it easy!
First off, I see next to no need for glass or stainless steel straws. Why not just omit straws from your life diet altogether? I have successfully avoided straw use for over a year now. By bringing your own drink containers to be refilled or simply drinking from the glass itself, you can avoid straws without subbing it with anything else. No need to spend money on an extra stuff!
Also, tiffins are adorable, but not very practical for most people today. They are stainless steel food containers that generally are not water tight and are not microwave safe. Commonly used for dry to go meals or in the place of take out containers, they are not as multipurpose as some other options. I favor my silicone lidded oven safe glass containers instead, using them for the rare to go meal, my frequent soup work lunches, and for preparing, storing, and reheating food.
My third non essential for this list is the collapsible coffee cup. I see this listed as an essential along side stainless steel water bottles and thermoses. With the correct drink container choice, you can cut 3 pieces down to 1. I use a thermos style, stainless steel drink bottle that doubles for hot and cold.
In short, you get to dictate what you find essential. I strive for my items to do double, triple, and quadruple duty. Any less and I don’t feel it is worth the space it takes up in my life. I am very picky about my belongings and am very proud of that. When making the decision to pursue a minimal waste life, you will need to make your own choices as to what is important to you.