This week, Beanies & Weenies has been graced by a guest post from April Williams at Pretty Rugged Designs! April is an artist and lifestyle designer who is very dedicated to creating an eco-friendly and zero waste lifestyle. She is even the operator of our local market- The Tarboro Market. Check her out!
When it comes to zero waste, it has definitely been a journey, almost like a circle. I started with vintage and what I already owned, just trying not to buy things I didn't absolutely need. Eventually things started to wear out, get too expensive or I'd realize I didn't really use items as much as I thought I would. My personal favorite is DIY, refilling my vintage containers at home.
Why I do zero waste- the bottom line is I love saving money, it makes shopping less distracting and helps me better invest my money in the local community. But there's some things that aren't available yet at the local brick and mortar stores. So, I phoned a friend saying, "Hey I'm about to buy some things off Amazon would you like to be apart of this??" Yep, so here we are. Happy shopping!
How does zero waste relate to my lifestyle brand Pretty Rugged Designs?
Investing in products that align with our personal values is what I believe should lead your lifestyle brand. Things should be pretty (well designed), rugged (they last), hold up, return to the earth or can be completely used up and refilled. I DIY most things. I invest in clothes and housewares that can be passed down and look better with age. So I'm pretty picky when it comes to shopping.
Finding a balance between zero waste and minimalism has been interesting to say the least. I hate carrying things around so I'll take my coffee cup but leave my to-go canister at home- can't have too much weighing me down!
I got good at taking my reusable bags to the grocery store and farmers market so my collection of plastic grocery bags finally got used up but that meant I had to find an alternative to haul out the cat litter. So thank you Amazon for having a compostable trash bag option. They also have compostable trash bags for bigger and small trashcans.
Deodorant was another difficult transition to find. Starting out, I wanted to find a deodorant in a glass jar but then I didn't want the glass jars pilling up, knowing most people wouldn't want to reuse such a personal product over again. There were also no refill options available. So for a year I made my own, but that only worked out for me because I don't sweat much for most of the year. The best alternative I could come up with was buying products that come in biodegradable materials or no package at all, like a salt deodorant bar. This zero waste deodorant stick is another great alternative.
Speaking of salt, I also wanted to try this heart shaped salt soap for those relaxing day baths. For normal hurried days, I always use handmade bars of soap from the local farmers market. Their carefully selected scents help me slow down a bit. And here's a low waste apothecary package for him. It includes handmade soap, cologne, and deodorant. Men's bath package:
When it comes biodegradable toothbrushes, I wanted mine to work good and look good. And this bamboo toothbrush set is great for families. It's a set with different colors so you don't get them mixed up. You can also write or paint names on each one or even use a wood burning tool to inscribe names or initials. Here's another cute option to choose from for bamboo toothbrushes.
I personally haven't run out of dental floss yet, but I'll have to learn to politely refuse the free set from the dentist. I already have picked out some biodegradable floss for when I need some more and then floss refills for them later down the road. And I can't wait until there's more zero waste options for sunscreen in cardboard or refillable containers.
I got a lunch pale/to-go ware similar to these for Christmas, with a handle. I thought I would carry it around more but I learned it's easier to just dine in at a place that uses paper or regular dishes rather than taking something to-go. This keeps me from ordering too much food as well. So to say the least, I didn't really use my to-go dish as much as I thought I would but it's there if I ever need it. I do like getting my sushi to-go, that's the one place I'll carry it to.
Menstrual cups have really worked out for me, but I understand that all of our bodies and life schedules are different. I just love the idea of never having to buy feminine products ever again! It also keeps my emergency stash from ever running out for those surprise days.
I've learned a lot about myself and what my true values are when it comes to consuming. Being polite and understanding of each person's unique journey to zero waste is the most important thing to keep in mind. It's rude to say "I'm trying to save the turtles" or "I'm on a budget" but it's nice to say "No, thanks. I'm good." Just maybe you'll meet someone today that shares your creativity in being frugal, like me. Thanks for reading friends!
I'm Jennifer, a 26 year-old crochet enthusiast who loves sharing my projects with the world. You shop shop a variety of my designs on Etsy!
Jennifer Hines is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.