Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video
Message Us

Zero Waste Tips

Zero Waste Home Care

Zero Waste Home Care

  1. Welcome natural cleaning alternatives: Coconut soap on floors and sinks, homemade all purpose cleaner, baking soda for scrubbing jobs, and vinegar for mildew.
  2. Welcome alternative house cleaning tools: a metal scourer on stainless, coconut husk (the brown husk adorning the top of the coconut that we rip off before cracking it open.) excellent for scrubbing dishes, or use a wooden brush for light scrubbing, an old compostable bamboo toothbrush for hard to reach places.
  3. Use reusable cloth rags for everything else (counters, floor, fridge, mirrors etc.)
  4. Sweep your floors with a reusable broom, wash with a wet mop and a few drops of our bare necessities surface cleaner they come in two flavours lemon and neem and citronella.
  5. DIY: home care products!
  6. Use worn-out clothing items made into rags on your un-washable messes (wax/auto grease/glue/caulk).
  7. Buy dishwasher detergent in bulk and use white vinegar as a rinsing aid.
  8. Let houseplants absorb toxins and clean your air. Open a window instead of plugging in an air freshener.
  9. Try our bare necessities laundry detergent - powerful and effective, hypoallergenic, baby safe laundry detergent gets rid of stubborn stains and life's unexpected messes naturally! Come in lavender and unscented.
  10. Try our bare necessities dishwasher detergent (made from reetha or soapnuts). Feel free to experiment with chalk, lemon or vinegar, they all work great on stains.
  11. Dry on a line instead of using a dryer
  12. Iron fewer things
  13. YOU CAN ALSO… find a sustainable dry cleaner (one that offers a reusable garment bag and non-toxic cleaners)
  14. If you are using washer and dryer: Laundry washing once a week saves time and dryer energy costs, use a laundry detergent sold in bulk, full loads, and cold watercycles as much as possible. Compost dryer lint and dust bunnies.

Illustration by Noorain Ahmed 

(Sharing the post and illustration for education and awareness is encouraged, however not without attributing credit to barenecessities.in and the illustrator Noorain Ahmed) 

Continue reading

Zero Waste Dental Care

Zero Waste Dental Care

I decided the first place to start with my zero waste transition would be personal care products. While researching I found that every year over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes that will never biodegrade are dumped in landfills and oceans! As a scuba diver, I have seen the harmful impacts of plastic on our oceans and our marine life and I decided I did not want to contribute to the wasteful dental care industry any longer. I decided to try using the first toothbrush in the history of humankind; the miswak stick used by ancient civilizations from the Babylonians, the Greek to the Romans and the ancient Egyptian civilization. 

Benefits of Miswak

Besides being 100% organic and completely compostable the Miswak stick is filled with natural minerals such as potassium, sodium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium oxides. These ingredients are said to strengthen the tooth enamel. The bark contains an antibiotic which surpresses the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaque. Research shows that regular use of miswak significantly reduces plaque, gingivitis and growth of cariogenic bacteria. It is naturally strengthens and protects the enamel with resins and mild abrasives for whiter teeth and fresher breath. Additionally, miswak sticks massages the gums for healthier teeth! For all of us coffee and tea lovers, miswak reduces stains from coffee and teas too! The form of the twig makes it easier to get to the hard to reach places for a standard toothbrush. 

How To Use Miswak? 

Use a scissor to trim or chew the bark off one end of the stick; about a 1/2 inch. Chew on the exposed end until the twig forms bristles. Brush as usual. No toothpaste required. The miswak will freshen the mouth. Every few days (when bristles look like an old broom) cut off the exposed bristles, peel bark and start anew.

Cost 

Rs 20 and found outside any mosque. 

Miss "Brushing" your teeth with Bristles? 

While I read all about the dental benefits of miswak, I stilled missed brushing my teeth with a toothbrush, so I decided to buy compostable Brush with Bamboo toothbrush. I use the brush every morning and use the miswak stick every night. 

You can buy our Bare Necessities compostable bamboo toothbrush here

How to make homemade toothpaste?

Baking soda - 1 tbs

Organic coconut oil - 2 tbs

Organic peppermint essential oils - 20 drops 

Mix all the ingredients together and use a reusable spoon to scoop a little for every use. 

Why make your own toothpaste?

The plastic toothpaste tubes are difficult or impossible to recycle and will most likely end up in a landfill. Many name-brand toothpastes and mouthwashes contain potentially harmful ingredients. Loaded with dangerous toxins and chemicals such as sodium fluoride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and hydrated silica. All of these common ingredients have been found to be harmful to humans.  

Savings from homemade toothpaste 

Rs 108 x 6 months = Rs 648 annually. 

Don't have time to make your own?

Buy our Bare Necessities Peppermint Party Toothpaste here 

 

 

Continue reading

Zero Waste Closets

Zero Waste Closets

    This Fashion Revolution Week I thought of writing a Zero Waste Closet Post! 
  1. Stick to minimal wardrobes, shoes and purses.
  2. Only shop a couple times a year to avoid compulsive buys. When do you shop pick ethical fashion and slow fashion (Khadi, natural fibers instead of synthetic materials and support local small businesses) rather than fast fashion (H&M, Forever 21 etc).
  3. Embrace hand me downs (I love hand me downs from my sisters)
  4. Shop at thrift store (Less common in India, but how about a clothes swap with friends?
  5. Only buy it if you love it.
  6. Bring a reusable bag for your purchases.
  7. Donate unworn pieces.
  8. Keep some of your worn-out clothes for rags.
  9. Learn of few sewing tricks (hemming or darning come in handy!)
  10. Support local economy – Go to your neighborhood tailor, for alternations or making new clothes.
  11. Always keep a handkerchief in your purse/bag…Best reason to carry a handkerchief is to lend it.
  12. Leave shoeboxes at the store.

Zero Waste Closets Illustration by Noorain Ahmed

(Sharing the post and illustration for education and awareness is encouraged, however not without attributing credit to barenecessities.in and the illustrator Noorain Ahmed) 

Continue reading

Zero Waste Personal Care

Zero Waste Personal Care

  1.    Make things from scratch – soap bars, body scrubs, peanut butter, granola bars or buy local from small businesses in your city!
  2.    Give up personal care products that come in plastic containers and bottles – use soap bars, shampoo bars or shikakai powder, shaving soap bar, lip balms and lotions (that come in glass or metal containers)
  3.    Use a safety razor instead of plastic disposable razors or waxing in parlors with single use waxing strips that land up in the landfills
  4.    Make your own toothpaste and use a compostable toothbrush (miswak, neem sticks or bamboo tooth brush)
  5.    Use plastic free feminine hygiene products (menstrual cups or cloth pads)
  6.    Use wooden combs instead of plastic ones.
  7.    Say no to ear buds (According to WHO, you shouldn’t be putting anything smaller than the size of your elbow inside your ear)

Zero Waste Personal Care Illustration by Noorain Ahmed 

(Sharing the post and illustration for education and awareness is encouraged, however not without attributing credit to barenecessities.in and the illustrator Noorain Ahmed) 

Continue reading

Zero Waste Lifestyle + Work

Zero Waste Lifestyle + Work

  1.    Carry reusable shopping bags, water bottle, coffee mug, drinking straws and utensils
  2.    Give up bottled water and other packaged beverages. Say yes to fresh juices from your local Sreeraj Lassi Bar in glass tumblers without plastic straws!
  3.    Give up chewing gum (it’s plastic)
  4.    Agarbathi’s and package free candles instead of aerosol air fresheners
  5.    Carry your lunch in reusable/stainless steel containers.
  6. Use reusable cloth bags for sandwiches and snacks (say no to sing use zip lock bags)
  7.    Bike, walk and use public transportation whenever possible
  8.    Say no to plastic pens (go old school with fountain pens)

Zero Waste Lifestyle + Work Illustration by Noorain Ahmed 

(Sharing the post and illustration for education and awareness is encouraged, however not without attributing credit to barenecessities.in and the illustrator Noorain Ahmed) 

Continue reading

Let’s Talk Trash

Let’s Talk Trash

In the time it takes you to read this brief blog, more than 14,000 tonnes of waste will be generated: that’s enough to fill the Taj Mahal in a day. More than 1.5 billion tonnes of trash will be generated this year alone. Everyday 3 million trucks worth, of garbage is untreated and disposed of by municipal authorities in an unhygienic manner leading to health issues and environmental degradation. These 3 million trucks, if laid end to end, would cover half the distance between the earth and the moon. Or to put it another way, that’s the distance you would cover if you made 15 trips between Mumbai and Los Angeles. That’s CRAZY!


There are many reasons for why we have this incredible outcome of dumping things into the ground that nurtures humanity (we will explore those reasons in another post), but after reading about the impacts of our actions, I bet you’ll want to make some small changes in your daily life.


Waste is being generated faster than other environmental pollutants, including greenhouse gases. On average, a person in India uses 20-40kg of plastic in a year. Plastic clogs the world's oceans and rivers, causing flooding in cities and solid-waste management is one of the greatest costs to municipal budgets. Think about if you let your bathroom drain or toilet get clogged over even a few weeks. You’d fix the issue immediately. Right?!


Plus, waste represents an enormous loss of resources in the form of both materials and energy. Landfills and accumulated garbage serve as a prime habitat for rodents and mosquitoes that can spread diseases. Post-consumer waste is estimated to account for almost 5% of total global GHG, while methane from landfills represents 12% of total global methane emissions.


This issue just isn’t about the environment and the impending end of days when our the atmospheric temperature surpasses a 2 degree increase. It’s about humans too. Especially in India, the waste management industry is bafflingly informal and unbelievably labor intensive.


Millions of wastepickers globally, and here in India, not only deal with extreme poverty and low social status, but also face the hazards or dangerous work. Workers more often than not, don’t wear protective gear and sift through unknown materials that include glass, medical waste, animals, toxins, chemicals etc. Throughout their lives, most wastepickers, some who started working as children, sustain injuries, illness, and diseases such as tuberculosis, scabies, asthma, respiratory infections, cuts, and animal bites.


Maybe you don’t care about waste pickers in India. But just think about what happens when plastic sits and sits and sits in a landfill. The toxins seep into the water table and find its way coming out of our water faucets. Slowly chemicals that companies put into the products they sell us, end up full circle in our homes and bodies, but in unwanted forms. I think death by slow, ignorant poisoning will be one of the worst ways to go. 
But we are still living beings, and ever since I started caring about nature and the Earth, I actually felt more alive. When I started to be concerned about garbage enough to actually notice it, realizing that I was creating it and throwing it away without knowing where it was going, I found that I became a more mindful, present person. I started checking my actions and not just going with the flow. 


Even though most people are happy to forget they’ve made garbage and tossed it into a landfill, there is now a trend towards starting companies in the waste management space. Even the mafia thinks garbage is great. There are logistics companies, consulting companies, upcycling companies, waste processing companies, composting companies, landfilling companies, technology companies etc. etc. There are lots of ways for people to get involved in waste management systems. But I am asking the question: why not prevent waste in the first place?


We dream of a circular economy: An economy which “is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles." And for the average person who wants to at least help make this dream a reality, leading a zero waste lifestyle can have a huge impact. If you make small changes in your purchasing habits, your kitchen, your bathroom, your bedroom, you could be saving 271.7 kgs a day. 


So in this inaugural blog post, we entered on our high horse, trying to make a convincing argument for you to come back to our site and try some changes out. In our blog, we’ll explore a wide variety angles on trash but we’re also all about learning new, creative ways to make zero-waste lifestyles happen. So we’d love to hear from you and we’re excited to get started on a journey that will make living on earth less messy.

Continue reading