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Green Is The New Black

How to be a Zero-Waste Girl (and Still Look Chic While You’re At It)

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a girl holding a cup leaning against a washing machine

Yeah, we get it – it’s hard to look chic when you’ve got 87 tote bags with all the zero-waste accessories you need to make it through an entire eco-friendly day. You need to think about water bottles, coffee tumblers, lunch boxes, snack bags, and perhaps even a bag for gym clothes (and yet another bag for sweaty unmentionables) – this is the life of a zero-waste woman.

A zero-waste girl is not just one person, she is a collective of strong, practical, mindful, conscious and empowered women who are together trying to make the world a better place one #LittleGreenStep at a time. But sometimes those green steps can be cumbersome. Do we care? Not really. Because thanks to a few sustainably-chic brands, it’s easy to be zero-waste without compromising your style. And eco-chic is becoming in vogue and us bag ladies are the ones leading the revolution. Step into the world of a zero-waste girl as she heads to a laundry mat with a few of the items and brands that are making us hip and happy!


Girl holding a green zero waste coffee cup


First of all, I bet my peanut butter and jelly sandwich that if I said 7/10 Starbucks cups you’ve purchased on the go in your life have leaked all over your hands, your sleeves and basically your entire life, I wouldn’t be wrong. Now, factor in this: it’s estimated that over 3 TRILLION of these cups have ended up in a landfill. So, all things considered, why are we still suffering from coffee stained shifts? Enter Ecoffee, the new generation of takeaway coffee cups that look just like your typical single-use paper takeaway cup in style and shape but come in a wide range of contemporary patterns, bright, vibrant colours and classic prints. The cups are made from natural fibres like corn starch and resin that is also BPA, BPS and phthalate-free, and are dishwasher safe. Their re-sealable no-drip lid is made with matte, food-grade silicone which is latex-free and designed especially for hot liquids. The company’s mantra? There really is no excuse for single-use, and when you make something this beautiful to drink from, we couldn’t agree more.


A girl laughing and holding a zero-waste water bottle as an accessory


All it took was purchasing one S’Well bottle and it wasn’t long before I had (almost) one in every style. I was hooked (it helps that they don’t make a bad colour). In fact, if I’m out for a full day, I travel with five S’Well bottles: a Travel Mug (by Sip by S’Well) for coffee, a 25oz bottle for water, a 17oz bottle for bone broth (I’m on a collagen kick), a 9oz bottle for kombucha (it’s been known to carry a bit of Bailey’s from time to time), and finally a Traveler for smoothies. Here’s the best part, I can make my smoothie in the morning and drink it in the afternoon because S’Well technology keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12. The company is led by Sarah Kauss (you go girl!) who has partnered with UNICEF to help provide clean and safe water to the world’s most vulnerable communities. Whether you’re in LA, London, Bangkok, or Sydney, you’ll find crave-worthy S’Well bottles tucked into the bags of hip mummies and sweat enthusiasts all the way through to well-heeled holidayers and business travellers all looking to rid the world of single-use plastic – a trend that we are thrilled to get behind. Next up on my wish list is a Roamer, so I can make batches of margaritas for picnics, boat parties and beach days.


Pro tip: a 25oz bottle perfectly fits and keeps a bottle of wine cool.


A girl sipping from a carton with a zero-waste metal straw


One could argue that the plastic straw was the tipping point to when people started to really give a f**k (pardon my French) about single-use plastic. The reusable straw revolution definitely onboarded a lot of bandwagon jumpers but go on, continue riding that train because you’re about to discover a whole new plastic-free world. But while plastic straw bans have taken over the world, let’s face it, drinks (namely cocktails) are just a little bit more fun through a straw. As it happens, options are abundant. Whatever your flavour – be it metal, glass, bamboo or silicone – we’d first recommend checking out your local health food café or restaurant because they usually stock straws, cleaners, and cases near the cash but if you’re in the market for a something sexier, head to Simply Straws for a selection that ships worldwide.


A girl with her head in a laundry machine


Tell me one time you felt like you were destined to be the coolest carrying groceries in a plastic bag or anything in a plastic bag for that matter? These days, being caught with plastic only evokes feelings of shame. Fortunately, we also live in a time that reusable bags are so chic you’ll actually want to be seen with them. From statement-making totes to IKEA bags that are seemingly indestructible, there is no denying that reusable bags are both practical and stylish. Once again, here we’re inclined to recommend picking one up in your community, also so you can low key promote the business (take a cue from Lululemon) – especially if it’s a local one. The all-time chicest and sturdiest reusable tote I’ve had the pleasure of lugging around was a burlap (or jute) bag from Erewhon Market in LA. Also made entirely by women, so if you have friends heading west I highly recommend putting one on your wish list. But at HK$3, an IKEA satchel will never break your heart and you only need to get as far as your nearest IKEA.


a girl putting her clothes in a laundry machine


Kitschy DIY products in mason jars with tiny labels and bows made of twine are the epitome of cool and we can thank Pinterest for that. Now you can line your bathroom, your kitchen and your bedside table with your homespun salt scrubs, bath bombs, lip treatments…and even laundry detergent. With an endless stream of recipes attached to images that have you wondering why you ever spent money on something branded before, DIY has never been easier, or chicer. But if you’re short on time and big on laundry, we think Molly’s Suds is irresistibly eco (and iHerb will deliver to Asia).


a girl sitting on a bench in a launderette with zero waste accessories


Learn to live zero-waste in two minutes from Fanny Moritz, entrepreneur & speaker, from NOW no waste, starting in the kitchen. Know that we don’t need to be doing all that Fanny is doing, but if we all did a tiny fraction of it we would make a big impact.


Zero Waste House Part 1 – The Kitchen

Quick and easy green living tips in 2 minutes! ? Fanny Moritz, entrepreneur & speaker, from NOW no waste teaches us how to live zero waste – starting by making swaps in your kitchen. #LittleGreenSteps to #LiveMoreConsciously

Posted by Green Is The New Black on Thursday, 7 March 2019


Images via Paula Miquelis and her lovely model Alize Marcotte de Sainte Marie

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Olivia is a bon vivant with an insatiable appetite for...everything. Upon being horrified at the amount of rubbish she produced in a single day, her journey towards finding a better balance between being extravagant yet sustainable began. Like most obsessions, down the rabbit hole she went and it wasn’t long before she decided to shift her sustainable preachings from Friday nights after too much wine to every day at Green Is The New Black. Olivia is still trying to figure all this ‘the end of the world’ stuff out, so she is keepin’ it real, one super small #LittleGreenStep at a time. Be like Olivia.