3 Zero Waste Easy Swap for Vanlife

Either you plan to live the vanlife, currently work on your conversion or already live in your home on wheels, it can be overwhelming to live a Zero Waste lifestyle when you primary need to find a spot for the night, refill the water, make sure you have enough electricity and go groceries shopping. So together, we will go through the different steps to get started, little by little. Here are my 3 Zero Waste easy swap to begin with: those are things have been doing for a couple of years by now. Reachable shifts I encourage you to do.

#1 Get a Reusable Water Bottle 

This is a must-go! Why would you bother buying, carrying and then fitting 6 or 12 water bottles within the limited space of your van whereas you could get a reusable water bottle? Considering we need 1.5 to 2 liters of water intake everyday, switching for a reusable water bottle is a must for the planet and your budget. This is particulary true when you travel across Europe, where you can easily find (almost) drinkable water. 

Now let’s go back to our plastic bottle issue. The plastic bottle has been in our lives for less than a century (the first plastic bottle has been created in 1963) yet we behave live we couldn’t go through a single-day without it. Did you know that they are in the top 3 litters most found on coastline during collection organize by Ocean Iniatives in Europe? Pretty hard to understand how comes Europeans, which have acess to drinkable water,  are almost among the first water bottles consumers in the world (Italy, Germany, Hungary, Beligum and France are in the top 5). I actually got a few ideas: lack of trust in the tap water quality? Marketing-based beliefs bottled water has superior health properties and better flavor? the fact that there are more than 2000 mineral water spring in Europe (including 821 in Germany and 322 in Italy)? When there is good business to be done, lobbies aren’t far:

“Protecting and preserving the environnement has always been a core objective for the bottled water industry. (…) Bottle water has a low environmental footprint, and yet water bottlers are as committed as ever to improving their environmental performance. In short, bottled waters are the most healthy, natural, affordable and convenient choice.” Source: European Federation of Bottled Waters

A plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose into microplastics… it isn’t really what I would call  “protecting and preserving the environnement”.

By purchasing bottled water, you support this dirty industry… so here is a selection brands to get a resusable bottle from:

#2 Carry aTote Bag along with reusable produce bags 

12 minuts: this is the average time a plastic bag is being used. 12 little minuts of usage for years of decomposition. If you carry a tote bage with you anywhere and at anytime, ditching single-use plastic bag will soon sounds obvious. Truth is you always need to carry or pack something. So here is my tip: always place back your reusable bag in your backpack/handbag after using to make sure you won’t forget it. Implementing new habits always involves a couple of fails at the beginning, until it soon becomes part of your routine.

Along with the tote bag, I always keep  2 or 3 produce bags inside the totebag in case I want to grab some fruits, breads, cereals… pretty much anything you could be buying packaging-free.

#3 Use Solid and Ecofriendly Cosmectics

We’ve been there. We’ve been the kind of vanlifers packing thousand of so-called “beauty products”. We’ve also been the kind of vanlifers using the super convenient disposable wipes to keep ourselves clean between two oudtoor showers. We would go surfing during the day and collect waste on the beach, and in the meantime using baby wipes, which are a total disaster for the planet and your wallet.

We’ve also been splitting our chemical toothpaste right on the ground. We washed our bodies outside with not so eco-friendly soap bottles. We’ve done it all and wish we could have understood earlier on that solid and ecofriendly cosmectifs are the way to go!

They don’t harm the environnement, have better composition for your skin, take less space to store and are more economic, especially when you do it yourself.

So, these are our 3 easy and eco-responsible to start with for a responsible vanlife. 

🌿Article in collaboration with Comme Avant Bio🌿