Schlagwort: Consumerism

Everything you don’t need to live ZeroWaste

Everything you don’t need to live ZeroWaste

Click here for the german version of this post!

I also fell into the trap and let myself be seduced by all the shiny stainless steel boxes and straws offered in ZeroWaste stores and bought several of those ZeroWaste products. But to start the ZeroWaste process, you don’t need anything except a positive mindset and attitude that you want to change something in the first place.

If you want to start with ZeroWaste or just waste reduction at home and more sustainability, first use the things you already have. Here it should be clear that the „ZeroWaste“ products have to be produced, packaged and transported as well and therefore also use up resources. So it is generally more sustainable to use what has already been produced and what you already have at home. If you need something special, it is worth looking for second hand, borrowing it or asking friends and family.

So let’s look at the most common things that many people buy at the beginning of their ZeroWaste journey:

  • Fabric bags: Probably you already have some bags, backpacks or something similar at home. Use them until they are no longer functional.
  • Producebags: Many buy special bags for purchasing fruit and vegetables as well as dry goods. Here you can also just take the bigger bags you have or make your own out of old T-shirts. I have linked the instructions here (still in German)!
DIY Bag with sandwich
  • Straws: The stainless steel straw is still one of the funniest ZeroWaste items of mine and is always a conversation starter, so I still like it. However, I have rarely used it for its actual purpose, drinking liquids. It’s much easier to consume drinks without straws or opt for beverages that don’t need straws.
  • Spork/Bamboo cutlery for on the go: At the beginning I had also thought about buying a spoon-fork-blade combination (Spork) or bamboo cutlery, but finally I decided to use the normal cutlery from home. Now I always have it in my bag. It’s a bit heavier, but ultimately cheaper and I didn’t have to buy anything new.
  • Special body soap: normal soap will do 😉
  • Toothpaste tablets and mouthwash: The cheaper option is to make them yourself. You can find my recipes for them here (also still in German).
ZeroWaste Gadgets some bought new, others are resuables
  • Glass/stainless steel containers: I also bought fancy containers at the beginning and sorted out my old Tupperware. It would have been more resource-saving to use the containers I already had at home. Additionally I use the jars that accumulate when I buy products that come in glass containers (tomato sauce, corn, milk, yoghurt, beans etc.). These can be used for transporting food to work or university, as containers for liquid or dry goods from the unpacked shop and much more. It is not necessary to buy special jars. If the aesthetic aspect is especially important: the stickers on the jars and bottles go down well with sodium bicarbonate and water.
  • Stainless steel bottle: if I am honest, I need these quite often in their form, since mine works both as a thermos bottle and water bottle. In general I think it makes more sense to use a bottle that you already have at home. Here you could also use old milk bottles, jars, beer bottles with tilt caps or something similar.

By the way, I talked about this topic in the podcast „Hör mal wer die Welt verändert“ with two UBRM students Caro and Anna and with Vivi from ZeroWasteVienna. There you’ll also find more tips! You can also listen to the podcast on Spotify and ITunes. The podcast is in German.

„Hör mal wer die Welt verändert“ – Podcast recording with Caro, Anna and Vivi

So don’t let yourself be discouraged by perfect instagram images. First, think about what works best for you, what you really need, what you already have at home and whether you want to afford new items or not

What other typical ZeroWaste products come to mind that you don’t necessarily have to buy right away? Write it down in the comments!

Lots of Love,

Marolena 😉

*Disclaimer: unpaid advertisement – linked sites

ZeroWaste Fashionista – en

ZeroWaste Fashionista – en

Left: Dress – Thred-up, Bag – swap party, Shoes – Steve Madden Thred-up * Middle: Leather jacket – Redone leather from Dublin, Body – Erlich Textil, Pants – by Mama, Shoes – old/repaired * Right: Top – swap party, Pants – old, tailor-made to shorts


Find the german Version by clicking here!

After seeing the film True Cost it became clear to me that I no longer wanted to support the fast fashion industry. But since I also enjoy wearing new outfits and living creatively, I have been looking for good sources for cool fashion over the years.


Sales of clothing almost doubled between 2002 and 2015. In 2014, 100 billion new garments were produced while in Germany people buy about 60 new garments per year (Greenpeace 2017). So we buy much more than we really need. The most distressing aspect is that these garments are mostly produced in unethical, unsafe and sometimes life-threatening facilities. Women and children are exploited for the most part. The picture becomes even gloomier when you realize that there are still lots of old clothes on the market that are no longer worn and cannot be resold. In addition, large fashion chains such as H&M simply dispose of many unsold items or even burn them ( 2017).


However, there are some possibilities to change something here as a consumer. Fair fashion is on the rise, you can do without the consumption of clothes for a while, reduce it and at the same time hold large corporations accountable and demand sustainable and fair production.

Since there are some Fair Fashion bloggers* who have great tips, I’ll list a few of my favorites here and concentrate myself on the ZeroWaste alternatives for great fashion. In general, you should ask yourself the following questions: „Do I really need this? Do I have something at home that can fulfill the same function? Do I already have something like this at home? Does the piece go well with the rest of my stuff?“ If you’re not sure or you’ve come across a great piece while wandering around, let it be put aside for yourself and sleep on it again. By now I only buy things myself when I’ve really thought about it for a long time, when I really need it and/or when I can’t get it out of my head.



But since fair fashion also has to be produced first, I like to fall back on already existing clothes. My favourite source here is clothing from my mum, sister, roommate or friends*. I also sort clothes out myself again and again, especially since I’m on a minimalism trip. So are some of the favourite women around me. Every now and then I can choose great things from these friends. Thanks to you power women!

Hat – merino wool, produced in Salzburg (brand I don’t remember anymore), scarf – found, sweater – swap party, trousers – swap party, bag green – leather, old from Ireland, bag white – swap party, shoes – polar bear by Waldviertler

Top-Swaps are very similar to this. I like to go to private parties from my circle of friends here, because you can also combine swapping with chatting. However, there are now also many exchange parties on a larger scale and professionally organized. Since I have already experienced many variants of Top-Swaps, next week an article will follow with tips and tricks for the implementation of your own party!

Another great way to get special clothes is to borrow something. In Austria there is for example the Start-Up Endlos Fesch. There you can find very unique pieces at regular pop-ups. You pay a rental fee for a number of items, can wear them for a month and then bring them back.

I also think it’s great to wear my clothes at home in new variations. My favourite trick here is to wear a men’s shirt as a top or skirt or a T-shirt the other way round. This can change a whole look completely. Just try it out, combine it anew and let your imagination run wild!

It is also important to try to repair broken clothes before disposing of them. Old T-shirts can also be used as cleaning cloths. You can also reduce the amount of new clothes by sewing them into new ones. I still ask my grandma for advice or try out simple changes myself.

If you really want to buy something, secondhand shops are a good option. There are also online variants out there!



Tested myself and found cool:

More stores:


  • Carla shops of Caritas
  • Humana
  • Local Second Hand Shops


So this was a long article and if you’ve read it so far, you’re great! I’m looking forward to your comments about your experiences with ZeroWaste Fashion. Write your favourite second-hand shops and fashion sources here as well!

All the best,

Your Marolena :*


*Disclaimer: Ad, becouse of linked sites and products/not sponsored! 


Kurier, 2017.

Greenpeace, 2017.