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The UnPacking List #1: How to Baby Step Your Way to Lower Waste Living

baby step your way to lower waste living

Minimalism and lower waste living go hand-in-hand with traveling and packing light.

When I mentioned to Emily Weiblen that we wanted to explore these topics, she had so much good and practical insight to share that I invited her to have a chat.

In this episode, Emily and I discuss easy and practical ways to work towards a lower waste lifestyle, like building small habits and integrating the right products into your life that can help you on your journey.

Note: This episode’s audio was taken from a live video chat event in HPLWorld, so the quality might be a little rough.

Episode Breakdown:

  • We define what low waste living means for us and how that differs from zero waste living.
  • We discuss ideas for lower-waste in Emily’s Etsy business.
  • Emily recommends 5 easy ways to baby step into lower waste living.
  • We talk about kitchen and beauty habits and products to help us produce less waste.
  • How to build habits that help you reach your lower waste goals.

Products Mentioned in This Episode:

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this site running – thank you!

blueland soap

Soap powder and tablets.

Tom Bihn Shopping Bag
Tom Bihn Shopping Bag

Really good for heavy grocery items.

Baggu standard reusable shopping bag
Baggu Standard Shopping Bag

Washable and long-lasting.

onya produce bags
Onya Produce Bags

Washable mesh bags.

bar towels
Bar Towels

Reusable paper towel alternative.

k-cup reusable coffee pod
Reusable Keurig Coffee Pods

Eliminates coffee pod waste.

diva cup with bag
Diva Cup

Reusable period protection.

thinx period underwear
Thinx Period Panties

Ditch pads and tampons.

ethique solids
Ethique Solid Shampoo

With plastic-free packaging.

honeybee beeswax wraps
Beeswax Wraps

Use instead of cling wrap.

reusable face wipes
Cloth Face Wipes

From MummyMarvellousMakes on Etsy.

We mentioned that we didn’t know if Keurig was making their own reusable coffee pods, but they do make the K-Cup.

I talked about LastSwab in the chat, but after receiving them, I’m having a hard time recommending them because they simply don’t pull anything out from the ear on their own. I’ve read reviews where people wrap a tiny piece of fabric or tissue around the swab, but I feel like that somewhat defeats the purpose.

However, a tiny bit of tissue or toilet paper is probably better waste than an entire cotton bud?

Links of Interest:

Take Action

What baby steps are YOU taking towards lower waste living? Let us know in the comments below.

And don’t forget to…

Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

Add your voice & leave a comment!

Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Kat Angeli says

    Brooke, this was wonderful! You really make a difference for us globalists. I loved the idea of the Bento Box being cool for 5 year olds, so my oldest granddaughter is getting one this year. Also both of my boys will be getting mesh produce bags for their families (Earthwise recycled ones are 9/$15 less a 10% discount for multiple sets on Amazon). You both are young enough to be concerned with the Diva cup or Thinx, but I did want to point out that there is an adult diaper alternative from Thinx called Speax, which reduces waste and travel hassles for older leaky folks. I highly recommend!

    • Brooke says

      Hi Kat! Thank you for the lovely comment! I’m excited that your family is going to get some fun gifts with purpose this year 🙂

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