I’m Ayana, aka @auntieayana on Instagram! I’m currently a 4th-year student studying graphic design in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past couple of years, I’ve used my design skills and passion for advocating for people and the environment to share information on living sustainably with my audience on Instagram. I share products, brands, and services that help us reduce the amount of waste we produce and give us an alternative to lining the pockets of huge corporations.
My passion for the environment and effort to live low-waste came from my dad’s minimalist practices during my childhood. He always encouraged my brothers and I to take care of and use what we had. We kept our home clutter-free, ate leftovers instead of wasting food, and we never really had more than what we really needed. He may not have had the environment in mind when raising us in this way, but as I grew older and learned the connection between minimalism, conscious consumerism, and the environment, I realized how important it was to limit my negative impact on the planet. Especially as a woman of color, I feel it’s important to bring awareness to the damage being done and the people (primarily those of color) who are being affected by climate change.
Honestly, I will never go back to plastic toothbrushes. Each person throws away roughly 300 plastic toothbrushes per year – these work just as well and once I’m done, I’m able to extend their life by using them for cleaning tough spots before composting them.
It’s been tough to find a floss that doesn’t break between my teeth but this floss hasn’t let me down and I love that I can add it to my compost bin.
I love that this toothpaste has a similar consistency to the toothpaste I’d get in a tube and that it has such a natural but clean flavor. It also comes in a glass jar so you can stop crinkling, folding, and clipping that plastic tube for one last squeeze!
These bars are another super easy swap that even my husband got on board with! Considering that each individual uses about 10 shampoo and 12 conditioner plastic bottles per year, it feels great to not accumulate bottle after plastic bottle. And they work just as well at cleaning my hair.
One of the easiest, most convenient zero-waste swaps! I love not having to deal with a big jug of sticky, messy liquid and instead, just being able to pop a sheet right in with my clothes. They smell like a lovely ocean breeze to keep you feeling clean and fresh without all the nasty chemicals often found in traditional detergents.
These reduce the amount of time needed in the dryer and (pro tip) I love to add a couple of drops of essential oils to them to get my laundry to smell extra fresh. Who wouldn’t love pulling warm lavender-scented sheets out of the dryer?
If you’re anything like my husband, this will be your new best friend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve saved his clothes from coffee or tomato sauce stains. No time to do a load of laundry? We’ve all been there, luckily its gentle formula is safe enough to hand-wash your delicates in the sink or bowl!
Another easy swap that’ll keep me from purchasing plastic bottles of soap. Just rub a wet scrub brush or sponge on it to get the suds going and you’re ready to clean your dishes! Each block goes a long way and doubles as a surface cleaner too. The dish soap block fits perfectly in the soap shelf making it easy to make the switch.
Ever seen what a natural loofah looks like? It’s incredible! This 6-pack ships flat to decrease packaging waste but expands into a powerful cleaning tool that is great for scrubbing dishes, surfaces, or gently exfoliating your body. They’re also 100% compostable in your garden or compost bin and break down within 30 days!
For more information on how avid readers can keep their carbon footprint low, and how to work towards your zero-waste goals elsewhere in your life, check out the Zero Waste Blog!