A friend of mine calls simple zero waste swaps "low-hanging fruit" - changes that are easy to make because they don't really disrupt your daily routines, instead merely requiring switching out one item or habit for another. For readers who are just getting started moving to zero waste, I wanted to keep my posts on many of these small, easy changes in one place (see below!).
These are, of course, not necessarily the changes that will be easiest for you, nor the very most impactful. But, they're ideas for a place to start. A few require a half hour's time for making something yourself or running to a store for materials, but others just ask that you rummage around in your cabinets for something you might already own. (Finally, something to do with those unused wooden takeout chopsticks stuffed in your kitchen drawer!).
The other facet that I've been thinking about - and part of what earns these the moniker of "simple" - is that these changes are largely ones that you only have to act on once. After you buy a safety razor, make dryer balls, or rustle up some handkerchiefs, those choices largely set themselves on autopilot and become just as easy as using a plastic razor, dryer sheets, or tissues. (Or, even easier, since they don't run out, necessitating trips to the store). Though I love having homemade nut milk on hand in lieu of packaged and though the idea of it is easy enough, I would never call it simple, because you have to make it anew each and every time you want it. These, however? One and done.
I'm looking forward to adding more options to this series, too. What do you consider your simplest swaps, and what other zero waste choices have you been able to put on autopilot? Is there anything else would you like to see in this series? I'd love to hear.