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  • Marie

Latest "zero-waste" purchase - Part 1

I managed to keep the last weeks fairly low-profile in terms of shopping, apart form some necessary changes in wardrobe for myself and the growing bump which is taking more and more space as the weeks move on. And as much as I would like to recycle a lot of clothing items as long as possible...well if you cannot close them anymore, there is not much you can do here.

Sadly I did have to hit the spots that I really dislike, namely "made-in unlocal, fast-fashion" brands in the center of Zurich; I tried to look into second-hand, I tried to look into sustainable brands online...but this failed and I went for the easy options (which wasn't eady after all - shopping on a sunny, touristy Friday afternoon in the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich was hell).

I also had to facepalm as I wrote the title of this article: the items I was first pleased to range in the "zero-waste" category, after all, all came with proper packaging.

Oh well.


The first one that I had been looking for for a while was a proper thermos metal bottle for my work hand bag. The plan behind this purchase was to stop buying plastic bottles at the train station for my long commute. Each plastic bottle has been used a fair amount of time after a good wash, then been recycled as PET, but with a bag full of documents or electronics, finding a safer container in metal has also been a strategic decision.

I won't give myself credits either, though: I went full hipster, and a large share of my decision has been guided by marketing and look. I did not want to find a "bottle" only (which I could have bought in the hiking section of Decathlon), I wanted to play the "cool kid" card along the sustainable one, and picked a shape and colourful design that satisfied me a lot. If I have to use this bottle everyday to monitor my drinking, then I would rather look into the emotional aspects, too.

I picked the brand "24 Bottles" among many available options. To my standard the 0,5L bottle I picked has the best value-for-money, the right shape for my bag's shape and expected content, the possibility to keep both hot and cold drinks for a good while, and cherry on the top it is described on the packaging as carbon-neutral.

The carton packaging also saying that the product was made in China (the usual marketing trick of "designed here, produced there"), I had to look into more details regarding the Italian-based brand. 24 Bottles considers Sustainability a pillar of its branding and communications, and provides a nice overview of the product's lifecycle. My bottle for instance requires 1,137kg CO2 to be processed, produced, packaged and transported, and carbon neutrality is achieved through reforestation projects throughout the world implemented by the Italian organization Treedom.

So far, so good. I haven't used it for hot drinks yet, but it saved me big time already in a train without proper AC.

Coming soon, part 2 of me using zero-waste tests as an alibi to shop.

Yes, I deserve another facepalm.

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