20 Eco-Friendly Swaps to Make in 2020
This is not a paid post, I am only promoting products I have used and stand behind the brand that creates them.
The new year is often a time of change and reflection. If you’re like me, you love the idea of making a resolution - but may not always stick to them…
This year iIm determined to start fresh, and live better - not just for myself, but for the planet. I started on a (slow) journey to a low-waste lifestyle last year and have been continuing on pursuing this goal. the reason I say slow is because:
sourcing the best possible replacement, making sure it is sustainably made and as plastic-free as possible.
these items are an investment, if you want something that’s high-quality and will last a lifetime, it’s going to have a high-quality price tag.
don’t replace everything all in one go - that would actually be more wasteful. wait until an item is beyond repair, or can no longer do it’s primary function.
With that being said, here are 20 easy swaps of items you probably use everyday…
Say goodbye to single use plastic water bottles and say hello to a stainless steel bottle. i’m a big fan of my swell bottle (which was actually gifted to me!) with a sports cap so it’s easier to drink out of. with this swap, you could save approximately 167 plastic bottles per year.
If you love going out for your morning cup of coffee, you’ll love keep cup. this barista standard coffee cup has the option to customize, buy as-is or support a cause like sea shepherd, either way you’ll be sipping in style!
Rather than plastic containers, invest in glass or stainless steel food storage. My typical lunch routine involves a weekend meal prep, so I like to use glass containers by glasslock. while the lids are plastic, they stay on securely and are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe (although I don’t put the lids in the dishwasher).
Swap that flimsy plastic straw for a final straw, or a pack of reusable bamboo or glass to have on hand for parties. I love my finalstraw! Every time I take it out of its case people are mesmerized by it, and it’s saving some plastic. for bigger events try ordering bamboo, glass, stainless steel or paper straws in bulk to keep on hand, you can even display them in a mason jar and keep them on the counter when not in use.
Rather than endless coffee pods, use a french press or reusable pod for your coffee at home.
Laundry has always been a pain for me, but with dropps it’s gotten so much easier - and fun. they have both laundry and dishwasher pods available on a subscription basis, so it’s delivered right to your door! treat yourself and use code zabette for 30% off your purchase.
Plastic cutlery breaks easily and just isn’t practical, switch to a reusable cutlery set. keep a set in your purse and one at your desk so when you order takeout you can forego the plastic cutlery.
Strut into your local grocery store armed with reusable produce bags that will keep your fruits and veggies fresher, longer - and some tote bags to carry all your food out in. you’ll be saving a lot of plastic and these loqi bags are a fun way to express your personality! They fold up quite small too.
Swap that nasty razor out for a stainless steel safety razor. this swap will result in a closer shave, less plastic, and it is much less expensive as a whole. replacement blades are much less expansive and last longer too.
Switch from the plastic packaged, chemical-ridden toothpaste to bite toothpaste bits. packaged in glass, available on a one-time or subscription basis and made from ingredients that are natural, safe and leave your teeth squeaky clean. and since they’re a solid that’s one less liquid to worry about when traveling!
Switch your standard floss for vegan dental floss, biodegradable and minty to keep your teeth healthy.
Ditch your deodorant to byhumankind or lush cosmetics, you can either subscribe to byhumankind and get your deodorant shipped directly to you, or use the package-free option from lush. both are free from nasty synthetics and will leave you smelling lovely.
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one. this will save approximately 4 toothbrushes a year from being in the landfill - which may not seem like a lot, but if you live to be 75, that’s 300 toothbrushes! now multiply that by the amount of people that use a toothbrush...yikes.
Don’t leave your face dry and covered in chemical residue, ditch those makeup wipes for makeup eraser cloth. This cloth is pure magic, just run it under some warm water and wipe all the makeup and dirt off. I use it for daily makeup removal, taking off face masks, and light exfoliation even if I’m not wearing makeup. Wash it once or twice a week depending on how much you’re using it, or grab one of their seven-day sets.
Replace the q-tips/ cotton buds for a lastswab. Q-tips are a huge contributor to plastic waste, and probably something we don’t often think about. both the beauty and the basic swabs have saved me from throwing away countless q-tips, they’re easy to clean and work great, too!
Use a solid shampoo bar in place of liquids. your hair will thank you!
Ditch the tampons/pads for menstrual cup/ Thinx/ IUD. this swap was hands down the best one i ever made. standard tampons and pads have so many nasty chemicals in them and can cause TSS if you leave them in too long. each of these alternatives is different, Thinx are comfortable but be sure to rinse and wash them right away. the menstrual cup takes a few cycles to get used to putting it in and taking it out, but is ultimately a great option for a long-wear time (up to 12 hours depending on your flow) and it won’t make you feel dry like a tampon does, I also noticed less cramping when wearing mine. An iud is a decision between you and your doctor (and possibly your health coverage), so make sure you do your research before getting one. *please check with your gynecologist before making these changes as everyone is different.
To clean all your fun new items, you can pretty much use baking soda, vinegar or lemon for just about anything. i love using essential oils too.
The final change you can make is by using terracycle in your home or office. terracycle is an amazing company finding ways to recycle just about everything from candy wrappers to contact lenses. check them out and get a box for your company or find a local collection for your items.
Overall, it’s important to be mindful about your purchases and actions, while no one can be a perfect zero-waste, vegan and negative carbon footprint human as long as you find the ways that work for you and your family you’re still doing something.
You may not be able to make all 20 swaps and that’s okay. You’re still reading about what you can do, and that’s step one.