We’ve written a bit about sustainability over the last year or so and whilst shopping more sustainably was initially dismissed as a bit of a trend, it’s now becoming more mainstream as mass awareness increases and we all increasingly try to do that bit more for the environment. Whilst grand gestures are all well and good, turning Vegan or carbon offsetting your entire life isn’t that realistic or easy to do, so what are the simple things you can do now to start making a difference?
No matter how eco-friendly our aspirations, it’s not always easy. Of course there is sometimes a cost implication to consider when switching to greener products, but what you could find is that a sustainable alternative works out cheaper in the long run.
You actual cost per use could decrease or you could find that other sustainability actions, for example, planting more of your own food, could provide you with savings in one area that make it possible for you to invest more in other areas.
5 Small Sustainable Swap Ideas
1. Make the switch to natural deodorants
There are lots of choices these days in terms of natural deodorant and the best bit is that unlike most traditional anti perspirants, many of them come in eco-friendly packaging.
Look for sustainably produced packaging and things like recycled cardboard refills which mean you’ll no longer be throwing endless used plastic deodorant containers (which largely can’t be recycled) into the bin several times a year.
Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s eco friendly though, so check for refills and eco-friendly packaging and find a little bit out about the brand your considering before jumping in. Some of our favourite natural deodorants come from Scrubber and Wild.
If you are planning on making the switch to natural, be warned. You’ll need to make sure you do your research first as you’ll generally experience a transition period as your body adapts to natural, which could take a few weeks.
If you find you’re initially a bit smelly, it doesn’t mean the new natural product doesn’t work, it just means your body needs a bit more time to adapt to it, so stick with it.
2. Ditch the cling film
Cling film is generally not recyclable and can spend decades in landfill before breaking down. A more eco-friendly alternative is to use cotton waxed wraps. Whilst they are quite fashionable at the moment and are easy to pick up everywhere from Amazon to Etsy, you can also make your own.
All you need is some good quality cotton fabric and some natural bees wax. There are guides online and videos on YouTube to show you how to do it and you can either make or buy wraps in various sizes.
These wraps can then be used for things like sandwiches and left over food and they can be used over and over again and re-waxed as needed.
3. Buy organic denim
We’ve written in the past about the best sustainable denim brands that we love, like Lucy & Yak and really, it’s not hard to find great value organic denim that utilises more sustainable production methods that are kinder to the planet.
With jeans, it’s far better to shop well and shop once, so whilst you might be tempted by those £15 Primark jeans, spend double that and you could get a pair jeans that will give you more than double the amount of wear thanks to better quality denim plus you’re not contributing to the fast fashion production methods that are so damaging to the environment, so it’s a double win!
4. Eco friendly toothpaste
Those innocent little squeezy tubes of toothpaste we all routinely buy and throw away don’t tend to get much thought, but with the average household throwing away at least 1 a month, over a lifetime, that’s an awful lot of toothpaste tubes.
Once again, most toothpaste tubes are non-recyclable which means, yup, you’ve guessed it, they’ll sit languishing in landfill, often for hundreds of years before they decompose. Not quite so innocent now are they?
Whilst some advocate making their own, you can now purchase eco-friendly toothpaste. Look for packaging made out of recycled cardboard or glass jars, and refills and Colgate have even started doing a more eco-friendly toothpaste called Smile for Good, available in some supermarkets.
Rather than paste, also consider swapping to tooth powder or toothpaste tablets that look like little mints. Despite being dry and firm, they foam up in the mouth, doing exactly what your ordinary toothpaste does, but with a far smaller environmental footprint.
5. Switch to reusable water bottles and coffee cups
Whether that cheeky little lunchtime latte is regarded as a treat or a much needed pick me up, all of those plastic lids and cardboard cups that are coated, making them largely un-recyclable, all add up, so get into the habit of carrying your own reusable coffee cup with you. You might also find you get a discount for using your own cup, so it’s good for the environment and your pocket.
The same goes for water and if you haven’t already, now is the time to stop buying water in bottles and instead carry some with you. Insulated water bottles or flasks are great for all-day use when you’re on the go and if the taste of your tap water leaves a lot to be desired, you could look into getting a water filter jug which can turn even the most unpalatable of tap water into something you’ll actually want to drink.
Don’t forget that when it comes to maintaining the life of your tops Original Holé Button Covers will help keep them in great shape and will stop those annoying little holes from appearing, helping you get more life out of your clothing.