Easy swaps for sustainable living

There are some really easy places to start a sustainable life journey. I would always recommend starting small, making a few simple swaps of everyday products, things that need replacing anyway. Changing to plastic free certainly does not mean you should run through your house throwing all the plastic out the windows. And definitely don’t compare your journey to anyone else. We can all do our bit but that may look very different to someone else, for example a mum of 2 in the countryside may have a very different approach to a working couple in the city with no garden or kids. It is all valid. Every person can do a small bit that suits them and work up from there.

Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:

 

In the Kitchen

  • Buy plastic free vegetables and fruit, if shopping at local markets these will be loose but if you do go to the supermarket take your own bags
  • Use refillable containers
  • Cloth towels, not single use
  • Have a composter for kitchen waste
  • Bamboo or wooden scrubbing brushes
  • Soluble cleaning products or consider making your own
  • Beeswax wraps, a great replacement to plastic wrap
  • Remember to shop local where possible to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Consider your food portions when cooking, if it wont work as a leftover the next day then careful portion control reduces food waste

 

Bathroom

  • Switch to bars instead of bottles
  • Get yourself a bamboo or wooden toothbrush, even electric toothbrushes can have bamboo replacement heads
  • Swap to cotton ear swabs or try the Last Swab which is reusable
  • Try reusable makeup and exfoliating pads
  • Plastic free toothpaste, either in corn-starch tubes or tabs
  • Reusable safety razor
  • Regulate how long you spend in the shower and only have taps running when actually necessary to conserve water

 

Home

  • Check your local councils recyclable scheme, these vary from county to county, make sure you are putting the correct things in each bin and see if there are any local drop-off points for items like crisp, sweet and bread packets
  • Check your bank, many high street banks invest in fossil fuels, so even when being careful what you buy you may find how you buy it can be harmful to our planet
  • Use up what you have, don’t shop for new cleaning products when you have some left under the sink
  • Find a local seamstress for clothing repairs and a repair shop for household items
  • Shop second-hand and locally if possible
  • Grow your own vegetables and herbs, it’s amazing what can be done in even a small space or window box

 

On-the-Go

  • Invest in a reusable water bottle, many are excellent and keep drinks cold/hot all day
  • Take a reusable coffee/tea mug with you, most cafes are happy to use your own for refills
  • Go old school and get a packed lunch box, great for kids snack and picnics also
  • One step further is to carry your own reusable cutlery and straws
  • Take a small foldable bag, or keep some in the car, always handy to have for groceries on the way home
  • Check your journey, is it really necessary, could you combine several trips into one
  • Can you use public transport or look at car pooling

 

Lastly, sign petitions. New policies and regulations are often what drive environmental improvements so it is imperative to make your voice heard and known that you want change.