5 Easy Eco Swaps
Have you decided to make some changes in order to live a little more sustainably but you’re not really sure where to start?
Our advice is always to start small!
Making little changes rather than trying to do too much in one go should help prevent overwhelm. There’s so much to do, right?! But fear not, small steps are still steps, and soon you’ll notice all those small changes adding up.
Many people start their eco journey by removing single-use plastic from their lives. We agree that’s a great place to begin, but it's important to remember that you don’t need to immediately throw out all the plastic in your home and replace it with non-plastic alternatives. The most eco-friendly way to green-up your home is to use the items you already have, and then replace with plastic-free alternatives when they reach the end of their life.
It’s true that some swaps are easier than others and individual circumstances, preferences, and needs will vary. Just do what feels best for you and your lifestyle and you'll be more likely to make it work.
To give you some inspiration we have put together a short (and by no means exhaustive) list of some of our own favourite eco swaps. They are all things we've found easy to incorporate into our lives and have discovered that they can be even better than their less eco counterparts!
#1. Reusable Drinks Bottle
Switching from a single-use drinks bottle to a reusable bottle is probably one of the easiest changes to make. It’s as easy as remembering to refill it and pick it up with your bag, phone, and keys before you leave the house.
Did you know that it’s estimated that around 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every single day, but only 19.8 million of them are recycled? This means there are 16 million plastic bottles EACH DAY escaping into the environment in the UK alone.
When you make the switch to a reusable bottle you are not only helping the environment, you can also save yourself some money. You won’t need to buy a bottled drink on the go anymore and all those pennies soon add up!
Choose a reusable bottle that is tough and can handle a few knocks, so you won’t need to replace it again for a long time.
#2. Plastic-free Dish Brush
Did you know that plastic dish brushes and sponges release microplastics every time they are used? Not only do they shed these tiny plastic fibres that are then washed down the drain with your dishwater, but at the end of their life they can’t be recycled so need to be sent to landfill.
Using a dish brush made from natural materials such as wood and coconut fibres means zero microplastics down the drain and you can also compost the brush when it is no longer fit for purpose. These coconut dish brushes are a staple in our kitchens now and they are consistently a customer fave too!
They are super scrubby making cleaning a breeze, and are also non-scratch so you can use them on virtually any surface. Perfect for cleaning the hob and oven as well as the dishes!
#3. Silicone Stretch Lids
We did a wee happy dance when we discovered silicone stretch lids: the answer to our cling-film-hating dreams! They can be used as an alternative for covering leftovers to be stored in the fridge, or to cover a bowl before placing it in the microwave.
They not only reduce single-use plastic waste but also help to reduce food waste too (another massive environmental issue) by keeping food fresh.
Our dislike for cling-film goes beyond the fact that it’s near impossible to get the damned stuff off the roll without a battle. It’s actually nasty stuff… It has a knack for clogging machines so is rarely recycled, and it contains toxic chemicals such as plasticizers like phthalates and DEHA (diethylhexyl adipate).
As if that wasn’t enough, when cling-film ends up in landfill or the marine environment, it contributes to plastic pollution, releasing a highly toxic chemical called dioxin into the environment and harming marine animals that mistake it for food. So many reasons to say see-ya to the single-use plastic wrap!
Silicone lids are versatile, infinitely reusable, easy to clean, microwave and dishwasher safe, and they will keep your food fresher for longer with their airtight seal.
#4. Paper Tape
Paper tape might not have been something you expected to see on our list! Sticky tape wasn’t one of the first things that came to mind when we were first making sustainable swaps, but it’s now on a par with cling-film for things we hate!
Sticky tape is made from a type of plastic called polypropylene and it’s not recyclable, meaning it's going to languish in landfill until the end of time. It’s estimated that in the UK, 6 million rolls of sticky tape are used each year at Christmas time alone, and of course it’s used with regularity throughout the year too.
That is a massive amount of plastic heading straight for landfill.
Plastic tape can cause problems with recycling too. If not removed from paper or card, the tape causes problems further down the line at recycling centres, contaminating perfectly good recyclable material that ultimately ends up going to landfill too.
Enter the wonder that is paper tape! We have fallen head over heels for this recyclable alternative to sticky tape and we use it for packaging up all your online orders as well as at home for wrapping gifts for loved ones.
Made from renewable kraft paper and not from plastic, the tape has a natural rubber adhesive and can be recycled along with paper and card or simply composted in your garden.
#5. Shampoo Bars
Admittedly shampoo bars are not always considered an easy swap. We have heard countless stories of the struggles people have had making the switch from bottles to bars.
But we firmly believe that if you use a true shampoo bar and not a soap-based shampoo you will find making the swap super easy! A bar that has a hair friendly pH will not require a transition phase - characterised by greasy roots, tangle lengths and a waxy residue - and will only leave you with soft, clean hair.
We really love our shampoo bars and it's so satisfying to remove another plastic bottle from our bathrooms!
~ Read more about shampoo bars in our blog post here.
We hope this has given you some inspiration on where to start making eco swaps. Let us know in the comments!
🤍 Jacqui & Nicky