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I am all about discovering new eco-friendly items. It honestly makes me so happy that more and more sustainable companies are popping up. Over the past several years, I have strived to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Of course, it has been somewhat challenging, but I enjoy a challenge. If you are new to sustainability, you are in luck! You don’t have to worry about researching for eco-friendly swaps, because I have done it for you! Below are some of my favorite swaps.
Before we get into the swaps and tips, I want to share with you a few important reasons why it is so important for practicing sustainability. Of course, if you found this blog post you are most likely already interested in sustainability (so I will keep it brief).
- Plastic pollution– According to Ocean Conservancy, about 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. This is causing trouble for marine life (which plays a vital role on this planet). It can take thousands of years for plastic to break down. Plastic can also affect life on earth as well. Plastic (think of a plastic bag floating in the air and eventually ending up on a farm where animals are grazing or the plastic water bottles that wash up on the shore for birds to eat) can also end up back in the food that we eat. According to BBC, animals on earth are in fact eating plastic.
- Weather– I think we all understand that the temps are rising and the snow caps are melting. The warmer the climate gets, the worse the weather will get in all areas of the world. The oceans create storms to help cool the waters down, so the warmer the waters, the more storms we will see. Also, some places are becoming desert like because of the rising temperatures and less rain in certain areas, which is forcing wildlife out of their homes to die.
- Deforestation– About 3.5 to 7 billion trees are cut down each year (for things like palm oil, paper and fabric). Animals are being forced out of their homes to die, and less carbon is being taken out of the atmosphere from fossil fuels due to deforestation. Below I am going to share some amazing swaps for paper goods!
Before I show you my swaps, I also want to share something: You can make a difference! There are a lot of people out there with their plastic straws saying “I am just one person”… but you ARE one person who CAN make a difference. Every little bit counts! It also is about shortening the need for those unsustainable goods. The less paper towels and single use plastic bags used, the less they will be needed.
Okay, the moment you have been scrolling for… my eco-friendly swaps!
- Swap paper towels for paperless towels– One day, paper towels will be a thing of the past! I haven’t used paper towels in about 2-3 years. This was the easiest switch for me but the hardest for my fiancé (he got used to it a few months in). Most house holds go through almost 2 paper towel rolls a week… that is about 104 rolls a year. This may not sound like a lot of tree, but when you take into account the millions of households using paper towels daily it adds up. The best paper towel swaps are these paperless towels. They are amazing for picking up spills, drying my hands, cleaning counter tops and so much more. They wash easily which is a huge plus! I keep them separate from my usual cleaning rags (which I use for cleaning the bathroom, furniture and floors) and I wash them separately too. Once I got rid of paper towels for good, I realized that I actually didn’t need them as much as I used them. Paperless towels are reusable which means you don’t have to worry about waste or spending money!
- Swap make up wipes and cotton balls for these facial rounds– I keep 2 sets of facial rounds (washed separately and stored separately). One set is for removing makeup and wiping away facial oil cleansers and the other set is for nail polish remover. As long as you have a good facial oil cleanser and makeup remover, you won’t have to buy those single use wipes anymore! I also use the wipes to apply toner!
- Swap tampons and pads for a period cup and washable panty liners– I LOVE my period cup! This takes a few periods to get used to, but it is worth it! I have been using it for about 3 years and I love it! Once you get the hang of it, it becomes easy! The cup is also very easy to wash. If a period cup is new to you, it may sound odd or gross… but it is safer for the lady parts! I also love these panty liners for extra support! The great news is that they are washable and reusable! The average women uses around 9,000-10,000 tampons in her lifetime! That is a lot of waste! Using the period cup saves you money and creates zero waste!
- Swap plastic cups and straws for reusable cups and straws– I used to love the idea of going to Starbucks everyday, until I found out about the effect that single use plastic has on the earth. I love my morning coffees in my glass cups, but I also love these glass mugs! I also love this tumbler for coffee and matcha! I also love my stainless steel straws. I prefer stainless steel straws over silicone or glass (be careful when buying glass straws. They are aesthetically pleasing but they can break off in your drink).
- Swap plastic bottles for reusable water bottles– This is my favorite reusable water bottle! We have a water filter at home so it makes it easy to fill up our reusable water bottles. Water stations are widely available now, even at airports which makes it easier to travel around without using single use plastic.
- Swap your plastic razor for a metal razor– This razor saves plastic! About 2 billion disposable plastic razors are thrown out each year! That is a lot of razors!
- Swap your usual colander for a water saving colander!- This sustainably made colander helps save water! When you rinse your veggies off in this colander, the water gets saved by the bowl at the bottom. You can then use this water to feed plants! Of course you can instead use a regular colander over a bowl when you rinse your veggies.
- Swap single use plastic bags for reusable plastic bags– This might be the easiest swap that there is. It costs a bit up front (the leading silicone reusable baggies are expensive) but it saves you money overtime. With the right care, these bags will last you a very long time! This creates less plastic waste and saves you money.
I have always felt called to spread the word about sustainability. My hope is that you will try out these swaps and share them with friends and family! One way to get friends or family on board is by gifting them with a sustainable gift! Together we can make a big impact on climate change!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!