Over the last six months or so, there’s been a big push on sustainable living. More people are now being accountable for what waste they create, and I wanted to share 5 easy sustainable swaps we can all do, as a way of minimising waste and just living more sustainably. More and more brands are creating biodegradable products, as well as creating alternatives that we can use, to replace non-sustainable products. If you’d like to know the 5 easy sustainable swaps, keep on reading..
5 Easy Sustainable Swaps
Reusable Cotton Pads
If you have sort of skincare routine, I can pretty much guarantee you use cotton pads for at least one step. It could be for removing your makeup with a micellar water, or removing your nail polish but there’s a great alternative which will not only save you money, but more importantly, is a lot kinder on the environment. I have to admit to being a little naive, as I didn’t see how cotton could be harmful on the environment? It’s not plastic, and it pulls apart easily, so I just assumed they were ‘OK’.
However, regular cotton pads don’t biodegrade due to the bleaching and mixing processes used to create them. And because cotton wool can contain synthetic fibres, that means there can be plastic within the fibres which obviously don’t biodegrade in landfill. There’s also other things to think about with cotton, such as the pesticides and the toxic chemicals involved in the production of cotton which can cause potential health problems for cotton workers as well as polluting wildlife and rivers.
Luckily for us, there are some more eco-friendly alternatives including reusable cotton pads. Reusable cotton pads tend to be circular, soft piece of fabric that is often bamboo or a similar fibre. They can be thrown in the washing machine, and they’re still super gentle on the skin whilst effectively removing your makeup. It’ll also save you money in the long run as you don’t have to keep repurchasing them either. I bought mine from Amazon for about £10 for fifteen reusable cotton pads, and they even came with a special little bag to wash them in.
If you have menstrual cycles, you can end up spending a lot of money on sanitary protection especially if you have monthly cycles. Not only are tampons and sanitary towels expensive, they’re also really bad for environment. It all comes down to preference on what you prefer to use for your menstruation, but there are other options if you want a more environmentally option. Tampons are similar to cotton pads with the fibres, bleaching and chemicals, and sanitary towels create a lot of waste that goes to the landfill. Much of it is non-biodegradable. They also create pollution of the land and water from the cotton growing process.
One great alternative is the use of menstrual cups. Menstural cups aren’t wrapped in plastic packaging, and they’re not single use items. You can reuse one cup upto ten years, which will save you a lot of money. If you consider one box of tampons can cost between £2 to £4, but a menstrual cup is generally around £20 and you’ll only ever need that one cup. You can easily disinfect your cup, and there’s no wastage or harm on the environment, especially as many cups are made with recycled silicone.
Avoid Single Use Plastic
As a blogger, it’s alarming how much plastic packaging is used to wrap, protect and post products which is where my next of my 5 easy sustainable swaps comes in. PR samples can arrive buried in masses of polystyrene, bubble wrap and plastic which is an awful waste, but products need to be protected during transit so it’s hard to know what to do. That’s where brands like Lil Packaging comes in, as they offer some really clever packaging options, which are kinder on the environment and don’t necessarily use masses of plastic.
Plastic free e-commerce packaging is exactly what brands need to be using when sending both orders, or PR samples to bloggers as it’d make such a massive difference to the amount of plastic packaging that just ends up in landfill. Plastic free packaging doesn’t necessarily mean expensive either, so it can be effective at protecting products but it won’t harm the environment.
Ditch The Cups!
If you’re a fan of coffee or tea, you’ll probably enjoy places like Starbucks or Costa but it’s so wasteful to get a disposable cup with every order. It doesn’t even need to be tea or coffee, if you work in an office, you probably have access to a water cooler, and every time you have a drink, you might use a new plastic cup every time which is so, so wasteful. There are a lot of brands that offer funky water bottles which you can carry around with you for your takeout drinks, or drinking in the office. Especially if you choose an insulated option, as it’ll keep your hot beverage hot, or your cold beverage, cold. I can’t be without mine, and they will reduce your plastic and paper wastage considerably.
Use Your Own Produce Bags
My final of my 5 easy sustainable swaps is one you can utilise when doing your food shop. When purchasing items such as fruit and vegetables, they’re usually wrapped in plastic or if you’re purchasing loose items, you’re encouraged to use a plastic food bag to put the produce inside before adding it to you trolley.
You can obviously skip a bag altogether and put your produce loose in your trolley, but if you’re purchasing something like grapes or apples for example, it’s not necessarily ideal nor hygienic to have the items rolling around your trolley. On eBay and Amazon, you can purchase reusable produce bags that you can take with you on your food shops, so you don’t need to use the single use plastic bags in the store.
I really hope you found these 5 Easy Sustainable Swaps helpful, and it’s inspired you to want to try cut down on unnecessary wastage in your day to day life.