It’s been a while since I wanted to write about eco-friendly swaps. Since I decided to live greener life, I followed many ecological influencers and found their handy tips very useful. Previously I considered living sustainable life as being based in a remote leafy location in a self-sufficient house. But eco-friendly swaps helped me gauge that anyone can be more planet friendly. And it is so easy! Thanks to these simple steps I:
- Started my journey to a zero waste house. And it’s not about perfection – small steps taken by many is better than pure perfection practised by a few.
- Understood how manageable it is to change habits and reduce plastic and other waste instantly.
- Commenced to think and introduce easy green tactics in everyday life and without much effort.
Here are a few eco-friendly swaps I have introduced and try to follow as often as I can. I started them at the beginning of spring confinement and a new this time autumn lockdown made me reflect how far I have gone. And how much plastic and other waste I managed to remove!
From one-use takeaways coffee to reusable coffee cups
While I try not to buy new items unnecessarily, months ago I invested in a collapsable coffee cup. It has never been easier to refuse a plastic cup and ask for my takeaway tea or coffee in my own container. Many of eco influencers go even further and simply carry a glass jar with them that can also be used for this purpose (with caution to avoid burning yourself).
From shop-bough milk to home made oats milk
This was one of the first homemade recipes I tried and to date I cannot believe that I haven’t done it sooner. It’s been years since I swapped to plant-based milk and I have been paying hefty prices for shop bought milks, most often sold in either plastic containers or with a plastic lid. I seriously enjoy making and drinking my own oats milk. It takes maximum 10 minutes and is very affordable. Not only I avoid buying plastic bottles but also reduce greenhouse emissions by picking oats milk considering one of the most eco-friendly swaps.
From chemical cleaners to natural products
After talking to one of my blog’s guest, who is running her zero waste home, I decided that I want to follow her principle of reducing plastic and how much I throw away to the bathroom bin. And that’s how I discover endless fantastic, and mostly very easy recipes of homemade cleaners and other products. So far I have made (and continue remaking them after they’re finished):
- Citrus cleaning sprays (with oranges and also lemons),
- Natural toilet cleaning bombs,
- and I use solid soap bars only.
I am happy to say that my bathroom bin is now emptied less often and I have very few plastic containers left!
From coffee machine to cafetière
This initiative came form my hubby who suggested that we will give away our coffee machine and swap to a simple cafetière. Yes, it takes longer to make coffee but we have zero plastic containers. We used to use capsules that ended up in the bin. Some producers claim to recycle them but waste is always there, especially if you need to send capsules back.
From bottled water to tap water jug
There are a few easy eco-friendly swaps I started following when out and about:
- When eating out at lunch time I often used to buy lunch deals including a drink. I stopped accepting plastic bottles, and I either ask for tap water in a jar. Or I choose any drink that is in a metallic e.g. apple juice, not necessarily sugary soda.
- The same applies when travelling or walking around. Either I always carry my reusable bottle and fill it up. Or if I forgot it I buy water or drinks in cans or glass bottles.
- When I do my shopping I check what containers are used, and if possible I buy cans, glass jars or recyclable cartoon packaging. Or I use a refill stations and carry my own cotton bags for loose products.
From tea in plastic bags to loose leaf drinks
I stopped drinking tea packed in tea bags. Not only I got frustrated with brands that would use plastic tea bags or even worse wrap them in plastic containers inside paper boxes. I also read endless articles about leaks of billions of particles. I buy loose tea leaves instead and store them in glass jars that I keep having bought other groceries in them. I also pay more attention how I store my food to avoid food waste.
From plastic packaging to glass
I avoid plastic as much as I can, but as many eco experts suggest I haven’t binned all my plastic containers. I simply don’t buy any new ones. And I follow a few other rules:
- I try to reuse existing materials to make presents wrappings e.g. colourful papers my daughter uses for arts and crafts activities.
- I consider how to make family celebrations eco-friendly whether it’s a birthday party or other occasions.
- I started buying or making green gifts. I either buy them from small local companies to show my support or make e.g. natural lip balms or foot scrubs for my friends.
- I am mindful when it comes to any purchases – can I buy second hand or follow conscious consumer principles?
From plastic shampoos to solid bars
I struggled with this one and it took me a while to fight my own habits and learn how to use a solid shampoo bar. I even wrote a blog about how to use a shampoo bar after further in-depth research. Now a whole family is using bars and it feels as if I never used liquid shampoos before. And how many plastic bottles do I save!? Below is a summary of all the savings I made in the last 8 months. Every little helps!
My own waste reduction in numbers
So has it been worth it? Am I helping the plant doing my own little bit? Yes for sure and I am happy to say that I not inly continue new habits bit have a list of other ideas to test and implement. I will no doubt be sharing how I get on.