If you’re trying to be a bit greener in 2021, then here’s our top 10 simple swaps to help you live more sustainably:
1. Reusable coffee cups vs Takeaway cups
In the UK we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year. And less than 1per cent of these end up being recycled. This is due to the thin plastic lining which makes them difficult to process for recycling. Reusable cups on the other hand, are designed to last for years if cared for properly. Having a reusable coffee cup in your bag or at the office gives quick access to an alternative to the single use cup, our Double Walled Coffee Cups are lightweight and durable.
Paper takeaway cups don’t offer much in the way of insulation, so your drink wont stay hot for long, a reusable cup can keep your drink hotter for longer, and offer some protection to your fingers too! Our Reusable Insulated Coffee Cups have high quality double-walled stainless steel construction to keep your drink the perfect temperature. We also have Glass Coffee Cups, which are designed to replicate your coffee shop drinking experience and unlike plastic or bamboo will not taint the flavour of your drink.
And as well as helping the planet by cutting your plastic usage, there are additional benefits for your wallet too. Many coffee shop chains offer discounts to customers who bring their own cup. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you could save more than £100 a year. Or if you can make your own at home and take it out with you, you’ll save even more!
2. Reusable water bottle vs Plastic bottles
In 2018, UK use of plastic water bottles increased by more than 7 per cent, according to market research company Zenith. The industry is worth £3.3bn. And this isn’t just bad for the planet and the ocean, where many of these plastic bottles ultimately end up. It’s also bad for us. Plastic bottles contain Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor which has been strongly linked to a host of health problems. BPA enters the human body through exposure to plastics such as bottled drinks. Our Reusable Glass Bottles are made from BPA free and fully recyclable materials and provide a clean and pure drinking experience.
3. Bamboo toothbrush vs Plastic toothbrush
What with the vast majority of toothbrushes being plastic, you’ll end up throwing away a lot of them if you adhere to most manufacturers’ recommendations to replace your toothbrush every three months. In fact, every year over a billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away worldwide, ending up in landfill, in the sea or washed up on a beach.
Thankfully, there is an alternative available. Bamboo toothbrushes, which are made from more sustainable materials. Once you’re finished with one, you can compost the handle and recycle the bristles.
4. Toothpaste tablets vs Plastic toothpaste tubes
Toothpaste tubes are typically made of non-recyclable plastic and can take around 450 years to decompose. The tubes are made of multiple layers of materials fused together, so breaking them down for recycling is much more complex than for other household items. One alternative is Truthtabs: these tablets are easy to use, simply pop one into your mouth, bite and brush. They foam and clean just like toothpaste but come in fully biodegradable and recyclable packaging.
5. Wax wraps vs Clingfilm
More than 1.2 billion metres, equating to 745,000 miles of cling film is used by households across Britain every year – enough to go around the circumference of the world 30 times over!
Cling film is difficult to recycle, meaning the majority of it ends up in landfill where it takes hundreds of years to degrade and risks leaching chemicals into groundwater. Like plastic bags, cling film that ends up in the sea is easily confused for jellyfish by marine animals and chokes turtles and other creatures that feed on them.
Reusable Vegan Wax Wraps are a plastic-free alternative way of wrapping sandwiches, leftovers, cheese and cakes to keep them fresh. If cared for, the wraps will last a year and are fully compostable. They look much prettier than clingfilm too.
6. Shampoo/conditioner bars vs Plastic shampoo bottles
These solid bars are more lightweight and compact than their bottled counterparts, so they require less space during transport relative to the same amount of washes with liquid shampoo. Roughly ten to fifteen transport trucks of liquid shampoo would be needed for one transport truck of solid shampoo bars to get the same number of washes! This is because the main ingredient in liquid shampoo is water.
Most shampoo bars have a far higher concentration of ingredients than their shampoo counterparts. This means that you need to use less of a shampoo bar to get the same results. So, even though a shampoo bar looks small, it lasts a very long time. And a solid bar of shampoo doesn’t need to come in a plastic container. In fact, most shampoo bars don’t come with any packaging at all. So, by using shampoo bars, you can cut down on your plastic usage and help the environment .
An additional benefit if you like to travel is that as shampoo bars are solid, they can go in your hand luggage without any arguments from border security. Carrying a shampoo bar in your luggage also means that you can save space, travel lighter, and you won’t get to your hotel and find all your clothes soaking wet because your shampoo has leaked all over them!
We are currently eagerly awaiting a delivery of shampoo, conditioner and soap bars, which will be added to the shop as soon as they arrive!
7. Dish wash bars vs Plastic washing up liquid bottles
Back in the day one bar of soap was enough to do everything, from dishwashing, laundry and even cleaning your bathroom.
Unlike ordinary dishwashing detergent and other cleaners that are packaged in big plastic bottles, most soap bars come in recycled or recyclable paper packaging. Like most soaps, they have a great shelf life, so if they are stored properly they will last you a very long time. A single soap bar can also last for more washes than liquid soap, as you can easily pour out too much every time you do the dishes.
Our Washing-up Soap Bars are powered by organic plant-based ingredients that are tough on grease yet gentle to your hands. So mild the rinse water can be used on your plants!
8. Safety Razor vs Disposable razor
Unfortunately as the metal blades are embedded in plastic, billions of plastic razors and cartridges are thrown away every year. Switching to safety razors are a great way for plastic-free shaving. Safety razors use one single blade made from stainless steel, which is easy recyclable. You’ll likely also find that you’re able to achieve a closer, smoother shave without the razor burn and irritation that modern razors can cause.
If you’re a regular shaver, then this switch will save you money too! Disposable razors and blades can be incredibly pricey, while new and vintage safety razors are standardised and have used the same style of blades for years. You can get replacement blades which are high quality and inexpensive. With proper care, the blades can last a good while, while the handle should last a lifetime.
9. Reusable straws vs plastic straws
Plastic straws generally can’t be recycled, so straws have to be sent to landfill, where they take a long time to degrade, can leach chemicals like BPA, break down into microplastics, and can be ingested by wildlife. In addition, plastic straws tend to fall amongst the top littered items in the world. There are however several alternatives:
Stainless Steel Straws are washable, and much more durable. They are BPA free and unlike plastic will not interact with and leak chemicals into the drink you are consuming.
Bamboo Drinking Straws can be reused hundreds of times and can be composted at the end of their life cycle. Our bamboo straws are an eco-friendly and sustainable solution to plastic, made without the need for any harmful pesticides or chemicals. The entire process is safe, non-toxic and completely organic. Each straw is 100% organic, handmade and biodegradable.
Silicone Straws tend to be light and durable, made from 100% Pure Food-Grade FDA/LFGB certified Silicone, they come with a lifetime guarantee from ecoLiving!
10. Bamboo cotton buds vs Plastic cotton buds
If you are a plastic cotton bud user then why not switch to bamboo? Our Bamboo Cotton Buds are 100% biodegradable. Plastic cotton buds are often found on the beach or in our oceans, whereas bamboo an be disposed of by simply throwing them into your organic waste or compost. It is also a sustainable product, it needs no pesticides or fertiliser to grow and it’s a super fast growing grass that is more efficient at taking CO2 from the air and producing more oxygen than trees.