When it comes to living a more sustainable life, knowledge is power. For instance, did you know that there is an eco-friendly swap for almost everything in your home? Once you take the time to learn about these products, how they help the planet, and how they can end up saving you money, you'll never look back. To get you started, we'll list some of our favorite eco-friendly swap ideas here.
Swap #1: Reusable spray bottles for disposable ones.
Instead of purchasing plastic spray bottles filled with cleaning chemicals, you can utilize a reusable spray bottle. You can then fill the bottle with a homemade cleaning solution or use a cleaning concentrate, which can be mixed with water at home. Cleaning concentrates allow for less packaging, but the same amount of cleaning power.
Swap #2: Beeswax wrap for plastic wrap.
In place of single-use plastic wrap, you can employ beeswax wrap. With the heat of your hands, the beeswax wrap molds around food (avoid raw meat and fish) and cools within seconds. It can be washed with dish soap and cold water, and placed over your dish rack to dry. After about a year of use, your beeswax wrap can be disposed of in a compost pile.
Swap #3: Reusable beverage containers for plastic water bottles
Example: S'well 17 oz. Dawn Bottle, $35
You will never need to purchase plastic water bottles or single-use coffee cups if you have a reusable water bottle or thermos on hand. You can also get a container for both hot and cold beverages, like the one above.
Swap #4: A bidet and bum towels for toilet paper.
With a bidet in your bathroom (which is super easy to install), you'll use less toilet paper. With a bidet and bum towels, you'll use no toilet paper at all. The option we have listed above also requires zero electricity.
Swap #5: Wool dryer balls for disposable dryer sheets.
Made of 100% wool, this pack of dryer balls can be used for 1,000 loads of laundry. You'll never have to buy disposable dryer sheets ever again. If you prefer a scented option, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the dryer balls. Depending on the size of your load, you'll want to add two to six balls to the dryer.
Swap #6: Reusable cleaning cloths for paper towels.
Instead of using paper towels to clean up messes around the house, you can utilize a reusable cloth that can be thrown in the washer. There are even options (like the one listed above) that can be stored on an ordinary paper towel holder.
Swap #7: Fabric napkins for paper napkins.
Whether you use paper towels or actual paper napkins at the dinner table, there is a better, more stylish approach: fabric napkins! The latter can be both fashionable and functional while being reusable. Just put them in the wash when they're ready for a cleaning.
Swap #8: Silicone food storage bags for plastic baggies.
You won't need single-use food storage bags when you have reusable ones on hand. They come in all different sizes, can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher, and many are able to be placed in the microwave, freezer, and oven (just make sure you read the instructions first).
Swap #9: Reusable produce bags for grocery store produce bags.
We've all heard about reusable shopping bags, but what about produce bags? In lieu of using the throwaway plastic produce bags at the grocery store, you can bring your own that can be used again and again.
Swap #10: Reusable cotton rounds for disposable ones.
Imagine never having to worry about purchasing cotton rounds. That's exactly what you'll get when you go with reusable rounds, which can be cleaned in the washing machine between uses.
Swap #11: A tea strainer for tea bags.
You'll never have to toss a tea bag when you employ a strainer and some loose tea. This also allows for less packaging when it comes to purchasing your favorite teas.
Swap #12: Silicone baking mats for parchment paper.
Say goodbye to parchment paper, aluminum foil, and cans of oil spray! When you have a silicone baking mat, you can turn any baking sheet into a nonstick one. Then, once you're done with the mat, it can easily be washed by hand.
Swap #13: Reusable straws for plastic straws.
Example: HAY Sip Straws, $25
If you haven't yet purchased a reusable straw to replace all the plastic ones you could ever possibly use, now is the time. While you're at it, we highly recommend you grab yourself a straw cleaning brush.
Swap #14: A drying rack to cut back on dryer time.
To cut back on or completely stop using the dryer, a drying rack is a great alternative. Plus, if you have an outdoor space, you can put the rack there to sun-dry your clothes.
Swap #15: Cleaning tablets for plastic-heavy cleaning products.
Example: Blueland Dishwasher Starter Set, $18