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I don’t profess to be the most eco-friendly person on the planet – far from it in fact. I’d say as a family we are working towards being more eco-conscious by making little changes here and there. But we definitely have a long way to go. Life is so busy and hectic these days that sometimes it just seems like too much to think about and take on. So I just thought I’d share some of the small and simple eco swaps we’ve made and are still intending to make, in case anyone else finds it all a bit overwhelming!
1. Reusable wipes and cloths
When the twiglets were babies, we used disposable wipes. As they got older, we started to use Cheeky Wipes washable cloth wipes more. They’re fab and it’s really reassuring to know that there are no chemicals going on your baby’s delicate skin.
This was quite a recent switch for me. I’ve started using washable make-up removing rounds, rather than the face wipes I always used to buy. And I love them! You can read my full review here to find out all the other reasons why I think they’re fab 🙂
I used to be terrible for getting through loads of antibacterial wipes when cleaning. Nowadays I buy washable microfibre cloths and sponges instead, which are much more environmentally friendly. You can also get reusable bamboo kitchen towel but we haven’t quite got that far yet!
2. Eco-friendly cleaner
The best and most eco-friendly way here is to make your own simple surface cleaner. If you fancy it, check out this recipe 🙂 Being honest, we’re not quite at the point of making our own cleaner yet. However, we have switched to buying Method cleaners as they’re a lot more eco-friendly than many other brands.
3. Reusable bags instead of carrier bags
As eco swaps go, this is probably one of the most simple! I’d imagine practically everybody is doing this already these days. Single-use plastic carrier bags are much less readily available and usually only for a charge. There are various types of ‘Bags For Life’ you can get, as well as endless choices of gorgeous fabric tote bags.
4. Bar soap instead of shower gel
This is a switch I didn’t think was suitable for me as I have really sensitive and eczema-prone skin. So bar soap has always been too drying for me. However, there are so many more natural and gentle bar soaps out there now. I love handmade goats milk soaps, like those from The Soaping Goat. They contain pure essential oils, with no preservatives, palm oil or chemicals. Solid shampoo bars are also an excellent alternative to shampoo in plastic bottles.
5. Reusable coffee cups
Before the pandemic hit, lots of people were using reusable coffee cups to grab their takeaway coffee. I think this has taken a big backwards step lately due to outlets needing to follow Covid-safe regulations and so on. Hopefully when things (eventually!) return to normal, people will be able to go back to using them more. I have a few colourful reusable coffee cups that I LOVE. And I even bought this gorgeous rainbow cup cozy from Leigh Leigh Gumtree to prevent me burning my very pathetic hands!
6. Reusable straws
Now I know this is a bit of a contentious one. Some disabled people need to use disposable plastic straws so obviously this is not appropriate for everyone. But, if it is suitable for you, using reusable silicone or metal straws is a great way of minimising plastic waste.
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7. Beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm/tinfoil
This is one of my favourite simple eco swaps. I recently made the switch to using beeswax wraps and am a total convert. I use them all the time – for sandwiches in packed lunches, to cover dishes in the fridge… For loads of things actually! I have a set of various sizes of beeswax wraps from Eco Food Wraps and they’re so easy to use. You can mould them to fit whatever you’re wrapping or covering, using the warmth from your hands. And to clean, you just wash them in cold water with mild soap and leave to dry. There are so many lovely designs to choose from too.
8. Laundry egg
Many washing gels and fabric conditioners and so on are not great for the environment. Laundry eggs are a great solution. We were lucky enough to be gifted an Ecoegg laundry egg a while ago. You can read more about how we got on with it in this post. I really like it, although I don’t use it for every single wash, as I find it less effective when clothes are really dirty. I’ve since bought the dryer eggs too, which I find excellent.
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9. Eco-friendly period products
Now this is one eco swap I definitely haven’t got that far with! I keep intending to try a Mooncup or similar, but something keeps stopping me – nerves I think! I know you can get different sizes and so on, but I’m just not sure I can quite get on board with the whole concept of it! Really I should give it a go though. I’m also not personally sold on the idea of period pants, even though I know absolutely loads of women who swear by them! The only thing I have done is moved to TOTM Organic tampons, as they are made of organic cotton, are biodegradable and contain way fewer chemicals than the ones I used previously.
10. Reusable water bottles
This is another really easy eco swap to make. There is so much choice in terms of reusable water bottles. Stainless steel refillable bottles last for ages and lots more venues are installing water refill stations to avoid people needing to buy single-use plastic bottles.
11. Bamboo toothbrushes
If you don’t use a reusable electric toothbrush, then wooden bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative to disposable plastic ones. And they’re much kinder to the environment.
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Which simple eco swaps have you tried? Do you have any other ideas?
If you’re looking for more inspiration, I’d highly recommend checking out the Ailuna app. It’s a free mobile app full of tips and tricks to help you change your habits for good and help to look after the planet 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Til next time,
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