Do your bit for the world and make these simple swaps to restore some natural order to your life, writes Jess Davies.
The problem: Cling Film
Cling Film and foil use a lot of greenhouse gas to produce, are not reusable and can leek nasty chemicals into your food.
Swap to: Beeswax Wraps, Beeswax Co
A sustainable and stylish way to keep your food fresh. Beeswax Co make their wraps in Stroud using 100% cotton, pine resin, jojoba oil and beeswax from a local bee keeper. The mix of natural ingredients helps your leftovers last longer by sealing it tight but allowing it to breathe. These wraps are reusable, and just need a little cold water and soap before the next use. Once you have maxed out your wrap, you can throw it in your compost – its 100% biodegradable.
The problem: Plastic bottles
Plastic bottles are clogging up our oceans, harming sea life and littering our beautiful beaches.
Swap to: Reusable water bottle, Buntu
Swap your plastic bottle for one of Buntu’s sleek stainless steel BPA-free bottles. Choose either Cool Grey or Rose Quartz to match your style. The leak-proof lid and handle makes this perfect for daily life. Buntu are on a mission to not only encourage the use of reusable materials, but also to provide safe drinking water to poor communities. For every bottle sold, Buntu will donate 10% of net profits towards funding a project by water charity drop4drop.
The problem: Coffee cups
No one has figured out how to make environmentally-friendly, sustainable reusable coffee cups just yet.
Swap to: Reusable coffee cup, Ecoffee
With a slogan like ‘No excuse for single-use’ you know these guys are serious about reducing single-use waste. The Ecoffee cup is made using natural, sustainable bamboo fibre without BPA or phthalate. Choose from a wide variety of colourful designs to suit all styles. These cups are dishwasher safe and easy to use, and don’t come with that nasty plastic aftertaste.
The problem: Harmful cleaning products
The chemicals found in regular cleaning products can cause dry and irritated skin.
Swap to: Natural cleaning products, Yope
A complete range of natural cleaning products that swap out the unnecessary artificial colourants, scents, preservatives, parabens, naphtha derivatives, SLS, SLES and thickeners. Instead, they use vegetable extracts and mild aromas to make sure these can be used on sensitive skin and children. Ninety eight per cent of the ingredients are natural and all products are affordable, so everyone can reap the benefits.
The problem: Harmful soap/ shampoo products
Many soap and shampoo products are tested on animals before being sold to us. Mass production can also result in poor wages for the supply chain.
Swap to: Lush soap and shampoo bars, Lush
An extensive range of handmade soaps and shampoos, made using 100% vegetarian ingredients. Lush campaigns against animal testing, and keeps the amount of packaging it uses to an absolute minimum. Its ethical buying policy ensures fairness for all involved in growing and harvesting the fresh, natural ingredients that make up the recipes for its products. They also smell incredible – a major bonus.
The problem: Non-biodegradable tooth brushes
3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are consumed every year and most end up in landfill or our oceans. They are not recyclable or biodegradable.
Swap to: Bamboo tooth brush, Humble Brush
Swap your regular toothbrush for Humble. Made from 100% biodegradable sustainably grown bamboo with nylon bristles from Dupont. Even the wrapping is eco-friendly, made from recyclable materials that can be disposed of easily. Pick yourself up some natural toothpaste too. Ingredients include stevia extract and aloe vera – the more natural, the better it is for our ecosystem. An easy way to do your bit.
The problem: Plastic straws
Disposable plastic straws are rarely recycled and end up in landfills and our oceans.
Swap to: Metal straws, EcoStraws
EcoStraws are on a mission to replace all disposable plastic straws, and offer an impressive selection of eco-friendly replacements. Choose either classy stainless steel, natural wheat or bamboo. They also have straws made from Borosilicate Glass, the strongest common glass type around. All straws are chemical and BPA-free, available in a range of different styles and sizes and can be used for both hot and cold drinks.
The problem: Plastic lunch boxes
Great motivation to pack your own lunch instead of buying something out that uses even more disposable packaging.
Swap to: Stainless Steel Lunch Box, Black and Blum
The first truly leak-proof stainless steel lunch box and it won’t disappoint on style. This 3-in-1 multifunctional lunch box comes with its own steel fork. Not only can you use it for your lunch, you can cook meals in the oven or store pre-cooked food in the freezer with it. It’s BPA-free and comes with a silicone strap and meal divider. The ultimate in eco-friendly lunch wear.
The problem: Shopping bags
That 5p charge annoys us all, but so does the thought of plastic bags ruining the environment by ending up in landfill.
Swap to: Cotton Shopping Bags, Turtle Bags
Organic cotton bags certified under the Global Oganic Textile Standard (GOTS). This means no chemical pesticides or fertilisers are used in the production of the fabric and farmers must work under safe conditions with an agreed minimum wage. The drawstring bags are washable and perfect for picking up some fresh organic fruit and veg from your local market. Or the supermarket, whichever is good for you.
The problem: Tampons
85% of tampons have been shown to contain Glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killer. Not at all great for the female body.
Swap to: Organic tampons/pads/ Menstrual Cup, TOTM
A range of tampons, pads and liners that use certified organic cotton to avoid those harmful chemical nasties. The applicator tampon also uses biodegradable sustainable cardboard applicator for smooth insertion. The pads are available for day and night. TOTM also offer a reusable menstrual cup as an even more sustainable alternative to the tampon. But you might want to work your way up to that one. It could take practice.