20 Eco Swaps for 2020
By now I expect you've heard of climate change, and why it's important for us all so do our bit. Why? Because aside from crediting you with being an adult, I'm going to assume you've seen the evidence we all need to get our butts in gear; it's not only in our newspapers and newsfeeds, but raging across Australia as we speak. It's time.
An important reminder; this is not about you needing to be perfect to get started (or ever). Eco- Anxiety is REAL. But it's the starting and learning that's important. So, let's get cracking.
Climate change isn't our individual fault, but it is our problem.
Okay, 20 might sound like a lot! But hear me out. Many of the suggested are things you'll do on the daily and have a big impact the more of us start to sway, so even the things we believe to be inconsequential, hold massive impact.
To avoid overwhelm, or just to make it more manageable, why not try integrating a few over time, for example, pick 3 each month or just when you come to restock.
Ignorance, arrogance and apathy are the biggest threats to climate change. This one isn’t a physical swap, but a social, personal and actionable one. Engaging in conversations, education and making progress contributes to overall collective change. Our attitudes and involvement have a ripple effect through our actions and perception of other people on the issue.
2. Watch Your Wallet
Your pound has power. While 'buying well" is good, be mindful of spending on items or with businesses that work directly against the cause; for example, looking for plastic-free alternatives or avoiding palm oil based products, opting for more ethical friendly alternatives with your "POWERFUL POUND". Remember that.
3. Mind Your Meat
If you're a meat-eater, don't panic, hardcore veganism isn't our only option, but the case for reducing meat consumption stacks up. Reducing your intake and opting for locally reared meats not only supports local businesses, but ensures the meat's travelled less distance and cuts down on food waste as you're more likely to just buy what you need. Ask your butcher where your meat comes from and what other information they may be able to offer. It’s an idea to take your own packaging too!
From buying in charity shops to scouring antique markets, buying second hand not only saves on production, but also on wrapping and containers. By utilising what already exists, we extend the longevity of furniture, clothes and homeware and cut down on creating more ‘stuff'. Plus, the added style flare is a bonuusss.
5. Foodie Focus
If you have access to local markets then great - but not everyone does, so even at the supermarket, opting for fresh, local, seasonal produce without packaging can be the obvious change to make. Making recipes from scratch can also help cut down on unnecessary fast food production alongside boosting the nutrition value of a meal.
6. Yes, You Can! Compost
Starting a compost, if you can, or finding out more from your local council about your options can make a vital difference when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions from landfill. Some local allotments also take composting. If there are no facilities local to you, write to your council and ask what the plans are for this.
7. Plan Ahead
Plastic bags are a-bye-bye, so planning ahead with one in the car or a foldable bag helps for any times we 'just forget'. Planning can also mean what else you'll be using that day that may end up in the bin - pack your own lunch or even take your own spoon to the beach for ice cream! A good way to do this is to think about functional items you use often and see whether there's a friendly substitute. Also consider taking your own tubs to the butcher or takeaway.
8. Ask Away
It may or may not be time to get rowdy, but if you’re not there yet, know that the mighty pen can help companies, councils and MP's take note of what matters to you as a consumer. Requesting information around sourcing, production, trade and environmental impact helps call companies into account for their actions and take responsibility. It’s a new way to revive the art of letter writing, no?
9. Perfect You Period
Y’all, periods are FASHUN. There’s about a billion (exaggerated) ways to upgrade your period. You can opt for moon cups, reusable liners, biodegradable organic Yoppie tampons and EVEN the hip, swish, all singing, all dancing tampliner from Callaly. Like WHAT. Amazing. Periods are cool.
Periods are cool.
10. Give A Crap!
What do we want? Eco-loo roll for the masses! When do we want it? NOW! Flooding onto the market is the sustainable life swap no one asked for but everybody needs, sustainable loo roll. Check out Who Gives a Crap, Cheeky Panda and EcoLeaf.
11. ‘Ear Me Out
Cleaning your ears feels good. It’s the slightly gross thing that makes everyone tingle. Now it can feel even better as we say bye bye to the plastic version and a creeping “well, hello” to the compostable substitute. Clean those ears and feel good, you eco friendly weirdo.
12. Tea or Coffeeco
From tea, we want the leaves, not the ever questionable tea bag it comes in - many of which contain plastic(!) and are bleached to oblivion. Swapping to tea strainers and reusable bags is great, not only can you measure your own strength but curate your own blends (lapsang, Chai and Assam is my current). The same can be said for switching coffee machine pods to K-Cupps. Fancy AND eco friendly.
13. Cute Cup
14. Water Me
Recommended daily water intake: LOADS. Single use plastic water bottles are sooooo passe. Keep yourself hydrated and g l o w i n g with a refillable water bottle. You've heard this one before NO DOUBT, yet I still see people carrying them. So. it's here til further notice.
15.. Don’t Believe the Hype
A lot of businesses want you to believe they’re ‘going green’, also known as green washing, by releasing very limited, very 1D clothing lines or ads that encourage YOU to recycle their products. Don’t let it sway you from your mission, whatever that is, look beneath the marketing ploy and keep your wits about you. Companies that sound like Boca-Bola, Bunilever, Basos and Bara do this a lot.
16. Super Charge
Re-chargable batteries feel retro, don’t they? Or is that just me? Either way, whether they never went away or are making a hefty come back, rechargeable batteries win over single use every. single. time.
17. Fork Off
If you’re a festival goer, are on the road a lot or just love eating outdoors, grabbing some bamboo portable cutlery is a sure fire way to cut down on plastic ones you may otherwise grab out of convinience. Keep ‘em handy, like in your car or bag.
18. Latherly, Darling
Have a browse through the products you use daily or weekly in the shower; shampoo, conditioner and soap. Maybe a razor. All of which can easily be swapped for bars, refillable and even a safety razor to reduce turn over. Lush have some dreams and are a great starting point given the extent of their range and knowledge.
19. Dental Work
Another top hit for daily use; switch your tooth brush for a bamboo version, floss for biodegradable and mouth wash for refillable. Easy as 1, 2, 3. Companies like BamWoo also plant a tree for every toothbrush sold! No brainer.
20. Keep It Up
The best thing you can do is to make any of these changes and actually stick to them, these substitutes have the biggest impact when they accumulate over time. Eventually, you may even find yourself questioning why you felt so resistant in the first place.
Get in touch, I’d love to know the ways you’re making tracks to build a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle - plus any products you can’t live without.
Sending you love and eco-conscious inspiration,