My Eco Swaps

I’ve been reading a lot recently about climate change, reducing plastic and doing my bit to reduce global warming. Two tv series I watched really stressed the urgency of the issues we are currently facing and helped me in making a decision to actively try and change my consumer behaviour. I read a quote a while back that said we don’t need a handful of people living really sustainably we just need everyone to do what they can. So whilst I am not claiming to have implemented every change I could, I think I’ve made a good start at reducing my footprint.

The one thing I found both programs lacked was a list of alternative products. Whilst its great to inform us that plastic in super markets is undeniably a huge issue, the suggestion of eco friendly plastic free super markets isn’t an option for everyone. Certainly in the town I live and the surrounding towns and villages there isn’t a plastic free super market (yet!) So in this article I’ve discussed not only some of the products Ive swapped and why but listed alternatives and where you can get your hands on them.

  • Toilet Roll. We swapped to a brand called ‘Who Gives A Crap’ A brand that doesn’t wrap their products in plastic but uses paper instead and donates 50% of their profits to help build toilets! I went for the toilet roll that is made with 100% forest friendly bamboo. Invite your friends and if they join you both get £5 off your next order! Click this link

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  • Did you know that nearly all main brand wipes contain plastic! I had no idea. This is nearly all the wipes you have in your house, weather thats kitchen wipes, baby wipes, toilet wipes, make up wipes you name it there is a wipe for almost everything. Luckily we only use them with babies in our house so this was an easy swap. Mum & You baby wipes are 100% biodegradable. Make sure you don’t flush these down the toilet as it clogs up our sewage systems, they need to be popped in the bin.

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  • Reusable water bottle. I found the key to this one is choosing one you really like. I personally think it docent matter if its a bit more expensive than the cheap one you could grab in pound land, you want to make sure you love it and then you’re more likely to rember to take it with you. I found this one hard to start with. I never remembered it and then ended up buy-in plastic bottles of water all the time. It only took about a month before It was easy to rember and now I never leave the house without it. Just as you would check you’ve got your keys, wallet and phone, make sure you’re checking you’ve got your water bottle before you leave the house. Most places are good about refilling for free. The one featured below is Oliver Bonas, my toddler loves using the lid as his own littler personal cup, but be careful it is glass and the first one i had smashed when my son put it down (a little to roughly) onto a glass table

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  • Daily vs monthly contact lenses. This ones a tricky one. Here is what I was using before: Two contact lenses per day (One for each eye) individually wrapped in their own plastic case. So thats 60 lenses and 60 cases a month I was throwing away. My logic was that monthlies was two contact lenses and one plastic case for thirty days… a much better alternative and much less plastic right!? Wrong. There is a huge bottle of solution which is made out of… you guessed it! Plastic! Whats worse is that at the end of each month, regardless of whether you’ve used all the solution you have to throw the big bottle (Ive used half the solution in my first month) away and open a new one. You also have to change the plastic case to a new one every month aswell. Is it less plastic? Marginly. Not a huge swap here but never the less I’ve tried and I think it must make a small difference. Obviously the most economic thing to do is to wear glasses, that or laser eye surgery!?

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  • Reusable produce bags. Now I’ve been suing tote bags for shopping for a long time, but I hadn’t thought about that little tiny plastic bag that carries my croissant from the shop straight into my mouth and then is discarded forever. I purchased a ton of these mesh bags in various sizes. My goal is to keep a couple in my bag at all times for impulse purchases like snacks but also use them to buy my fruit and vag as well. This one has been a tricky commitment for me. Supermarkets wrap nearly all their veg in plastic. You can buy loose but its more expensive so Im going to try and start buying my fruit and veg from farm shops. Using the mesh bags to separate out products. Ive linked here the ones I purchased, they come in a pack of 16 and include various sizes that I found handy. Purchase link here

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  • Reusable canvas bag. If you’re anything like me you’ll nip to the shops and grab something without planning the purchase in advance. Thats why its great to carry one of these where ever you go. Have it in your handbag or stored in the car for when impulse purchases strike. This bags from Clementine

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  • Reusable Straws. I have really sensitive teeth so use a lot of stats when out and about. Also having a toddler who likes to use them this was a great swap. The ones i grabbed come in a bag with a cleaning tool. They also keep your drink super cool as it comes out as they are made of metal. They can be purchased here

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  • Milk delivery. W swapped our plastic supermarket bought milk to glass bottles, delivered the old fashioned way by a milkman! I couldn’t find a company that did this locally to me so Ive used a larger brand called Milk & More. Slightly more expensive and works out £1 more a week but its also organic so worth it in my option. Get in touch if you know of any local brands that I could swap too.

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  • Made from recycled plastic and made from plant based materials this was a good swap at the time. My next step is to start using Contain Yourself

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  • Fully biodegradable nappy bags, where possible we don’t use these. I tend to only use them for mega stinky newborn poop!

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  • Possibly the easiest swap of them all and the one that I feel probably has the biggest impact! If you’re looking for a Green energy supplier these guys worked out cheaper than my old brand EDF and you can get £50 off when you sign up using this link! www.bulb.me

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