If you are looking for ways to make your home plastic-free (OR, less plastic) and more eco-friendly, then here are 30 simple eco-friendly swaps you could try.
Firstly, Why Do We Need To Do Swaps To Be More Eco Friendly?
While most people talk about climate change and global warming, very few actually do something about it.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not going to save itself; we ALL have to do something about it. Calculate your carbon footprint with carbon click to know what to reduce.
Even if it’s a teeny weeny change, it’s still a good one.
1. Swap To Eco Friendly Cloth Nappies
Get eco-friendly by opting for washable cloth nappies instead of disposable nappies.
Nappies are made of synthetic materials, filled with chemicals.
Therefore, besides being non-biodegradable, they can be harmful to your child’s tender skin.
And obviously, you can only use them once.
Cloth nappies are reusable, easy to clean and dry fast.
I wrote a cloth nappy guide recently – check it out.
2. Adopt Washable Wipes
Like nappies, most baby wipes are made of non-biodegradable toxin-laced materials.
Again, you can only use them once.
Make your home plastic-free by opting for a washable soft wipe or set of flannels.
3. Using Period Pants Is One Of The Easiest Eco Friendly Swaps
Period pants are becoming popular for a reason; they can absorb ten times more than the regular pads and tampons.
As a result, you only need to change them every 10 to 12 hours, whereas pads need changing every two to four hours, or even less.
If you have heavy periods, you will need to change them more often than what I stated above, but they’re a great alternative to single use products.
4. Buy Wooden Toys
Toys are essential for the growth and development of your kid.
Part of that growth is a penchant for destroying and tearing toys apart, or forgetting them as soon as a new one comes along.
It implies bags of plastic wastes by the time your kids become responsible.
You can change this by having more durable wooden toys, which are better for the environment, and can be beautiful additions to the home.
Also, if you opt for open-ended toys, like wooden rainbows, stacking blocks and counting coins, there are lots of different ways a child can play with them, hence they get bored less easily 🙂
5. Swap To Buying Eco Friendly Second-Hand Clothes
Maintaining the fashion industry is costly to the environment and your pocket as well.
Opting for second-hand clothes is both financially prudent and eco-friendly.
There are also emerging fashion designers who are more sustainable and ethical.
6. Ditch Single-Use Plastic Bottles For One Of The Easiest Eco Friendly Swaps
Instead of a plastic bottle or cup, opt for a reusable stainless steel bottle.
They are durable, and if you choose the right one, you can find ones that maintain the temperature of your fluids.
One of the eco friendly swaps I have done recently is to stop going to my fave coffee drive thru and bringing my own flask of coffee everywhere with me.
My faves are Klean Kanteen – they have all sorts of shapes and sizes for foods and drinks for adults and kids.
7. Fall In Love With The Taste Of Tap Water
Buying bottled water for use at home increases the amount of plastic and waste in your home.
If you don’t want to drink tap water, then buy your mineral or spring water in glass bottles and recycle or reuse after use. Alternatively, you may install commercial water purification systems at home and in your workplace to eliminate the need to buy bottled water.
8. Stop Buying Plastic Bags At Supermarkets
Certain countries have legislation against plastic shopping and produce bags, but most countries are not there yet.
Therefore, make it a law in your home always to use non-plastic bags.
Reusable cloth bags are an excellent replacement.
9. Carry Your Own Shopping Bag
Buy a few reusable shopping bags and carry them with you each time you go shopping.
It will instil in you the discipline to think twice before crumping a shopping bag and tossing it into the wastebasket.
10. Shopping At A Local Market
Shopping at a mall or supermarket is a great time saver.
However, if you have to drive to the shopping centre it then its time you consider the local market.
Often, the food at these places is more fresh and organic than what you will find in a supermarket.
11. Washing On Lower Temperatures
Washing at lower temperatures ensures your washing machine consumes less power.
It is an excellent way to reduce your power bill but still get the same results.
12. Use LED Lights
Standard incandescent bulbs consume a lot of energy, which actuated the move to compact fluorescent light, CFL.
LED lights have even better energy saving than CFL.
For example, a 6W LED can produce the same light as an 18W CFL, and a 60W incandescent bulb.
13. Teach Kids To Turn Off The Lights
Good luck with this one 😉
Switching off the lights when they are not in use significantly reduces energy bills.
Teach your children always to turn off the lights before they go to sleep and during the day.
The best way to do this is by example, but if your children are anything like mine, that may be easier said than done!
14. Switch Off The TV When No One Is Watching
Always switch TVs off when no one is watching them since the TV consumes energy when in idle mode.
It is wasteful to keep your TV on in the living room while you are busy in the kitchen.
Same with your phone and device chargers – switch them off at the wall when not in use.
15. Cotton Towels
Single-use dish towels, such as kitchen towel have no place in an eco-friendly home.
Substitute paper towels with washable cloth towels.
If you love paper towels, then you should consider bamboo towels that you can resuse – they’re brilliant, and so efficient at cleaning and mopping spills.
Besides being biodegradable, most bamboo towels are reusable.
And they look pretty in a bundle too, much nicer than a roll of paper in the corner 🙂
16. Reusable Straws
Nearly one billion straws are used daily over the world.
Like all disposable utensils, plastic straws add up unnecessary waste.
Instead, substitute it with reusable glass or bamboo straw.
17. A Low-Flow Showerhead
Reduce the amount of water used in your shower by half by using a low-flow showerhead.
Certain options use as little as 25% of the volume by the standard shower fixtures.
It will save you money, too.
18. Fewer Beauty Products
A rack full of beauty products is delightful to behold.
However, chemical-filled plastic boxes can be harmful to your health and the environment.
Instead, find two or three beauty products that work for you and stick to them.
19. One Of The Most Popular Eco Friendly Swaps: Use Beauty Bars And Shampoos
90% of liquid beauty products come in plastic bottles.
As you go natural, you can start by going for bar-based shampoos and body lotions.
20. Rechargeable Batteries
The chemicals used in batteries are toxic and cause both water and soil pollution if improperly disposed of.
Opt for rechargeable batteries for devices in your home’s remote controls and other devices that use dry cell batteries.
21. Have A Food Hotpot
Once in a while, it is okay to buy take away food.
Ahem, I live on take aways some weeks when I’m crazy busy.
However, instead of taking the single-use plastic containers from the restaurant, carry your food hotpot.
Some hotels offer discounts if you have your own food container, although I’ve not seen this in the UK yet.
You can also figure out who is more eco-friendly when it comes to delivered take aways, and make a pact to use them when you’re feeling peckish.
22. Reusable Food Wraps
Single-use food wraps and aluminium foil increase your kitchen waste.
There are reusable non-plastic food wraps that you can use to keep your food warm.
23. Reusable Coffee Filters
Instead of using a single-serving coffee pod each morning, think of getting a reusable coffee filter pod.
You can also get compostable coffee pods for nespresso machines, which I a currently looking into.
Your family can then have fresh ground coffee every morning without adding as much non-recyclable waste to the bin.
24. Choose Reusable Notebooks!
Besides paper being expensive, you do not need to store what kids scribble when practising how to write and draw.
Instead of the normal notebooks, buy your kids reusable notebooks.
They have special pens and an eraser system, which means less waste, and less storage space taken up in your home.
25. Get Yourself A Shower Timer
If you need to cut down the energy you use during a hot shower, then a shower timer is a device worth adding to your home.
The goal is to ensure you use less time in a shower, and in turn, you’ll save money too.
26. Invest In A Solar-Powered Phone Charger
Phones consume a lot of power in the long run.
You can minimise your dependence on the main power grid by opting for small solar charging systems for phones and mobile devices in your home.
Even in a British winter you can charge them!
27. Switch Off Wall Power Outlets
There is always a small leakage if you do not switch off the wall power outlet.
Alternatively, upgrade to sockets that have zero leakage when appliances are switched off.
28. Get Into E-Books
While reading from a great paperback is a good feeling, producing hardcopy books contributes significantly to deforestation.
You can cut this down by introducing yourself and your kids to eBooks such as Audible.
29. Repurpose Plastic Containers
Sometimes, a few plastics cans and bags may find their way into your house.
I’ve got a gazillion.
If you’re in the UK, you’ll know that supermarkets are still using so much plastic packaging.
Instead of getting rid of them immediately, just to have a single-use plastic-free home; find a use for them within the home.
30. Use A Proper Waste Disposal System
It is challenging to live with zero waste, but you can prevent damaging the environment further by opting for a proper disposal system, visit some places like www.dumposaurus.com for more info!
Send the plastic and metal items you cannot reuse to recyclers like Sydney copper cable scrap recycling for appropriate disposal, instead of sending them to a landfill.
Are Any Of These Eco Friendly Swaps Easy For You To Adopt?
Saving the world and achieving zero waste begins with saving your own household from the mountains of single-use plastics and dangerous toxins.
Start with a few of your favourites from my list above – you don’t have to go crazy with it in the first instance.
Simple eco-friendly swaps and training your kids to be environmentally conscious, will you’ll be well on your way to saving our beautiful planet.