Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments.
The average time a plastic bag is used for is 12 minutes.
I could write a whole blog full of statistics and reasons why single use plastic should be banned and why we all need to be thinking more about the impact our choices are having on their earth. But, I think a lot of us already know we need to make some changes.
Making eco changes can be daunting. However, we don’t need to all suddenly live zero waste lives, some small changes can make a real difference.
And that’s why I set myself an Eco Swaps challenge in October. Could I make 10 swaps at home and in my business to help make a difference, and encourage others to make some simple swaps too. So here are some ideas for you.
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world”
- Who Gives A Crap toilet paper. Made with 100% recycled paper, so made without trees. Can be purchased online through a subscription, delivered plastic free.
- Using a body wash bar instead of a traditional shower gel in a plastic bottle. I love Conchus About Life 100% natural, plastic free, zero waste bars. They also make shampoo bars that I’m looking forward to trying.
- I used to always take my makeup off with a wet wipe. Now I use cotton facial rounds from Sundipped with a pack of 10 I’ve always got one on hand. And they wash really well, so I use them time and time again.
- Plastic toothbrushes last forever! So I now use a bamboo toothbrush, again from Sundipped These toothbrushes are biodegradable, and a fab, easy swap.
- For my business, when sending out parcels I now use brown kraft tape instead of brown parcel tape. I have also recently started to use biodegradable bubble wrap and dissolvable packing peanuts.
- Poo bags! For those of you with dogs biodegradable poo bags are a must. I use Earth Rated bags as they will degrade unlike conventional poo bags.
- Wet wipes can take 100 years to biodegrade. So I have swapped to Mum and You biodegradable wet wipes. They start to biodegrade in 15 days in landfill.
- I’m helping bring back the milkman with Milk & More .This swap is all about reusing, their glass bottles are reused on average 25 times before being recycled.
- I’ve gone plastic free for my pits with Earth Conscious not only are their cardboard tubes recyclable, but their deodorants are made from 100% natural ingredients.
- Two Farmers Crisps are the UK’s first 100% compostable crisp packets. And they taste amazing!
- I love using my reusable coffee cup from Huski Home disposable coffee cups need to become a thing of the past.
- Same goes for water bottles, a reusable water bottle is a simple and easy swap.
- Reusable fold up shopping bags are a great way to stop using supermarket plastic bags. You can find some lovely ones on Etsy.
- I’ve recently started to use toothpaste tablets from Plastic Freedom because toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled in your normal curbside recycling bin.
- Cling film is one of the most commonly used single use plastics in the UK and cannot be recycled. So I have started to use Beeswax Food Wraps instead. Not only do the wraps prolong the life of whatever you wrap, they can be used over and over.
- Along similar lines, for my boys school lunchboxes. We don’t wrap their sandwiches in cling film anymore, instead they have cotton sandwich wraps, which I just wipe and re-use. Etsy have some great ones.
- This is the time of year for candles, so I make sure I’m purchasing natural, eco friendly candles which are made from natural waxes.
- Refill not Landfill! We have two refill shops local to me The Naked Pantry New Forest and Almond & Co both encouraging you to make eco friendly changes. And refilling your bottles and groceries rather than buying from supermarkets. From rice to hand wash, to shampoo and cereal.
- I’ve always bought wet cat food pouches, purely for convenience. But they can’t be recycled. So I have swapped to tinned cat food. Not only does Monty prefer the food, but the tins can go in my curbside recycling bin.
- For dinner and snack time splats, instead of using wet wipes. I have washable wipes now. Made from cotton with a flannel lining they’re soft on Eddie’s skin, and wash really well. You can pick them up on Etsy.
- For groceries, and even picnics and days out I use a bento bag from Sundipped .Perfect for popping a few food items in and reducing the use of a plastic sandwich bag.
- Straws … from 2020 plastic straws will be banned in England, so before then we all need to get used to and start using alternatives such as paper, stainless steel and/or natural grass straws.
I set myself a target of 10 eco swaps and in one month I achieved 24. I have so many more things I would like to try too including shampoo bars, biodegradable bin bags, would love to start making some of my own cleaning products and soap nuts for the washing machine.
What eco-friendly changes have you made? Would love to hear about your swaps and hear your ideas.