The seemingly small things we use every day all add up to make a huge impact on our planet. They use up finite resources, release chemicals into places they shouldn’t and our everyday essentials end up piling up in a landfill, or worse, in our oceans and waterways. But there is hope, we don’t need to depend on these wasteful items, there are so many eco-friendly or reusable alternatives! Despite its problems, our modern day society does make it easier than ever to find more earth-friendly options if you know where to look. Hooray for the Internet!
So here are 11 eco-friendly everyday essentials (from the UK) we can all switch to using to lessen our impact and reduce waste. I’ve not used all of them, but those I’ve not got round to checking out yet have all made their way on to my wishlist!
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – It’s hard to find a bamboo toothbrush without plastic bristles but I managed it! And you’ll need eco-friendly toothpaste to go on that brush, so check out Holland & Barrett.
- Reusable make-up removal pads – When using cotton pads to cleanse my face it shocked me just how many I was using and how many piled up in the bin. So I was thrilled to discover that you can get these reusable washable pads instead.
- Toilet roll – The easy option is to buy recycled toilet paper from your local supermarket, but if you want to avoid the plastic wrapping try Who Gives A Crap.
- Reusable sanitary pads or mooncups – This one is for the girls! Absorbent, comfortable, easy to clean and amazing on the bank balance (as you only need to buy them once!)
- Washing up brush – This bamboo brush prevents you from having to resort to a plastic brush and it is less wasteful as you can keep the handle and only replace the brush head when it’s worn out.
- Washing up liquid and laundry cleaner – Use Ecover products which are available at most supermarkets. They’re expensive in Waitrose, so avoid buying them there.
- Cleaning cloths and towels – Avoid using paper towels or throwaway cloths for cleaning. Cut up worn out clothes to make cleaning cloths or buy reusable ones.
- Guppy Friend – Every time we wash our clothes, we release plastic microfibres from our synthetic clothes into our waterways and eventually into the sea. Use a Guppy Friend with every wash to catch those fibres and prevent them from polluting.
- Food wrap alternatives to cling film/foil – Try out an Onya lunch bag or beeswax food wrap to keep your lunch and leftovers fresh the sustainable way.
- Handkerchief – As someone who gets ill a lot, I do feel guilty about the amount of tissues I generate. As such, I’m excited to try out these Hankybooks.
- Coffee cups – If you’re a coffee drinker, get one of these coffee cups instead of using those non-recyclable ones that cafes offer. Some places even offer a discount if you take a reusable cup with you. The lids fit on properly too!
Some of these things are going to be pricier than the mainstream versions but the switch to using durable reusable items will definitely save you money in the long run!
Now you can make your everyday that little bit more sustainable! What eco-friendly essentials do you already use?