So if you believe the news dooms day is just around the corner if we don’t start treating our planet better very soon. I’m not going to lie, so many of the issues that have come to light over the last few years seems way to big for us little people to tackle on our own and it is tempting to throw up our arms and tell ourselves that the goverment and big corporations need to be the one’s to do something but if 2018 had shown us anything it’s the huge changes we can make when we take personal reponsibility for our own waste.
It’s al important to remember how far we have come in the last 12 months. 2018 has been a massive year of change. Just to name a few things, plastic bags have now been banned in most states, most cafe’s have stopped giving out straws and are encouraging people to bring their own cups, there has been a huge movement towards reusables and some councils have been reducing the size of the landfill bins given to homes in their area to encourage people to reduce how much waste they produce or asking people if they would mind having their bins collected every second week instead of once a week because they are finding that many people are no longer filling their bins the way they used to. That’s a huge win!
So how can you can make 2019 your greenest year yet?
Well for starters you might like to sign-up for our 2019 eco-warrior challenge so that I can send you sustainable tips and recipes right to your inbox. All of our tips and tricks are things I used myself as a Mum of 2 boys and many will help you save a few dollar too so click the link here so you can sign-up and reap all the benefits. I
But while you wait for that to start here are a few easy swaps you can make now to help reduce your environmental impact.
- Get a keep cup – if you love a takeaway coffee then a keep cup will be your best friend. Not only will your coffee taste better but you will be saving a cup (that can’t be recycled) from going to landfill after only being used for a few minutes. Plus lots of cafes will give you a discount for bringing your own cup. Win Win!
- Swap to unpaper towels- this was the first swap I made when we started looking at reducing our waste 7 years ago and it still to this day has been the easiest change I have made. We use our Bugsey Bee Unpaper Towels everyday and they are still going strong. They are durable, easy to wash and can be wound around an unpaper towel holder that you can find here, so they can be used just like normal paper towels, making the transition seamless.
- Bamboo Toothbrush – changing to a bamboo toothbrush is another easy, small change that requires next to no effort. Our whole family uses these toothbrushes. We colour the end in a different colour for each family member so we know whos is whos and then when we are done with them we snap off the head and compost the handle.
- Cotton Carry bags – now that the plastic bag ban is here you probably aren’t using that many plastic bags but did you know most of them are made from plastic. Now that doesn’t mean they are bad, you will probably end up using them often enough to reduce their impact but cotton or natural fiber bags are a much better often. I bought a few super sized one’s from K-mart. They are 100% cotton which also means they are more flexible and I can scrunch them up and pop them in my handbag or pram for when I need it.
- Stainless Steel Straws – ok so you probably seen those horrifying clips of straws being removed from a sea turtle so I don’t think I need to tell you why straws are an issue. I have tried a few straws and I have to say Stainless Steel Straws like these are my favorite. They are thick enough for smoothies, easy to clean and they won’t get squashed or brocken in your bag.
- Carry a container – How many times have you thought you would be out shopping or running errands for an hour and before you know it you’ve been out for hours , your hangry and you end up grabbing something as a takeaway. I carry one of these stainless steel containers around with me at all times. I have one set I fill with snack and I keep a spare one in my bag in case we need one for an impromptu takeaway. They are surpisingly light and leak proof but if you tend to go for large take away items (like a large roll or a chinese banquet) then I would recommend grabbing a plastic container from your kitchen. Easy!
- Swap your kitchen sponge For a Compostable Brush- It’s something that I didn’t even consider for a long time but regular kitchen sponges are plastic too. Which means not only will they stay in landfill forever once we are done with them but like microfiber cloths they also release tiny peaces of plastic into our water ways which at this stage we have no way of removing. What is worse is that fish eat them and then we eat those fish. They now say that if you have eaten fish or seafood in the last year you have consumed those very same microplastics we’ve all been washing done our sink…. I doubt you need any more convincing but what’s the solution. A cotton cloth or one of these coconut fiber dish brushes are great. I have tried a few different brushes but these one’s are by far me favorite. We have been using ours for 6 months now and it is still going strong but once it’s worn out we will put it in our compost.
- Reusable Bamboo Facial Wipes – last but not least a little bit of luxury. Not only are facial wipes a super easy change but they also feel like heaven. You can use them with a little but of natural oil (I like jojoba) to remove your make-up or with a little toner after you cleanse and then you just thrown them in the wash to be used again and again. They completely replace the need for cotton pads which huge carbon imprint comparitive to their size and their use and they are so much better for you skin.
So there you are, there is a few ideas to get you started. I always recommend starting with one thing, making it a habit and then moving onto the next thing but many of these changes in house which means you only need to make the change once at the checkout and after that they won’t require much effort at all. So why not try a few and don’t forget to let me know how you go!
P.S. If you liked these don’t forget to sign-up for our Eco-warrior Challenge, we’d love to have you!