Increased sustainable living is not out of reach and everybody has an important role to play. It’s our responsibility to make an effort above all. To be intentional about examining our daily choices and identifying where we can affect change. Reach out to businesses with a high carbon footprint, host swap meets with friends where you shop each other’s closets, pantries and more. Have those ongoing, influential and incredibly important conversations in your household to encourage better habits. Track your progress and remember to celebrate wins. Here are a range of inclusive swaps you can incorporate into your everyday. After all, It’s only realistic to take into account the ways money, time and accessibility impact our daily practices. Just as there’s a way to greener beauty routines, more significant upgrades are within the realm of possibility too. Think transforming your home’s energy efficient technology!
1. Cut stained or torn shirts into rags for cleaning with. The fabric is generally more absorbent and will allow you to scrub the shower, clean the kitchen bench and more without a hitch.
2. Utilise old towels for your pets or as mats for your bathroom.
3. Next time you go to the grocery store or farmers market, take a reusable tote without you. No need for paper or plastic that way!
4. Compose an email to your local council and explain the community’s need for eco friendly practices and better shared facilities.
5. Wrap gifts with newspapers, packaging or magazine pages. There are lots of boutiques I visit that wrap parcels in pretty tissue paper. I remove any stickers and store it in a drawer for crafting or future wrapping. Too nice to throw away without a care!
6. Eat lunch with reusable wooden or eco friendly cutlery wrapped in a cloth napkin.
7. Invest in reusable bamboo or cotton pads for makeup and skincare instead of single use rounds.
8. Bring a glass tupperware container in your handbag when visiting a restaurant. That way you can take home leftovers without needing anything plastic.
9. Next time you feel like an iced coffee, cut out the single use plastic cups and use a trendy mason jar or your favourite mug.
10. Did you know that five hundred million single use straws are thrown out each day? Use a metal straw for drinks whenever possible or go without.
11. Swap your plastic toothbrush for bamboo. There is a nifty charcoal infused option too.
12. Instead of traditional liquid mouthwash, use tablets which dissolve in water.
13. Hang your laundry out to dry instead of using the dryer. This will increase the longevity of your clothes too.
14. Pick up reusable plates for your next picnic and skip the styrofoam.
15. Switch your normal batteries to the rechargeable sort.
16. Use packaging products like bubblewrap and peanuts for sensory play.
17. Store your preprepared meals or leftovers in beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap.
18. Choose regular shipping over expedited shipping when shopping online. Practicing delayed gratification will save you a lot of money in the long run too!
19. Repurpose shipping or storage boxes into containers for your space. You could cut them to size and create dividers for your chest of drawers.
20. Unsubscribe from junk mail and newsletters you no longer read or are interested in, both digitally and in real life. They all contribute to a carbon footprint!
21. Reach out to brands and businesses you admire and respect to share feedback on how well they’re practicing social, environmental and ethical responsibility.
22. Compost your food waste, offer scraps to farm animals or make a zero waste veggie broth packed with nutrients and bone health value.
23. Bring new life to your old clothes through a natural tie dye process.
24. If you’re ordering takeaway, request no cutlery and use your own from home.
25. Do laundry with washing bags and catch micro plastic pollutants.
26. Use coffee grounds as a natural exfoliant for softer skin.
27. Instead of buying travel size accessories, make use of minis and sample containers.
28. Instead of purchasing books you may not read again, borrow and swap at the library or make a trip to your local thrift store.
29. When possible, opt for loose produce or bring reusable produce bags.
30. Buy staple items in bulk for greater convenience and to avoid excess packaging.
31. Buy Castille soap that works as an all in one product for your hands, the dishes and as a household cleaner.
32. Explore garage and estate sales for one of a kind hidden gems.
33. Borrow tools from neighbours and lend yours when needed.
34. Skip your usual micellar water routine and use coconut, olive or jojoba oil as makeup remover depending on your skin type.
35. Instead of buying yet another shampoo bottle, considering a bar from Lush.
36. Walk, bike, skate or take public transport to work or your place of education. If you must use a car, why not carpool?
37. Purchase dryer balls to soften fabrics and allow for better warm air circulation between garments.
38. If you’re open to it, try period underwear or a menstrual cup. Personally, I prefer tampons and use the tom organic and biodegradable sort.
39. Clean up your kitchen window sill and turn it into a mini herb garden rather than stocking up at the supermarket every few weeks.
40. Switch to all natural and non toxic cleaning supplies. Swap out your air fresheners, sprays and the like.
41. Corall volunteers and start a herb garden. Then host a monthly community lunch or dinner to sample the products of your efforts.
42. Screw in energy efficient lightbulbs around the house.
43. Purchase a kindle if you prefer reading online.
44. Try eating plant based on certain days each week. Why not attempt meatless Monday?
45. Before throwing away an item, ask yourself if there’s any part that can be repurposed or fixed with some tender loving care. If push comes to shove, one man’s trash is another’s treasure!
45. Adopt a military shower attitude and limit how long the water runs, especially in drought prone areas.
46. Skip that shopping trip and host a clothing swap with similar sized friends.
47. Keep dressing and condiment bottles for homemade versions.
48. Cut overripe bananas into pieces and store them in the freezer for baking, eating or smoothies. Save the peels and soak them in water overnight for a simple nutrient rich water that you can use on houseplants.
49. Part with soggy, smelly sponges and switch to an eco friendly dish brush.
50. Look for toothpaste that comes in an aluminium tube.
51. Brew loose leaf tea and never waste a tea bag.
52. Seek out local packaging free grocers near you.
53. If you’re an avid baker, invest in a silicone mat and you won’t need baking paper or to grease another tray again.
54. Bring your worn clothes down to a textile donation centre and avoid the landfill.
55. Figure out which sustainable fabrics you prefer and stay away from virgin polyester and rayon, typical in fast fashion. Linen is a firm favourite of mine.
56. Look at green banking options for saving and investing.
57. Keep windows open or closed in order to use less electricity on heaters and fans.
58. Sign up for a meal delivery or produce subscription box and cut down on food waste when cooking.
59. Join a local bush walk, participate in a weekend clean up or propose a new environmental bill.
60. Learn how to mend and sew clothing so you won’t be tempted to part with items in decent shape unnecessarily.
61. Shop with brands that have made to order policies in place.
62. If you celebrate the holidays with a tree, bring it to your local compost centre or nursery afterwards.
63. If you’re in the market for a new car, check out the latest hybrid and energy efficient models. In some areas you could be eligible for discounts or rebates for being eco friendly.
64. Pick up quirky thrifted frames from your local op shop and give them a quick spray paint. Keep them on hand to create a gallery wall of treasured memories with family photos.
65. Pick up a reusable water bottle that works for your lifestyle. Consider size, material and whether or not you prefer a straw. I use the sol glass bottle in baby pink.
66. If you’re planning a home renovation, see if you can convert your home energy grid to solar.
67. Invest in a charcoal water filter. Activated charcoal is ideal because it removes toxins without stripping the water of salts and important minerals.
68. Sign up for digital magazine or newspaper subscriptions over hard copies.
69. Repurpose takeaway containers for seed sprouting and make a cute mini greenhouse.
70. Keep like new bags from previous presents for the next round of gifting.