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11 Simple Eco-Friendly Swaps for the Home to Make Your New Year Sustainable

11 Simple Eco-Friendly Swaps for the Home to Make Your New Year Sustainable

It’s finally a New Year. We’ve cleared out the clutter from 2020 and let’s be honest; it’s a fresh start we could all use right now. Although the current climate means that many of us are under restrictions, it’s still the perfect time to make some positive changes in our lives. The eco-friendly swaps we’re going to discuss today are simple.  

They’re quick wins that over the course of the year will make a good impact on the planet. Plus they’re easy to make so every day you’ll be accomplishing something great. At a time where doing the right thing seems so difficult, set yourself easy challenges. Start by adopting one of our eco-friendly swaps in your home.

Eco-friendly swaps in the bathroom 

Possibly the easiest eco-friendly swap you can make it to ditch bottles in the bathroom and trade them for bars. Bars of soap for washing your hands have been around for decades, but the convenience of a squirty pump has boosted our plastic usage. It’s time to scale back and head for more natural options. 

Shampoo and conditioner bars 

There are lots of shampoo and conditioner bars out there, you can find them on high street stores such as Lush who are a very ethical brand, and plenty of smaller companies. When using bars for the first time, you’ll instantly notice a lack of ‘frothing’ and ‘foaming’ – keep in mind that this is no reflection on the quality of the product. Chemicals are put into liquid shampoos to make them froth, and less foam means more natural ingredients. So, when you’re rubbing your shampoo in, don’t be concerned if there isn’t the usual foam party on your scalp. 

Body scrub bags 

Once you’ve ditched the plastic hand soap container, you may as well go all the way and ditch your shower gel too! There are so many great smelling+y body soap bars out there, but the key to all of them is grabbing yourself a scrub bag to store it in. The perfect combination for ditching your plastic mesh loofah and plastic bottled gel. This simple swap not only reduces your plastic consumption dramatically, it’s incredible for exfoliating and keeping your skin silky smooth!  

Metal razors 

It’s important to note that this swap comes with safety guidelines. Using a metal razor is not the same as plastic ones, so be sure to check instructions and take any precautions before using. Ultimately, we love this swap, mainly because we can’t tell you how many razors we used to purchase and bin them after one use just because the blades were awful. UpCircle provides plastic-free razors, offers them in 100% recyclable packaging, and has a return scheme whereby you return your blades after use and get money off your next purchase.  

Eco-friendly loo roll 

If you’ve mastered your bathroom accessories, perhaps it’s time to up your game to eco-friendly loo roll. Who Gives A Cr*p begun their mission when they realised that 2.4 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. Their mission first and foremost is to help those people across the world, but they also do some pretty incredible sustainable products for all your toilet needs. From 100% bamboo toilet paper to 100% recycled sheets, all their products are plastic-free – including the packaging. Simply subscribe to the service, tell them a few details about the number of people in your household and your sheets will be delivered to your door – perfect for if there’s ever a shortage again! 

Eco-friendly swaps in the kitchen 

The next room in the home we want to focus on is the kitchen. You’ll find lots of great easy swaps here, some might be obvious but others you wouldn’t have even considered swapping until today! 

Dualit coffee pods 

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in 2020, it’s that coffee is an essential product. While millions of us are great at reducing our takeaway coffee cups and using our beautiful reusable mugs, if we own a coffee machine – we’re more than likely guilty of using those pesky unrecyclable coffee pods. Dualit has reinvented the wheel and created compostable pods. Perfect for the environment, but they’re also compatible with popular coffee machines such as Nespresso.  

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Tea strainer 

Not a fan of coffee? We don’t blame you, after all, tea is our nation’s drink, and there’s nothing quite like a good ol’ cuppa! There is a lot of debate on just how eco-friendly biodegradable tea bags are, so we’ve decided to cut out the middleman and invest in a metal tea strainer and drink loose leaf tea. Not only have we found that the flavours are better, but we’re not hesitating about which bin to put our tea bag in. There are plenty of tea strainers to choose from, but we think the UK Loose Leaf Tea Company is a great place to start grabbing pieces at an affordable price. 

Eco-friendly swaps for the washing up 

This is the quickest and easiest way to make your kitchen habits more eco-friendly. When it comes to washing up, there are so many eco options out there. Let’s start with the sponges and brushes used to clean plates. Ditch your plastic options and get some hard-wearing and long-lasting brushes. We’ve had our pot brush for over a year now, and it still looks brand new! Next, we move onto the cleaner itself. While some washing up liquids are eco-friendly and aren’t full of harsh chemicals, many of them come in plastic bottles. You can opt for bars, or use concentrate that you can dilute in a plastic bottle you already have! 

Unpaper towels 

Much like our loo roll, we realised another simple swap is with our paper towels. If you’ve already ditched your makeup wipes, baby wipes, and cleaning wipes – this is undoubtedly the next step for you! Unpaper towels are great pieces of cloth you can reuse over and over again, just pop them in the washing machine to clean them and bring them back to life. There are plenty of options out there, but you can also make your own. That’s right, all those old t-shirts that are too tatty to wear again or donate or charity, cut them up and use them as your very own unpaper towels! 

We love how many simple swaps there are in the home, and we have by no means covered them all! Most of the time, these swaps come at little to no cost, but we recognise some of these might be pricey compared to your usual purchase. We urge you to remember that nothing good comes cheap, and these changes are being made to benefit the environment. Think we’ve missed out something to put on our lists in the future? Tell us and link the products in the comments below! After all, we’re all trying to make eco-friendly swaps in our lives – including us! 

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  • Great article guys! I try to add something to my ‘eco arsenal’ every January, something I must follow all year and do it well, hence me reading this to inspire me!
    Not needing the few to be 100% eco, but needing everyone to keep on trying something eco in the hope it sticks. In 2019, I stopped using face wipes. In 2020 I only bought second hand clothes. This pushed me to really consider my purchases and to repair existing to get even more life out of it. This 2nd hand approach could be applied all over the home and garden really, so I have found it an invaluable learning curve. This year I am thinking about how to reduce my food related waste. Freezing meals rather than ingredients (this works better for me personally), making soups and croutons with leftovers and stale bread, meal planning etc. but also buying only naked fruit and veg, opting for glass containers over plastic (store bought oils and honey are my big hitters here), and moving towards refillables for oils and herbs and other cupboard staples. Hoping for another interesting learning curve this year! Any other tips for this ‘project’ would be greatly received! Thanks!

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