Starting a low-waste lifestyle can be overwhelming. There’s so much advice and countless eco-friendly products, that can add up quickly. So we wanted to put together the easiest eco-friendly swaps that you can start to integrate in your day to day. Baby steps towards a low waste lifestyle and being kind to yourself will help with your motivation and commitment. It’s a journey so remember to be conscious when you can and that you don’t have to be perfect to make a difference!
If you want to reduce your impact every day then adopt these eco-friendly habits and start making a difference today!
1. Refuse Plastic Bags
One of the easiest first steps to a low waste lifestyle is saying “no” to plastic bags. Roughly 2 million plastic bags are used every minute and 1 trillion are used worldwide annually! So ditch the plastic bags – even the little produce bags you carry your fruit and veg in. If you have a bunch of these lying around, reuse them. Instead of plastic grocery bags, opt for bringing a reusable bag (or your purse / backpack) to carry your groceries home.
2. Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Another super simple eco friendly swap is to bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. Over 1 million plastic bottles are purchased worldwide every minute and only 7% are recycled! If you’ve been buying plastic water bottles every day, you can save thousands of dollars (and plastic bottles) a year by making the swap!
3. Refuse Straws
Straws might look cute in your drink but after you’ve slurped it down that straw will sit in a landfill for 100+ years. Everyday 500 million straws are used in the US alone. That’s enough to circle the Earth 2.5 times! Simply request no straw next time you’re out, or if you can’t live without them invest in a silicon, bamboo, glass or metal reusable one!
4. Bring A Reusable Coffee Cup
Bring your own reusable coffee cup to cafes (or have a cup at home). Many cafes now give you a discount for bringing your own cup. Over 500 billion takeaway coffee cups are used around the world each year. That’s enough to circle the Earth 1,360 times! By bringing a reusable cup you will save hundreds of these virtually impossible to recycle cups from landfills every year.
5. Bring Your Own Cutlery
Every time you order take out you get at least two packs of plastic utensils – what a waste! While it may be convenient, that fast meal you eat only lasts a few minutes while the plastic utensils you eat it with will be around for the next 500-1,000 years before the plastic degrades. Next time you order take out, specify no cutlery and either bring your own or grab a set from the office (or home). The environment will thank you and it’s a super simple swap!
Our favorite reusable cutlery set is this super cute Etsy one, or any cutlery we have lying around our home or office!
6. Bamboo Toothbrush
Did you know more than 1 billion toothbrushes end up in landfills every year in the US?! Gross, right? Plus plastic toothbrushes are made from a mix of plastic materials that are terrible for you and the planet. So, next time you need a new toothbrush, reach for a bamboo one. They’re readily available in stores – check the natural section – and are a much more eco friendly choice.
There’s thousands of eco-friendly swaps and steps you can take but our goal is to make it easy for you. Without overwhelming you, we wanted to share these easy to implement first steps towards reducing your impact.
Do you have some other easy eco-friendly swaps? Share them with us in the comments!
Read our blog post “Sustainable Habits to Adopt in 2020” for more inspiration!