I’ve been on my zero waste journey for roughly two years and during this time, I came to quickly realize that some swaps were easier to accomplish compared to some.
& now that I’ve personally gotten the hang of the easier eco-friendly swaps, I’ve started to do more extreme swaps like for example, I don’t like food packaging so I’ve started to go to separate locations to shop (mostly) packaged-free. I visit the local farmers market for in-season fruits and vegetables. I go to Publix (our local grocery store) with my canvas bags with one specifically used for the other types of fruits and vegetables that I couldn’t locate at the local farmer’s market; no need to use that small plastic baggie. I also don’t want to purchase my meats from Publix because it’s packaged in styrofoam and saran wrap that I personally hate!! I would rather search for a local meat store that cuts the meat in front of you and wrap it up in paper, but I’m still on the search for a place like this locally.
While I continue my extreme eco-friendly ways, I’ll leave you with the top 5 eco-friendly swaps that I personally found easy to stick to than some other tips I read. Of course, my list may not seem easy to everyone, but if you want to be more eco-friendly in your everyday life then the 5 items below will be a very good start.
- Swap plastic toothbrush for a metal/bamboo toothbrush: I personally purchased a metal toothbrush by quip, but I know not everyone will want to spend $40 on a metal toothbrush when the same brand has a plastic toothbrush option for only $25. I purchased the metal toothbrush because it’s better for the environment and it looks sleeker than their plastic version. With the price tag set aside, I’m really enjoying my quip toothbrush because it times out a two minute brush session so you don’t under or over brush, it pulses when it’s time to switch sides, and it’s reusable; only the toothbrush head needs to be replaced every 3 months instead of the whole toothbrush.
- Swap plastic containers for glass: There is no way I’m going back to using plastic containers to store my crockpot recipes or leftovers! Absolutely no way because using glass has been completely life-changing. First off, I treat my containers WAY better after switching to the glass material because the quality between the two is basically night and day. & the second thing is whatever food you’ve stored in your glass container, you can immediately put it in the microwave to heat up and eat. You just cannot do that with plastic containers because they’ll melt in the microwave and produce toxic gas. & going back to quality, I’ve noticed that over time plastic containers will eventually stain with no amount of washing to fix it, while glass containers keep their cleanliness.
- Swap dryer sheets with wool balls: This may be the easiest switch of them all because all you need to do is purchase one thing of wool balls and keep them in your dryer. That’s it!! They usually package these bad boys in a set of two and it took me a couple of minutes to finally toss them into my cart, but I’m so glad I did! The reason I fell in love with my wool ball purchase was that they help fluff your clothes and help dry your clothes at a faster rate than with normal dryer sheets. This purchase was an all-around win because I love not having to use our dryer as often and it helps save on electricity.
- Swap paper towels with cloth towels: A ton of people think getting rid of paper towels is nearly impossible and absolutely unattainable, but I’m here to tell you that isn’t true at all! It was July 2018, when Alec and I decided not to buy another roll of paper towels when we ran out of our last roll. My boyfriend had the obvious concerns, but I told him we’ll just use the MANY hand towels we own and if we need to really purchase paper towels in the future, we will. He agreed to those terms and we’re now going over a year without purchasing a single paper towel roll. We haven’t purchased a paper towel roll because our cloth towels have turned out to be way more convenient for wiping our hands while eating and better for truly cleaning up small and large spills throughout the house. AND cloth towels can be washed and reused over and over again.
- Swap plastic bags for canvas bags: I’m ending this list with another easier swap; switching from using a plastic bag to using a reusable canvas bag. This is an easy switch because canvas bags are relatively cheap to purchase and you only need to purchase what you believe you’ll need. For us, we’re using roughly 6-8 bags for a full grocery shopping trip. & you don’t need to purchase a canvas bag from the grocery store. I’ve seen some really cute reusable canvas bags from Marshalls and TJ Maxx!
Are you currently on an eco-friendly (zero waste) journey? What have been some of your challenges that you’ve experienced so far? Or have there been some swaps that were easier to achieve than others? Comment your experience down below!
A Simple Wildflower