Last week I talked about making Straight Swaps to more eco versions of your regular products, that require no change to our routine or our convenience (6 Straight Swaps on your Journey to Zero Waste). This week I want to talk about making 10 Simple Switch Ups on your Journey to Zero Waste.
As you may remember, I have identified three 'levels' of change on a zero waste journey:
- Straight Swap - A change that really requires no change to our routine or our convenience. It is just a straight swap to a more eco friendly, zero waste version of an everyday item.
- Simple Switch-Up - A change that's a little different to what we're used to, using an item in a very similar way, and may need a touch of extra thought or pre-thought - such as using a bar of soap instead of liquid, or remembering to bring a bottle of water or coffee cup with you when you go out.
- Considered Change - These are changes that are an extra step away from our old, convenient life. They make take more time, or feel different, and are not as easy. (But... with each step, we do move further along our zero waste journey.) In particular, with these changes, when we're feeling the weight of that extra effort that's needed, we need to keep our eye on the prize - our planet.
If we want to change the world for the better and have more of an impact, we are going to have to make more of an effort and step (slightly) outside our comfort zone a little, a 'switch-up' if you will. These changes are still not major, though, and will soon become habit.
10 Simple Switch Ups on your Journey to Zero Waste
1. Switch Up from Cleanser in a plastic bottle to a Solid Facial Cleanser
Make your bathroom even more plastic-free, with this vegan solid facial cleanser for dry and sensitive skin, made in France by Lamazuna.
It's a bit of a change from squirting some liquid from a bottle into your hand. But you'll soon get used to it. Simply moisten the cloud and rub it gently over wet skin to produce a fine, creamy lather. Then massage your face before rinsing thoroughly with clean water.
2 & 3. Switch Up from Hand Soap in a pump dispenser or Shower Soap in a bottle to a Soap Bar (& Soap Pouch)
If it was possible to have a crush on a Zero Waste Eco product, mine would be on soap bars, plus a soap pouch for the shower. I never knew I could have so much love for a small, inanimate, bag.... But I do. I do!
This soap pouch is made from 100% biodegradable sisal. Sisal is natural fibre that comes from the Agave Sisalana plant and is stronger and more durable than other natural fibres. It not only provides a cozy home for your soap bar, but also keeps all those little soap remainders together that always slip through your hands and down the drain - perfect for showering.
The soap bar in combination with the soap bag will create perfect foam, while the textured surface will buff away dry skin and will let your skin shine. Pure love.
4 & 5. Switch Up from disposable Plastic Straws to Reusable Glass Straws (and carrying cases made of recycled plastic)
Check out Strawesome's tips on How to Care for and Clean Glass Straws.
6. Switch Up from single use Plastic Bottles to Reusable Stainless Steel Bottles
Keys, wallet, phone.... bottle. Build remembering your water bottle (or coffee cup) into your 'leaving the house routine'. Not as easy as buying a bottle of water once you're out, but a small change to make for a huge impact.
Our stainless steel, bpa-free water bottles are reusable, chemical free and great alternatives to disposable plastic bottles. Not only reusable, they are recyclable too. And stainless steel is a super safe option when it comes to use in bottles, as there are no chemicals that can migrate into your drink.
There are various zero waste alternatives to plastic cling film, such as beeswax wraps or fabric wraps with velcro fasteners. They are different to cling film: you need to warm the wax wraps with your hands to shape them round the bowl or food, or work out ways to fold the wrap around your food.
But, as with all the changes in this list, the change / the extra thought is worth it, isn't it?
Beeswax coated fabric wraps are reusable and biodegradable, and do not leach any nasties into your food.
Boc'n'Roll sandwich wraps have easy velcro fasteners, so you can wrap up all different food shapes and sizes. They are convenient, compact, machine washable and can also serve as an individual placemat / table-cloth, when you're out and about or your kids are at school.
9. Switch Up from single use disposable Plastic Produce Bags to Reusable Organic Cotton Produce Bags
One of the craziest, shortest use of single use plastic bags that I can think of are produce bags in supermarkets. Essentially, they are just used to group the food together to take them to the check out, and home, before being put away in the fridge.
Buy your loose fruit, nuts or other produce without using a single-use disposable plastic bag. Instead use our lightweight cotton net bag - a great zero waste alternative. The organic cotton net can be put directly in the refrigerator as the bags are breathable (which plastic is not).
Thinner weave versions are great for making nut milks or even juice too!
10. Switch Up from single use disposable Face Wipes to Reusable Face Wipes.
And finally, something many of us having been doing for years: grabbing a face wipe and cleaning the make-up off our faces at the end of the day or a night out.
But again, such a short-lived single use product that creates so much waste.
Say goodbye to disposable face-wipes, and even cotton wool pads, and hello to these lovely zero waste, reusable cotton facial wipes!
Hand-made for us in Chelmsford, Essex, our Cotton Facial Wipes are the ultimate in zero waste. They are made by using the off-cuts of fabric from our Beeswax Wraps (do you recognise the super cute designs?), backed with a super soft cotton towelling and sewn together with vintage thread.
After using, simply add to your washing and wash as normal at 30'c - 40'c. For heavier soiled wipes, you may want to hand rinse with warm water, and perhaps a little hand soap first, before washing in your machine. I wash mine separately, but you may want to collect yours together in a little bag to keep them altogether, like this Small Reusable Organic Cotton Net Bag?
Alternatively, made from ultra absorbent microfibre, Lamazuna resusable and washable cleansing wipes, effectively remove make-up and are ideal for sensitive skin. Wet with water and wipe, or for stubborn / waterproof make-up, add a drop of remover - rinse the wipe after use to keep the longevity of the wipe.
After use, wash alongside your laundry without fabric conditioner and use them over and over again - up to 300 times! However, if they start looking a little tired before then, simply boil in some hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, and you'll find the fibres are regenerated and soft again.
So as you can see, as you continue your zero waste journey, there are some very easy 'switch-ups' which are a little different to what we're used to, using an item in a very similar way, and may need a touch of extra thought or pre-thought. But with an outcome which far outweighs any downside of the extra effort.
Next time, I'll be looking at the next level of change - the Considered Change. These are changes that are an extra step away from our old, convenient life. They make take more time, or feel different, and are not as easy. (But... with each step, we do move further along our zero waste journey.) In particular, with these changes, when we're feeling the weight of that extra effort that's needed, we need to keep our eye on the prize - our planet.
If you feel inspired to make any Simple Switch Ups today, to say Thank You for making this eco change, I'm offering you 15% off all the products on our site with the Discount Code SIMPLESWITCHUP15 - simply apply it to your online cart.
Any questions at all about the discount or the products, please don't hesitate to ask.
As always, with love from our family to yours,