No sustainable change can be made instantly and wholly. It is a process that takes time and effort.
This is something we need to remember on our own journeys to zero waste. We need to take one change at a time and make it a habit. Then we move on to the next. As I wrote in my blog, The Easiest Way You Can Start Your Eco Journey To Zero Waste, don't be Sisyphus. Don't choose a whole (zero waste) boulder. Pick up one 'pebble' and slowly, but surely walk up that hill to the top and put that pebble down. And then pick up the next one, and do it again.
That said, 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.
So, focussing first on the Straight Swaps, what can The Contented Company help you with today?
6 Straight Swaps on your Journey to Zero Waste
1. Swap Plastic Cotton Buds for Bamboo & Organic Cotton Buds
These biodegradable Cotton Buds, by Hydrophil, are made from bamboo and organic cotton, thus 100% biodegradable, and totally plastic-free. After usage, you can dispose of the cotton swabs by simply throwing them into your organic waste or compost. (And they won't end up polluting our seas, and confusing poor Sea Horse.)
2. Swap Plastic Toothbrushes for Bamboo Toothbrushes (& Case)
Let's not help create any more beach rubbish art works. Bamboo is fast-growing and it grows without the need for artificial watering, making it water-neutral - it can go straight into your compost after use.
The petroleum-free bristles are made from renewable raw materials (castor oil) and are the perfect mix for a thorough cleaning of your teeth and the protection of your gums. They will degrade over time, but can not be composted at home, so please snap the head off or pluck out the bristles individually and dispose.
3. Swap a Plastic Sponge for a Conjac Sponge
Such a no-brainer on this plastic to plant swap. Hydrophil's Conjac sponge is 100% plant-based and made from the Conjac plant, and therefore totally plastic-free. Its root is ground to flour, which is then mixed with water and baked in the oven until it becomes a sponge.
It moisturises and through its alkaline property can help to fight acne. It is also suitable for washing infants and small children due to its soft, gentle and natural surface.
4. Swap synthetic Lipbalms in Plastic tubes to Natural Lipbalms in non-plastic containers
For me, lipbalms are a must, especially in winter. Not only do both these lipbalms hydrate my lips much better than traditional lilpbalms, but they are totally plastic-free!
Hydrophil's nourishing lip balm contains nothing but 3 ingredients: Shea Butter, Almond Butter and Hemp Wax - no additives, no perfume, only natural ingredients. Made & packaged in Hamburg in practical, almost indestructible, reusable, recyclable metal boxes.
We Luv Eco's spearmint lipbalm 100% vegan, free from plastic, testing and palm oil. The eco-friendly packaging is made from recycled waste paper . We Luv Eco does not use labels , but prints directly on to the packaging with inks made from renewable raw materials.
5. Swap Plastic Plasters for Organic Bamboo Plasters
We all need plasters at times, especially if you're a parent - they work a certain magic don't they? But even if you get cloth ones, they almost always come with some plastic somewhere in the packing. These ones don't.
Patch's Natural range is made from 100% organic compostable bamboo fibre and free from irritating chemicals, giving suitable protection and soft support for sensitive skin types.
The sterilisation packaging is made from plastic-free rice paper and is compostable. The tube is made from recycled cardboard and printed with a natural colour dye. It is 100% compostable and biodegradable.
6. Swap a Plastic Toothbrush Mug for a Liquid Wood Toothbrush Mug
Of course, don't throw out a perfectly good toothbrush mug - as plastic is going to be around for hundreds of years, we may as well keep on using what we do have. But should you need to ever get a new one, consider 'liquid wood' instead of plastic...
The Hydrophil Toothbrush Mug is made from the innovative material Arboblend and it’s food-safe. The bio-material Arboblend, also known as liquid wood, is made up of complex organic polymers like lignin, which can be found in trees, instead of fossil oil. It is odorless, robust, BPA-free and plastic-free. Produced from renewable raw materials.
So as you can see, at the start of your zero waste journey, there are some very easy changes that you can make that will make no difference to your daily life, other than being more eco. No change to your routine, no extra work, just a simple straight swap to an eco or zero waste version of something you already do or use.
Next time, I'll be looking at the next level of change - the Simple Switch-Up. These are changes that require just a dash of effort or change to get used to, but really don't deviate us from our current daily path through life.
If you feel inspired to make any Straight Swaps 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 STRAIGHTSWAP15 - 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,