Over the last year or so, we’ve provided our readers with numerous ideas for reducing their plastic waste by swapping everyday essentials for eco-friendly alternatives. Today, we wanted to revisit that idea and take a look at some of the latest and greatest environmentally-friendly swaps that will make the planet a better place.
Borrowing instead of Buying
We’ve all been in a position where we needed something – whether that something is a formal dress for a fundraiser or a book for the month’s book club – and we don’t hesitate to run right out and buy it. If you want to make a difference for the environment, try borrowing instead of buying. You’ll only wear the dress once, and you only need the book for a month, so there’s no real reason in spending money on them. If you need something semi-permanently, try bartering and trading for those items instead. It keeps the manufacturing industry out of the transaction, which means there’s far less waste in the end.
Invest in a Set (or Two, or Three!) of Cloth Napkins
Napkins are essential for most families, especially when there are small children involved. Napkins are perfect for wiping messy chins and cleaning up spills, and they can even save your favorite shirt from BBQ ribs! They are single-use products, though, so there’s a great deal of energy that goes into harvesting the wood for the paper, transporting the wood to the factory, manufacturing the napkins, and then transporting those napkins to the store shelves. Instead, invest in a few affordable sets of cloth napkins. You can find all kinds of options online, but look for ethically-sourced organic cotton napkins to really make an impact.
Bamboo Electric Toothbrush Heads
If you’re like most consumers, you probably don’t think twice about tossing your worn-out electric toothbrush head in the trash when it’s time for a replacement, but just like everything else, these can add up over time. That toothbrush head you drop in the wastebasket will still be around five centuries from now, after all. WooBamboo has offered bamboo manual toothbrushes since the day it was founded, but we’ve recently added bamboo electric toothbrush heads to our growing lineup of eco-friendly oral care products. They work with 90% of today’s popular Philips Sonicare® toothbrushes, and we plan to add more to our shop in the future.
Farmers Market Goodies
If your family loves fresh produce, grains, and homemade products like jams, jellies, breads, and more, try visiting your local farmers market instead of your local grocery store. When you buy locally-produced goods, they don’t have to travel as far. That means you’re not only doing your part to save the environment from transportation pollution, but you’re also getting fresher food! In-season produce from farmers market stands is competitively priced, too, so you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to give your family fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, berries, apples – anything you can imagine. Check out the USDA’s Farmers Market Directory to find markets near you.
These are only a few of the awesome swaps you can make to do your part to help the environment. In fact, if you really take the time to look around, there’s no end to the number of brands and people who are doing all they can to make this world a better place. Do what you can to borrow when it’s feasible to do so, and when you do have to make a purchase, try buying locally, buying reusable products instead of disposable ones, or swapping your traditional plastic products for those made with sustainable materials, instead.