12 Sustainable Swaps To Make This Year

I am really trying to progress with my own personal sustainability journey this year and I keep becoming more aware of what I am consuming and spending my money on. The list of sustainable swaps you can make to your lifestyle is never ending and every small change and swap plays a positive part to living consciously and helping to save the future of our planet. I would be here all day if I was to list out all the swaps we could make. Now I want you to know that I definitely still mistakes and you will to, nobody is perfect. As much as I wish that we lived in a world where we could all transition to vegan and living consciously overnight, it is not realistic; it takes time and this is absolutely ok. 

Now as we’re at the beginning of the year and we will all be setting those resolutions and goals for the year, I want you all to try and make this one of yours. One way we can do this is to make one or two sustainable swaps per month. 

Here is a list of some friendly switches that you can try making this year!

Buy Less Clothing

Fast fashion is becoming more and more of an issue and garments that are being thrown away, contribute more to climate change than air and sea travel. Fashion has now become one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet and as the industry continues to grow, the damage to the environment continues to increase. So one simple swap we can all start to make is to reduce your clothing consumption or instead try only purchasing secondhand items or renting clothes as and when you need. You can also try organising a clothes swap with some friends or invest in better quality items that last longer. If this is all a scary thought (it was to me as well at first), then try doing it gradually by trying to only purchase one item per month. 

Ditch those Takeaway Coffee Cups

We all know us Australians love ourselves a good cup of coffee and our streets are filled with coffee shops. With this, it usually means we grab ourselves a quick takeaway coffee, whether it be on the way to work, uni, brunch or the beach. Did you know that it is estimated that Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year, which is approximately 2,700,000 paper coffee cups are thrown out every day! EVERY DAY, can you believe that? So lets all make the switch from takeaway coffee cups to reusable coffee cups. Not only are they more sustainable, they look better and they are less likely to burn your hands. WIN WIN! Check out Frank Green & Keep Cup.

Swap out the Toilet Roll

Yes toilet roll comes from trees and in a household, we tend to use a lot of the stuff. Who gives a crap sell recycled toilet paper and they also donate 50% of their profits to building toilets and improving sanitation for those in need. 

Use Reusable Food Wraps

An environmentally friendly alternative to plastic wrap. On average, a family uses close to 1,000 plastic bags and 24 rolls of plastic wrap per year and this results in a lot of plastic being produced whereby only 1-2% is properly recycled. By swapping our plastic wrap to reusable food wraps, you will help to reduce the amount of plastic waste your household produces each year. Most of the time, you can find fun and funky patterned ones, which will also brighten up your fridge and household. Other ways we can reduce the amount of plastic wrap we use is to use reusable sandwich pouches for our on the go lunches, use a baking dish with a lid when you’re cooking so you can literally take this straight from the oven to your fridge (this also means no washing up necessary). 

Use a reusable bag

Invest in some reusable shopping bags. I try to purchase a few of these, I keep some in my house, 1 in my everyday bag and some in the boot of my car. I use them for all my shopping trips, whether it be food shopping or clothes shopping. 

Swap your plastic toothbrushes for bamboo toothbrushes. 

Bamboo toothbrushes clean just as well as the plastic ones and personally, I think they look a lot better in your bathroom. Bamboo is environmentally sustainable timber that regenerates itself naturally, these brushes are a lot less harmful to our oceans and wild life than the plastic ones we buy from supermarkets. 

Swap your bottled soap for a bar of soap

Most of the soap you buy probably comes in a single use plastic bottle that are full of unpronounceable chemicals and are thrown away as soon as you reach the end of the bottle. Try switching these over to bars of soap that produce no waste and where the packaging is plastic free. You can find many plant based, plastic free soaps at local markets or here on Flora and Fauna

Bulk Buy Your Items

Bulk food stores are becoming more and more popular and personally I love them. It reduces the amount of packaging as you buy large quantities and with a lot of these stores you can take your own packaging. Check out scoop wholefoods. If you can’t find yourself one of these stores, bulk buying in general is better for the environment. It means you are likely to use as much plastic as you do not need to go to the shop more than once for the same ingredients. 

Invest in clean cleaning

You can swap a lot of your everyday household cleaning products to less harmful alternatives and a lot of the ingredients you need, you may already have in your kitchen. You can mix some ingredients up yourselves or you can invest in some here. 

Lets go for organic Tampons or Menstrual cups

Most tampons we purchase are not biodegradable and result in waste. Try swapping these to only using organic tampons like Tom Organic Tampons. Not only are they better for you as they include no chemicals, synthetics or plastic they’re also environmentally friendly. To help reduce the amount of waste further, you can try swapping out your tampons to alternatively using a menstrual cup. Yes they definitely take some getting used to, but as soon as you do, you won’t look back. 

From Tea Bags To Loose Leaf Tea

Who else loves a good cup of tea? Most tea bags are laced with plastic and therefore can’t biodegrade. To help reduce this issue, we can all try cutting down on the amount of tea bags we buy and use and alternatively try buying loose leaf tea. If you’re on the go and this is not an option, you can also find some biodegradable teabags like The English Tea Shop

Opt to use Organic Coffee Pods

If you’re like me and love a coffee in the morning but don’t always fancy walking to your local cafe, you probably have a coffee machine at home. Whether it be Nespresso or another brand. Making the swap to organic coffee means avoiding synthetic pesticides in your coffee that therefore end up entering into our body. These organic coffee pods are 100% biodegradable and for those of you who have a Nespresso machine, they are compatible with these so. Organic coffee pods are not only better for your body and mind, but also for the future of our planet. There are other brands out there for you all to try to!

Consuming less means avoiding excess packaging.

opting for reusables over plastics helps reduce the pollution on our environment.

swapping your clothes, purchasing used rather than new and renting rather than owning makes a large impact and are all aspects of the minimalist approach. 

When there's no reasonable alternative to plastic, be sure to recycle the plastic you use rather than simply throwing it in the trash.

I am loving this quote and it is one that Id like us to all think about; ‘One to change a few. A few to change many. Many to change the world. Starts with one’.

Here are some more resources on conscious and sustainable living: