13 Environmentally Friendly Alternatives To Everyday Products
The need to protect our planet is greater than ever before. Years of exploiting the Earth's natural resources have caused irreversible damage, and now there is a serious risk that our beautiful planet won't be around for generations to come. That's why it's so important that we all do our bit to reduce our carbon emissions and recycle as much as possible.
To put the need for change into context, the Earth is heating up at an unprecedented rate, causing the polar ice caps to melt faster in the last 20 years than in the last 10,000. This dramatic change has resulted in rising sea levels and, among other effects, the increased prevalence of extreme weather events including intense rainfall, tsunamis, and hurricanes.
So, to help you, we've compiled a list of eco-friendly products that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life, enabling you to do your bit for the planet with ease. And they come with the added bonus of being good for your bankbook too!
While they might cost a little more than a standard bottle of shampoo, they last a lot longer - saving you money over time. They don't need to be stored in a plastic bottle; instead, you can use a separate silver tin or even just place them on your soap dish.
Have you noticed that McDonald's is no longer selling plastic straws? That's because of the astronomical amount of waste this creates, and you can easily be more eco-friendly in this way at home too by buying reusable metal straws. They'll save paper and plastic waste, and cost around $9 on Esty, so they really are a long term investment compared to their plastic counterparts.
Just like McDonald's, many coffee chains are attempting to reduce their plastic waste by encouraging customers to use reusable cups by offering them a discount as a reward. This is because, despite looking like they might be, disposable coffee cups aren't recyclable. So if you have a cup of Joe every morning, do the right thing and get a reusable cup.
One of the biggest problems with a lot of hygiene products is that they aren't biodegradable, which only contributes to the worldwide landfill problem. In an age where it's easier than ever before to attempt elaborate makeup looks, before we know it, we've gotten through more than a few cotton buds, which is why it's advisable to invest in bamboo and cotton buds.
The synthetic fibers we unknowingly release into the water system every time we wash our clothes are a huge cause of ocean pollution. While, in an ideal world, we simply wouldn't wear them, that's not always possible, which is why it's a fantastic idea to invest in a Guppyfriend Washing Bag - the brainchild of a nonprofit that simply wants to protect our oceans.
Just like cotton buds, toilet paper is an item that we use in abundance. And while the paper itself is biodegradable, the plastic packaging which the majority comes in is not. These rolls, however, are made from paper (and recycled) packaging!
This is another eco-friendly product with an unexpected bonus, so the next time you need a new hairbrush, we highly recommend investing in one. Not only is it totally biodegradable, but it is better for the environment than a standard plastic hairbrush because it won't cause static hair - giving you the smooth locks of your dreams as a reward for caring about the environment.
The majority of sponges are made up of plastic, and as we all know, they're very easy to get through but result in waste that ends up in landfills for a very long time. Biodegradable sponges, however, are made of Mother Nature's sponge, the Loofah Plant, and they're not only better for the environment but will last longer too (up to a year). They're only $3.53 - bargain!
While it is possible to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products (and we totally recommend it), not everyone has the time, especially if you're a working parent, which is why this toilet cleaner is a great alternative in every way: it's biodegradable, plant-based, and cruelty-free. If there's no need to hurt our furry friends to get a clean toilet, why do it?!
Certified as cruelty-free and vegan, this anti-bacterial spray will do just as good a job as standard products and, even better, it won't be as damaging to your surfaces because it doesn't contain any of their harsh chemicals.
11. A menstrual cup
The average menstruating person will spend over $6,000 on period products in their lifetime and subsequently create a lot of environmental waste. That's why the reusable mooncup is so popular - although it isn't suitable for everyone.
So if the mooncup isn't quite up your street and you're a period-having human, fret not! Biodegradable tampons, pads, and liners also exist. Totm period products even come in cardboard packaging, creating even less waste.
Foil and clingfilm is another household item which is used recklessly and creates a lot of waste. And while keeping food fresh is understandably important, it's a better idea to do it with the longer lasting alternative of beeswax food wraps.
As this list proves, there's a more environmentally alternative for just about everything we use in our day-to-day lives, and even if you're not looking to replace any of your products right now, when the time comes, we urge you to do the right thing not only by the planet but for generations to come. The Earth's a beautiful place, and we humans should be smart enough to save it!