I wanted to share with you my top 5 eco-friendly swaps that we have made! They are budget friendly, good for the environment, and they actually save you money in the long run as well! Earlier this year I shared a post expressing my goal to live a zero waste life, you can check it out here.
Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in the European Union, according to the latest Eurostat figures. The statistics show that of Europe’s top five plastic waste offenders (calculated per capita), Ireland is top of the pile, producing 61 kilogrammes per person, per year.
Every piece of plastic that was ever made is still in existence. Recycling is important but it’s never going to be enough…we need to reduce, reuse, refuse, rethink & repair!
With all the above in the forefront of your mind, I want to share my plastic alternatives that are an easy way to get you started.
1. Reusable Bags
Single-use plastic bags are everywhere. At the grocery store, you receive a plastic bag per item you purchase. A plastic bag can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down, depending on the environment. An estimated one million birds, 100,000 turtles, and countless other sea animals die each year from ingesting plastic. The animals confuse floating bags and plastic particles for edible sea life such as jellyfish and plankton.
I recently shared a post regarding the reusable bags I’ve been using and loving. Trolley Bags have been a game changer for me when doing the weekly food shopping. If I was popping out to the shops during the week for a loaf of bread, I’d be sure to bring a small reusable tote bag to carry my goods.
2. Reusable Tea/Coffee Mug
Takeaway coffee cups ‘currently’ cannot be recycled in Ireland. It may be the same in your country also. While many disposable cups carry the recyclable logo, the actual cup is not currently recyclable in Ireland and must be disposed of in general waste. The logo refers only to the rigid plastic lids and the cardboard sleeves on some cups, which can be removed and placed for recycling. 22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour, that is 528,000 every day or 200 million a year. A whole lot of single-use cups are ending up in our landfill.
I recently shared a YouTube video capturing our summer memories. In this video, I showed my new reusable mug. It’s stainless steel and can be reused as many times as I please. I even bring it into coffee shops and ask for them to fill it with my chosen takeaway beverage. It’s been no problem, some coffee shops even give me a small discount.
3. Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose. Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled. However, most plastic bottles used for beverages are produced from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), which is highly recyclable. Between 5m and 13m tonnes of plastic makes its way into the world’s oceans each year and is ingested by seabirds, fish and other organisms, and by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish, according to research.
For me and my household, we are lucky enough to have water in our taps that is drinkable. I bought a water tumbler and also when we are going out, a 1900ml bottle from Klean Kanteen to ensure we don’t need to buy plastic water bottles once we are out. Our daughter is starting a playschool in October and I also purchased her a toddler version on the Klean Kanteen.
4. Bamboo Toothbrush
A plastic toothbrush has an average life expectancy is about 75 years. Each of us will replace 300 toothbrushes during our lifetime (4 toothbrushes per year). A single conventional toothbrush weighs approximately 18 grams (.63 oz.). Each of us will throw away about 12 pounds of plastic toothbrushes in our lifetime.
I purchased my Bamboo Toothbrush in April 2018. The high-quality handle is made entirely of bamboo. The bristles are made of Nylon4, which is biodegradable. I absolutely love this toothbrush, it leaves my teeth feeling squeaky clean. Definitely a swap I’m keeping forever 🙂
Small decisions such as whether to use liquid or bar soap can have a big impact on your environmental footprint. Bar soap is more environmentally friendly than body wash, due to both its ingredients and the way in which it’s sold.
I choose a Citrus Blend, Handmade Soap by Emma’s So Naturals. These soaps are handmade in Ireland, fragranced with pure essential oils. They are also Palm Free and vegan. Using a soap feels more work than the liquid kind, however, I am happy to have made the switch. I just need to convince Robert to also follow suit.
That’s it, those are the 5 changes I made that are easy, budget-friendly and more important cutting your plastic waste. Let me know in the comments if you have made any Eco-Friendly swaps.
Until next time,
This is not a sponsored post. All products mentioned have been purchased by me and all opinions are my own.