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10 Eco-Friendly Swaps To Make This Year

Easy Sustainable Swaps
Eco-friendly home and beauty products.

1. Reusable Paper Towels

We switched to reusable paper towels this past year and my husband even said he does not miss paper towels! What a saving! The average family of 4 spends $320/year on paper towels. I have been using two kinds, and I like them both: Marley’s Monsters UnPaper®Towels and Miw Piw’s Bamboo Paper Towels. The only issue is that if you get white or off-white ones – know not all of the stains come out (i.e., pasta sauce), but their functionality is perfect!

2. Bamboo Toothbrush

I have tried a few different brands, currently using EveEco. They work just fine, they do feel a little different, but you get used to them. I have been using them for more than six months and recently had a perfect dental check-up. So they indeed work just as well as plastic toothbrushes, and they are much more eco-friendly because they are biodegradable. No more toothbrushes in the landfill – make me want to belt out, “Walking on Sunshine!”

3. Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

Not going to lie – this one is hard. I tried several shampoo bars that were awful for my hair. Here are the ones that did not work: Acure Coconut & Argan Shampoo Bar (made my hair too squeaky), JR Liggett’s Shampoo Bar (made my hair so greasy), The Earthling Co’s shampoo bar (not enough lather). Finally, I found one that lathered nicely, but I recently got bad news about it. The one I like – is from a company that practices green-washing. It’s the Love and Beauty 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner bar. Here is the article on why Love and Beauty claim to be more eco-friendly than they are. Bummer. It goes to show how someone like me who is super eco-conscious can still miss the mark in consuming from responsible companies, back to the drawing board on this one (until I use up what I already have, of course). 

4. Plastic-Free Laundry Detergent 

To me, these plastic-free laundry pods are game-changers. I love Dropps. I use the unscented, and I love them. It feels good to no longer use those large, clunky plastic containers that most detergents come in. Dropps come in a recyclable cardboard box and are plant-based, harmful chemical-free, plastic-free, cruelty-free, and vegan—whoop whoop. I suggest you try them – also they are cheaper per year than most other detergents!

5. Plastic-Free Hand Soap

I used to buy tons of single-use plastic hand soap containers. Re-fillable hand soap was one of my first eco-conscious product swaps in my sustainability journey. I love CleanCult and their line of non-toxic hand soaps – that don’t contain plastic (on the inside or outside). I keep glass soap containers by every sink in the house, and when they are empty, I re-fill them with CleanCult liquid soap. The containers are recyclable, and they have a free recycle back program. It makes me feel so happy that I’ll never use one of those Dial or Soft-Soap single-use containers again!

6. Metal Refillable Razor

I got the Leaf razor – Instagram made me do it. I saw the ad for this product so often that I finally caved, but I waited until my last plastic razor was used up, which took a while. I love it. It seems like it’s going to last FOREVER! It gives an excellent shave and does not have a high risk of cutting your skin. The only very minor complaint is that since it is metal, it feels like sometimes it may slip right out of my hand, so I hold on tight. I will be taking the used metal razors (in their cute little metal box) to our local scrap metal facility when it is full. It will be a circular product with zero-waste; I would highly recommend the Leaf Shave razor.  

7. Sustainable Period Panties

I got five pairs of the Thinx period panties (an early Christmas gift to myself). They are awesome. I was so nervous at first and thought they would feel weird or gross. THEY DO NOT. You feel LESS than you usually do with a pad or tampon. They are very absorbent, easy to clean (just a quick rinse off before throwing in the washing machine), et voila. They do not feel super thick, yet they absorb everything. An engineering feat, if you ask me. 5 out of 5 stars. 

8. Sustainably Made Bath Towels

We remodeled our bathroom this year (it took almost eight months). The bathroom is white and simple, and I desperately wanted new bath towels (don’t worry, I kept the old ones for the spare bathroom and guests). I researched and researched until the cows came home. Then I found Under The Canopy. I went with the textured organic cotton towels, and they are so luxurious and absorbent. The price was outstanding compared to some competitors. The company is certified by the FSCOEKO-TEX, and GOTS. Too legit to quit. 

9. Metal Straws

These are not necessarily a necessity, but it sure is nice to sip from a straw sometimes. Having a metal straw handy saves you from taking a plastic one in a pinch. I use the SWIG metal straws, and guess what? They are on major sale!!! Only $5.97 for two reusable straws, the carrying case, and the cleaning brush. One funny thing about these straws to note is the straw gets VERY chilly when you drink a cold drink from them! Overall, I love them, and they would make a great gift—sustainable suckers to rescue. 

10. Eco-Friendly Face Cleanser

A friend pointed me to Urb Apothecary for facial products that care about sustainability, reducing their carbon footprint, and bringing quality ingredients to the forefront of their products. So far, I’m LOVING the Willow Charcoal Cleanser and the Sun Worshipper Repair Serum. It’s a little pricey, and they are not 100% plastic-free, but they are making darn good strides towards sustainability, and their plant-based ingredients are unbelievable. 

I am still working on suitable alternatives for toothpaste, dish soap, toilet paper, floss, hair-ties and more! I am mostly waiting until I have run out of what I previously used or am still in the trial and error process to see if I can find something I like. 

I hope this helps give you ideas on moving forward in choosing more sustainable lifestyle and beauty products. 

Xoxo,

Jen

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