10 Sustainable Swaps for Everyday Products

Sustainable swaps for everyday products

Elevate your everyday choices!  

In a world where environmental consciousness is more crucial than ever, small changes can make a significant impact. Whether you’re looking to reduce your packaging waste, switch up your diet to reduce water usage, or reuse scrap fabrics to avoid throwing them into a landfill, these 10 eco-friendly alternatives will guide you towards greener choices that align with your values. One swap at a time, it’s easy to help reduce your waste and make these simple sustainable swaps!  

1. Shampoo Bar

Many plastic bottles are not recycled properly and end up in landfills. A single plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to decompose. A simple switch to a shampoo bar can help combat this issue! When your next bottle of shampoo or conditioner is finished, consider trying a shampoo bar – they are available in multiple different scents with many different benefits, like Lush’s ‘Angel Hair’ Shampoo Bar created to soothe sensitive scalps. Their benefits include longevity (one bar replaces up to three 200ml bottles of liquid shampoo), natural ingredients (many traditional shampoos are filled with chemicals that strip hair of its natural oils, whereas shampoo bars contain more natural ingredients that are good for you and the planet), and they are  economical (since one bar replaces up to three 200ml bottles of traditional shampoo, having to replace your shampoo less will be a big money saver). Lush also offers a cork pot or tin container to store your shampoo bar in. These containers are reusable and help to keep your shampoo bar safe and dry – perfect for travel! 

Lush shampoo bar

2. Bamboo Towels

Bamboo is a more sustainable fabric option than its counterparts. Bamboo requires little water, grows fast, and naturally regenerates. As a fabric, it is super absorbent and quick-drying, even more-so than cotton. Bamboo towels are extra durable and hold their colour well, wash after wash. Terrera’s bamboo towels are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning the bamboo products do not contain any harmful chemicals – perfect for sensitive skin. Our towels are also created with a bamboo-cotton blend, giving both the benefits of cotton and bamboo in the product. When your towels need replacing, consider switching to bamboo towels as a great eco-friendly alternative! 

Sustainable bamboo towels

3. Bamboo PJs

As mentioned previously, bamboo requires less water to grow and naturally regenerates – meaning the plant is saving water and can be harvested while the plant survives and continues to grow until the next harvest. Bamboo is super soft and great for sensitive skin – it's hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, making it a great option for sleepwear 

Bamboo pajamas

4. Incorporating More Beans, Less Meat into Your Diet

We don’t mean to say you have to give up meat or become a vegan, but it could be a great start to have a few days a week where you flip to eating a plant-based diet for the sustainable benefits! Beans are one of the planets most sustainable protein sources. They use dramatically less water (the water footprint to product a kilogram of beef is 43x higher than a kilogram of beans), land (cattle require 20x more land than beans, per unit of protein), and petroleum than livestock and don’t pollute the planet with harmful byproducts. Bean production results in 90% less harmful greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere than beef (per 100g of protein) (Monday Campaigns). It’s also a great economical option! Beans are a cheaper protein than meat but are still packed with nutrients!  

Bean protein

5. Reuse Terrera shipping bags as compost bags for your green bin

Did you know our shipping bags are 100% compostable and our product bag packaging is 100% biodegradable? They are! This not only means you can dispose of them in your compost bin to compost, but it also means you can reuse them as a compost bag for your green bin to collect food scraps in. So often we find ourselves with so much single-use packaging in our clothing orders, which just ends up in a landfill. We’ve made our packaging compostable so it can break down when properly composted. When shopping, make note of the company's packaging to help reduce the number of single-use plastics! 

Compostable packaging. Compostable shipping bags

6. Shop Local

Shopping locally is important for both the economy as well as the environment. When you buy local food, you’re supporting the local economy, including farmers and other producers. This food also travels at a smaller distance from farm to table, meaning it generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions. And overall, because the food is local, it is fresher and more great tasting! (Toronto.ca) 

Benefits of shopping local

7. Quality Clothing (Over Quantity)

Another great (and easy!) sustainable swap to make this year is reading more into your clothing and choosing quality over quantity. It’s easy to get wrapped up in fast-fashion trends where you want to have the latest styles and pieces that are trending on social media, but before pressing that checkout button, read more into the garment and the company. Find out their production processes and the company's values, including their sustainability practices. Simply switching to more sustainable, higher quality clothing is a great way to help reduce water usage, pollution, and overconsumption/waste that the fast fashion industry contributes to. For every 5 garments produced, 3 end up in a landfill each year – so before jumping on the next fashion trend, wait a few weeks and do some research. Invest in quality eco-friendly fashion for timeless styles that won’t need replacing after 1-2 wears.  

Quality over quantity shopping

8. Reusable Zip-Lock Bags

Another simple sustainable swap would be replacing your typically single-use plastic sandwich bags with reusable ones. Switching to reusable sandwich bags has many benefits, including a reduction in plastic waste, cost savings over time, and greater convenience (dishwasher and microwave-safe) (Reusably.co)! With many options out there, it can be a little daunting, but we recommend a silicon-based bag as the best alternative to the typical sandwich bag. We recommend Stasher – they create eco-friendly Ziploc bags that are self-sealing, airtight, and BPA-free and phthalate-free! With several shapes, colours, and sizes, these bags are a great plastic-free food storage option.  

Reusable ziploc bags

9. Fabric Gift Wrapping

If you are a craft hobby-enthusiast, chances are you have a bin of extra fabric waiting to be used for another project. If you aren’t, this is still an option for you! Every holiday season, birthday, and celebration we are left with a garbage bag full of wrapping paper that (more often than not) gets used only once. There are recyclable paper options which are great, but even better, there are reusable options. Take that old fabric and use it for wrapping your gifts! This eliminates the waste of paper and the tape to secure it. Use twine or ribbons to secure the fabric and create unique and beautifully wrapped gifts! As mentioned, if you don’t have fabric laying around, go check out your local fabric store, like Fabricland, and look through their clearance fabrics (pro tip – go after the holiday seasons to find holiday themed clearance fabric!). To keep this sustainable, make sure after wrapping your gifts and giving them to your loved ones, you keep the fabric and ribbons to reuse for your next gift, or create a program with close family/friends where you all wrap your gifts in fabric and rotate them each event! Terrera’s bedding and pillowcase sets come wrapped in a fabric and satin ribbon bag – this would be a perfect option to reuse as a gift bag for any gift! 

Using fabric gift wrapping as a sustainable gift wrap option

10. Wool Dryer Ball

Dyer sheets are a single-use product that is not only harmful for the environment, but also our health. Dryer sheets contain a combination of chemicals that may be harmful to our health where studies have shown worsened asthma and irritations to sensitive skin. There have been claims that the chemicals are only hazardous in large doses, but to be certain, a simple switch to a more natural and reusable alternative could be the solution. A wool dryer ball bounces around in the dryer creating air pockets to help fluff and soften the clothes while reducing the drying time by absorbing the moisture. The dryer balls also work to reduce wrinkles by increasing air circulation and therefore less friction between clothes, and less wrinkles and static. A few drops of pure essential oils can be added to the ball for fragrance and will be much safer on sensitive skin than the synthetic chemicals used in dryer sheets. These dryer balls replace both liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets! Saje makes a set of 3 cruelty-free 100% natural wool dryer balls and ‘Sweet Sheets’ essential oil set. 

Wool dryer ball

Start your sustainable swap journey today and remember that every conscious choice matters. By opting for reusable, biodegradable, and ethically sourced products, you’re not just making a difference for yourself but also for the planet!  

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