12 zero-waste swaps for this year

The hardest part of any lifestyle change is knowing where to start. This eco-friendly guide makes it easy for you, tackling one unsustainable habit at a time. Each month we’ve recommended an eco-friendly swap to help you on your journey – the perfect new year resolution!

January: reusable makeup wipes

I wear makeup pretty much every day and taking care of my skin is super important to me. I used to use single-use makeup remove wipes until I discovered that roughly 9.3 million wet wipes are flushed down the toilet and they’re responsible for 90% of blockages. Instead, I use Bambaw Reusable Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads. 

They come in a pack of 12 soft velvet pads for sensitive skin and everyday makeup, 4 scrub terry cloths for exfoliating and tougher makeup and a little bag so you don’t lose any of them. They’re made from a combination of bamboo and cotton which is soft, durable and eco-friendly!

Single-use alternatives add to landfill waste and require cotton growth on an enormous scale such as 20,000 litres of water per one kilogram of cotton and the use of pesticides and fertilisers. When you flush wet wipes down the toilet or even in the bin, it releases millions of pieces of microplastics into the ocean and landfill.

We love bamboo here! It’s regenerative, fast-growing and needs little maintenance. You’ll save money too as you can reuse Bambaw makeup wipes again and again. All you need to do is pop them in the wash to reuse them.

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February: OceanSaver Ecodrops

There is a lot of choice when it comes to cleaning products but OceanSaver EcoDrops are easy and efficient, helping you cut through the noise. Traditional cleaning products are 90% water and 10% formula. Rather than shipping litres of water around the country, EcoDrops are soluble pods wrapped in a 100% biodegradable, plant-based, cruelty-free and non-toxic film.

All you have to do is drop the concentrated pod into a 750ml bottle of water, shake it until it dissolves and start spraying. Once you’ve used it up, you can buy more drops rather than buying and disposing of a new plastic bottle each time – saving you 25 bottles a year. You can buy an OceanSaver bottle for life or you can reuse an empty trigger bottle you have under the cupboard.

It kills 99.9% of bacteria so you can rest assured that it’s just as safe and efficient as traditional cleaning products. Switching to OceanSaver can help you reduce your carbon emissions and plastic waste.

To kickstart your spring cleaning, find out more about switching to OceanSaver EcoDrops here. 

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March: Bamboo Toothbrush

Begin your planet-friendly dental care this Spring! 3.5 billion toothbrushes are dumped around the globe each year, most of these are plastic. To combat this, Non Plastic Beach toothbrushes are made out of bamboo and nylon bristles. The biodegradable bamboo handle with mould protection can be disposed of in the garden waste bin, compost bin or reused at home – perhaps as a plant label.

The colourful BPA-free nylon bristles can be extracted with tweezers and recycled at your local centre but please check guidelines beforehand. Although it’s not 100% biodegradable, 95% is the best solution on the market right now that is both eco-friendly and able to clean your teeth effectively.

Bamboo is a great alternative because it is the fastest-growing grass on the planet and you don’t need tons of land to grow a lot of it. According to Colgate, it cleans your teeth just as well as plastic and there’s no price difference so it’s an easy swap.

Why should I choose a bamboo toothbrush? Discover more. 

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April: toilet roll 

On average, roughly 10 million trees are cut down every year to make toilet roll. Switching to an eco-friendly toilet roll such as Serious Tissues or Uranus will majorly reduce your carbon footprint and prevent deforestation. Traditional toilet paper is made from ‘virgin’ paper, meaning it’s made directly of tree pulp. Added chemicals and water are also used in production to break down the pulp into a wipeable fibre.

Serious Tissues are made from recycled paper such as Christmas cards and old documents from around the UK, preventing deforestation and transport emissions. The 3ply rolls are also chemical, perfume and dye-free packaged in recycled cardboard. Plus, for each pack you buy, Serious Tissues will plant a tree to restore the ecosystem. With regular reliable deliveries, you can have this toilet roll delivered to your doorstep every month – one less thing to worry about.

Uranus Wiper toilet roll are also made from recycled paper, reducing landfill and deforestation. It’s also vegan, hypoallergenic, chlorine, bleach, dye and BPA-free ensuring it’s super soft on Uranus. Using recycled paper saves 30,000 litres of water and the paper is heated and cleansed with water and oxygen, producing 75% fewer carbon emissions in comparison to traditional toilet roll.

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May: ecoegg Laundry Egg

This 100% natural reusable ecoegg replaces your laundry detergent and fabric softener, helping you save up to 40 big plastic bottles a year. It was originally designed for sensitive skin so it gets the allergy-friendly seal of approval. Plus it’s vegan, palm oil-free and cruelty-free.

It works by two types of pellets working together to draw dirt from the fibres of your clothing and softening the clothes by changing the pH – leaving your laundry fresh without using any chemicals. It has a 10-year guarantee so you won’t have to keep buying plastic bottles, you just need to purchase the refill pellets after 50-70 washes. Moreover, it will only cost you 10p per wash!

It couldn’t be easier to use. Simply pop your egg in the washing machine and use it as normal. We recommend giving your washing machine a detox before and washing your clothes at a low temperature for extra savings. After 10 long years, the egg is fully recyclable.

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June: reusable coffee cup

It’s nearing summer which means it’s iced coffee time, my favourite time of the year. In the UK alone, we get through roughly 7 million takeaway coffee cups a day. Rather than buying a disposable coffee cup on your commute each morning, try our Huski Travel Cup. It’s made of recycled rice husk that would otherwise be burnt or sent to landfill.

The non-toxic, BPA-free and biodegradable cups come in four beautiful colours with a twinned wall, so it’s perfect for hot drink lovers too. They’re also made in the UK which will lower your carbon footprint further. You’ll be able to enjoy your coffee knowing you’re doing your part to save the planet.

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July: beeswax wraps

No more clingfilm for your packed lunch, switch to beeswax wraps to prevent some of the 380 million tons of single-use plastic we waste each year. The BEE Zero Waste beeswax wraps are great for keeping your food fresh on the go or at home. Made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton, it’s a regulated certification to ensure a sustainable production process. In comparison, clingfilm contains harmful chemicals that can leak into your food or the earth during disposal. Choosing eco-friendly beeswax wraps not only protects the planet but protects your health too.

The pack contains a variety of sizes and patterns sourced from local beeswax made in the UK. Getting this in the post is a fun treat because you never know what design you’re going to get. To keep them in top-notch condition, wash them with soap and cold water and use a refresher block every few months.

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August: Bamboo Cutlery Set 

It’s picnic season which calls for on-the-go essentials such as reusable cutlery. This handy pouch makes it easy to say ‘no’ to plastic cutlery and straws. It’s lightweight and compact enabling you to keep it in your handbag all year round, saving you waste wherever you go.

Single-use cutlery is one of the most common items to end up on the beach, wreaking havoc on marine life. Designed with longevity in mind, this set of knife, spoon, straw, folk and cleaning brush is made from bamboo and treated with vegetable oil, leaving no aftertaste. At the end of its long life, it’s naturally biodegradable, leaving no trace of its existence.

Discover more tips for eco-friendly picnics here. 

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September: Bamboo Cotton Buds

Cotton buds are handy little inventions but they can have a deadly impact on the planet when disposed of as the majority get flushed down the toilet. Because they’re so small, they can flow through our sewage systems and get washed up onshore. Their chemical coating causes pollution and harms wildlife as they’re easy to mistake for food.

Inspired by the well-known image of a seahorse carrying a cotton bud, the Non Plastic Beach alternative is 100% compostable, plastic-free and free from chemical coatings. We have documented the benefits of bamboo many times and you know we’re a big fan of it! But remember, just because they’re biodegradable doesn’t mean you can flush them down the toilet.

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October: compostable poop bags

There’s nothing I love more than an autumn dog walk through the vibrant leaves. These Beco Pets Home Compostable Poop Bags are made from cornstarch, a 100% biodegradable material that’s sturdy and eco-friendly.

Regular single-use plastic bags fill landfills and pollute the seas, harming wildlife and hanging around for years. Beco poop bags are home compostable so being a sustainable pet owner is easy.

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November: Compostable Sponges

These home compostable sponge cloths completely replace traditional plastic sponges that shed microfibres. Made from 70% cellulose and 30% cotton, they’re natural and not harmful to the planet. The cellulose fibres mean they can absorb lots of water, making them a great eco- alternative. They’re endlessly reusable too, all you have to do is pop them in the washing machine after use.

In comparison, plastic sponges tend to be made from polyester and nylon which can drift down the drain after use. It requires fossil fuels to produce and harms marine life during disposal – two of the most detrimental risks to our planet right now.

Keeping your kitchen clean is a daily task, especially when so many of us are worried about germs at the moment. But cleaning doesn’t have to mean plastic and chemical intense products. Eco-friendly cleaning products such as these sponges work exactly the same, without cost to the planet.

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December: Kind Bag

The Christmas shopping commences so you’ll need a sturdy bag to carry all of your gifts around. That’s where Kind Bag can help! These reusable bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, saving thousands of plastic bottles from ending up in landfill.

Designed for longevity, they can hold a whopping 20kg of weight so you don’t need to worry about it tearing. The average life of a single-use plastic bag is 15 minutes, but it will sit in landfill for thousands of years. Instead, simply fold your Kind Bag up and keep it in your handbag so you never have to buy another single-use bag again. Not to mention, you’d be supporting Just One Ocean Charity too – helping to save the ocean for future generations.

A cotton tote bag might seem like a trendy alternative but it needs 7,000-20,000 reuses to have a positive impact on the planet whereas a Kind Bag only requires 2 or 3 uses – it’s a no brainer! Want to know more about this debate? Find out here. 

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Get all of these products with our Home Club

An eco-friendly lifestyle is a commitment but by joining our Home Club, you’ll receive exclusive discounts on our favourite sustainable products like the ones we’ve listed in this article!

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