Four Simple Sustainable Switches

BY BECKY

Whilst becoming more environmentally aware is a good thing, it can be a bit daunting trying to overhaul your life for the good of the planet. So here are four simple sustainable switches that won’t break your bank, and help pave the way to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.

Reusable bags

If you’re not already jumping on this bandwagon, then are you a limpet? Because you’ve been living under a rock. Easily accessible, it’s kind of difficult not to own one of these nowadays, with supermarkets cracking down on plastic bag use. Last year, Kenya imposed the world’s strictest law on plastic bags, banning their use, manufacture and importation, with offenders risking imprisonment of up to 4 years, or fines of $40,000 (£31,000). It’s a good thing too, as it is estimated that an average plastic bag will take up to 1000 years to break down.

Reusable coffee cups

Photo by Goran Ivos

Photo by Goran Ivos

The problem with disposable coffee cups is they are often lined with plastic to prevent leakages, which causes issues with recycling. In the UK alone, over 99.75% of disposable cups are not recycled, as there are only five suitable recycling plants in the whole of the UK. In June, one independently-owned café chain Boston Tea Party, was the first in Britain to implement a complete ban on disposable cups. So if you’re in the South West, give them a go!

Menstrual cup

Ladies, not only are these great for your ‘downstairs’, they are also great for the environment! According to one website, the average woman will use over 10,400 tampons in a lifetime. Think about how much waste is saved in comparison to needing to change your cup, (estimates vary), but once every 10 years? Produced without the chemicals often associated with tampons, cups are made from silica, a type of sand. This mineral is the second most abundant in the Earth’s crust, meaning that as it degrades back to its original state, it is not environmentally hazardous.

Solid shampoo bar

Photo by Kristina Balic

Photo by Kristina Balic

It’s official, I’m part of the So Solid Crew. And if you don’t know who they are, then I’m clearly showing my age (grime music by the way, ironic don’t you think, for a shampoo bar?... I’ll see myself out). So, solid shampoo (conditioners are available as well) bars, are generally made by companies that give a damn. Therefore, not only are you reducing your plastic consumption with reduced packaging, i.e. paper/cardboard, or reusable tins, but more often than not they are made with all natural ingredients, and not tested on animals. It’s a win-win.

Hopefully this article will kick-start your journey to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, and remember, everyone’s journey is different! As Chinese philosopher Laozi once said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Now go forth sisters, and make some waves!

Thumbnail photo by Michael Frattaroli