The easy eco friendly product switches I’m making to go greener
Going eco friendly and being greener all feel like buzz words
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But it’s the best way to sum up some of the things I’ve been doing lately. I’ve decided to try and make better choices when it comes to reusable products.
After a few months I’ve now built a small collection of better choices. What’s really exciting is a lot of this came from UK makers on Etsy.
For the longest time I had accumulated loads of tote bags that I always forgot to use. This year though I decided to change that and now I won’t go anywhere without one. I can’t remember the last time I got a plastic carrier bag.
I’d always just considered totes as something thin and flimsy until the lovely folks at Hello Sunday sent me one of their totes to review.
They gave me a choice of design and I had to pick this awesome pencil design! The material is lovely and thick, the lining is cute and it even has an internal pocket.
This feels a lot more ‘proper’ than the usual totes I have stashed away in my bag. If I’m nipping out to the shops I’m more likely just to carry this with my phone in the internal pocket and I’m good for a quick stock up of essentials. It’s slightly smaller than your usual tote with shorter handles. This makes it much more practical as it’s easier to carry. I find some of the larger ones, particularly when full can be quite cumbersome to carry with long handles. This is now a staple in my backpack!
I’ve gone through loads of bottles over the last year or so. Insulated bottles have been the trickiest because of the seals. The ‘O’ rings can get really nasty very quickly and can be a faff to replace depending on location in the lid/bottle. The best bottle I’ve found has been from Chillys.
This is the 500ml size and I really like it. While I drink a lot of water and have to refill this fairly often, I know the larger size would be a pain to carry. This also fits in my car cup holder perfectly! It keeps my water nice and cool and has been away with me on holiday with no issues. The seal is in the lid and isn’t hidden away. It’s so much easier to get to so I think if it did need replacing it would less of a pain than with other bottles. You can also buy just the lids separately from Chilly’s.
I asked in an Etsy Facebook group for reusable cutlery and got a couple of comments from people saying ‘isn’t normal cutlery reusable?’ Which is a good point. However, I wanted something a little smaller, lighter and easy to chuck in my backpack. Thankfully, I was able to find a cute set.
I was amazed at how many sets came with metal straws. I just don’t use straws so it felt really unnecessary. This set came from Willowood* and it’s really cute. With bamboo cutlery, a napkin and a lovely wax fabric pouch this is perfect for carrying around in my bag.
I’ve been using these for a few weeks now and I really like them. The pouch has been attracting a lot of comments thanks to its cute design and I’ve not needed to pick up any plastic cutlery when eating lunch on the go.
While looking at Willowood’s* shop I came across something I hadn’t considered, reusable sponges.
These come in a pack of two. Both have the flannel material that you can see at the top. One is back with the soft white material you can see, and the other is backed by hessian for scrubbing.
When it gets dirty, you can just pop it in the washing machine.
I’ve been using these again for a couple of weeks and haven’t been missing my usual scourers. I was worried they wouldn’t be good enough to get to any tough stains but actually I’ve had no issues so far. I’m glad I purchased these and I’m a lot happier to be not be regularly throwing away sponges.
Reusable cotton wool pads
These were high up on my list of wants. Because of my skincare routine I do tend to a go through a lot of these and I know there were resuable alternatives out there. I found these from Etsy and have been raving about them ever since to anyone who will listen.
There was a bit of a learning curve with these when I first purchased them. This is because they’re not as absorbant as cotton wool pads. I was there pouring my usual amount of cleansing water on the pads and it wasn’t soaking in as quickly as it would on the cotton wool pad. I therefore covered my feet in cleansing water more than a few times before I finally adjusted my ways.
Aside from that these have been really easy to get along with. I’ve been putting the pads themselves in the little container (an old candle jar) I used to put my old pads in. I’ve then hung the little bag on a hook on my bathroom door and when one gets used, it goes in the bag. The bag then just gets thrown in the washing machine and they come out good as new again. All I have to do is lay them out on the radiator to dry and they’re good to go again.
There’s an inital shrinking of the material when you first wash them, but they’re still bigger than actual cotton wool pads so I saw no issue with that.
Baby steps to looking after the environment more
I’m aware that I’m still a long way to go but I’m glad I’m doing something. Along with increased recyling, using my own resuable coffee cup and cutting down on meat I feel like I’m making a difference. I’d love to do more though so I’d love to read what you do! Drop me a comment below with the steps you’re taking to go greener.