5 Eco Swaps to Reduce Your Daily Plastic Footprint
January 28, 2022 · 6 min read
Small steps to make 2022 a more plastic-conscious year
While offsetting plastic is critical to managing the 5 billion tons of plastic currently circulating our oceans, jungles, and natural resources, reuse is at the top of the waste management hierarchy. Although the modern consumer assumes that we have an effective recycling infrastructure in place, in truth our waste management system is terribly broken.
Only a staggering 9% of all plastic that has ever been created, has been recycled.
The rest has ended up in landfills or environmental sites. The remaining amount is often incinerated in attempts to create cheap energy, creating further carbon emissions in addition to those produced by the plastic degradation process. In fact, a double-decker bus of plastic is dumped or burned every second. While we aspire towards a more circular economy, we all have a responsibility to start moving our consumer habits towards a more zero-waste lifestyle.
Goodbye to single-use plastics!
One of the fastest ways to do this is by reducing our use of disposable or single-use products. When we calculate the long-term impact of single-use products, we discover that their ‘convenience’ is actually a burden and detriment to the communities receiving our waste on the other side of the globe. These taxing consumption habits are a ceaseless hazard to our entire global community and will profoundly affect the lives of future generations. In fact, the cumulative amount of these products over a lifetime is monumental. One plastic toothbrush quickly turns to 300 toothbrushes throughout the course of one person’s life. With plastic taking 400 years to degrade, our toothbrushes will still be here long after us!
1 person = 300 toothbrushes.
Your toothbrush might get to see your next two generations!
Eco-friendly home alternatives to reduce plastic consumption
Fortunately, there are many easy ways to switch to eco-friendly options that lower greenhouse emissions. The benefits of reusable products go beyond sustainability! They are both kinder to the planet and your wallet. Furthermore, if every purchase is a vote, zero-waste reusable products are votes towards social justice. There are many great sustainable brands in Europe that offer ethical plastic alternatives and one-stop-shop solutions that provide conscious yet convenient reusable products.
Here are some essential and sustainable product swaps which you can purchase now!
1. Smile brightly with bamboo brushes!
The average person uses 4 toothbrushes per year which accumulates to 300 toothbrushes over one person’s life! Plastic toothbrushes make up 50 million tons of plastic waste annually! While synthetic plastic toothbrushes are made up of nylon and polypropylene plastic, bamboo brushes are plant-based and 100% biodegradable. Unlike synthetic plastic sourced from non-renewable fossil fuels, bamboo is an incredibly fast-growing plant, which uses little water and can be harvested within a few years of planting! Let’s make dental hygiene synonymous with planet hygiene! You can find great eco-brushes at Bam&Boo, The Environmental Toothbrush, and Brush with Bamboo!
2. Hydrate with reusable bottles
481.6 billion plastic bottles are used worldwide each year! This equates to 40 billion bottles per month and 1.3 billion per year! The annual mass production of plastic bottles uses over 17 million barrels of oil while releasing 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere! There are also financial benefits to opting for reusable bottles. Buying one reusable bottle saves 156 bottles purchased in one year. A recent U.S. study demonstrated that the average person in the U.S. could save $1,236 every year if they ditched single-use throwaway plastic bottles. Choosing reusable water bottles is a great way to reduce both your carbon and plastic footprint.
1 reusable bottle with save you $14,830 within 12 years!
Choosing reusable water bottles is a great way to reduce both your carbon and plastic footprint. You can find some great reusable bottles at Klean Kanteen, LARQ, and S’well.
Instagram photo taken by Justin Hofman
3. Save seahorses from ocean debris by choosing reusable Q-tips!
Keep your daily rituals environmentally friendly by purchasing a reusable q-tip.
One reusable q-tip saves 415 q-tips per year and can be used up to 1000 times!
Q-tips are incredibly damaging to marine life and are a tremendous cause of ocean debris similar to straws. The microplastics of single-use plastics often end up in the digestive tracts of sea creatures, causing them to slowly die of starvation. It’s important to bear in mind that while plastic was only first produced in 1950, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish! Ocean pollution is currently so overwhelming that instead of latching onto seaweed, seahorses have started latching onto q-tips! Do your part for the ocean today by purchasing a reusable q-tip! Some of our favorite reusable q-tips are: Last Swab, PandaBaw, and EcoSlurps.
4. Keep it classic with safety razors!
Safety razors are a great way to create zero-waste bathroom routines. Zero-waste razors are all-metal no plastic razors (usually made from stainless steel) with a handle and double-sided blade. Their stainless steel blades are both replaceable and recyclable. While being much gentler on pores than single-use razors, they are also much gentler on the planet.
The average person disposes between 40-50 plastic razors per year.
This amounts to roughly $111 spent on razors per year, with around 2 billion razors being thrown away in the U.S. annually. Reusable razors provide a vintage nuance to your bathroom while keeping it eco-friendly! They are a great classic gift option during the holiday season! Check out these awesome razors by Leaf, hanni, and well kept!
5. Say yes to menstrual cups. Period.
The average woman spends £5000 on period products over a lifetime! A menstrual cup is an economic and sustainable alternate option that has the potential to dramatically reduce global plastic pollution! Over the course of a lifetime, a single menstruator will use somewhere between 5,000 to 15,000 pads and tampons, most of which will end up in landfills or the ocean as plastic waste. Unfortunately, a majority of sanitary products contain 90% plastic.
Thanks to menstrual cups 2.8 billion fewer tampons and pads have ended up on beaches since 2002!
Join the menstrual cup revolution and make your moon cycles ocean-friendly! Some of our favourite eco-friendly menstrual cup brands include Saalt, Nixit and Mooncup
Now that we’ve inspired you with some easy eco swaps to reduce your plastic footprint, we’d love to hear your thoughts! What are your favorite eco swaps, and who are your favorite sustainable brands? We also hope to remind you that although plastic reduction is incredibly important, compensating for our own plastic footprints is an indispensable component of conquering the plastic crisis! Our B2C service is a subscription model which allows you to reduce your plastic footprint with the click of a button. Follow us and subscribe to our newsletter for more tips on how to live a plastic-conscious life!
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