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9 Eco-Friendly Replacements To Everyday Items

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Are you an environmentally conscious person? Is there a way that you can be eco-friendlier with minimal to no added effort? In the past five years, countries around the globe are investing in more sustainable alternatives to everyday items. This is because it’s harder to change the needs and requirements of a population as compared to providing them with an alternative that is positively affecting or at least removing the negative impact on the environment.

These alternatives are so easy to use and adopt in your life because they’re often cheaper either per item or in the long run. Swap your everyday items for these eco-friendly replacements and you will produce considerably less waste without even trying. 

1. Reusable straws for plastic straws

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In the past few years, disposable plastic straws have been advertised as the ‘plastic monster’, and for good reason. Straws are more a luxury than anything else and can be easily removed from our lives without a requirement of behavioral change. A study published that an estimated 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches. Therefore, the easiest solution is to stop using them altogether. For those who find straws essential in their lives, alternative straws range from bamboo and paper (disposable) to silicone, glass, and steel (reusable).

2. Reusable face masks for disposable face masks

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With the spread of COVID-19 in the past seven months, face masks have gone from a commodity we wouldn’t take a second look at, to something we don’t leave outhouses without. All the disposable masks that are being used in the world, eventually go into the ocean and end up polluting it. Cloth masks are such a great alternative because you can wash them and wear them as much as you want. There are also dry fit alternatives for those who want to wear masks while working out. With all the new designers bringing out their own collections of reusable cloth masks, it’s the new way to add ‘oomph’ to your outfit.

3. Bamboo toothbrushes for plastic ones. 

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All the toothbrushes you’ve ever used; still exist in the world. An average person uses around 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime, none of its parts being recyclable. A bamboo toothbrush is the perfect, less- waste alternative for a plastic toothbrush. They have a lightweight bamboo body, with plastic bristles, which are often recyclable. This results in considerably less waste.

4. Cloth bags for plastic bags

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States alone goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. It takes 500 years for a plastic bag to decay in a landfill. What is an alternative for it? Reusable cloth bags. This is probably the most common replacement and a majority of us are aware of it. It is only out of laziness or forgetfulness that we often don’t carry one. A good way to remember is by placing one in each vehicle, or in your backpack for all your grocery trips. They’re often sturdier, and in the time of the pandemic, you definitely don’t want the shopkeeper coming in contact with all the items that you’re taking home.

5. Reusable water bottle for a plastic single-use bottle 

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Reusable steel or even plastic water bottle is a convenient alternative. Even though plastic ones are cheaper per bottle, they’re more expensive in the long run. An insulated bottle can keep your drinks ice cold in the summer and hot in the winter. Cheap plastic bottles left in the heat often release toxins that can harm you in the long run. Therefore, there is literally no reason that you shouldn’t be making this swap right now. 

6. Reusable cloth makeup removing pads for makeup wipes 

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As someone who’s never understood the hype behind a makeup wipe, a reusable cloth pad is not a product I really need. But for those who swear by a makeup wipe or a cotton pad, a reusable cloth pad is the perfect substitute. With many different types in the market right now, there’s one for everyone. Makeup wipes generate a considerable amount of waste, and they are not even that good for you! 

7. Soap bar for a body

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A soap bar for a body washes Soap bar is the OG. It often comes in paper packaging is such a perfect alternative for body washes that usually come in a plastic bottle.

But if your body wash is something you refuse to throw out, you can always get a big pack and keep filling your small bottle. This isn’t the most eco- friendly way to go but does produce considerably less waste. 

8. Repurposing glass bottles for vases

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Whether it’s an empty bottle of alcohol or an empty pickle jar, re-purposing glassware has always worked out well for me. You can fill it up with water and add flowers or even propagate a money plant in it. It requires minimal effort and no cost. You can even tie a rope around it and make it more aesthetically pleasing. Either way, this hack is something you have got to try!

9. Bamboo cotton swabs for plastic ones

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1.5 billion single-use plastic cotton buds are produced each day. Many end up in our waterways and oceans. However bad it may be for you and the environment; some people are extremists as cotton swab users. A perfect alternative for these is bamboo cotton swabs. They resemble plastic cotton swabs in every way and are so much better for the environment.


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My name’s Manya and I write about things I’m extremely passionate about; the environment, feminism and lifestyle!

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