When it comes to trying to lead an eco-friendlier life, we often think of the big steps. We think of cutting back on driving or purchasing organic produce. And while those are wonderful ways to reduce our environmental impact, our daily habits are sometimes the easiest and most impactful ways to be more sustainable. Let’s talk about 9 of the best reusable swaps you can make for your everyday items!
Reusable Coffee Cup
If you get your coffee to-go, you’ll know those plastic, single use coffee cups add up. Not only are they annoying for you to deal with, but they’re kind of annoying for the planet because plastic never decomposes. All of the plastic we’ve ever manufactured still exists and it’s likely found its way into our water or soil, damaging our eco systems.
So instead, opt for a reusable coffee cup. Depending on your coffee shop, you might even get a discount each time you use it! (And if you get a Joco, literally everyone will compliment it. I’ve had mine for years and still get compliments everywhere I go!)
Reusable Water Bottle
This is the same idea as the coffee cup. You’ll avoid single use water bottles (and paying for water all the time) while reducing your plastic use and your environmental impact! This is also one of my favourite travel tips. There are usually free water fountains in every airport, saving you a ton of cash and plastic!
If you enjoy iced drinks (hello iced coffee!), smoothies, or the occasional milkshake, you’ll want some reusable straws. You’ll be able to enjoy your iced drinks at home and on-the-go, but without the single use plastic!
While glass straws exist, I prefer stainless steel or silicone because they’re easier to use (glass straws are so bulky, plus I’ve dropped more than my fair share!). There are a lot of options to choose from, but these reusable straws come with a cleaning brush and trust me, you’re going to want one of those!
Reusable Food Containers
If you go out to lunch every day, you might have noticed all the disposable takeaway containers add up. If you want to start packing your lunch (or any food), get yourself some reusable food containers.
You’ll avoid the disposable containers and honestly, don’t they look so pretty? You can even get a stainless steel ice pack which is not only plastic free, but I think it’s so cool!
Reusable Snack and Freezer Bags
As handy as the reusable food containers are, sometimes you just want to carry a small snack. Or you might want to freeze leftovers and food containers can take up a lot of room.
That’s where silicone comes in handy. Brands like (re)zip and Stasher offer reusable, plastic free storage bags in a variety of sizes. Use them for trail mix on the go, or to store leftovers in the freezer. They work in the freezer, microwave, and even the dishwasher, so they’re really convenient for busy parents, multi-tasking students, and people on the go!
Stainless Steel Safety Razor
This is one of my favourite ways to curate a more sustainable life. A stainless steel safety razor means you won’t have to purchase new razors, and the stainless steel blades you do have to purchase are super cheap, long lasting, and they create very little waste!
And once again, like the reusable food containers, a reusable razor is so much prettier than its disposable alternative!
Using a safety razor might be nerve-wracking at first, and I totally understand. The key is to use very light pressure and to let the weight of the razor do the work. Once you get the hang of it, shaving is a breeze. And while you can use a shaving cream or soap, I love using pure olive oil. It moisturizes the skin while you shave and it reduces your chance of razor bumps!
Beeswax Food Wrap
Reusable beeswax food wraps are a multipurpose way to preserve food without using plastic or tin foil wrap. They’re made with simple ingredients like hemp, beeswax, plant oils, and tree resin, and they’re self adhesive, which means you simply press them onto the bowl, plate, or dish, and they’ll seal! They’re also easy to care for, they don’t take up much space to store, and they’re versatile – use them when keeping food on the countertop, in the fridge, or when you’re on-the-go.
Skip the paper towels and reach for a reusable cleaning cloth! Whether it’s microfiber or made from wood pulp (yes, seriously!), a reusable cleaning cloth means you won’t have to purchase paper towels anymore.
I use these for everything, from drying my hands in the kitchen, wiping down the table after dinner, and for cleaning pretty much every surface of my apartment. They save time, space, and money, and I think they look prettier than paper towels!
Essential Oil Diffuser
Instead of buying disposable fragrance products like sprays, plug ins, or reed diffusers, get yourself an essential oil diffuser! I use mine all day long to diffuse grounding essential oil blends in the morning, uplifting and energizing oil blends in the afternoon, and lavender at night.
What are your favourite reusable swaps for everyday items? Let us know below!
Sarah Price is the Social Media Manager for Well.ca. When she’s not posting to Instagram, she’s planning blog content, reaching out to PR contacts, and working with Influencers!