Starting this blog was one of the major goals for me in 2021. I started so that I could stay accountable to my goal of living more sustainably, minimally, and intentionally. I’ve wanted to engage in simple, slow living for a long time. But, before I get in over my head with worry and regret looking at the mammoth task ahead, I took some time to look at what I’d already done. So, here are the…
Six sustainable swaps I made in 2020
1. Bamboo Toothbrush
Bamboo is great because you can compost it when you’re done. Simply remove the bristles and then toss the handle in your compost. Don’t have a compost? Use it to hold up or label a plant or clean your shoes or keyboard.
After learning that EVERY plastic toothbrush ever used is still sitting in a landfill, I know I had to make this switch. The only plastic toothbrush I own now is one that is still wrapped that the dentist gave me. I keep it in my guest room in case someone forgets to bring their own.
Check out this article from National Geographic to read the story of plastic toothbrushes.
2. Biodegradable Floss
I love to floss! I just do. My teeth feel clean and I don’t have to worry about things in my teeth when I smile. However, floss can get tangled and truly hurt wildlife.
So, I swapped to a biodegradable floss. As for the container, By Humankind has a reusable dispenser. I invested in this brand because 1. As a company By Humankind is committed to plastic-free products 2. the floss is sustainably and ethically made and strong, and 3. floss is biodegradable. The price per refill seems steep ($15), but I haven’t refilled yet and it’s been more than 3 months!
3. Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
I have had a love, hate relationship with my hair my whole life. My issue here was that there were too many choices. Choosing bars gave me straight-forward choices and long-lasting product without plastic!
My mother-in-law gifted me the bars I use now. She purchased them from a local business near her in Michigan called Milk and Quackers I’m on the lookout for a local brand here or one to pick up regularly at the grocery store and I’ll share it with you ASAP!
Want to understand why choosing plastic bottles is so awful for the planet? Even with recycling? I love this video by YouTuber Shelbizleee which talks about the broken recycling industry.
4. Bar Soap
This is as straight forward a swap as I can find! You can buy container-less soap with suds galore. It’s usually easier on your wallet and self cleaning. Plus, again, no plastic.
The soap I’m using is a bar I got in a Grove Collaborative box. However, I have plenty stocked up that I can get through before even touching a liquid body wash bottle! Plus, I can use a loofah to slather.
A note on travel…You can dry your soap out and pop it in a reusable container or stasher bag. Easy peasy. (I think this is one of the reasons some folks don’t use bar soap).
5. Reusable Razor
This is by far my favorite swap! Plastic razors have such a short shelflife, become rusty fast, and honestly I never got a close enough shave anyway.
I chose to switch to a Leaf Razor because 1. It swivels unlike other safety razors, 2. they have their own blade recycling program, and 3. I LOVE the sleek look. I’ve never had a closer shave and this razor will last me for half my lifetime (or more). Although the investment is steep at first ($84), I really only pay about 12 cent/ shave when I switch my blades every 3 weeks.
I’m sure the most minimal and sustainable solution is to quit shaving altogether, but I’m not there yet! Stay tuned;)
And last but not least…
Oy, I’m not sure that this will ever get easier. I’m a sweaty gal with no shame! As someone who gets anxious regularly, exercises, and stress-sweats I need a quality deodorant. To be honest, I’m still searching because I often have to reapply my deodorant twice per say.
What am I looking for? Good odor protection, no aluminum, cruelty-free, no plastic, and a company I love!
That being said, Native deodorant might work for you. What I love about Native is 1. The company continues to do their best to be more conscious about their product and production, 2. the smells are amazing, 3. They now come in paper containers instead of plastic!
Use up what you already have! I cannot stress this enough. The most sustainable option is to use what you already have. This is why I haven’t switched over all my products yet. I’m simply using up products and slowly switching with intention. Then, I consciously choose new products to add or stop using them instead!