5 green switches to help you create a more sustainable home
Last updated: 21/12/2021
Take a look around your home, in places like kitchen cupboards or your bathroom cabinet: are the products you regularly buy stuffed full of chemicals, made from plastic or wrapped in loads of unsustainable packaging?
The answer is probably yes. There are lots of everyday essentials filling people’s kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms that aren’t that great for the environment.
The good news is that a growing range of greener alternatives is popping up for almost all of the things we use in our homes. There are plenty of reusable, sustainable and biodegradable products now available.
Switching to them is fairly easy - so get started today! Here are five green home switches to set your home on the path to greater sustainability.
The kitchen is a great place to start for some easy green switches.
Better still, instead of buying an entirely new product every time you run out, reduce plastic waste by using refills of eco-friendly cleaning products. Type ‘zero waste shop near me’ into Google and see what your options are locally, or sign up to a subscription service offering refills.
We all love our pets. But having a furry friend isn’t great for the environment. According to Mike Berners-Lee’s book, How Bad Are Bananas?, an average sized cat is responsible for 310kg of CO2e per year and an average-size dog accounts for 770 kg of CO2e per year (going up to 2,500kg of CO2e per year for a large dog). These large carbon ‘pawprints’ are mainly from pet food, which is estimated to be responsible for a quarter of the environmental impacts of total meat production.
Thankfully, you can make some simple green switches. For a start, find a more sustainable pet food: options include vegan food, or pet food made from insects.
Getting your pets to change their food might be challenging, but there are other small changes you can make to reduce their impact on the planet. For example, you could switch to compostable poo bags for dogs or buy plastic-free and biodegradable pet toys, such as this mouse made out of jute for cats.
There was a time when the only option for keeping your teeth clean was to use a plastic toothbrush. But now, there are more sustainable options on the market. These include brushes made from bamboo or corn starch.
There are even companies, such as Bristle, that offer bamboo toothbrush subscription services.
There are also brushes available with replaceable heads, so rather than buying an entirely new toothbrush each time the bristles have had their day, you just replace the head, reducing your plastic usage and waste.
Kids can take part in the green teeth-brushing revolution too, with ranges such as Jack N’ Jill compostable children’s toothbrushes (and natural toothpaste).
Do you prefer to wind your cling film round and round until your food is thoroughly encased? Or are you more of a less-is-more person, stretching a small piece of film until it just covers your sarnies?
Either way, you could just ditch cling film entirely. Alternatives include reusable silicone storage bags and lids, paper sandwich bags, and beeswax wraps, which you wash after each use and can last for up to a year if you look after them.
Did you know you can have huge boxes loaded with sustainable loo roll (and tissues and paper towels) delivered to your home? How convenient is that? Also, if you buy it from a company like WGAC, the rolls - which are recycled or made out of bamboo - won’t come individually wrapped in plastic, but encased in paper instead.
WGAC also donate 50% of their profits (totalling £5.3m so far) to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.
Make the switch
These are just a few examples of the types of products you could consider next time you need to buy some home essentials.
So have a think of small changes you could make in your home and enjoy the feeling of living a greener, more sustainable lifestyle!
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