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Sustainable swaps for 2018

Whether you are a resolution maker or breaker….an intention setter or goal getter, we’ve compiled these simple swaps for a more sustainable 2018. When we say swap, we’re not saying throw out all your plastic containers (if useable) but rather to make more conscious decisions about new purchases or day-to-day habits. Pick the swaps that are most relevant to you, your home and your family to make 2018 a better year for our planet…

1. Swap the little packets for bulk

With more bulk food stores popping up, it’s becoming easier to buy dry goods in large quantities which saves on excess packaging (BYO packaging to stores such as Avalons Organics + Scoop Wholefoods).

2. Swap Cane Sugar for Raw Honey

Most sugar consumed originates from the sugar cane plant, a water intensive crop grown mainly under monoculture conditions. Sugar cane has been reported as being responsible for a greater loss of biodiversity than any other crop thanks to the large areas required for cultivation, much of which takes place in ecologically important areas in the tropics.

There are many natural alternatives to cane sugar available (including stevia, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, rapadura sugar and maple syrup) but the most eco-friendly option is raw honey. Raw honey tops the list because it’s unprocessed and can generally be sourced locally, significantly reducing those food miles!

3. Shine sustainably

Switching your regular old light bulbs with energy-efficient, long-lasting LED bulbs, you can reduce your environmental footprint as well as your monthly energy bill. A win-win!

5. Shift towards a plastic-free kitchen

Looking to make your kitchen a bit greener? Plastic containers get warped and discolored over time and can also leach chemicals into your food. No good! A simple swap from plastic to glass food storage containers will keep you healthy and your ingredients fresh. Reused glass jars make ideal food and snack containers! Swap plastic bags for our pick of reusable ones.

5. Pack a Greener Lunch

When packing snacks or lunches, durable stainless steel  containers provide a great alternative to plastic snack containers. When you need a disposable solution, ditch the Ziploc bags in favor of beeswax wraps or compostable alternatives.

6. Party for the planet

Love to entertain? Reduce waste by curating your own ‘party box’ complete with sustainable, reusable party decorations. For occasions when you need to use disposable napkins, plates, and utensils, ditch the plastic and go for compostable disposables. For some great waste-free kids party tips, check out this article.

7. Spend Less

Don’t buy, borrow! Whether you need a dress for a single event or an extra folding table for an upcoming party, consider borrowing (or swapping) with a friend or neighbour. Clothing swaps and toy exchanges are also a great way to get what you need and streamline your home without spending extra dollars.

8. Swap the store bought and raid the pantry

You can clean and disinfect your house using household products that are significantly less harmful than commercially bought products. All it takes is a little bit of mixing and away you go.

The magic of household products. Did you know

  • Baking soda scourers, cleans and deodorises
  • Borax cleans, bleaches, deodorises and disinfects
  • Eucalyptus oil is a disinfectant, deodoriser and is antibacterial
  • Lemon juice is a deodoriser, mild bleacher and cleaner
  • Olive oil hydrates surfaces, polishes wood and minimises scratches
  • Salt (mixed with lemon/vinegar) is a stain remover and general cleaner
  • Tea tree oil is a cleaner, deodoriser, mould remover, disinfectant
  • White vinegar is a deodoriser, degreaser and disinfectant
9. Read eBooks.

If you’re an avid reader, then this is a big way you can make in impact. eBooks help cut down the circulation of books that often end up either in the bin or in charity shops.

10. DIY Dairy

Swerve the excess packaging and make your own yoghurt, labne or opt for plastic-free dairy selecting.

Images via Unsplash.

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