In 2018, you legends ditched the disposable coffee cups, grabbed your reusable bags, and said a big NO THANK YOU to plastic straws.
Honestly, we couldn’t be more impressed.
But now 2019 has hit, what are you doing to further reduce your impact on the planet? Stopping at your coffee cup would be a total cop out: we know you’re awesome enough to do more.
Here are your 5 easiest eco swaps for 2019:
GOOD BYE: Cleaners and soaps in plastic bottles
If you opened your cleaning cupboard right now, how many plastic bottles would you see? Cleaning products, liquid soaps, laundry soaps, dishwashing detergents, and toilet cleaners, all come in plastic bottles. Although the bottle can sometimes be recycled, the spraying nozzles usually can’t. Plus, recycling uses energy and resources too; it’s best to avoid plastic bottles altogether.
Enter… bulk bin stores. Refill your cleaning products, liquid soaps, laundry soaps, and dishwashing liquids, at your local bulk bin store. Keep the containers you currently have, and refill these a bunch of times!
If bulk bin stopping stresses you out, never fear, our bulk bin shopping guide is here.
Want to go a step further? Shampoos and soaps now come in bars too. Ethique offer these in home compostable packaging, and even stock them at Farmers.
GOODBYE: Food packaging
HELLO: Bulk bin stores
While you’re at the bulk bin store filling up your bottles with cleaning products, check out the dry section too! This year, commit to buying all dry goods in bulk. No more nuts in new plastic bags, goodbye rice in thick plastic packaging.
How will you do this? Step-by-step...
- Write a list of all the dry goods you usually buy
- Check out your local bulk bin store options to see what you can swap out
- Write a strict list titled: The Foods I Cannot Buy In Plastic In 2019
- Extra for Experts: Decide on a punishment if you break this goal, and a reward for the end of the year. E.g. No coffee for a month if you betray your list, and take an overnight camping trip away if you succeed!
GOODBYE: Single use plastic
HELLO: Reusables and a more meaningful Plastic Free July
If you remove single use plastics from your life during the next 6 months, you can use Plastic Free July to focus on other awesome eco changes, rather than the basics.
Start by committing to a complete NO to all the single use plastics you currently avoid. Don’t loosely have them on your mind: make a conscious effort to avoid them.
Once you’ve sussed those, consider other single use items to remove from your life.
Here’s a list to start you off. Swap these products below for reusables:
- Coffee cups
- Plastic bottles (including juice and fizzy drinks)
- Plastic bags
- Plastic cutlery
- Plastic straws
- Takeaway containers
Tackle one of these items at a time. Once you’ve aced this, come July, you’ll be a master!
If you’re still stumped, head to our easy eco-swaps list.
GOODBYE: Junky toys, clothes, and knick knacks
HELLO: High quality items and tools that will last
When we think of plastic, we automatically think: bags, straws, and coffee mugs. Truth is, they’re only part of the plastic problem.
The media is constantly on our case, popping up on our Instagram feeds and infiltrating our website searches, telling us to buy more, and consume more. To make it worse, these items are usually designed to only last a few wears or uses, and they’re generally made of plastic or other cheap materials that cannot be recycled or repurposed.
Make 2019 the year you avoid adding more clutter to your home. Invest in items that will last, items made from sustainable materials, and replace your shopping habits with outdoor adventures and time with people who make you happy.
HELLO: Natural alternatives
Ditch the chemicals. Break up with them fiercely, and don’t ever look back! Our lives are coated in chemicals. The clothes we wear, the beauty products we put on our skin, our toothpastes, our foods… chemicals are everywhere, and they aren’t doing any good for our bodies or the planet.
Less chemicals = a healthier ecosystem.
This swap is hard to see with our own eyes. We can see plastic waste, but we mostly cannot see pollution on the molecular level. However, just like Peter Pan, you don’t need to see it to believe it.
Every time you choose a more natural alternative, you are supporting better farming practises, less toxicity, and voting for the world you want to live in.
Our favourite New Zealand online stores to buy chemical free products for your home and lifestyle: