6 Eco-Friendly Household Products for Daily Use
With climate change on the forefront of many people’s minds, it’s important to make a difference in any way you can. Small, everyday products might seem inconsequential, but using environmentally friendly alternatives can go a long way in reducing waste and living a more sustainable lifestyle.
If you’re looking to lower your carbon footprint or live a greener life, it doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or time-consuming. Below, we’ll discuss 6 eco-friendly everyday products that can help you reduce your environmental footprint for good.
While many people believe that paper towels can be recycled due to their origins as a mixture of wood, cardboard and paper by-products, the way they’re processed breaks down their natural fibres and makes it difficult for most recycling centres to do so. Because of this, millions of paper towels end up in landfills after only being used once, contributing to tonnes and tonnes of waste.
Cloth napkins provide an eco-friendly alternative, as they are reusable and can be easily washed once they’re too dirty to continue using. Alternatively, you can also purchase paper towels that are made from recycled unbleached kraft paper, which means that they can be placed into your compost or green bin rather than your regular garbage.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Plastic bags take up to a thousand years to decompose, often ending up in landfills or in the ocean where they can have a devastating effect on the environment. Rather than using plastic bags, you can invest in reusable shopping bags that can be used time and time again for your groceries, new clothes, shopping hauls and more.
Many reusable bags are made from renewable or recyclable materials, meaning they have a low carbon footprint and are less harmful to both human and marine life as well as the environment. Plus, with so many styles, colours and patterns available, they’re a perfect way to show some personality and express yourself too.
When you’re wrapping a gift or packing something to be sent in the mail, you might not give much thought to the sticky tape you use. Most packing and sticky tape cannot be recycled, and will release dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere when placed into landfills where it will sit for hundreds of years.
Biodegradable tape is the perfect alternative, as it can be placed in a landfill and still decompose. While regular tape will spend hundreds of years slowly decomposing, the eco-friendly tape will be almost completely degraded after just two years, breaking down into organic materials.
While they may be small, plastic straws can have an enormous impact on the environment. They often contain polypropylene, which dissolves in water and can disrupt oestrogen levels in humans. As they often end up in the ocean, plastic straws break down into microplastics rather than biodegrade, and end up ingested by all types of marine life and causing devastating effects on their health.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives. Most restaurants and cafes should now only be supplying their customers with biodegradable paper straws, which break down easily and do not pose a threat to marine life. If you like using straws at home, consider buying reusable stainless steel straws which can simply be washed and then used time and time again in your favourite drinks.
Batteries are an essential item in most households, whether it’s in your remotes, toys, radios or alarm clocks. Unfortunately, batteries are made from a combination of dangerous chemicals which means they cannot be thrown away with the rest of your waste and be sent to landfills.
However, rechargeable batteries provide a more sustainable solution. While traditional batteries can only be used once before they have to be disposed of, rechargeable batteries last between two to five years and can be recharged hundreds of times. While they’re more expensive upfront and require you to invest in a charger too, you’ll save money on disposable batteries in the long run and reduce your environmental footprint too.
Plastic toothbrushes leave behind huge environmental damage, with over one billion of them being thrown away every year in the United States alone. Instead, you can use bamboo toothbrushes, which are just as effective and durable as plastic toothbrushes and often come in recyclable, plant-based packaging as well.
They can also help you avoid potentially exposing yourself to Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is often found in plastic toothbrushes and can cause infertility.
As you can see, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to the everyday products that you rely on. We’ve barely scratched the surface here, but even a small change can make a difference and help you live a greener, more sustainable life.