Sustainable Swaps

Over the past several years I’ve made conscious efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and waste we make at the Henesy House. Over the past several months I’ve worked on this post bit by bit to share the sustainable swaps that we’ve made and encourage you to do the same. Not only do these simple product switches help keep Mother Nature clean, but they help keep your household clean because these swaps are both sustainable AND non-toxic. Two birds. One stone. Win-Win!

Read on for my top swaps and click pics/text for purchase links.


Bathroom

Ditching traditional plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles was one of my first and most satisfying sustainable swaps. After using these shampoo and conditioner bars by Zero Waste Store for several years now, I know they work well and leave my hair feeling great. Clean, non-toxic and zero waste. There’s no good reason to not being using these bars!

It’s one little plastic toothbrush… said 8 billion people! A basic bamboo toothbrush can do just as good of a job as these “fancy” bristles and handles. This one is just too easy to swap and these even have cute rainbow bristles. Get some. Make bamboo mainstream!

Ya know what stinks? Throwing a bunch of unnecessary plastic into landfills. Well there’s an easy sustainable swap for that! Actually 2. Beauty Counter, a clean beauty and toiletry company, sells a refillable plastic deodorant container. Contact your representative to purchase.

I’ve also been noticing more and more pushup cardboard deodorant tubes. Awesome. I switched to this one –> from Zero Waste Store years ago and never looked back. Plus it lasts SO much longer than the conventional deodorant sticks.

About a year ago I finally tried the period cup…. MIND COMPLETELY BLOWN. Who was the magical genius that invented this little silicone wonder?! Just wow. A one-time purchase for almost all menstruation needs. Think of how many tampons and pads you DON’T have to buy and how many WON’T be going into the toilet and landfill! Period cup = zero waste period. Period.

For those that prefer free bleeding (sometimes I do too, so the options are great) I’d been using these amazing charcoal and bamboo reusable pads by HighOh prior to that for a couple of years. Also wow! I cannot believe how well these work. I can definitively say that I’ve never had a leak while wearing these. Comes in a pack of 6 with a waterproof travel bag. Zero waste, free bleeding/non-invasive, affordable one-time purchase. AMAZING!

I was eager and curious to finally try out the THINX period underwear during my last cycle as another great free bleeding, zero waste swap. But unfortunately my order was mislabeled and I got the wrong size. So next month I’ll have a 3rd sustainable swap option for my menstruation.

Toilet paper. After the pandemic I think we all have a new appreciation for it. Well even for toilet paper there is a sustainable swap and a better way… with Betterway bamboo TP! We tried this out recently at the Henesy House and the difference pretty is negligible. Bamboo is much more sustainable because it grows so fast and doesn’t contribute to deforestation like traditional TP. Bamboo is a better way, always. Even for your butt!


Kitchen

Giant detergent jugs. UGH. They’re heavy, bulky and made of thick plastic. Oh and TOTALLY UNNECESSARY! I ordered these laundry strips immediately when I first saw them. What an amazingly eco-friendly zero waste product and solution to those nasty jugs. If you had to pick just one sustainable swap to enact in your home, please make the switch to laundry strips. Each jug that doesn’t go to landfill is a win!

Speaking of giant heavy plastic jugs….. this swap would be my #2 request for anyone and everyone. Especially because they’re also completely 1000% unnecessary. Some big brands even make the pods and STILL put them in a giant plastic container! (why though?) Just do it. Make the swap and get the dishwasher pods in the box.

Again, soaps don’t need to come in plastic containers. Dish soap is a daily need and therefore a product we go through at a decent pace. So it’s extra important to be sustainable with something we use frequently.

I’ve used the Vegan Dish Block from No Tox Life several times and was fairly impressed. It doesn’t suds up like conventional soaps, but I also know suds don’t mean cleaner. I’m eager to try these other 2 options as well. The bamboo scrubbers will fit nicely in the refillable Suds & Co dish, and it looks like the closest to traditional dish soap is the refillable glass pump bottle by Fillaree.

Bamboo is better!!! ….like almost always. Those green and yellow sponges scour decently. But they don’t last very long and soon the scratchy green plastic starts to break down and starts falling apart. Possibly leaving tiny plastic particles on your dishes and DEFINITELY draining them into our water system! And seemingly the only benefit of the little plastic handheld scrubbers is that they hold soap inside them. Big whoop.

We’ve been using both of these bamboo pot scrubbers and long handle dish brush at the Henesy House for a while now. Work great. Compostable heads. Sustainable. Awesome. Plus the natural bamboo color looks nice by the sink.

Plastic baggies. BARF. Oh mama nature forgive me for all the baggies I used in the 80’s and 90’s! We all did. So many single use baggies. We were so focused on convenience we ignored how much unnecessary plastic waste we were adding. Well it’s 2022 now, so the pollution solutions and sustainable swaps are here! I don’t know if I even need to describe how amazing and multi-functional the Stasher bags are. Especially in Mom life. I’ve tried several other reusable food storage bags. None compared to the Stashers. Don’t waste your money on another brand. Don’t waste your money on lame single use baggies. The small investment in the Stashers will quickly pay for itself when you don’t have to buy baggies ever again.

Next up, the Beeswax food wraps. The functionality of these really impressed me and I bought another variety pack. Cover a bowl, and avocado, a lemon, wrap up a sandwich or snacks to go… the list goes on. Made from sustainable candelilla wax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin, these wraps are 100% vegan. Good for at least one year of use and then can be composted making the Beeswax wraps a zero waste sustainable swap! Plus they come in cute prints.

Last but certainly not least…. the REAL solution to mom life and school lunches, the REAL baggie sustainable swap, Responsible Products compostable baggies!!!! Oh My Goodness! When this company emailed me to collaborate and I looked through all of their sustainable products my little hippie heart soared so high! YES. Someone made a much needed, yet still covenient, sustainable solution for plastic baggies. Responsible Products has SO many swap options and sustainable food and drink solutions. I’ve used their supplies for every party I’ve hosted since finding them. USE CODE “LAUREN11504” for 10% off your order!

There’s even a sustainable swap for garbage bags! I found these plant based garbage bags years ago and immediately made the switch. Because why not??? We have to use our consumer power to tell the powers that be the changes we want to see. So I’ll keep buying the HippoSak until those other brands catch up and catch on to sustainable products.


On the Go

Plastic single-use water bottles… they got to be one of the worts culprits and contributors to plastic waste and pollution. We can do better. And there’s a super easy solution that saves so much plastic and so much money!. The GoPure water filter. Grab your favorite reusable water bottle and this clever little pod that cleans your water on the go. I’ve used mine while out and about to filter fountain water, faucet water and restaurant water for me and the kids. Plastic bottled water is unnecessary a lot of times. Just need a GoPure pod!

Plastic cutlery. Yikes. But yes, disposable cutlery is a necessity at many gatherings, events and parties. In that case swap over to compostable and/or bamboo utensils from Responsible Products.

When personally on-the-go though, I carry these reusable bamboo utensil sets. They even make a set for kiddos! I put these in my diaper bag and used at many food truck fests and farmer’s markets. Even at some restaurants during the all the plastic use during the pandemic. My husband also brought his set to the office since they serve him lunch there. Thats 5 days worth of plastic utensils Not being used! The adult set even comes with bamboo chopsticks


Pets

Let’s not forget our fur babies and their sustainable swaps! I have a cat. Which requires littler vs poop bags, and I’ve yet to find a more sustainable litter option. But for those that have pups, that are out walking and scooping it up, there are sustainable, compostable swaps for those single-use doggie bags. Find here at Responsible Products and use code “LAUREN11504” fro 15% off. Or find here on Amazon. Either way, make the swap for scooping your pup’s poop!

Another eco-friendly pet swap I don’t need with my kitty, since she bathes herself. But I know dogs need regular baths and grooming. Again, here is a sustainable soap swap from unnecessary plastic bottle to a simple bar. This one also from Suds & Co at Zero Waste Store is all natural, vegan and also zero waste.

And there you have it. My top sustainable swaps. I know there’s more to swap and some I’ve missed and some obvious ones I didn’t include. (See one of my first posts about swapping to plastic free -> 5 Easy Eco-Friendly Items) But I’ll be updating this post as I learn and try more eco options to keep me and Mother Earth happier. So save and bookmark this post for all the links to reduce your footprint and plastic usage!

Author: Lauren

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