January 29, 2021
On our journey into a more sustainable way of living, we thought it was about time to share our experience with specific swaps we decided to put in place in our own homes. When we started our path towards a more eco-friendly way of living and tried to actually swap specific items we’ve always used in our everyday life, there were so many choices we could choose from, that made the first approach a bit daunting. Going zero waste is a long process, something one has to commit to, it is not the most straightforward thing. You need to rethink everything you’ve always done and unless you have nothing to do in your everyday life than think about ways to reduce your waste, you might feel you don't have enough time to invest to actually do it properly.
The amazing thing is, though, that you do not need to do it perfectly! As you might have read many times in many different places, we don’t need one person to do it perfectly, we need many people to do it imperfectly! Remember, it is the gentle tweaks that will make the difference. PLUS, let’s all learn to be more kind to ourselves and less judgemental, already deciding to try is amazing, no matter how little one can do, it is already more than doing nothing at all!
In order to guide you a little bit in the first steps (disclaimer: we are taking many first steps ourselves!!), we thought we could share 5 VERY EASY and pretty straightforward eco-friendly swaps that you can make in the kitchen that will really reduce your impact on the planet, without affecting or completely changing your lifestyle! These are 5 of the swaps we put in place ourselves and the ones we would suggest to take as first steps as you can see their benefit from pretty much the very beginning.
So Let’s start:
1 - Beeswax Wraps VS Cling Film and Foil
Honestly, Beeswax Wraps are amazing! They are made of 100% natural and biodegradable materials, with the heat of your hands you can apply them on every container and wrap any kind of food. If they get dirty, you can simply wash them, let them dry out and use them again and again! They will eventually degrade, but it takes lots of time before they do!
We have reduced our usage of cling film to the very very minimum, which is amazing! So huge thumbs-up, Beeswax Wraps are good both on the planet and on your wallet!
2 - Silicone lids VS Cling Film and Foil
Again, silicone lids are an amazing alternative to cling film and foil. They usually come in sets of different sizes so you can use them on bowls of different sizes. You can also use them directly on food (as long as the shapes allow). Again, this saves so much foil and cling film, to the point that we reduced our usage of these two items to the very minimum. Silicone lids can be washed in the dishwasher and they are totally hassle free. Again, huge thumbs-up!
We use the Silicone lids by Earth and Friends
3 - Ocean Saver refills for kitchen detergents VS New kitchen cleaners
We simply LOVE them! You can get Ocean Saver refills for any cleaner you might need in the house and they work super well! PLUS, they are cheap, they come in a completely zero waste packaging, no plastic whatsoever, they are plant-based and non-toxic (which is a big deal!) and last but not least, they are not tested on animals. Did we mention that they are also cheap?? When it comes to eco-friendly products, sometimes they can be costly and we get it, not everyone is happy to compromise their wallet that much (we have been - and still are - there too). What’s amazing about these refills though, is that they work like any other disposable non-green detergent, but they are cheaper (or at least cheaper than most)! PLUS, they save the planet! A totally win-win situation!
4 - Cloth napkins and washable, biodegradable, natural cloth sponges VS Kitchen Roll
This is again a swap that you will appreciate straight away: you will see your amount of garbage decline drastically within a matter of days (and again, your wallet will benefit from this swap straight away!). To those who might argue that kitchen roll is not plastic and therefore not as harmful, this is true, you are right, there is worse than kitchen roll around - and we used to argue exactly the same! But just think for a second about all the production chains behind it - and this was the game changer for us and the thing that made us swap to non-disposable reusable items!
The pollution it makes: Paper mills produce solid waste matter that can end up polluting soil and water sources.
The energy use: The paper industry is the world’s 5th biggest consumer of energy (according to The World Counts). Energy is required to produce kitchen roll, transport the finished product, and transport any waste it produces (unless the waste kitchen roll is home composted).
The water use: Paper products, like kitchen roll, are water-intensive to produce, with 10 litres required just to produce one sheet of A4 (Source: The World Counts).
The plastic waste it makes: Kitchen roll often comes wrapped in soft plastic that ends up in landfill.
We have always been big users of kitchen roll, but after having realised its great impact on the planet, we have reduced its usage as much as we can (although still using it when we can’t do otherwise).
We use the washable cloth sponges by EcoLiving
5 - Seasonal/Local food VS Exotic and non-seasonal food.
This is again a small change that will make a huge difference. If you like cooking or experimenting in the kitchen, take it as an excuse to prepare something different! Have a walk to your local market, make it a nice distraction from a very busy and fast life, support local and organic businesses. Especially during the huge crisis we are going through at the moment, this will be even more meaningful and important.
Well, this is it! We really hope you’ll find the article useful, we would simply love to know which swaps you put in place (if any) and which of these ones we have suggested you think you will try!
Benni & Carol xx
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