11 Swaps to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

11 Swaps to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

As humans we create so much waste and the majority of this ends up in land fill. A huge contributor to this is single use products and the best way to reduce our impact on the environment is not to use them in the first place. To increase the sustainability of your home AND in most cases SAVE you over time, try implementing these swaps in your home today!

 

1. Baking Paper

Did you know?

If your baking paper is coated with wax it can’t be recycled as it makes it too difficult to recover the paper fibres.

I have the baking mat below and use it for everything from roasted vegetables, pizza and even freezing fruit.

SWAP TO  

TupperChef™ Baking Sheet

Silicone Re-usable Baking Mat
Silicone Re-usable Muffin Tray
Silicone Re-usable Slice Tray

Where to buy?

TupperChef™ TupCakes

Tupperware – TupperChef™ Baking Sheet
Tupperware – TupperChef™ TupCakes
Tupperware – TupperChef™ Slice Form

TupperChef™ Slice Form

BPA Free
Easy to clean
Oven Safe up to 220°C

Find your nearest Tupperware consultant

Top Tips

When buying silicone products check they are also BPA free as sometimes they use BPA for brightly coloured products.
 

2. Bin Liners

Did you know?

Plastic bags do not readily break down in the environment, with estimates of ranging from 20 to 1000 years for the time it takes them to decompose.
Due to this it also increases the time taken for the contents of the bag to decompose.

SWAP TO  

Degradable Bin Liners
Biodegradable Bin Liners

Price Comparison

 
Glad Medium Bin Bags
 

Non-Degradable

40pk Glad Medium
0.10c per bag
$3.99 pk
Price Checked 19/08/2016
Woolworths Online

Degrades after 20-1000 years

Multix Medium Bin Bags

Degradable

30pk Multix Medium Degradable
0.10c per bag
$3.08 pk
Price Checked 19/08/2016
Woolworths Online

Degrades after 2 years

BioBag 30L

Biodegradable

25pk BioBag 30L Biodegradable
0.40c per bag
$9.95 pk
Price Checked 28/08/2016
Biome

Biodegrades in 10-45 days
Best for food scraps

 

What’s the Difference

Degradable

Most plastic bags on the market are polyethelene bags with a percentage of plant starch or additives [3]. These degradable bags break down into pieces of plastic debris, but they do not compost [3].

Biodegradable

Biodegradable bags are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoiding pollution [2]. Biodegradable items should be 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable and contain no polyethylene [3].

 

***By utilising the Coles soft plastic recycling program as listed in my 16 Ways You Could Be Recycling most of our waste is food waste. I have not yet come across a biodegradable bin liner that is strong enough for general waste. If you know of one please comment below!
 

3. Plastic Containers

Did you know?

Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity.
When heating plastic containers chemicals can leach into your food, even if it is BPA free.
Tempered glass products can easily be used in the fridge, freezer, microwave, stove and oven.

SWAP TO  

Glass Containers/Jars

Pyrex

Top Tips

Wash & Keep Glass jars from sauces etc. you already buy
Use jars instead of glasses for smoothies or drinks on the go
Pyrex is the brand I use.

Where to buy?

Peter’s of Kensington – Pyrex
Catch of the Day – Pyrex – Watch out for deals like these!
Myer – Pyrex – Watch out for Sales like Buy 2 get 1 Free!
 

4. Takeaway Coffee/Tea Cups

Did you know?

Half of the plastic produced globally goes into products that are only used once.
After 15 coffees using a keep cup you start saving water, trees and energy.
Most disposable paper cups are lined with polyethylene, contaminating the recycling stream.
20 ‘paper cups‘ contain as much plastic as a small KeepCup.

SWAP TO  

Keep Cup or Re-Usable Cups

Joco Keep Cup - Blue

Where to buy?

Biome Eco Stores – Joco Re-usable Cups
 

5. Dog Poo Bags

Did you know?

4% of landfill is poop!
Due to the poop being in a plastic bags will take around 1000 years to break down.
3.4 millions dogs in Australia create 1200kg of poop per day.
Dog poop is considered a pollution and not a fertiliser because of the bacteria present in it.

SWAP TO  

Degradable Poop Bags
Biodegradable Flushable Poop Bags

Price Comparison

Bags on Board

Non-Degradable

Bags on Board 120 pk
0.23c per bag
$27.99 pk + shipping
Price Checked 19/08/2016
Pet Stock Online

20-1000 years to degrade

Beco Bags

Degradable

Beco 270 pk
0.07c per bag
$19.99 pk + shipping
Price Checked 19/08/2016
Pet Stock Online

Degrades within 2 years

Flushable Poop bags

Biodegradable & Flushable

Flushable Poop Bags 370 pk
0.12c per bag
$44.99 pk + shipping
Price Checked 21/08/2016
Flushable Poop Bags Online

Biodegrades within 4 days of flushing
Biodegrades in 6 months in landfill
30% off profits donated to dog related charities
Free weatherproof carry bag with 6 & 12 month supply

What’s the Difference

Degradable

Most plastic bags on the market are polyethelene bags with a percentage of plant starch or additives [3]. These degradable bags break down into pieces of plastic debris, but they do not compost [3].

Biodegradable

Biodegradable bags are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoiding pollution [2]. Biodegradable items should be 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable and contain no polyethylene [3].

 

6. Cling Wrap

Did you know?

Choosing a reusable alternative to disposable wraps help reduce waste, pollution and saves precious resources.
Re-heating food with cling wrap can still leech chemicals into your food.

SWAP TO  

Glass Containers
Re-usable Silicone Wraps

Price Comparison

 
Glad Wrap

Single Use

Glad Wrap 150m
10.00
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Woolworths Online

 
kogan-6-set-silicone-food-wraps

Re-usable

Kogan Set 6 silicone food wraps
9.00
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Kogan Online

BPA Free
Covers plates, food, bowls, cheese
Lasts for years
Air tight seal

 
 
Cover Blubber Multi Pack

Re-usable

Fusion Cover Blubber Set 4
27.00
Price Checked 2/09/2016
Peter’s of Kensington

BPA Free
Covers plates, food, bowls, cheese
Lasts for years
Air tight seal

 

7. Plastic Shopping Bags

Did you know?

The production of plastic bags is depleting our non-renewable fossil fuels.
The cost of plastic bags amounts to $100 million a year, which is added to our grocery bills.
According to MarketWatch.com.au re-usable bags take between 4-100+ uses to be better than single use bags – Polyethylene (4 uses), Polypropylene (11 uses), cotton (131 uses!).
According to Choice.com.au the most environmentally friendly re-usable bags are 100% rPET (recycled plastic drink bottles). 60% less energy and 90% less water went into making this bag as compared to similar non-recycled products.

SWAP TO  

Re-usable bags made from 100% rPET (recycled plastic drink bottles)
Re-usable bags made from polyethylene

ChicoBag rePETe - Reusable Bag Re-usable bags

Where to Buy

Biome – ChicoBag Re-usable Shopping Bags – made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles!
Biome – Produce Bags – made from 100% rPET (recycled plastic drink bottles)
 

8. Cleaning Products

Did you know?

Natural cleaning options can save time, money, and reduce chemical exposure!

SWAP TO  

Natural Cleaning Products Using the below ingredients

Vinegar + water = multi-purpose cleaner
Bi-carb soda = tough stain removal
Borax = cleaning/stain removal
Lemons = microwave, cutting board, bins

Check these Natural Cleaning Tips & Recipes
 

9. Tampons/Pads

Did you know?

A woman uses more than 12,000 tampons in her lifetime and each and every one of them come into contact with the most sensitive and most absorbent part of her body.
More than 660 million disposable feminine products end up in landfill every year in Australia alone.

SWAP TO  

Biodegradable Tampons/Pads
Menstrual Cup

Price Comparison

 
Kotex

Non-Biodegradable

U Kotex Regular 16pk
0.29c each
$4.69 pk
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Woolworths Online

Non-Biodegradable

 
Tom Organic

Biodegradable

Tom Organic Regular 16pk
0.45c each
$7.21
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Woolworths Online

100% Biodegradbable
100% Organic Cotton
Free from synthetics
Free from chemicals & dyes
Not tested on animals, cruelty free & vegan

 
Biom

e - Menstrual Cup

Re-usable

Biome Menstrual Cup
Lasts up to 10 years
$59.95
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Biome

Lasts up to 10 years
Convenience of tampons without the waste
Cost effective
100% medical grade silicone
Also see Re-usable Pads

 

10. Toilet paper

Did you know?

When buying recycled toilet paper you are saving valuable natural resources such as pulp and water and reducing landfill
2.3 billion people across the world don’t have access to a toilet

SWAP TO  

Recycled Toilet Paper

Price Comparison

 
Quilton

Non-Recycled

Quilton 3-Ply 24pk
0.26c per 100 sheets
$12.00 pk
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Woolworths Online

Responsible sourcing of timber

 
Naturale

Recycled

Naturale 2-Ply 12pk
0.22c per 100 sheets
$6.00 pk
Price Checked 19/08/2016
Woolworths Online

100% Biodegradable
100% Recycled office paper

 
Who Gives a Crap

Recycled

Who Gives a Crap 48pk
0.25c per 100 sheets
$48.00 pk
Price Checked 27/08/2016
Who Gives a Crap

100% Biodegradable
100% recycled paper fibres, bamboo or sugarcane
50% profits build toilets & improve sanitation in the world
Free Shipping & Auto Delivery

11. Straws

Did you know?

Each day we use 500 million straws.
A 9 year old kid called Milo founded the Say No to straws campaign to encourage people and business to eliminate disposable straw waste.

SWAP TO  

Re-usable straws
Say no to disposable straws while eating out

Stainless Steel Straws

Where to buy?

Straws – Silicone
Straws – Stainless Steel
Straws – Glass

Tips

To clean, simply purchase a straw cleaner which can also be used to clean sippy cups and hard to reach appliance parts.

Straw Cleaner

 
 

Did I miss anything Comment below with your swaps 🙂

 
 

Did you know you can recycle these 16 items? 16 Ways You Could Be Recycling

 

*This article contains affiliate links. Have a splendid day!

References & Resources

1. Be Straw Free Campaign – http://ecocycle.org/bestrawfree

2. Biodegradable – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/biodegradable

3. Degradable – http://www.biome.com.au/biodegradable-plastic-bags/402-biobag-biodegradable-plastic-bags-30-litre-25.html

4. Disposable Cup vs KeepCup – vs.keepcup.com.au/

5. Flushable Poop Bags https://flushablepoopbags.com.au/

6. Glass Facts – http://www.gpi.org/recycling/glass-recycling-facts

7. Impact of Tampons/Pads – http://www.thechicecologist.com/2010/04/the-environmental-impact-of-everyday-things/

8. Plastic Shopping Bags & the Environment – http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/bags/

9. Re-usable bags, bottles and cups – http://www.earthfirst.net.au/reusable-bags-bottles-amp;-cups.html

10. Should I Buy Organic Tampons? Every Woman Must Read – http://anappleaday.net.au/should-i-buy-organic-tampons-every-woman-must-read/

11. The Truth About Re-usable Shopping Bags – http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-reusable-bags-worse-for-environment-than-plastic-2014-01-09

 

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