Environmental Essentials You NEED to Switch to

In today’s society, it is more important than ever to save the environment. Some general ways we can do this are by using less water, recycling, and using forms of transportation other than cars (like bikes or walking) to get to places within a short distance of us. While these are all great, one thing that Canada is trying to work towards is to use less plastic and more reusable items to help create less waste in our landfills. When it comes to deciding which items to switch out, it might be hard to know where to start. Here are some essentials I would recommend switching to to help produce less waste!

  1. 1. Metal/Reusable Straws

    You’ve likely seen this item pop up frequently in 2019 amid the VSCO girl trend through the movement “Save the Turtles.” While we haven’t seen a lot of promotions about this recently, this problem still matters! According to the Odyssey, “more than 1 million seabirds die every year after choking on a plastic straw that they mistook for food.”(Odessey) This also applies to animals on the ocean floor because when they see the plastic straws floating above them, they think it’s food and eat them, which causes many sea animals’ bodies to be filled with plastic; plastic can also be a big choking hazard. By making the switch to metal or reusable straws, you can keep 584 pieces of plastic out of the ocean (McCarthy). Metal straws are also easily portable. You can keep them in your purse or in your car. There are even special collapsible ones that you can attach to your keys! That way, whenever you go out and get something to drink, you already have a straw on hand

  2. 2. Reusable Makeup Wipes & Environmentally Friendly Beauty Products

    Makeup lovers can go through a lot of makeup and skincare products ($15,000 worth of it to be more specific). While you can spend some of this on your favourite skincare and makeup brands, this can also go to purchases you need such as makeup wipes. Luckily, there is an environmentally friendly wipe for that, and that is reusable makeup remover pads! These pads can do the exact same job as regular pads, while also saving the environment. To use them, you can simply put your makeup remover or skincare product onto the pad (I tend to use makeup removing pads for my toner), then apply it to your face. Once you’re done, you can pop them into your washing machine to use again later! Most reusable pads come in packs of 12, so you’ll never need to worry about running out. Another alternative to pads if you want something less materialistic would be reusable products or products that can be recycled! When it comes to reusable skincare, I must say Rihanna knows where it’s at. Rihanna’s skincare line Fenty Skin includes a variety of 2 in 1 products such as her Total Cleans’r, which is a dual-purpose face wash AND makeup remover, and her Fat Water Toner, which combines a toner and serum into one! (it also has great material consistency so you can easily apply it with your hands!). Rihanna also has 2 moisturizers in her line: the Hydravisor (which is a moisturizer and SPF in one that also works great to set your makeup) and the Instant Reset night cream; they both have refillable packaging options, so you only purchase the product once and then you can keep purchasing the refills. There are also other eco-friendly brands such as Lush and The Body Shop that offer recycling programs for all of their plastic products.

  3. 3. Reusable Bags

    That’s right, those reusable tote bags with iron-transferred donuts on them that you had in 2015 are back in style, and eco-friendly too! Tote bags are always a great alternative to use when going shopping, to the gym, or just about anywhere you need to carry items! Did you know the average American family brings home 1,500 shopping bags per year? As well, only 1% of these plastic bags are recycled. Therefore, using reusable bags allows for fewer plastic bags to be added to our landfills. Today, there are a variety of reusable bags you can get, from bookbag totes to special mesh bags for your products; they’ve even come out with ones to use in place of Ziploc bags, and eco-friendly poop bags for your dogs!

  4. 4. Bamboo Products

    Bamboo has recently become a very popular material for sustainable living. This is because this material makes the air breathable while cutting down fewer trees; it also requires fewer pesticides and less machinery to cut it down, therefore spreading less pollution in the air. Nowadays, you can get a variety of things made from bamboo, including toothbrushes, towels, water bottles, sunglasses, and even portable speakers and batteries! By purchasing Bamboo products, you’re getting well-crafted and beautiful items while taking less away from the environment!

  5. 5. Rechargeable Lighter

    Have a lot of candles in your life? Well, chances are, you may be ruining the environment with them. It is said that as a global society we use almost 500 billion matches per year! Battery-powered lighters are also bad for the earth; additionally, a lot of our batteries go into the landfill, which is why switching to a rechargeable lighter will make a significant impact on our waste creation. Simply plug the lighter into charge, and then once it’s charged up you can light whatever candles you need with it! You’ll be using fewer matches while keeping those candles burning!

     

  6. 6. Sustainable Clothing

    We’ve all heard about the world of fast fashion in the news recently, with brands like Fashion Nova, Misguided, and Shein recently making the rounds on social media. This is where sustainable clothing comes into play. Not only do fast fashion brands create cheap and trendy pieces at low cost and that don’t last, but they also are mass-produced, causing loads of pollution. There are lots of brands that try to work on creating sustainable and eco-friendly items that not only have long-lasting quality but are also great basic and staple pieces that will keep your wardrobe looking timeless. Some of these brands include Girlfriend Collective, Tentree, Maylynandco, and Happy Earth. By supporting these brands, you're also giving back to local businesses who may need it, and back to the earth in general; brands like Tentree will plant ten trees with every purchase!

  7. 7. Eco-Friendly Self-Care Items

    Finally, I have a very big passion for self-care and keeping my body clean, so I like to try and incorporate that into my routine with recyclable and eco-friendly items. My two favourite stores I always go back to are Lush and The Body Shop because they always offer amazing products with natural ingredients in recyclable packaging. I tend to get all of my body care from them, which includes lotions, body washes, face masks, and bath bombs; these are all perfectly relaxing and help the environment. However, there are many other products I have not yet switched to that are also helpful for the environment and make you feel clean and fresh! Some of these include shampoo and conditioner bars, which are essentially bars of your favourite hair products that are package-free, but they still give the same results as your regular products. You can even get metal tins to help them last longer! There are also eco-friendly razors that you can use to take shaving to the next level, whether they are razors made with eco-friendly materials, or they are razors that have refillable blades! Finally, for everyone out there who menstruates, there is of course the famous Diva Cup to keep you comfortable on your period while also using fewer tampons! Not comfortable putting anything up there? Not to worry, as there are also eco-friendly pads making their way into stores, such as reusable pads that you can throw in the laundry after using, and even period underwear! By using these items, you can keep yourself and the environment clean!

Now that I’ve gone through all of these necessary switches, you now have some ideas in your mind as to where you can start when it comes to buying eco-friendly! Almost everything out there can be made in a sustainable way, so with that being said, while working hard to lower your carbon footprint, make sure to shop sustainably too!