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Climate change has been a major topic recently, which has left a lot of people wondering what they can do to help the environment. Becoming more eco-friendly can be intimidating — as consumers, we can have a hard time identifying what is environmentally friendly and what isn’t. It can also be tough to decide what products are good and what aren’t. Here are five of my favorite swaps that are eco-friendly and easy.

Reusable cotton pads

Reusable cotton pads have been one of my favorite products for a while now. I use them as a makeup remover, toner and even nail polish remover. When I’m done, I just throw them in their little bag and wash them. It also saves a ton of waste as someone who uses cotton pads a lot.

brita

I love filtered water just as much as the next person, but buying water bottles creates a ton of unnecessary waste. It also gets expensive pretty fast if you drink a lot of water. Buying a Brita filter can save money and reduce waste. It filters water fast and is reusable because all you have to replace is the filter every few months.

reusable grocery bags
Trader Joe\'S Reusable Bag
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

I go to the grocery store a lot and live on the third floor of my apartment. Carrying tons of plastic bags on my arms while going up three flights of stairs is not exactly ideal, which is why I love using reusable bags. They hold a great amount and are super easy to just throw around your shoulder while also saving plastic. They are also washable if anything ever spills or leaks.

steamer

Having clean floors is a must for me. I had a wet Swiffer to clean my apartment floors, but I noticed the pads dried up quickly and were quite pricey. Investing in a steamer was a wonderful decision as it saves money, cleans a ton better and saves waste. My steamer just takes water, and the pad is washable.

reusable ziplock bags

As I mentioned before, I go to the grocery store a lot, which results in storing tons of food. I also love to take snacks on the go. This was an easy swap for me that saves money and reduces waste. I have reusable bags of all sizes for the storage of any food. Plus, they have super cute designs. Once I’m done with it, I wash it with soap and water. Just like that, a clean Ziplock bag is ready to use with no waste.

We can only do so much as individuals for the environment, but making small swaps result in bigger impacts than we think. It’s all about the small things. After all, there is no “planet B.”

Sheridan Mercer

Virginia Tech '22

A senior studying childhood pre-education with minors in psychology and disability Studies. I enjoy taking care of plants, listening to music, watching funny TikToks, journaling and cuddling with my cat.  
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