“If we want to change things, we must first change ourselves. If we want to play – if we want to change the world – we must first show up on the field to score.” Paul Rusesabagina
At aware_ we’re all about taking action. It’s about doing, not just talking. Because this is what will create change. The good news is that this doesn’t always mean you have to change everything you’re doing right now. Being more sustainable can start with your toothbrush. Literally.
Let’s begin with a place where you’re probably spending a lot of time right now: your home.
There are certain products you likely use every day, and these are the ones to replace with more eco friendly versions. We give you 5 simple product switches you can make for a more sustainable household and why it’s important to make the switch:
1 – A plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush
1 billion toothbrushes get thrown out every year in the US alone, and most of them are plastic. During beach cleanups in Hawaii you could find between 20-100 toothbrushes.
Plastic toothbrushes are a burden to the environment since they take years to decompose. This is why bamboo toothbrushes are a great replacement. They last just as long as regular toothbrushes and can be burned or recycled without damage to the environment.
You can already find them in many (drug stores), or online.
2 – Plastic Straws to Metal Straws
Plastic straws are similar to toothbrushes. They seem small and insignificant but their impact on the environment is there.
According to experts, there are now 150 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean and we add another 8 million tons each year. If trends continue the plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish by 2050.
Although plastic straws only take up 1% of this, we need to start small. When we switch products like this we also become aware about other areas in which we unnecessarily use plastic.
If you don’t use plastic straws at home, then also avoid them at restaurants. Bring your own metal straw if you prefer to drink your gin and tonic from a straw. With these classy metal straws it takes your drink to another level.
3 – Cotton Swabs to Reusable Swabs
Traditional cotton swabs are another source of single use plastic.
LastObject has made it their mission to eliminate single use items, so we look after our environment better. Their first product is a stylish reusable swab. And even though the idea of reusing a swab might sound weird, it’s kind of cool when we consider how many swabs we normally use across our lifetime (think about how many showers you have).
4 – Chemical Filled Cleaning Products to Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Many traditional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that are released into the air around you. This can be bad for your health when you breathe them in, but also for the environment. Switching to greener products will make your household more sustainable and healthy – it helps to reduce pollution to our waterways and the air.
5 – Standard Light Bulbs to LEDs
LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting such as fluorescent and incandescent lights. They also draw much less power than traditional lighting and give the same amount of light. Many traditional light bulbs contain toxic elements such as mercury (which can be harmful when the lights end up in the landfill). LEDs are therefore the most sustainable and ‘clean’ option.
Now here’s what to do after reading this article: pick one of these product switches today, and make the change! Don’t have a bamboo toothbrush yet? Then order your first one so you have it’s ready to use. Or switch out your cleaning products for a month and notice what a difference it makes to the air quality in your home. Taking it step by step is the best way to make lasting change.