Shopping secondhand for my clothing, as well as, purchasing new items from local, sustainable + ethical brands has been one major shift I’ve made over the past few years. I am much more mindful when bringing something new, or new-to-me, into my wardrobe. Why? I have learned so much about the harmful realities of the fashion industry (harmful to the planet and to people) that it made me want to do better. When it comes to sustainability, I have been making an effort to take it beyond just my wardrobe. Sometimes just some simple swaps can make a big impact. Here are some of the things we have swapped out in our home, to be more sustainable. Remember, you can’t change everything all at once, but you can start today, with one thing, and then grow from there.
In the Bathroom:
Shaving cream – soap or coconut oil (The shaving soap bar from Well Kept is a fave.)
Perfume – essential oils
Cotton Rounds – face cloth (This had to be one of my most ridiculous epiphanies. Embarrassing I know, but yes, facecloths are all we need. )
Eye makeup remover – facial oil (I just dampen my facecloth, add a tiny bit of my facial oil and rub it all over my face. It removes all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and fresh. My fave natural skincare products are from local company Somerset Moss. )
Disposable Razors – safety razor (I have the Well Kept razor and I’m really happy with it. It’s a Vancouver company too!)
Bottled bubble bath – package free bubble bars (I buy the ones from Lush for the kids.)
Facial tissues – hankys (We do still use traditional facial tissue too, but for the kids, we have found that introducing Hanky’s has helped us cut way back on the quantity we use. All our hankys we use are vintage ones from our family too.)
plastic toothbrushes & hairbrushes – bamboo brushes ( I recently discovered the company The Future is Bamboo and I’m excited about the items they offer. I bought their unicorn toothbrushes for the kids, but they also carry utensils, straws, cotton swabs, and more. Plus, they are Canadian.)
regular tampons + pads: organic cotton tampons and pads + I have also started using period panties (I use the feminine care brand Natura, which can be found in grocery and drug stores. The period underwear I use, is from local Vancouver company Aisle. They are not only sustainable, but also gender inclusive. )
In the Kitchen:
Tupperware – glass locks and glass jars (peanut butter jars + jam jars get reused a lot in our house.)
Sparkling water – Soda Stream
paper napkins – cloth napkins
plastic straws – silicone and metal straws
plastic kids cups and snack bowls – stainless steel cups and snack bowls
In the laundry room:
Dryer sheets – reusable wool dryer balls (I like adding some lavender essential oils to mine) + I hang to dry a number of our items.
Liquid detergent in a plastic bottle – eco friendly powder detergent in metal container (Nellies is the one I recently switched to. Although, I there is still a plastic bag involved in the packaging of this item.)
Like everything, accessibility is a factor. If you live some place smaller you may not have access to zero waste shops, farmers markets, etc. Or, if you’re like me, since Covid-19 hit, I pretty much never go out and have resorted to ordering a lot of things online. If you are ordering online, still try to support those small, local businesses whenever it is possible. They need us more than ever! When it comes to the food you buy, try your best to load up on the produce that is local and in season. This is a great time a year for a wide variety of fruit and veggie favourites. If you really want local, planting your own vegetable garden is about as close to home as you can get.