If you’re making a conscious effort to make more sustainable choices (well done you!), here are five everyday, often single-use, items you can easily swap for reusable ones 

Photo: Pexel Polina Kovaleva

We’re all trying to make a more conscious effort to reduce waste and invest in reusable items that will last longer. Lucky for us, nowadays lots of single-use items that you typically use around the house, now have a sustainable alternative. Particularly products and items that are made from single-use plastic. Not only do reusable items tend to be earth-friendly, but they also save you time (less trips to the shop), and money in the long term as their cost-per-use plays out. We’ve rounded up some everyday items that you can swap for reusable products easily. 

Remember, when it comes to being more sustainably-minded it’s not about getting it right or wrong. Do what’s best for your lifestyle, your family and you. Even small, incremental changes all help towards to goal  of reducing waste and looking after the planet. Check out our Live Better section for more ideas and inspiration! 

Swap: Single-use menstrual products for menstrual cups or period underwear

Constantly buying tampons or pads can not only be expensive but since most tampon applicators are made from single use-plastic, they can negatively impact the environment. Using a menstrual cup or period underwear is more eco-friendly and can save you a lot of money. Check out these new affordable reusable period underwear from Penneys, which could be a great option to try out. 

Swap: Single-use makeup removers and wipes for reusable cotton pads

Many face wipes are non-biodegradable meaning one wipe can take up to 100 years to decompose. Plus, they can be detrimental to your skin’s health. Instead of using hundreds of wipes or cotton pads in a year, get yourself a pack of reusable organic cotton pads. Brilliantly, most beauty brands have a version of these now and plenty are affordable. Throw them in the weekly wash (in a strong bag) and watch yourself never going back to wipes again. 

Swap: Plastic bags for mesh bags for fruit and vegetables

Instead of buying more plastic in the supermarket every time, pick up loose fruit and vegetables where possible by bringing your own bag. Mesh drawstring bags not only look nice, but they squash up nice and small at the bottom of your handbag or inside your pocket. Keep a few by the front door so you never forget, and take one with you when you visit your local farmers market.

Swap: plastic straws for metal or plant-made straws

If you can’t drink your cocktails or iced coffee without a straw, but you want to ditch plastic ones or don’t want to use paper ones that go soggy, invest in a pack of stainless-steel reusable ones that will last you years. There’s a range of colours you can choose from as well as BPA-free ones that you can pop in the dishwasher and have ready in the morning for your smoothie. Or try these cool straws made from grass by Irish company GIOP.   

 

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Swap: kitchentowels for ‘unpaper’ kitchen towels

Paper towels are convenient, but most of the time they are gone in a matter of days and often come in plastic packaging. Why not try out these ‘unpaper’ towels that are made from bamboo that you can place on a roll just like the ordinary ones. These are hardwearing, absorbent and can be washed with the rest of your tea towels every week.