It’s never been easier to search for solutions and ways to help the environment but the overload of information on the internet can often seem daunting and make us feel that our actions as an individual won’t make a difference. This is far from the truth because it’s through individual efforts and actions that changes have been generated within communities! The huge rise of sustainable products and alternatives now easily available to all are a result of people making changes on an individual level.
The simplest and most effective way to start is by making a few small changes in our day to day lives. By starting with a few easy swaps at home, we can cultivate better habits and healthier choices for ourselves and the planet.
Most of our eco-friendly household swaps are more cost-effective, easy to do and great alternatives – so you don’t have to sacrifice any comforts!
Swap Cling-Film for BeesWax Wraps
Cling-film is a very convenient way to store food, yet it creates a large amount of single-use waste. Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to storing food and the plus side is that they can be washed and reused for up to a year, so you’re saving both waste and money in the long term. As they’re made from natural materials, beeswax wraps can also be composted at the end of their life! You can buy them at most bio shops (like La Vie Claire if you’re in Morzine or the no-waste bio shop La Vie Selon Gaïa down in Thonon), or you can try making your own at home.
Swap a Plastic Water Bottle for a Reusable Bottle
Water sold in plastic bottles creates a huge amount of waste – and why drink bottled water when we have great fresh water available on tap! Buy once, buy well: a reusable bottle is a companion for life. They’re easy to carry, non-toxic and come in an array of funky colours and designs.
Swap Takeaway Coffee Cups for a Reusable Cup
Takeaway coffee cups are considered one of the most widely-used single-use products. The paper lining in many of these cups makes them hard to fully recycle, therefore they can often end up in landfill. Not only is a reusable coffee cup practical for everyday life: many of us mountain folk are partial to a sunrise hike or backcountry mission… and what could be better than watching a sunrise from the top of a mountain with a hot coffee in your hand!
Swap Tea Bags for Loose Leaf Tea and a Tea Strainer
Swap convenience for taste with loose leaf tea. Albeit tea bags are cheaper and convenient, but if you can afford to, we recommend opting for loose leaf tea to enjoy the health benefits of drinking tea, as well as reducing waste. Most teabags actually contain plastics and can’t be composted but loose leaves can be. They make a great present for a loved one or as a treat for yourself.
Swap Baking Paper for a Silicone Mat
Once baking paper is stained by food, it can’t be recycled and therefore it is thrown away. We recommend investing in a silicone matt that is completely oven- and dishwasher-safe, non-stick, reusable and easy to clean.
Swap Harsh Cleaning Products for DIY Cleaning Products
Check out our guide on DIY cleaning products for some ideas on crafting your own cleaning products to reduce the use of chemicals and plastic at home.
Swap Floss for Refillable Bamboo Floss
Floss is such a tiny item that its environmental impact can often be overlooked. Usually in a single-use plastic container, the product itself and its packaging gets thrown away. Opt for a refillable bamboo floss instead, which is made up of natural floss from bamboo and comes in a refillable glass container.
Swap a Bottle of Shampoo for a Shampoo Bar
How easy is it to grab any bottle of shampoo from the supermarket shelf? Too easy. Yet it’s an unnecessary amount of plastic waste, unless you can refill the bottle once it’s run out at a no-waste shop. Not everyone has the opportunity to shop at one of those, so we suggest buying a bar of shampoo instead. Your local bio shop will likely have several options for you, otherwise you can look online at brands like Shampoing Solide (FR) or Friendly (UK). If you’re used to washing your hair with heavily chemical-based products, it might take a few washes for your hair to adapt but keep at it. They last for ages, have no packaging and are much better for your hair and skin!
Swap Liquid Soap for a Bar of Soap
Like a bar of shampoo, a bar of soap does exactly the same job as liquid soap, yet has far less -if not no- packaging. If you live in Morzine, we highly recommend the argan oil soap bar from Le Comptoir du Miel on Route de la Plagne.
Swap Cotton Pads for a Face Towel
Cotton Pads are an easy and gentle way to remove make-up yet they are single-use and completely unnecessary. A face towel that can be washed is a great way to save on cost in the long run and much healthier for the planet or alternatively, you can purchase or make some reusable cotton pads.
Swap Tampons and Pads for a Menstrual Cup
Despite receiving a lot of scepticism and concern over its effectiveness, more and more women are opting for the safer, cleaner and healthier benefits of the menstrual cup. An average woman will use around 11,000 disposable menstrual products in a lifetime and most of these end up in landfill, or worse, oceans. Products like Mooncup are a great way to reduce waste as well as saving you a lot of money.
Words: Bella Charlton