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  • Writer's pictureMarley Alles

Easy eco-friendly swaps

Transitioning to an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn't have to be all or nothing. Swapping out everyday items you use for sustainable options is the easiest way to instil it into your daily routine. These 13 swaps are so easy to make and will save you money in the long term!

Bamboo toothbrush

Bamboo toothbrushes are a great bathroom eco swap as your toothbrush is something you will use every day, forever. Over a lifetime, that is a LOT of toothbrushes. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush eliminates the plastic from your toothbrush handles completely, replacing them with bamboo wood (depending on the type you choose, your bristles may still be nylon/synthetic). Bamboo is an infinitely renewable and low-impact crop to grow and the wood is completely biodegradable and home compostable.

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Renting outfits vs. buying

Instead of buying a dress for the next wedding you're attending, prom, a formal event or even a night out with the girls, rent it instead! rax is Canada's peer-to-peer wardrobe rental app that gives you a platform to borrow and lend your wardrobe.

Download rax on the App Store here or on Google Play here.

Bamboo bed linen

Replacing your synthetic, polyester sheets and bed linen with ones made from bamboo is one of the most pleasurable eco swaps you can make! A natural fiber, pure bamboo bed linen is soft, breathable, naturally hypoallergic, and great for regulating the temperature so that it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. It is also stronger and more durable, which means it will last longer.

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Glass containers vs. plastic

Glass is an infinitely recyclable material, that is hardy and long-lasting. Switching to glass containers and ditching your plastic food containers is one of the easiest and most impactful eco swaps you can make! They’re durable, can withstand heat and cold, and come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They also don’t discolor or absorb smells and flavors from their contents, which is another reason they’re superior to plastic.

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Reusable coffee mug

Canadians use an estimated 1.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year, equivalent to more than half a million trees. They are very difficult to recycle as the cup, plastic lid and paper sleeve must be placed in multiple sorting stations, something that rarely happens. Instead, opt for a reusable mug.

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Refillable hand soaps

As we know, everything we do has an impact on the environment in the long run. That hand soap we use several times a day (hopefully) are often made from petroleum and contain synthetic chemical ingredients that are bad for us and the environment and likely packaged in plastic. Instead, opt for soap bars or refillable hand soaps that reduce our environmental footprint.

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Refillable candles

The majority of candles are made using paraffin, which is made from fossil fuels that are not only unsustainable but bad for your health, releasing carcinogenic materials. Burning a parrafin candle for one hour releases about 10 grams of carbon dioxide. Safe alternatives are soy wax or beeswax candles scented with essential oils. Opt for reusable containers to reduce the amount of waste.

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Reusable baggies

Like all plastics, ZipLoc bags are made from crude oil, a non-renewable resource which generates significant pollution and is not biodegrable - they are difficult to produce and nearly impossible to get rid of once produced. Instead, opt for reusable bags to replace plastic storage bags.

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Tea strainers

Collectively, Canadians drink about 10 billion cups of tea a year, many of which are single-use tea bags contributing to huge amounts of waste. Besides the environmental impact of this, you may also be swallowing billions of tiny plastic particles as a result of the bag while sipping your cup of tea. instead, opt for loose leaf tea and reusable tea bags.

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Reusable bags

Each person on average uses 365 single-use plastic bags a year which takes 1,000 years to breakdown in a landfill. Using a reusable bags while grocery shopping for fruits and veggies is a great way to reduce your waste! Fruits and veggies come in their own natural packaging, opt to buy items that are not packaged in plastic.

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Silicone mats

Parchment paper is made from paper and accounts for huge amounts of waste. Not to mention it's treated with acid during production to give it stability and heat resistance and then coated with silicone to make it non-stick. Instead of single-use parchment paper, opt for reusable baking mats.

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Cloth napkins

Everyday more than 31,000 trees are cut down to support North America's paper towel habit. 254 million tones are discarded globally every year making up 35% of our landfills. Not only do sustainably made cloth napkins cost less overtime but they can simply be mixed to the rest of your laundry load to clean.

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Reusable food wraps

The average family uses 24 rolls of plastic wrap a year. When it’s disposed of, it releases harmful greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals, impacts wildlife and contributes to global warming. Instead, opt for resuable packaging like beeswax wrap.

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Reusable cotton pads

Traditional cotton production requires a considerable amount of chemicals and water. It can take around 10,000 liters to produce only enough for one pair of jeans and a t-shirt! By contrast, bamboo doesn't required fertilizers and uses fewer chemicals than cotton.

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