5 Simple Swaps for Sustainable Living: Embracing an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

With each passing year, more and more people are becoming climate-conscious. In fact, more than 80 percent of people have said that they have made purchasing decisions based on sustainability, whether it be something major like a vehicle or something minor like paper over plastic bags. Around one-third of people in the United States have said that climate change is their top concern for activism, with many of those people looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

That means that many of us are looking to make some simple swaps that won’t cost an arm and a leg while also helping the environment. Thankfully, there are plenty of these swaps available. Let’s take a look at five of the most simple ones you can make when embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Refillable Water Bottle

If you work in an office, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people who bring their own massive water bottles or jugs and refill them throughout the day. This is a much more eco-friendly way of consuming water than the alternative of grabbing a new plastic bottle every time you want to grab a drink of water. It’s certainly worth spending good money on, too, as a good water bottle will last for years.

Well over 80 percent of water bottles in the United States alone end up making their way into garbage bags or are littered instead of recycled. That’s over 35 billion empty water bottles each year that get thrown out. If everyone in the country swapped to reusable water bottles instead, it would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced from plastic bottles by more than 2 million tons.

Swapping Toilet Paper

Everybody uses the bathroom, and people go through a lot of toilet paper on a daily and yearly basis. With that said, standard toilet paper produces more than 40 million tons of waste annually, and that number continues to climb. One way that you can help combat that trend is by using more eco-friendly toilet paper, with new options popping up left and right. Most of these are made from bamboo, which produces much less waste.

Bamboo, compared to the yellow pines and Douglas firs that are typically used for toilet paper, is much more biodegradable while also being durable enough to be used as toilet paper. While bamboo toilet paper is more expensive, it’s one of the easiest swaps that you can make to help the environment. While it might take some getting used to, you’ll notice how much easier that bamboo toilet paper breaks down in water.

Use Bar Soap

We’ll keep things in the bathroom and talk about how much better it is for the environment to use bar soap instead of liquid soap. There are several reasons why bar soap is better for the environment, with the most obvious being the packaging. With bar soap, you’ll likely get an easily recyclable small box that the soap comes in compared to the large plastic container used for liquid soap.

Bar soap also uses much less water than liquid soap while lasting, on average, several times longer than liquid soap. The packaging alone for liquid soap is 20 times that of bar soap, and people tend to not be conscious when it comes to liquid soap use. When using bar soap, you probably just use what you need and set the soap back, whereas with liquid soap you probably use several pumps when you only need one. 

Driving Less

Fossil fuels are one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and having billions of cars around the world is certainly a big reason for that. This has become public knowledge, and many people are wondering how they can drive less. While switching to an electric vehicle would be ideal, that’s not exactly a simple swap due to the cost of these vehicles.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other ways in which you can drive less and help reduce your carbon footprint. If you live within a city, taking a bicycle or walking when it’s nice out can cut down on your fuel costs and emissions greatly. On those days when the weather isn’t so great, taking a bus or train (again, depending on the city) will also improve fuel usage.

Glass Storage Instead of Plastic

There was a time when plastic containers were all the rage because it was a new concept and offered a lot of convenience for the kitchen. However, over the years, we’ve learned just how harmful those containers can be. Not only do they produce a lot of waste, but they also contain microplastics that can be harmful to both your health and the environment. 

Because of this, more people are switching to glass containers for the kitchen. While they could be much more of an immediate hazard if dropped compared to plastic, they’re much better for the environment and are far more durable. They’re easier to clean, and even more aesthetically pleasing than plastic, so there really is no losing (as long as you aren’t clumsy).

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