10 Simple Sustainable Swaps to Make Every Day

sustainable swaps

Sustainability is, by definition, the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. I think it’s our responsibility to move away from the harmful practices that are so common and move towards a more possible future.

It’s trendy right now–and for good reason! There’s so many ways for sustainability to be cute and incredibly easy. I believe that every small thing we do is important, so implementing just one of these is a big deal! Overall, the main goal is to reduce our consumption of unsustainable materials to make our world a little better.

Say no to straws.

Why do we drink from straws anyway?? If you’re eating at a restaurant, it’s so simple to get in the habit of saying, “No straw please!” when ordering a drink. Then, you can just drink from your cup! If you really need or enjoy a straw, get a glass or steel straw that you can carry in your bag and reuse over and over again. I use steel straws from amazon, and I love how easy they are to pack and clean. I also think glass straws are super cute and they can come in different colors!

reusable straw sustainable swap

Use a bamboo toothbrush.

Every plastic toothbrush ever made is still on this earth. You’re supposed to trade out your toothbrush every three months, so think about how many plastic toothbrushes you’re leaving on this earth over the course of your life! Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable, which means they break down and return to the earth. Plus, you can buy a large pack for fairly cheap to use over a year. I purchased them on amazon, but you can shop around at different stores. They even have charcoal-infused bamboo brushes now!

ps. I’m going to be making a whole post on sustainable bathroom swaps, so stay tuned for that!

Make your own coffee or bring your own mug.

Lots of coffee shops will give you a discount if you bring your own mug! Plus, who wouldn’t want to use a super cute travel mug?! If you have time and a coffee maker (not a Keurig; those plastic cups are so wasteful!), it’s easy and waaaay more affordable to just brew a cup at home.

Ditch the disposable plastic water bottles.

Not only are disposable plastic water bottle extremely wasteful, they’re also full of micro plastic and up charge you on water by 300% versus tap water.  This is another way to express yourself with cute different options, like a hydroflask!

Carry a reusable grocery bag.

I honestly cannot believe in the year 2018 people still are using plastic grocery bags. Keep a reusable bag in your car or purse. Just tell your cashier, “Oh, I brought my own bag!” and you’ll never have to use a plastic bag again. Plus, what do you even do with those wal-mart bags piling up at home anyway?

reusable grocery bag sustainable swap

Invest in reusable silverware.

I LOVE MY BAMBOO SILVERWARE. First of all, it’s so convenient when I’m eating lunch at work. But also, I don’t have to use throw-away plastic silverware. Everyone thinks my pack is so cute and it’s a great conversation piece.

Don’t eat meat.

Not eating meat is the single most impactful thing you can do to help the earth. The amount of resources (water and land)  that go into producing meat and the pollution it produces are astronomical. If you can ditch just one day a week or one meal a day, it can have a big impact! Try implementing meatless Mondays, or vowing to eat vegetarian for lunch or when at home. I don’t eat any meat, but I think any reduction is important!

Encourage your friends.

You may feel like it’s helpless to make these swaps and moves towards sustainability when no one else seems to care. You can’t do it alone, so it’s so important to encourage your friends to do the same! Share this post on social media, or discuss the changes you’re making with those around you. You can make a huge difference just by making any of these swaps and sharing that with your friends and family!

Follow sustainable influencers.

Surround yourself with beautiful inspiration of people with the same desire to improve the world! Fill your instagram and twitter feeds with inspiring images that keep you motivated! Of course, you can follow me on instagram @practicallyclose. Here are just some of my favorites on instagram:

Wise Willow Blog is by Alyssa, and she’s all about veganism and minimalism! Loads of inspiration on her realistic feed.

Tunes and Tunics  is Megan McSherry’s instagram for her blog with the same name. She’s all about sustainable fashion and beautiful California pics!

The Empathy Collective is a new website and instagram by my friend Julia. Her feed is gorgeous and inspiring, and I love her message!

Plan ahead.

All in all, planning ahead is so important in all aspects of sustainability. Be aware of what you’re doing and how you can reduce your waste and make effective swaps throughout the day. With a little extra effort, you can make a difference!

I’m still working on implementing these things, but I know they’re all worth it! How are you implementing sustainable swaps in your life? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments!