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Sustain Blog

Sustainable Swaps

Sustainable Swaps

Sustainable swaps

  One of the things that is very important to us as a couple and therefore as a family is our environmental impact.  We, like many others, have watched David Attenborough’s beautiful programmes…been in total awe of the animals and places featured and then felt that crushing guilt at the end of the programme when David warns in that Grandfatherly tone of the demise the earth is in.  We are by no means experts in sustainability but we do try our best to make more sustainable and environmentally friendly swaps as often as possible.  It also means that our children will grow up seeing these options as normal and therefore they in turn will hopefully make more earth friendly choices.

I am no Greta Thunberg but back when recycling bins were first introduced to our London borough I remember it feeling like a challenge to see how little we could put in the black bin because the other things were going to be sorted, cleaned and made into something else.  I am still the same now.  I find it hard to put something I know should be recycled in the bin…we can all have those I can’t be bothered washing this out moments but for the minute that it takes I think of my future grandchildren and great-grandchildren and just wash it out so that it can be recycled.

It's been great to see recycling, upcycling and being more earth conscious become more mainstream.  It previously had a bit of a reputation reserved for those who were “hippies” to save our planet but we now know that every little bit that we introduce to our daily routines can make an impact.

Writing this blog has certainly renewed my passion and given me food for thought in terms of how I can try to push for more change to take place within my local community.

Here are a few of the simple swaps that we have made as a family so that we can reduce our impact on our beautiful planet and preserve it for the generations to come.


AKT London deodorant was created by a London based duo who work in London’s West End is in a aluminium tube meaning it can be recycled once you’ve finished.  We have found it to be really hard working and smells great too.  We won’t be going back to plastic encased deodorants.  Their applicator and assistant make it a decadent daily practice.  We were gifted them for Christmas and our teenage son now uses it too.  Sign up for their subscription and never have to think about buying deodorant again.

Dental care

We are still trialling different brands and currently there are a few we like.  Ben and Anna toothpaste comes in a glass jar with a bamboo spatula. You just scoop out what you need and brush.  It has a really fresh flavour and there will be zero waste as you can get every last bit out of the jar.

Parla toothpaste are little tablets that you pop in, chew and then start brushing.  The took a little getting used to…the temptation to chew and swallow it like a regular mint does wear off eventually.  These would be great for when you are travelling and they come in a glass jar.

Waken toothpaste comes in an aluminium tube and lots of different flavours.  They look great on your bathroom shelf and the flavour is really fresh.


Reusable bags

We’ve been encouraged to make use of reusable bags since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015 and as of 21st May the charge will be a minimum of 10p per bag.  I am a true convert with an entire cupboard full of bags that I always forget to put in my boot!  We use them for all sorts of things and it is one of the simple things that make me feel like I may possibly have my life together when I do actually remember to bring them to the supermarket.

Soap wall magnets are a great way to introduce soap instead of bottles of shower gel or hand soap.  We visited our friends who live in a plastic free town and so they have lots of ideas for making sustainable swaps.  This was one that I implemented as soon as we got home.  Having your bar of soap attached to the wall means that you don’t get that sloppy soap sludge on the bottom.  We need to find shampoo and conditioner bars that work for the four different hair types in our household and then that will be the next swap we’ll be making for this year.

Laundry care

Kinn Living is a fantastic British brand which focuses on sustainable laundry care.  When we take so much care over other decisions to make a more environmentally choice and then push out toxic waste into our water system it begs the question of why we bother.  Kinn Living are making it easier to make the switch by offering a subscription service.  We love the gentle and very natural scents by this brand. 

Eco Egg is a more pocket friendly option.  You pop the egg into your washing machine with your clothes and it does its thing.  You can buy new beads to go into your egg which is needed after 70 washes.

Cosmetic/personal care

Afro Skin Hair and Skin Co have an array of wonderful products which are all in recyclable glass containers.  The clay mask is award winning and for good reason.  It’s all handmade by the owner in her Brighton workshop and has featured in many beauty edits…go out and get some!  Also, another great gift idea.

Water bottles

We use a Sodastream for sparkling water or making sparkling squash drinks.  It helps me with my water intake because I am guilty of not drinking nearly enough water.  It also means that we never buy bottled sparkling water which admittedly we used to do before moving to glass bottle sparkling water as a slightly better option.  Stainless steel water bottles for us and the children also means that when out and about we don’t feel the pressure to buy bottles of water because we have reusable ones.

These are a few examples of simple ways to incorporate more earth friendly choices into your homes and routines.  Let us know of your sustainable swaps…the more we share and learn the better.