Sustainable swaps that are easier than you think
I’m about to get very real here. We’re talking bodily fluids. Blood, sweat and tears (okay, not tears. Poo. But that doesn’t sound as good). Aren’t sustainable swaps for these things kind of…. Gross? Well. You can make your own judgements. But here are the things I’ve done, more or less successfully, in recent months.
I have struggled to find a natural deodorant that actually works at keeping me dry and which smells nice. I tried the sampler pot from the Natural Deodorant Company, but in response to my question ‘do you think this is working?’, my husband answered ‘no comment’. So that immediately got binned. Then I was recommended FitPit Woman by The Green Woman.
This stuff is brilliant, and ticks all the boxes. It is a bit on the pricey side, but I found that my tester pot, estimated to last for 3 weeks, actually lasted more than twice that amount of time, so it doesn’t work out too much more expensive than standard spray deodorant.
One side note: I learned, to my detriment, that they will not ship this during a heatwave, as it melts at body temperature or above. So if there’s a heat wave coming, stock up in advance!
Guys, the period cup has changed my life. Put it in in the morning and you can pretty much forget about it until the end of the day. It does take a bit of trial and error to figure out how to put it in, but once you get over that hurdle (it’s not that hard, just very different from tampons), you’re set.
I’ve always had to use a back-up pantiliner or pad for the first 2-3 days of my period, and with the cup, it’s no different. So when my last pack of disposable ones ran out, I invested in some Cheekywipes resusable pads. The grossness factor is minimal, as there’s very little ‘overflow’ and the material is dark, so you couldn’t really see it too much anyway.
The downsides? These are quite a bit thicker than disposable pantiliners, which feels a bit strange at first. But, they work a treat. I just popped them in the wash at the end of the day and in the morning and job’s a good-un. They’re obviously more expensive than disposables at first, but should last pretty much forever, and save me throwing about 20 per month into the bin.
I’ve been very lazy with this one, because I can’t face the idea of having buckets around the house full of dirty nappies. But I really wanted to find a way to use fewer disposable nappies so, here’s what I did.
I bought a small pack of reusable nappies from Amazon. I don’t use them during the week, when my daughter is at nursery, and at the weekends, I still normally start the day with a disposable nappy. Then, as soon as she has done her poo for the day, I change over to reusables for the rest of the day. This means I don’t have to clean many pooey nappies (I have had to do a couple, but they’re pretty rare), but I am still using 2-3 fewer disposable nappies a week, so 100-150 fewer a year.
This is ABSOLUTELY not perfect, and I know there’s a lot of room for improvement, but it works for me right now, and it’s still massively cutting down the number of nappies we use.
We’ve swapped over to Who Gives a Crap, and I think their service is really great. Each roll is double length and seems to last ages, so it’s difficult to truly compare costs, but it feels like it only really makes sense to buy it when I have a voucher. Luckily, there are often £5 off vouchers (you can get one from me, too by clicking here), so I’ve used one every time I’ve bought a box.
The downside is that I don’t think this toilet paper is as nice as the pricey Andrex quilted stuff we were getting before. It’s FINE. But if you’re picky about your toilet paper, you might not like this swap. I would definitely, definitely go for the ‘premium’ paper.
That all said, the benefits are great. No plastic wrappers, made of recycled paper, they give half of their profits to charity, and I don’t often have to think about when I’m running low on toilet paper because it lasts so long. Worth a go at least, to see how you get on with it.
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To me, the whole idea about ‘zero waste’ is massively aspirational, but let’s be honest, right now, it’s unrealistic for most people. What I think IS important is that you make the sustainable swaps you can, where you can reduce your consumption and actually make an impact when you look at your month or your year.
What else is on your list? Also, is there something you’d love to find an alternative to but haven’t found yet?