March 14, 2022

Complete Checklist of Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home

A Complete Checklist of Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home, to help you celebrate the small wins as you work to live sustainably. This post includes information about Sustainable Kitchen Swaps, Sustainable Beauty Swaps and so much more. Plus, don’t miss your free downloadable checklist (just keep reading)!

There is no doubt about it – beginning to live a more sustainable life can feel incredibly overwhelming. Where should you start? What steps can you take? How can you keep track of all the different things?

To start, take a deep breath! There is no need to do it all at once. One of the best things you can do when you decide to start living more sustainably is to not rush out and change everything all at once. Instead, take it slow. Examine your habits and change one thing at a time.

Are you about to finish your shampoo? Then start looking into low-waste, toxin-free shampoo options like organic shampoo bars or even the no-poo method.

Is your kitchen sponge due for a change and you haven’t got any spares left? Then check out some sustainable sponge alternatives!

By taking it one step at a time, you’ll not only ensure you don’t waste a bunch of things by throwing them away, but you’ll also find living a sustainable lifestyle to be a whole lot more manageable.

But how do you keep track of it all?

Sustainable Swaps Checklist: Celebrate Your Wins

Thinking about changing all your regularly bought products over can seem like a lot. The beauty of it is, it’s mostly about habit. When’s the last time you really thought about which toothpaste you’d buy? Or which laundry detergent?

I’d bet that, once you’ve found a product you like, you buy the same one over and over again. That means that once you’ve made one of these sustainable swaps, you won’t need to think about it again, which is a win worth celebrating!

That’s why I’ve created this free downloadable PDF for you.

It’s a Complete Checklist of Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home and for Out & About, where you can check things off as you swap them over. It’s a simple way to celebrate your wins and see the progress that you’re making.

Just remember! Just because something is on the list doesn’t mean you *need* to buy it. For example, as much as I love coffee, I basically never order it takeaway, so I don’t own a reusable coffee cup.


Sustainable Swaps for When You’re Out & About

Being sustainable while out & about is mostly about being a little bit prepared. I always carry a spare tote bag with me so that I won’t need to use shoppers or plastic bags if I buy something. Meanwhile, a reusable water bottle is a great way to stay hydrated without needing to buy plastic water bottles.

Single-Use Produce BagsTote bags
Reusable vegetable & produce bags
Plastic Water BottlesReusable glass, ceramic or stainless-steel water bottle
Takeaway Coffee CupsReusable ceramic or glass coffee cup
Takeaway Bubble TeaReusable bubble teacup and straw
Single-Use StrawsReusable glass or stainless-steel straw
Single-Use CutleryReusable cutlery

Sustainable Kitchen Swaps

Before I moved out of my apartment in Milan, I had gotten to the point where the only thing I had to buy regularly for my kitchen (apart from food, of course) was dishwashing liquid. It’s safe to say that these Sustainable Kitchen Swaps also saved me money.

About the dishwashing detergent – I tried a solid dish soap bar, but it wasn’t my favourite (I have friends who love it though!). Instead, I filled up my reusable detergent bottle at a grocery store called NaturaSi. It’s okay if you don’t love the first sustainable product you try out – it can take a bit of trial & error and that’s okay.

Washing Up LiquidSolid dish soap bar
Kitchen SpongesCopper sponges
Natural sponges
Dish brush with replaceable head
Plastic Wrap / Aluminium FoilBeeswax wraps
Silicon food covers
Glass containers
Baking PaperSilicone baking mat
Paper TowelsLinen or cotton napkins
“Not paper” towels
Cotton cloths for cleaning
Tea BagsLoose-leaf tea
Tea infusers/reusable tea bags
Coffee PodsReusable pods
Compostable pods
Traditional coffee brewing methods (French press, moka, V60, etc.)
Single-Use ContainersGlass or stainless-steel containers
Reused glass jars
Plastic Ziplock or Fridge/Freezer BagsSilicone food storage bags
Plastic Bottled WaterWater filter
Water refill stations
Glass bottled water
Reusable water bottle
Cupcake or Muffin PattiesUnbleached paper liners
Silicone cupcake liners

Sustainable Bathroom & Skincare Swaps

Personally, sustainable bathroom & beauty swaps were one of the first areas I focussed on. I buy more products for the bathroom, more frequently than any other area of my life/home. As well as looking for non-toxic, organic options, I also try to buy products that are made locally and that use minimal, recycled or sustainable packaging.

While I was living in Italy, most of my skincare products came from an incredible Latvian company called Mádara. Meanwhile, I bought hair products from the Italian brand, O-Way. If you’re not sure where to start, you can always look for an online marketplace in your area that is specalised in stocking sustainable or clean beauty alternatives.

Sustainable Online Marketplaces for Skincare & Beauty

Africa:                                      Shop Zero, Credo Beauty

Southeast Asia:                      TBD (if you have recommendations for local stores or marketplaces in Asia, I’d love to link them here! Just contact me with details!)

South & Central America:       TBD (if you have recommendations for local stores or marketplaces in South and/or Central America, I’d love to link them here! Just contact me with details!)

North America:                        Package Free Shop, The Detox Market

Europe:                                    The Clean Beauty Edit

Australia & New Zealand:       Biome, Nourished Life

NB: I haven’t personally used any of these websites, but I’ve checked their reviews and they seem to be legit! At the time of publishing, I don’t use any affiliate links, I just compile this information because I believe in being the change we wish to see! If you found it useful though, you could always buy me a coffee 🙂

Hand & Body SoapBar soap
Plastic LoofahNatural loofah
Sea sponge
Body brush
Konjac sponge
ShampooShampoo bar
Organic, nontoxic shampoo
ConditionerConditioner bar
Organic nontoxic conditioner
ToothpasteTooth tabs Tooth powders
ToothbrushBamboo toothbrushes
Toothbrushes with replaceable heads
FlossCompostable floss
Floss pots
FacewashOrganic nontoxic facewash
TonerOrganic nontoxic toner
MoisturiserOrganic nontoxic moisturiser
DeodorantOrganic nontoxic deodorant
Single-Use Cotton Pads or WipesWashable cotton or bamboo pads
Pads & TamponsOrganic cotton pads or tampons
Menstrual cup
Period panties
Cotton BudsOrganic cotton & bamboo buds
Reusable buds
Bioplastic ear cleaners
Single-Use or Plastic RazorsSafety razor
Toilet PaperRecycled, nontoxic toilet paper

Sustainable Cleaning Swaps

Depending on your life situation, you might find my sustainable cleaning swaps a little short, but honestly, I’ve never understood the need for a cabinet filled with cleaning products. (I also recognise that I’ve never had to clean up after a big, messy family & little kids etc.). Still, I’ve found surface spray and laundry detergent (and limescale remover in Italy) to be more than enough for keeping the house clean. If you need something more, just keep an eye out for low-tox, natural cleaning solutions with minimal packaging.

Single-Use Cloths and WipesOld rags
Washable cotton cloths
Laundry DetergentRefillable laundry detergent bottles
Laundry detergent strips
Soap nuts
Fabric SoftenerRefillable fabric softener bottles
Stop using it!
Surface SprayOrganic nontoxic surface spray
Air FreshenerSustainable candles
Essential oil diffusers
Stop using it!

Other Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home

Sometimes, it really is in the detail! Other Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home is a tiny little section with a big impact. It’s predicted that if every household in the US replaced their halogen bulbs with LEDs, the total savings would be around the $US 250 billion mark, while energy consumption would be reduced by 50%. Switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, specifically LEDs, will also see fewer bulbs in landfill because LEDs last 5 to 10 times longer. It’s a win-win!

As for garbage bags and bin liners? Well, it’s not exactly news that plastic bags are bad. It’s estimated that the average plastic bag is used for just 15 minutes and will then take up to 1000-years to break down. Woah. But, unless you’ve mastered the art of zero-waste living (I know I definitely haven’t), you still need to dispose of your waste, right? I won’t pretend to be an expert on bin liners or the most sustainable way to do this. Even biodegradable plant-based plastic needs a specific environment to actually biodegrade. Still, it’s a step in the right direction, as they’re made with renewable plants rather than oil or gas. If you want to go the extra mile here, it’s worth contacting your local council or whoever takes your rubbish away to find out the best option.

LightbulbsEnergy-efficient lightbulbs
Garbage Bags / Bin LinersReused grocery bags
Biodegradable bin liners

Sustainable Beauty Swaps for People Who Wear Makeup

If you wear makeup, the most sustainable beauty swaps you can make are to swap your products over for organic, nontoxic products with minimal or sustainable packaging. Thankfully, these days, it’s incredibly easy to find beautiful sustainable makeup. Just scroll back up to the bathroom & skincare section, and check out the list of sustainable marketplaces. These are a great place to start.

BB Cream / CC CreamOrganic nontoxic BB / CC cream
FoundationOrganic nontoxic foundation
Eye ShadowOrganic nontoxic eye shadow
Eye LinerOrganic nontoxic eyeliner
Eyebrow PencilOrganic nontoxic eyebrow pencil
MascaraOrganic nontoxic mascara
BlushOrganic nontoxic blush
LiplinerOrganic nontoxic lipliner
LipstickOrganic nontoxic lipstick
Lip BalmOrganic nontoxic lip balm
Makeup RemoverOrganic nontoxic makeup remover
Nail PolishToxin-free nail polish
Nail Polish RemoverToxin-free nail polish remover

And that’s it! A Complete Checklist of Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home, including everything from Sustainable Beauty Swaps to Sustainable Kitchen Swaps, and more. If you want to keep track of the changes you make, and celebrate your moves to living more sustainably, then don’t forget to download the free checklist! I made it especially for you 🙂

Did you find this Complete Checklist of Simple Sustainable Swaps for Home helpful? Or perhaps you have a question about something I shared? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Do you run a sustainable business and would like to work together, either for branding photography or content & copywriting? I’d love to hear more about what you do and see if we’d be a good fit. Just reach out with some details about your business below.