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.
COMPLETE CHECKLIST OF SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE SWAPS FOR HOME
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 Bags||Tote bags |
Reusable vegetable & produce bags
|Plastic Water Bottles||Reusable glass, ceramic or stainless-steel water bottle|
|Takeaway Coffee Cups||Reusable ceramic or glass coffee cup|
|Takeaway Bubble Tea||Reusable bubble teacup and straw|
|Single-Use Straws||Reusable glass or stainless-steel straw|
|Single-Use Cutlery||Reusable 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 Liquid||Solid dish soap bar|
|Kitchen Sponges||Copper sponges |
Dish brush with replaceable head
|Plastic Wrap / Aluminium Foil||Beeswax wraps |
Silicon food covers
|Baking Paper||Silicone baking mat|
|Paper Towels||Linen or cotton napkins |
“Not paper” towels
Cotton cloths for cleaning
|Tea Bags||Loose-leaf tea |
Tea infusers/reusable tea bags
|Coffee Pods||Reusable pods |
Traditional coffee brewing methods (French press, moka, V60, etc.)
|Single-Use Containers||Glass or stainless-steel containers |
Reused glass jars
|Plastic Ziplock or Fridge/Freezer Bags||Silicone food storage bags|
|Plastic Bottled Water||Water filter |
Water refill stations
Glass bottled water
Reusable water bottle
|Cupcake or Muffin Patties||Unbleached 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
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!)
Europe: The Clean Beauty Edit
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 Soap||Bar soap|
|Plastic Loofah||Natural loofah |
|Shampoo||Shampoo bar |
Organic, nontoxic shampoo
|Conditioner||Conditioner bar |
Organic nontoxic conditioner
|Toothpaste||Tooth tabs Tooth powders|
|Toothbrush||Bamboo toothbrushes |
Toothbrushes with replaceable heads
|Floss||Compostable floss |
|Facewash||Organic nontoxic facewash|
|Toner||Organic nontoxic toner|
|Moisturiser||Organic nontoxic moisturiser|
|Deodorant||Organic nontoxic deodorant|
|Single-Use Cotton Pads or Wipes||Washable cotton or bamboo pads|
|Pads & Tampons||Organic cotton pads or tampons |
|Cotton Buds||Organic cotton & bamboo buds |
Bioplastic ear cleaners
|Single-Use or Plastic Razors||Safety razor|
|Toilet Paper||Recycled, 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 Wipes||Old rags |
Washable cotton cloths
|Laundry Detergent||Refillable laundry detergent bottles |
Laundry detergent strips
|Fabric Softener||Refillable fabric softener bottles |
Stop using it!
|Surface Spray||Organic nontoxic surface spray|
|Air Freshener||Sustainable 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.
|Garbage Bags / Bin Liners||Reused 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 Cream||Organic nontoxic BB / CC cream|
|Foundation||Organic nontoxic foundation|
|Eye Shadow||Organic nontoxic eye shadow|
|Eye Liner||Organic nontoxic eyeliner|
|Eyebrow Pencil||Organic nontoxic eyebrow pencil|
|Mascara||Organic nontoxic mascara|
|Blush||Organic nontoxic blush|
|Lipliner||Organic nontoxic lipliner|
|Lipstick||Organic nontoxic lipstick|
|Lip Balm||Organic nontoxic lip balm|
|Makeup Remover||Organic nontoxic makeup remover|
|Nail Polish||Toxin-free nail polish|
|Nail Polish Remover||Toxin-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.