We have updated our popular 100+ Easy Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly guide to help you reduce your environmental impact. We are on a mission to create a waste-free future and invite you on our journey with this mega-post full of easy swaps!
Top 5 Easiest Swaps to Start With
1. Mobile Phone Accessories - we carry them with us every day. What better way to consistently remind yourself of your commitment to the environment than by outfitting your phone with a fully compostable case. Because they won't just sit in a landfill for decades after you've upgraded your phone model, a Pela case will protect your phone and the environment too!
2. Write down what is inside of your fridge before you go grocery shopping! Plan meals around the food that needs to be eaten first.
3. E-books and Audio Books! Reduce paper, shipping and water waste by using E-books and Audio books. You can rent new and favourite books for free on apps such as Libby or support the author by buying the downloadable copy.
4. Say no to plastic straws. Instead, opt for a reusable glass or metal straw that you can use over and over again! You can even try using a collapsible straw for when you’re on the go.
5. Opt for looseleaf tea (tea bags are made with plastic!)
Some of these tips you might have already mastered, but hopefully you'll pick up a few new ones along the way too.
6. Buy less than you think that you need. We tend to over buy on food so remove one meal from your meal plan because you'll most likely have an unexpected dinner out or leftovers!
7. Measure ingredients carefully! Follow recipes and adjust the amount of ingredients to the number of people eating.
8. Chop and store the produce when you get home from the store so creating meals is easy during the week.
9. Store your food properly so it doesn't go bad! Look for storage tips from sustainable cooks on how to store your produce plastic-free.
10. Ignore the dates. Best-by, sell-by, and use-by are NOT expiration dates. There's no scientific way to predict the exact day something is going to expire so use your best judgement with smell and taste. If it tastes fine - it's probably fine to eat.
11. Eat your ends and stems. Are you still throwing the tops of the carrots and beets out? STOP IT. They are delicious!! Beet tops make a great chard substitute and carrot tops make a delicious pesto. Check out this cookbook for TONS of tips on how to use your scraps.
12. Save the peels of your onions, carrots, garlic, and celery ends to make a delicious vegetable stock that you can use to infuse more flavor into rice, quinoa, etc.
13. Use your freezer to freeze fruits and veggies you might not have time to get to before they turn.
14. Use slightly mushy fruits in smoothies or breakfast breads.
16. Drive less. Like WAY less.
17. Opt for riding your bike.
18. Grab public transportation.
19. Create a 30-minute rule. If it's under a 30-minute walk, walk or ride your bike.
20. Combine your trips so you're not ping-ponging back and forth.
21. Switch to an electric vehicle and charge it with solar power.
Make your Home More Efficient:
22. Opt for LED light bulbs.
23. Install low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets.
24. Look into gray water systems or catching rainfall.
25. Install solar panels and a solar battery. Don't own your home? Look into switching where your energy comes from with your electricity service provider or joining a community solar farm.
26. Seal all of your windows and/or replace them with more efficient double-pane windows.
28. Unplug your devices to prevent phantom electricity from being consumed.
29. Keep a bucket in your shower to catch the water while it's heating up and use it to water plants or flush the toilet.
30. Wash your clothes in cold water.
31. Hang your clothes to dry on the line instead of using the dryer.
32. Say no to freebies.
33. Invest in a water filter for your home to avoid buying bottled water.
34. Buy several reusable water bottles and keep them full of filtered water so you can grab and go and be out the door.
35. Bring your own bags to all stores like pet stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, etc.
36. Bring your own cloth produce bags to the grocery store or the farmers market.
37. Say no to plastic cutlery when ordering takeout
39. Make the switch to biodegradable sunglasses. For a stylish and sustainable option, try Swway!
40. Use refill soaps for your hands, dish, and laundry.
41. Opt for plastic-free produce and food.
Make Simple Swaps in the Bathroom:
42. Use a safety razor or electric razor instead of a disposable plastic razor.
43. Opt for a Body Wash Bar instead of body wash in plastic bottles.
44. Try a shampoo bar or use a refillable service like Plaine Products.
45. Create a core of makeup that you use everyday, and one for special occasions and don't buy ANYMORE than that.
46. Implement a 'one in, one out' rule where you only buy one product once you finish a product.
47. Use the correct amount of product. Often we use way too much product. Here's a handy guide for how much you really need.
48. Cut your tubes open to get the last bit of product and don't let any of it go to waste.
49. Put your toner in a spray bottle and spray it on your face instead of using cotton rounds that absorb a lot of the product.
50. Switch to reusable cotton rounds instead of disposables.
51. Opt for a bamboo toothbrush. My favorite is Brush with Bamboo.
52. Opt for products in glass instead of plastic.
53. Look for beauty products with clean ingredients that are better for both your health and the health of the planet.
54. Install a bidet attachment.
55. Go for recycled or tree-free toilet paper.
56. Switch to reusable menstrual products like period panties, menstrual cups, and cloth pads.
Make Simple Swaps in the Kitchen:
57. Swap the messy and smelly kitchen composters with the innovative Lomi composter.
58. Don't buy individual servings of food. Buy larger servings and portion them out at home.
59. Use reusable dishcloths instead of paper towels. For more tips on ditching paper towels read this blog post.
60. Avoid plastic wrap by switching to beeswax wraps.
61. Quit aluminum foil by switching to reusable silicone mats.
62. Store your food in glass containers like snapware or mason jars.
63. Swap plastic baggies for reusable silicone bags.
64. Pack your lunch in a lunch box instead of a brown paper bag.
65. Use real plates and flatware.
66. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
67. Clean-up with a simple homemade cleaner of 1 part vinegar / 1 part water.
68. Opt for loose leaf tea (tea bags are made with plastic!).
69. Ditch the Keurig and opt for a trash-free method like pour-over, french press, etc.
70. Keep a stocked pantry so you can make all of your favorite meals quickly without creating trash.
71. Spend a few minutes prepping a few foods to help get zero waste dinners on the table fast.
72. Swap sponges for compostable bamboo dish scrubs.
73. Head to your local farmer's market.
74. Start a small garden, even an herb garden in your windowsill.
75. Try to regrow your food from scraps like green onions or celery.
76. Join a CSA (community supported agriculture) and receive local, farm-fresh goodies straight to your doorstep.
77. Shop your local small businesses and services! Show support by buying gift cards when you can't make it in the shop.
78. Find your local repair shops like tailors, cobblers, tinkerers, and woodworkers to get all of your things repaired.
79. Eat with the seasons and enjoy the bounty of your region. Maybe even try your hand at preserving foods.
80. Shop your local thrift store or garage sales when you're looking for new homewares, small appliances, even trendy clothing.
81. Join a local community garden where you can compost and even have a hand in growing your own food.
82. Get involved in your community by screening a documentary, hosting a clean-up, or giving a talk to help others live a more eco-friendly life.
Re-Think Your Plate:
83. Go heavy on the plants.
84. Participate in meatless-Mondays
85. Participate in wheatless-Wednesdays
86. Commit to eating plant-based two days a week or more if you can!
87. Opt for smaller plates of food and go back for seconds if you're still hungry.
88. Use your freezer for leftovers! Almost anything can be frozen to prolong its shelf life including bread, soup and pasta sauce.
89. Make sure you actually eat your leftovers! Next day’s lunch is a good moment for that.
90. Make local produce the star of the show and lightly garnish with animal products.
91. Focus on crops that aren't as water-intensive like lima beans, corn, peanuts, quinoa, watermelon, radishes, spinach, etc.
92. Speak with your farmers at the market or any expert that knows about how food gets to your plate. You will learn some tips on how to eat more sustainably.
93. Re-brew your tea leaves
94. Opt for local, in-season fruits and veggies as snacks instead of pre-packaged ones.
95. Support companies that have ethical practices.
96. Look for companies that offer warranties on their products.
97. Look for companies that are environmentally focused.
98. Purchase products that give back to environmental organizations like through 1% for the Planet.
99. Pick products that have staying power and will last with you for years.
100. Ask yourself if this is something you could proudly pass onto your grandchildren.
101. Wait 30 days before making a purchase.
102. Buy less!
103. Look for recycled content and corporate responsibility programs where they will take their products back at the end of their life.
104. Look for items that can be repaired and mended.
105. Look for Certifications like the Leaping Bunny, B-Corp and Climate Neutral which will let you know that the product you are buying was socially and environmentally manufactured.
*BONUS* Love Your Pet and Planet:
1. Opt for pet furniture and toys made from natural materials
2. Buy second hand pet supplies instead of new
3. Store food in reusable containers
4. Use compostable doggie bags!
That was 100+ tips! We hope that you picked up a few new tricks that you can implement in your daily life. From compostable phone cases to easy swaps in the bathroom, there are plenty of ways to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle. And remember, it’s all about progress over perfection. One small act at a time!