Guest Blog: Take Care of Texas Sustainable Swaps
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
This super simple swap can save you money as well as reduce your plastic waste. Bottles of shampoo and conditioner contain a lot of water. If you purchase them in solid form you get a more concentrated product, meaning shampoo and conditioner bars last longer than traditional bottled products. Pro Tip: Investing in a wooden soap saver can lengthen your shampoo and conditioner bars lifespans.
Bamboo ToothbrushDid you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever created since the 1930s still exists today—either in landfills or in our environment? It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, we throw away 1 billion plastic toothbrushes each year. Fortunately, a plastic-free alternative is now available: fully compostable bamboo toothbrushes, with bamboo-fiber bristles rather than nylon. With this swap, you're not only keeping your teeth clean, but also the planet!
Disposable razors are also a huge source of bathroom waste. With a composite plastic frame and inexpensive metal blades, these razors are designed to have a short lifespan. Luckily, we can look to our past to find a great, plastic-free option in safety razors! Before plastic came onto the scene, razors had sturdy metal frames and you only had to replace the blade when it wore out. These are becoming more popular for people trying to ditch unnecessary plastic—plus they look pretty classy.
Reusable Bottles & Water Filters
It takes at least 450 years for a plastic water bottle to completely degrade, yet only 27% of bottles used in the U.S. are recycled. It is estimated that, worldwide, 1 million plastic bottles are thrown away every minute. Yikes! Luckily, there is an easy fix—use a reusable water bottle. Odds are, you probably already own one. If you like bottled water because it is filtered, invest in a water filter or purifier.
Much of the plastic waste in the kitchen comes from packaging. When you shop in bulk, you are reducing your plastic waste and saving yourself extra trips to the store. You also can use your bulk goods to create a minimalist, stylish display on your counter!
Closet & Bedroom
Ditch Fast Fashion
Each year the global apparel industry produces more emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. This is due to the rise in "fast fashion"—constantly changing trends and styles of relatively cheap clothing that encourage consumers to buy new items and then quickly discard them. By purchasing timeless, high-quality clothes and keeping them, you are reducing waste and saving money. Plus, sustainability is always in style!
More than 60% of our clothing is currently being made with plastic fibers. These fibers, like polyester and nylon, are so common because they are cheap and durable. However, they shed microplastics throughout their entire lifespan. Just one load of laundry can release 700,000 pieces of microplastics. When these plastics enter the environment, they can be dangerous to wildlife and even humans! When you need to purchase new items for your closet or bedroom, opt for natural fibers like cotton, linen, or hemp instead of polyester or nylon. By purchasing natural fibers, you help keep waterways and natural habitats healthy for generations to come.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your waste is to purchase items secondhand. It's easy to find quality pieces at very low prices at most thrift shops, plus, they are often unique and can help define your personal style–all while being at a low price-point. Thrift shopping is better for the planet AND better for your wallet!
You don't have to make all of these changes overnight, but small steps towards sustainability can have a big impact! If we looked for an eco-friendly swap every time we replaced an item in our home, we would dramatically reduce our impact on the environment.
Blog Post Written By Taylor Nelson, Take Care of Texas.