Find out how to reduce your carbon footprint by simply switching up your homewares.
With rising concerns about the state of our environment, more and more people are beginning to ask how they can make environmentally conscious changes in their lives. While a complete life overhaul isn't realistic, there are small ways that you can reduce waste and consume less plastic at home without having to majorly alter your current lifestyle.
Changing up your homewares to more sustainable options, for instance, can significantly reduce your carbon footprint while also saving you money in the long run. To get you started, we've rounded up the top homewares items to swap out to start your waste-free journey and listed a bunch of great product options to help you on your way.
1. Reusable coffee cups
If you're a regular at your local coffee shop, grabbing yourself a reusable coffee cup is a pretty simple way to really cut back on waste. Sustainability Victoria estimates that around 1 billion takeaway hot drink cups are thrown away each year by Australians alone, which equates to a whole lot of landfill.
If you can commit to bringing your own cup along for one year though, KeepCup has found that you can save the same amount of carbon emissions as caused by 750 LED downlights being switched on for that entire year, which is a pretty convincing reason to invest. Better yet, many cafes will offer you a small discount for your troubles, helping you to save money long term. If you're interested in some great reusable cup options, we've even done the research for you and found some of the most popular products currently on the market.
2. Beeswax wraps
Most of us are guilty of overusing plastic cling wrap for one good reason – it's so damn convenient. But what if we told you that beeswax wraps are just as easy to use while also being washable, reusable and sustainable?
Just like cling wrap, you can use beeswax wraps to cover everything from fruit to bread to food containers. Unlike cling wrap though, once you're done, you can simply wash the wrap in cold water, leave it to air dry and repeat. Your wrap will typically last between 6 and 12 months. That's a lot of plastic avoided! If you're interested in investing, we've got all the best online stores to shop the sustainable wraps online.
3. Reusable silicone stretch lids and ziplock bags
A cheaper alternative to beeswax wraps, silicone stretch lids can also help you to eliminate plastic wrap from your life. The stretchy lids work to create an airtight seal over containers and plates, keeping your food super fresh and your bin plastic-free.
You can also grab yourself some silicone ziplock bags, which are a much more useful and eco-friendly option than their plastic counterparts. Not only do they come in a range of shapes and sizes, they are also microwave, oven and freezer safe too. You can even throw them in the dishwasher to clean them, making them no less convenient than the plastic ones.
4. Reusable shopping bags
According to Greenpeace, an estimated 50 million plastic bags end up in our oceans and waterways each year, killing our marine life and causing 90% of our seabird species to ingest plastic debris. These make for some pretty grim statistics, which is why Australia has now motioned a nationwide plastic bag ban.
While this is great news, it makes it essential for Aussie shoppers to stock up on reusable, durable bag options such as canvas or cotton designs. If you'd like to reduce your plastic use even further though, you can also shop smaller versions of the bags to put your fruit and vegetables in at the supermarket, rather than using the small plastic bags provided.
5. Metal straws
Like cling wrap, Australians have a tendency to overuse plastic straws, with Clean Up Australia estimating that we use around 10 million of them each and every day. For those who don't want to do the maths, that's approximately 3.5 billion straws per year from our great land down under alone.
While in most situations you could simply go without a straw altogether, metal straws are an option for those who prefer to sip their liquids in style. As well as being reusable, the straws are relatively cheap and are dishwasher safe for convenient cleaning. You can shop them from a range of great online stores, which we've already rounded up for you.
6. Reusable drink bottle
Not only do plastic water bottles harm the environment, but there has also been some suggestion that they could be harmful to our health as well, with claims that the BPA from the bottles can make its way into the water. On top of this, bottled water is insanely expensive if you consider that tap water is approximately $3 per 1,000 litres, while bottled water is approximately $3 per litre.
In order to stay both environmentally conscious and health conscious, and save some serious cash in the process, you may want to consider purchasing a reusable drink bottle. Metal drink bottles are sturdy, sustainable and insulated, making them a great alternative to plastic. Glass water bottles are also a good option as they are 100% recyclable and don't leave a nasty aftertaste behind.
7. Eco-friendly lunchboxes
If you bring your lunch from home every day, ditching the plastic containers for a more eco-friendly option is another easy way to limit your plastic waste. Stainless steel lunchboxes are a particularly great purchase choice as they are sturdy, last much longer than their plastic counterparts and are 100% recyclable.
Glass lunchboxes are also a great option if you're bringing food that you need to heat up as they feature tempered glass and are microwave, fridge and freezer safe. Like plastic water bottles, there have also been some concerns around plastic containers leaching chemicals when exposed to heat, so getting yourself a microwave-safe glass option might prove to be beneficial to your health too.
8. Reusable cutlery set
If, on the other hand, you're someone who buys their lunch most days, you can forego the lunchbox and purchase a reusable cutlery set instead. Along with plastic bags and straws, disposable plastic cutlery is another huge threat to our oceans and waterways, meaning that it's high time we started looking for sustainable alternatives.
Bamboo is a highly renewable, eco-friendly material, making bamboo cutlery the perfect alternative to plastic. Bamboo is also heat-, stain- and water-resistant so your cutlery will be simple to clean and reuse over and over again.
Top reusable homeware picks:
Reusable Silicone Pocket Coffee Mug Collapsible
Sustomi Beeswax Wraps - 2-Pack
Reusable Cotton Grocery Bags
Cheeki Stainless Steel Straws
Stainless Steel Insulated Drink
Microwave Bento Utensils Lunch Box
Stretch Reusable Silicone Bowl Wraps
Ever Eco Bamboo Cutlery Set
Flora & Fauna
Reusable Silicone Preservation Bag Airtight Seal Food Storage Container
Reusable Coffee Cup Portable Mug
Grand Fusion Silicone Food Wraps
Thermal Lunch Box
Glass Water Bottle
Raüe & Wissler Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Drinking Straws
Appetito Cotton String Shopping Bag
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