It’s 2020 and there’s no time left for humanity to be selfish. Due to climate change and the dangers it imposes on our planet, it’s time to take some actions in order to change our “not so sustainable” behavior. Even though we may not always realize it when doing simple tasks such as taking off our makeup or packing a sandwich for lunch, these simple actions affect the planet. That is why I’m here to give you some good alternatives to products you may have not realized could be harmful to the environment.

Cotton/cleaning pads

Such a seemingly small product yet such a big waste. According to WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the amount of water that is needed to produce just one kilo of cotton is the same amount of water an average person would drink for over three years. Think about how much water goes just for our clothes. . However, we use our clothes for more than a day unlike cotton pads, so imagine how much water waste there is in order to make millions of single-use cotton pads that get thrown in the trash every day. By switching to reusable pads, we would not only reduce the water waste but we would also reduce our trash. Fewer cotton pads thrown away means fewer cotton pads going straight into the landfill. Many new brands on the market have started to offer alternatives. For example, the brand Green Tailors offers reusable pads that are mainly made out of bamboo which you can use and wash. Another new and interesting alternative is Hydrapuffs. They are small sheets that are made from 80% pulp and 20% rayon, which is a type of renewable cellulosic plant and is made from biodegradable fibers. So, in contrast with regular cotton pads that aren’t biodegradable thanks to all the bleaching and mixing processes used to create them, a reusable one sounds much better since you are not only saving the planet, you are also saving money.

Phone cases

In today’s modern-day and age, a person without a smartphone is not so commonly seen. And since nearly everybody has a phone, nearly everybody has a phone case. However, phone cases are mostly made of plastic which is one of the biggest polluters in the world. In 2017, landfills received around 26.8 million tons of plastic and that number has been spiking ever since. Plastic pollution poses a threat to plants, animals, and of course humans. The chemicals found in plastic, spoil our waters and our soil and since it doesn’t degrade, it just piles up more and more in our environment. That is why if next time you’re wondering what kind of case to buy take a look at Péla Case. Péla is an environmentally friendly business that makes bio-degradable phone cases that are not only good for the planet but are also pretty cute looking as well. According to their website “When you buy just one Péla Case, you’re stopping the equivalent of 27 plastic bags from ever seeing a landfill. So yeah, you are making a HUGE impact by choosing Péla Case.” The cases are very sturdy (I’m talking from personal experience) and the best part is when you're done with them you just throw them away in the composter and they degrade without leaving any harmful traces on our planet. There are many other brands out there like Péla, so with just one Google search, you can leave a good imprint on our environment, no matter how small it is.

Laundry Washing

Ah, laundry! Not my favorite thing to do in the world, but definitely something you must do. And since this is something every human does, the waste is immense. However, we don’t really think about how much plastic goes into the packaging or what harmful chemicals it contains. All we want is for our clothes to be clean. Studies have shown that phosphates, a common ingredient used in household detergents, build up in the water and lead to the starvation of fish and plant life. However, this is not widely known. Once again, there is a solution to lower waste. The Eco Egg has been around for a while but it has only just currently gained more popularity. The laundry egg uses two types of natural mineral pellets as a washing system and they are held in a recyclable egg. The egg was originally designed for people with sensitive skin as it contains no harmful chemicals. This means it is not only good for humans, but it is great for the planet as well. Once you’ve used the Laundry Egg for around 70 washes, you can just buy more mineral refills and you can use the egg all over again. By switching from normal detergent to the Egg you can save up to 40 bottles of plastic each year, which is based on seven washes a week and eighteen wash bottles.)

These were just some swaps you can do to reduce your environmental footprint. Even though they may seem like insignificant things to change, remember that even one person can make a difference. So, imagine if more people would make sustainability swaps, how much waste would be reduced. If you want more sustainable swaps make sure to check The HUB for part 2 and keep an eye out for a BUas Sustainability Article coming soon to see how our University is helping the planet! 🙂