Sustainable Swaps

Throughout the last ten months we have been looking at ways to swap our everyday items for something more sustainable so this is a glimpse into what we have changed and what we haven’t!

Firstly keeping our bodies clean. We started using soap instead of shower gel and tried to get soap with no packaging on – there is loads out there – this was easy. However the problem we had was storing the soap so it didn’t go mushy. Recently we found a fab soap dish (pictured below) that is perfect and keeps the soap dry and lasting a long time. We switched to using shampoo bars and solid conditioner – the bars are great and last ages – we got a little metal tin to store them in when we are away.


Next was deodorant – this is still the biggest challenge! I have tried solid deodorant in a tin, crystal deodorant, coconut plant deodorant and so on but to be honest I have not found any of them as good as my normal Mitchum deodorant. I have been through the process of letting your body get used to a different product but still no success. When I walk to work it is fairly strenuous and I do sweat somewhat so I was conscious for the rest of the day that I wasn’t pleasant to sit next to. My compromise is to use sustainable deodorant on the days I don’t expect to exert myself  and then other strenuous days use Mitchum – this seems to be working for me. Just for the record Mark has refused to try anything of the different deodorants!


We switched to bamboo toilet paper right in the beginning and we get bulk deliveries from Cheeky Panda. We wouldn’t go back to “normal” toilet paper now – the bamboo is so much better and we use less therefore the costs are about the same.


Keeping our clothes clean. I have already mentioned in another blog about the Ecoegg – this is great and so economical but it doesn’t have any smell even though my clothes are clean. I tried putting Lavender oil in the wash but there was no difference so I have reverted back to mainstream conditioner from Lenor – the meltable things. This seems to work well so I am buying them in bulk to keep the cost down and reduce the amount of packaging – you can get them in huge supersize bottles. It is a big initial outlay but worth it in the long run.



Keeping the house clean. The obvious swaps are switching to green products and refilling empty bottles – this is really easy to do as the Ethica superstore in town do a refill service for washing up liquid, hand soap, shampoo. It does work out a bit cheaper too. At the moment I am trying Eco sponges for washing dishes (pictured) but I am not sold on these as they really don’t last very long and aren’t very good in terms of getting food off dishes so we may try something else.

For cleaning glass and other surfaces I have bought this amazing Ecoegg hard surface cleaner – it is a clay based product and you have to put it on then wipe it off. I have used it everywhere and it is great – the windows are sparkling until Samuel goes near them! I also use white vinegar on mirrors but I have done this for a long time anyway – Wilko’s best – only £1.


Keeping me looking beautiful (Jane not Mark!). As you know my hair is completely grey now so I don’t use home dye anymore. I am used to the grey now and I am glad I have a distinctive white streak to add a bit of jazz……! My hair is in better condition and I definitely feel much more freedom rather than being tied to the hair dyeing cycle. My last swap is my moisturiser – I have started using Skin Drink from Lush which is based on sesame oil and it is amazing. My skin feels so soft and well hydrated with a bit more colour however it is four times the price of what I used to use but you win some, you lose some!



Published by ouryearoflivingsustainably

We live in Plymouth in Devon and this Christmas 2017-8 our family has been watching Blue Planet II endlessly! Our New Year's resolution for 2018 is to take better care of our environment and to live more sustainably. We are using a blog to remember our journey and maybe share with others what we have learnt along the way.

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