If you don’t know already, tomorrow is Earth Day 2021! This year’s theme is Restore The Earth, so I thought it would be cool to share some sustainable swaps. I know that as a student it can sometimes be easier to go for the cheapest item but, in the long run, plastic-free products are always the best.

Cleaning drops*

The first out of the sustainable swaps is cleaning drops. A cleaning drop is an antibacterial spray refill which you add to 750ml of water and then hey presto, it’s made! This is perfect because it means that you don’t need to buy another plastic bottle of antibacterial spray – you reuse the one you have. I only discovered these when I was looking on Green Pear Eco‘s website but I can’t wait to use it once my current antibacterial spray has run out.

Reusable make up pads

I got these make-up pads about 1&1/2 years ago and I can’t even imagine buying single-use wipes now! I can’t talk enough about how great they are and once they are dirty, just put them in with the laundry (in their little bag).

Before I swapped to reusable ones, I was using biodegradable wipes and while they aren’t great either, they are better than ones that aren’t. But, what about the plastic that contains those biodegradable wipes? That didn’t even cross my mind whilst I was buying biodegradable ones but it’s something to think about.

Reusable make-up wipes are a long-term purchase and aren’t too expensive either – I can’t remember where my parents got these from but you can get them from pretty much anywhere! If you can, try and support a small business.

Who gives a crap toilet roll

You might be wondering why I’m putting this down when it is £24 but just hear me out! Who gives a crap toilet rolls last for so long – I haven’t even used half of my box yet but I’m thinking they’ll last me 6 months. Shop bought toilet roll might be cheaper but the amount of plastic it comes in is ridiculous. The packaging for these are 100% recyclable and come in pretty designs, as well as the shipping being carbon neutral. They also donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets – a company that is environmental and gives to charity seems like a win-win situation.

You can buy a box of 24 for £24, 48 for £36 or subscribe and decide the interval that they deliver to you. As well, the last couple of rolls are in red packaging that reminds you that you’ve almost run out – I love that! If you want £5 off your first order click here, and I’ll get £5 off for referring you.

Paper tape*

We all give presents to people and last Christmas I was trying really hard to wrap my presents origami-style (and failed). Instead, why not use paper tape that biodegrades and is recyclable? Plus, this tape is 50m long and for only £2.50!

Related post: 7 simple actions to take for Global Recycling Day

Soap bar

Soap bars will literally last you months and did you know that they are actually better for your skin that bottled soap? This is because most soap bars tend to be more natural whereas bottled soap might have lots of chemicals inside. Plus, soap bars are completely zero waste.

My sister bought me my current one so not sure where it came from but once again, you can buy them pretty much anywhere! I love that there’s such a wide variety of colours and scents.

Herb mix seedballs*

I feel like a lot of people started growing plants in the pandemic, it can be hard if you have limited space though. You can plant these seedballs in a pot which is great if you aren’t rooted (get the plant pun?) in one place. You don’t need any expert knowledge, just add water and keep in the sun, and they will grow. It’s also much cheaper to plant herbs than to keep buying from the shop – think of the amount of plastic!

What are your favourite sustainable swaps that you’ve made?

Best wishes, Cx

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  1. I’d never heard of those cleaning drops before, but that’s a brilliant idea! I’m going to look into these! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Awesome! x

  2. These are great swaps. I hadn’t heard of cleaning drops. I have seen cleaner in sheets that come in paper packaging. You add a sheet to water and shake to disolve. The company names is Tru Earth and they make laundry soap strips too.

    I refill my jugs of laundry soap, hand soap and all purpose cleaner at a local bulk soap store that makes natural and chemical free products. When I discovered that store, I became really conscious of all the waste we produce. But, there are convenient and affordable options out there if you look.

    1. I love bulk shops & zero waste stores but unfortunately don’t live near any :/ x

      1. That’s too bad.

        Here in Canada, we have a large chain of bulk food stores called Bulk Barn. My daughter worked there when she was in high school so I got a little bit addicted. LOL

        The bulk soap and cleaning supply store is fairly new to us though. The one I go to is a little small business with just 2 locations. It’s fabulous. I wish there were more of them.

        1. Aw that sounds great! It seems that more supermarkets are getting into refills so I’m hoping one will pop up near me

  3. I love my reusable makeup pads and wish I’d switched sooner! They really make you realise how many wipes/pads you go through.
    I also switched to Who Gives a Crap last year and I love them! One box lasted us a well over six months and to be honest, they make a colourful addition to the bathroom! 😂 I’ve not tried the cleaning drops but I will definitely look into them! X

    1. Totally agree! Thank you 🙂 x

  4. Loved these swaps! I really want to try the cleaning drops as it’s something we could really use at home instead of buying new ones every time! It’s incredible how much waste you go through when you start looking at it in more detailed, I swapped for reusable cloths for my face and the amount of cotton rounds i used was insane, wish I had done it earlier x

    1. I totally agree – me too 🙂 x

  5. I did not know about soap bars being better for the environment. it might be time for a switch!

    1. Definitely! So great to hear 🙂

  6. I totally need to purchase a re usable makeup remover. I like the idea of purchasing something that is usable.

    1. You definitely should – can’t recommend enough!

  7. Love these recommendations!!! I’ve also moved to shampoo bar, conditioners. I’ve also swapped my big brand skincare for locally made skincare. I’ve moved to menstrual cups and period panties so my menstrual waste is down to 0. And I’ve swapped my vegetarian lifestyle for a vegan one. If we all did a little better in our ways it would make such a big change. Thanks for encouraging your readers. ❤️

    1. I love these swaps! xx

  8. I would love to invest in reusable make-up wipes but I’m not sure they would work for my skin. Thank you for sharing these recommendation for thrifty students x

    1. Aw that’s a shame :/ x

  9. I never even knew that paper tape existed! What a great, sustainable option to Sellotape! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. It’s so cool 🙂 x

  10. So many amazing swaps! I love reusable makeup pads and got into the paper tape hype this Christmas x

    1. I’m so glad 🙂 x

  11. rebeccaellisco says:

    I’m not a student, but I had to read this because sustainability is something that I’m really passionate about! I love this post so much, they are such simple little everyday things that we can change, I’m going to share this with my friends x


    1. Thank you! x

  12. I love reusable cotton pads – they’re so much nicer on the skin! These are some fab and easy swaps!

    1. Totally agree, thank you x

  13. Thanks for listing these essential sustainable swaps.
    Love your effort towards a sustainable tomorrow!

    1. Thank you 🥰

  14. lynnmumbingmejia says:

    Lovely post, Caroline! You’ve just reminded me to switch to paper tape. I’ve been meaning to for a while! I really like the who gives a crap toilet roll too haha xx

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. Aw that’s great to hear! x

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