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Being more eco-friendly and caring about the products I use is something I’ve been immersing myself in lately. I’ve become more aware of my actions and have been wanting to lessen the burden my actions have on the environment. It’s something I care about because I love this planet and all of the creatures, wildlife, and places. It hurts my heart walking down the beach and seeing trash within every step I take. It’s also disheartening seeing the impact plastics and pollutants have on sea creatures and other animals. It’s time for everyone to start caring about their impact and the first way we can do it is by using eco-friendly products.
I’ve come up with just 5 products you can swap to start being more eco-friendly right now. Take a look and let me know if you already use some of these things or if not, then maybe you should start!
Swap Tampons for the DivaCup
Let’s talk feminine hygiene. Think back to when you got your first period. How many tampons and pads have you gone through over all the years? Wayyyy too many to count. This is a problem and for a reason you might not necessarily be thinking about. Pads and tampons come in plastic sleeves with plastic applicators. All of that plastic ends up somewhere and often times it’s in the ocean.
We use tampons and pads because that’s what we’ve been told to use when growing up, never thinking of alternatives. At least I haven’t, until recently. I came to the realization that I’m being very wasteful when it comes to my time each month. So I started looking for alternatives. With there being a few different alternatives, I’ve found one of the best to be the DivaCup.
The DivaCup is a small and squishy reusable bell-shaped cup made of 100 percent healthcare grade silicone that collects your flow from inside. It’s like a tampon only it can hold a lot more and can be worn for up to 12 hours. YES, 12 hours! You could work a whole shift and not have to change it once! Go to the beach and don’t worry about trying to find a bathroom to change it. When some people think of the DivaCup, they think it’s messy and often think how on earth would you clean it in a public restroom?! Well, like I said, it can be worn for up to 12 hours so if you don’t need to empty it and are not going to be away from home for more than 12 hours that day then just empty it at home! It’s really not messy. You just take it out, empty it, and wash and it’s ready to be used again.
I know these types of cups might be awkward or embarrassing to talk about and many girls don’t know exactly what they are and automatically write them off without a second thought. Take a leap and try one, you’ll be surprised. With my most recent period, I decided to give it a go and actually love it!
Some benefits broken down about the DivaCup are as follows;
- Made from 100 percent healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability
- Can be worn for 12 hours
- No added chemicals, plastic, BPA, latex or dyes
- Doesn’t leave residue
- Doesn’t dry you out
- Doesn’t interfere with pH
- Has measurement lines to track flow
- Comes in 2 sizes
- Can go to the bathroom without having to remove it
- You only have to replace it once a year!
- Comes with a carrying case
Remember to read the User Guide before trying the cup and to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any questions. It’s available for purchase at CVS, Walmart, Whole Foods, Walgreens, RiteAid, Meijer, and Target. I got mine from Target for $37.49.
Swap Plastic Straws for Metal Straws
Love the taste of cold drinks? Me too. Have you ever tried using a metal straw with a glass of ice cold water? It’s life changing! The water is cold all the way up, right into your mouth. BUT that’s only one great reason to use metal straws in place of plastic ones. The main benefit is to help save the planet. Plastic straws are the enemy and seem to be everywhere. We use them once, for one drink, at restaurants, drive-thrus, movie theaters, pretty much anywhere you can get a drink. Then they get thrown out, never to be used again. Then they end up everywhere; at the beach, in the ocean, in the stomachs of animals, on the sidewalks. Be responsible and say no to plastic straws and bring your own metal ones with you wherever you go. I got this pack from Amazon and it has different sizes and shapes and comes with a carrying bag and cleaning brushes.
Swap Cotton Balls/Pads for Reusable Ones
If you use cotton pads or balls to remove your makeup or nail polish, to disinfect cuts, or any other use, you might want to invest in a set of reusable ones. For one, it can get expensive to purchase cotton pads over and over again. Think about how many you use at a time. I know it takes at least 3 pads to remove all of my makeup. You can get a set of 10 reusable pads made of organic cotton and bamboo for $8 from Etsy! They can be washed over and over and feel so much softer. Plus, they don’t leave residue behind or break into pieces!
Swap Plastic Toothbrushes for Bamboo Toothbrushes
Again with the plastic, try to avoid it when it comes to hygiene as well. You’re only going to use a toothbrush for a few months then buy another. Opt for a bamboo one made of recycled materials that are compostable, unlike plastic that can take up to 1000 years to decompose. The toothbrushes I’ve been using (and my boyfriend too) are these ones. I love how soft the bristles are. They are also BPA-free, 100% biodegradable, and the box they come in is made of recycled materials.
Swap Plastic Bags for Reusable Bags
Plastic bags; the ultimate enemy. Plastic bags are everywhere and are very easy to collect without trying. If you don’t tell cashiers at stores that you don’t need a bag right away, they will automatically place the item(s) you bought in one. I’ve noticed grocery stores no longer ask if you want paper or plastic anymore, they just assume plastic.
A major problem for ocean life, sea turtles in particular, is differentiating between plastic bags and jelly fish, their normal food. If you’ve seen this image then you know how hard it really is to tell the difference. Do your part and swap plastic bags for fabric or reusable bags. These mesh bags are perfect for produce and at only $4 each it’s hard to say no. They come in different colors too. I’ll be making my own DIY fabric bags soon so be on the lookout for that tutorial! If you don’t have a bag with you and you need something to put your purchases in so you can carry them all, opt for paper instead. A paper bag can be used to hold your recyclables at home and can be recycled right along with them. Paper is always better than plastic.
My hope for sharing this post is to inspire at least one of you to swap out a product for a more eco-friendly version. Our efforts need to start somewhere and if you don’t know where, then start with some of these options. It really does make a difference.
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