Team Favourites: The best eco earth-saving products

While I think we all agree that every day should really be Earth Day, this year the day to celebrate our planet falls on this Sunday, the 22nd of April. So with Earth Day fast approaching, we thought we’d share our team’s favourite earth-saving products.  From handy food containers to reusable beeswax wraps, we’ve narrowed down our most favourite products that most importantly eliminate the need for plastic.  We’ve also shared some of our planet-saving lifestyle tips below.

But first, here our are top 12 earth-saving products:

  1. Reusable shopping bags. These Flip&Tumble shoppers are the absolute best. I always keep one in my handbag. They simply are stuffed in a tiny stretchy pouch. They are super big and lightweight (and look cool)! (Fact: plastic bags take 500 to 1000 years to decompose in landfill sites!). — Esther
  2. Water bottles. We just can’t get over the amount of single use plastic bottles that are bought and end up in landfill. Using a re-usable water bottle should be the law! (Fact: Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade! That’s a long time for even the smallest bottle. 90% of bottles aren’t even recycled.) — Esther and Courtney (the cute whale water bottle featured is from Two Thirds).
  3. Reusable beeswax wraps. Instead of cling film or other plastic wraps, this reusable beeswax is perfect for covering food in the fridge or even wrapping up food in your child’s lunch box. — Courtney 
  4. Biodegradable (and super cute) bamboo plates and cutlery.We find bamboo such a great alternative to melamine for the littlest people. (Always check how much plastic a ‘bamboo’ item actually contains though!) Orla had this set for Christmas and it is just the cutest! — Helen
  5. Reusable silicone food savers. Instead of grabbing single-use clingfilm or foil, we use Food Huggers to store part-used fruits and veggies. They don’t just help reduce plastic waste, but food waste too — the tight seal means your leftovers stay good for longer. They’re also great for sealing all kinds of jars and bottles, helping you use your recycled glass containers for longer-term food storage. — Helen
  6. Stasher silicone food pouch. We bought a few of these in each size earlier this year to help eliminate the need for ziploc baggies. It was such an easy switch, and they’ve held up really well. — Shannon
  7. Jam jars with lids. Like Courtney, we re-use a lot of jars for food storage. I love these French jam jars with a plastic lid — we’ve had them for over 8 years and use them daily. — Esther
  8. Toilet paper (and forest-friendly paper towels) made from recycled paper. We love this brand! They donate 50% of profits to help build toilets for those in need. And the packaging is cool too! — Courtney
  9. Cloth napkins. Any cloth napkins will do, but I love the cute, classic gingham napkins from Zara home, and have collected sets when shopping abroad too. Our trick for keeping them neat without fancy napkin rings? We use wooden clothes pins- each person has one with their name on it- and we clip them on after using, so we can keep them for the next meal and not mix up each others germs! After a few days, we put them in the wash and grab another set. — Helen
  10. Reusable silicone straws. These re-usable straws are wide enough (also for smoothies), look fun, and are easy to clean. –Esther
  11. Bento-box style lunch boxes by Planetbox. No need for plastic wrappers or baggies because the food goes directly into the little compartments, kept separated and sealed. We have so much fun filling each compartment and trying to prepare well-balanced lunches for the kids. (Here’s a recipe for our kids’ favourite lunch — Vietnamese-style summer rolls.) — Courtney
  12. Unpaper Towels. To reduce the amount of paper towels we use, we bought a set of these cotton/linen blend towels to have on hand instead. No need to buy something special for this purpose, of course, as any old cloth will do, but I find I like having something dedicated to the purpose. — Shannon

And here are some handy lifestyle tips from the team:

  •  Shop at your farmers market instead of the supermarket, to avoid all of the single-use plastic wrappers and buy locally and seasonally.
  • Choose natural materials where you can. It’s important to avoid buying non-natural clothing as much as possible. Synthetic clothing (polyester, nylon, etc) shed plastic micrfibers that consequently end up in our drinking water, oceans, rivers and lakes. Unlike natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, synthetic fibers do not biodegrade. Plankton and other small organisms eat microfibers and make there way up the food chain (high numbers of plastic microfibers have been found inside fish and shellfish sold at markets!) A huge and invisible pollution! Also — single use plastic should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Re-use old jam jars and yoghurt pots for food storage. 
  • Investigate milk delivery options in your neighbourhood. Get rid of plastic bottles and use beautiful glass ones instead! Your milk will taste fresher, and there is less waste.  (There are services to help find a milk man!) 
  • Encourage schools to use recycled materials for their art projects. There are a million and one uses for creating with boxes, cardboard tubes, paper and toilet paper rolls, and more! Like this one. Help use waste wisely and encourage your schools to collect these materials.
  • Choose eco wrapping paper or make your own for gift wrapping. Re-use old newsprint, save the tissue paper in parcels, and keep the brown paper flowers are wrapped in. When possible always save wrapping and reuse, or use fabric scraps too. With so many birthday parties for kids, buying paper seems excessive. Use cute ribbons or wool to decorate with a nice tag!
  • Buy soap in bulk and fill pretty bottles. Or buy old-fashioned bar soap in paper wrappers. 
  • Consider eco-friendly menstrual products.
  • Create your own sparkling water. We love drinking sparkling water at home, but have a hard time rationalizing the environmental impact of water flown to us from Italy in glass bottles. With Soda Steam you can simply carbonate water from your own tap and store it in glass carafes. The CO2 cylinders are returned and refilled for another use. — Shannon
  • Walk or cycle instead of driving. This is a funny one as for some cities in Europe this is such an obvious one. There is a big push in Paris to turn into the next Amsterdam. We are still light years away from that, but it is slowly getting better. So I am now cycling a lot around Paris. Such a great way to enjoy this beautiful city and contribute to reducing carbon footprint. I am still worried about cycling with my girls though as the drivers in Paris are still not used to cyclists. – Emilie
  • Make your own cleaning products. I am constantly having to clean and wipe floors, counters and windows due to the busy little grubby hands at home – but I was feeling very concerned about all the chemicals in commercial cleaning products (and the organic ones are often expensive in comparison) so after some onlince research I have discovered the magic of using white vinegar! In a reusable spray bottle I combine white vinegar, water and a dash of essential oil (eucaluptus or lavender are favourites) and this is my chemical free, environmetally friendly and chlid friendly all purpose cleaner! — Vicky
  • Make your own baby wipes. A friend introduced me to making my own baby wipes at home using kitchen towels as the base. Since I started I haven’t bought pre-made wipes as these are so simple and so natural and gentle – plus they smell great! You simply use boiling water, coconut oil and a dash of your favourite baby wash. Since returning to Australia they are the only wipes I am using.
  • Invest in a good coffee KeepCup and remember to bring it to cafes with you for your takeaway coffee. Apparently coffee cups are only recycled in very few areas because, while they are made largely of paper, disposable coffee cups are lined with plastic polyethylene, which is tightly bonded to the paper making the cups waterproof and therefore able to contain liquid — this makes them difficult to recycle.

Please share any earth-saving tips you have. We’d love to hear!


p.s. Bottom image is from Natalie of @theindigocrew. How enviable is her pantry with all those labelled glass jars!


Comments (4)

Hélène AKA Croque-Maman
April 17, 2018

What a beautiful selection! I love making our own snacks in small portions (freezing them if required) and using reusable food pouches for baby weaning but as well for lunch boxes (home made purées or yogurt) this is why I got some in Croque-Maman shop just perfect 👌

April 17, 2018

We do everything you guys suggest. Bees Wax, tins, bento boxes, thermoses for warm lunches, We also buy some food in bulk like oatmeal, pecans, walnuts, and rice. We bring our own small cotton draw sting bag. You do have to weigh it before but this extra step is worth it. We also use them for vegetables or for other things like lettuce we just don’t use plastic bags instead they just go in the bag we bring to put all our grocery at check out. This way we don’t use plastic bags. We also bring our own bags to the grocery store and farmers markets.

Annie from Brimful
April 17, 2018

All hail the Flip and Tumble! 😉. I’ve been using mine for more than a decade and it’s still holding up fine.

April 21, 2018

Thanks for this article, really interesting, useful and important. Loved the ideas!

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