10 Simple Swaps to Go Green

Everyone can’t fully commit to making all of their products. So I’ve made a list of simple ways that you can live a greener life without the time and effort that DIY recipes require. All you need to do is simply swap a synthetic product for a natural ingredient or two. It doesn’t get easier than this folks! Replace these plastic products and start living a more eco-friendly and healthier lifestyle.

natural and zero waste alternatives
Photo credit: Marco Verch

1. Hair Conditioner

SWAP WITH: Any nourishing oil like coconut oil, olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, shea butter or even raw honey works wonders! Find which oil is best suited for your hair type here.

How to use: Use about one tablespoon of oil and apply a thin coat to the roots, tips and body of your hair. Leave in for as long as possible (even overnight, if you can), but for at least 10 minutes. Then wash out with shampoo.

2. Fabric Softener

SWAP WITH: White vinegar or real sea salt.

How to use: Place about 1/2 cup – 1 cup white vinegar or sea salt in your dispenser and wash your laundry as usual. Adding essential oils for fragrance is optional. If using vinegar, the scent of the vinegar will evaporate, and you will be left with naturally softened fabrics.

3. Cough Syrup

SWAP WITH: Raw honey, lemon juice and ginger.

How to use: Mix 3 parts raw honey with 1 part lemon juice and a pinch of ginger.

4. Body Spray

SWAP WITH: Essential oils and distilled water.

How to use: Simply mix a about 50 drops of an essential oil that you love with 100ml water, and store in a spray bottle. Here are some tips on how to mix your own fragrance.

5. Room Freshener

SWAP WITH: Essential oils and high-proof vodka.

How to use: Like body spray, simply mix about 50 drops of essential oils with 100ml of high-proof vodka. The alcohol makes the scent last longer in a room. I do not, however, suggest applying alcohol topically (read why here), which is why I don’t recommend it in body spray.

6. Makeup Remover

SWAP WITH: Any nourishing oil like coconut, olive, sweet almond, jojoba oil etc. Find which oil is best suited to your skin type here.

How to use: Apply about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to your face and rub in circles to dissolve make up. Wipe off with cotton wool or a damp face cloth to remove makeup. Even without makeup, using oil is deep cleansing and provides great nourishment to your pores.

7. Spot Treatment For Acne

SWAP WITH: Raw honey and cinnamon.

How to use: Add a pinch or two of ground cinnamon to a teaspoon of raw honey and use this as a spot treatment. You can also store this mixture for up to 6 months if stored in a dark place away from water / moisture.

8. Clear Mascara

SWAP WITH: Aloe vera gel (pure or organic)

How to use: Simply apply aloe vera gel to lashes in the same way that you would apply clear mascara (you may want to clean & use an old applicator brush). The gel will harden as it dries, and it will keep your lashes healthy and strong.

9. Body Lotion

SWAP WITH: Coconut oil or shea butter.

How to use: Use the same way as you would regular body cream. The texture of these ingredients depends on the temperature outside, so if it’s too hard to apply, simply melt a bit between your hands and then apply as a lotion.

10. Bathroom Cleaner

SWAP WITH: White vinegar.

How to use: White vinegar is a natural disinfectant, and it will clean and prevent mould and mildew too, which makes it the perfect bathroom cleaner. Store in a spritz bottle for easy application and spray the bath, shower, tiles and toilet bowl. Although the smell evaporates, if you are not keen on having a vinegar-scented bathroom, simply add a few drops of essential oil to mask the smell. Antibacterial and antiviral essential oils will give this cleaner an extra kick! I suggest thyme, tea tree, eucalyptus or cinnamon to mask the smell of the vinegar. Here are some other ways to use vinegar to clean your home.

If you’re not sure where to find these, or other ingredients then my shopping guide may help you. Otherwise please post your question in a comment, or on my social media channels and I will do my best to help you.

Photo credit: Marco Verch via Compfight Creative Commons.

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