Single Use Plastic and Eco Friendly Swaps

Daily Plastic Items to Swap for Eco Friendly Alternatives

Plastic is everywhere in our lives and reducing the amount of plastic we use can be a little daunting and feel a little overwhelming. Where do I start? What do I replace it with? Can I afford it?

Going single use plastic free doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t have to be hard. Just by making more daily conscious choices about what plastics we can do without, having resources and sustainable options readily available and by replacing our single use plastic items with more sustainable alternatives, we can all, bit by bit, item by item, make a huge difference.

Not sure where to start? Neither was I. So I have made a list 11 plastic items that we may use daily and eco friendly alternatives to swap them with, or consider, to start you off.

 

TAKE AWAY COFFEE CUPS

Keep Cup

This was the world’s first barista standard reusable cup! Designed in Melbourne and made in Australia and the U.K. The team at Keep Cup are dedicated to ensuring the world no longer needs, wants or uses disposable coffee cups. With a variety of sizes available there is a Keep Cup for every type of coffee or tea lover. Made from tempered soda lime glass, Keep Cups are light weight, durable and shock resistant. The Natural upcycled cork around the middle is fully compostable and they are BPA and BPS free!

 

Pottery for the Planet

Pottery for the planet is the original ceramic reusable coffee cup. Made on the Sunshine Coast, this company started out making limited edition pieces to help raise money for environmental causes. They are all about encouraging people to buy handmade, local and sustainable to reduce our waste. Each cup is made from vitrified ceramic and fitted with a 100% silicone lid. With a huge array of sizes and stunning colour combinations, you are sure to find the perfect cup for all your coffee needs.

 

Green Caffeen

Forgot your reusable cup? No problem!

Started by two dads trying to make a difference, Green Caffeen is a swap and go scheme that is passionate about reducing land fill. Green Caffeen works on subscription, for a small $4.99 a month and with that you can go into any participating cafe and get your reusable cup with your coffee order. When you have finished your coffee, take back to the cafe, or another participating cafe – you don’t even have to wash it! Now there is an option for when you forget your own reusable cup! Made is Australia and BPA free, Green Caffeen are on a mission to save 1 million disposable coffee cups from landfill by the end of 2019.

 

PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE

Water 3

Water3 is an Australian company on a mission to eliminate single use plastic bottles by providing refill stations that dispense chilled spring water as well as sparkling, from the Sunshine Coast to Byron Bay from as little as $1

Water3 bottles are made from tough reusable, and recyclable stainless steel so they won’t get damp condensation on the exterior! Another cool feather is the intuitive RFID chip in the bamboo lid. Register your bottle on the app, upload money and then simply swipe the lid at refill stations to fill up with cold water!

Every time you refill, another plastic bottle is stopped from entering the environment. Water3 is committed to preserving our environment and profits go towards funding local cleanup and marine life rescue initiatives.

 

TAKE AWAY JUICE CUPS

Ever Eco

Ever Eco is a sustainable lifestyles essentials company that aims to replace single use plastic. Made from stainless steel, double walled and vacuum insulated these tumblers will keep your juice or smoothie cold for 8 hours. Each come with a sliding lid for easy sipping, but are not leakproof, so transport in an upright position. They come in beautiful soft colours and practical and easy to drink from with or without a straw.

 

Luxey Cup

This is a new Australian designed and owned company who want to make a real positive impact on the world. The Smoothie Cup is stylish with pantone colours and is a one size fits all, with measurements on the side of all industry standard smoothie and juice sizes. Made from strong light weight borosilicate glass and fully enclosed in an easy to clean food grade 100% BPA free silicone sleeve. The cup comes with a reverse hot and cold silicone lid, stainless steel straw and plastic free dribble/carry bag. They are currently in their pre order stage but are definitely a brand to keep an eye on.

Take at a look at their reusable coffee cups which are also a one size fits all! They are stunning.

 

PRODUCE BAGS/SHOPPING BAGS

Khaki Carriers

Khaki Carriers are an Australian company established by a group who wish to influence positive change by being kind to the earth without compromising on style. Made from 100% cotton, Khaki Carriers strive to provide quality, recyclable carriers for your everyday needs and are designed to withstand everyday use for any task.

 

The Gypsy Grocer

The Gypsy Grocer is a small family run business whose passion is to create an eco-friendly environment by making handmade and eco-friendly reusable net bags.

$1 from every purchase is donated to Australian Marine Conservation Society, Australia’s only charity dedicated exclusively to protecting ocean wildlife and their homes.

 

PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH

Bare.brush

In Australian alone, each year 30 million toothbrushes end up in landfill, contributing to 1000 tonnes of waste.

Bare Brush has a vision and mission to guide humanity to optimal oral and environmental health through education and natural products that give us all something to smile about.

Bare Brush toothbrushes are a sustainably sourced, hand-crafted and 100% biodegradable. The bristles are naturally anti-microbial and each toothbrush is sent in a 100% linen bag so there is no plastic packaging.

 

Kappi Life

Kappi Life is an Australian Eco brand that stocks vegan friendly products and is passionate about replacing the worst single use plastics with stylish reusables.

Kappi Life stock sustainably sourced Eco Bamboo Toothbrushes. Toothbrushes ideally should be replaces every 3 months so Kappi Life toothbrushes conveniently come in a 4 pack, with each brush marked with a different symbol, representing each of the four seasons.

Bristles are medium and completely BPA and vegan. The handle is made from sustainably sourced bamboo and is biodegradable and can be composted.

Kappi is also a member of the 1% of the Planet Global Network. They donate 1% of total sales to approved nonprofit partners each year, who focus solely on finding solutions to some of the worst environmental issues facing the planet today.

 

 

GLAD WRAP

Honey Bee Bees Wax Wraps

Reusable food wraps that are 100% Australian designed and manufactured near Bryon Bay.

Made with 100% certified organic cotton, Australian beeswax, organic coconut oil, tree resin and Australian jojoba oil. These bees wax wraps are so eco-friendly that when you are finished with them you can put them straight in your worm farm or compost.

This Australian company is committed to living greener and giving back. Each year they help a number of schools and community projects by fundraising their green activities.

 

 

PLASTIC RAZOR

Gypsy Vibes

Gypsy Vibes is small company passionate about creating waste-free awareness by providing beautiful plastic free, reusable alternatives.

Their reusable steel rose gold razor comes in a pack with 10 pack razor blades, a wooden shave brush and a vegan shave soap bar.

 

Kappi Life

Modern razor heads are made of so much plastic and rubber that they cannot be recycled and as a result, millions of disposable razor heads end up in landfill every year. They also end up costing a lot of money, so save yourself some dollars and save the environment by switching to a Kappi Life razor.

All razors use a single, metal razor blade that can be recycled once you have finished with them.

 

 

TOILET PAPER

Who gives a crap

Ok, I know toilet paper is made of paper, but what about the packaging it comes in and the paper it is made of?

Who gives a crap is Australia’s number one toilet paper made with environmental friendly materials and completely made without trees.

Who gives a crap started their company when they learnt that roughly 40% of the global population didn’t have access to a toilet. They donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.

They have two options of toilet paper – one made with 100% recycled paper and the other made with 100% forest friendly bamboo. Both types are super soft and contain no inks, dyes or scents.

All toilet paper comes in paper and packaged in cardboard boxes so there is no sign of plastic anywhere.

 

 

TAKE AWAY CONTAINERS/PLASTIC CONTAINERS

Seed and Sprout Co

Seed and Sprout Co is an Eco store located in Byron Bay.

Their eco stow set is the perfect way to transition from plastic to a reusable option. These containers are toxic-free with borosilicate glass and sustainable bamboo lid.

Every order included a 100% compostable and plantable seed card with real seeds. Every purchase, Seed and Sprout Co plant a tree in an area of need.

Seed and Sprout Co aim to encourage more people to make small but achievable changes to reduce their plastic use so we can have a positive impact on our environment.

 

 

SUNGLASSES

Coral Tree

Coral Tree is a wooden sunglass company from FNQ Australia that make sustainable, biodegradable and unique sunglasses from environmentally friendly and sustainable materials. Each frame is crafted from carefully selected sustainable hardwoods and the lenses are made out of a biodegradable plastic derived from plant fibres with a UV400 and polarized protection.

Every aspect of their packaging is made with recycled and/or biodegradable materials and all products are designed with the environment at the forefront.

 

 

PHONE CASE

Pelacase

These beautifully designed eco-friendly phone cases are the world’s first truly sustainable phone case. The phone case is a zero waste product and are durable, BPA free and 100% compostable.

Pelacase is on a mission to create a waste free future and is a proud member of 1% for the planet.

 

iBark

iBark created the world’s first iPhone case made from corn and Australian hardwood. Proudly made in Byron Bay, iBark have created a durable, protective and stylish phone case that would not end up in the oceans or landfill as they compost after only nine months in the compost.

 

 

These are just a few examples of single use plastic swaps, if you have any other ideas, suggestions or know of another great company doing great things to reduce single use plastic please comment below and we can continue to add to this list to make the swap from single use plastic to eco-friendly alternatives more accessible.

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Old Mat. New Life

Give your old yoga mat a new life with these ideas to reuse, repurpose or recycle.

In Australia alone, with the rise in popularity of yoga, nearly two million people are now practicing! This is amazing that we are realising the benefits yoga can bring to our lives and with yoga becoming more accessible, everyday more people are turning to the practice.

IMG_0032
Demonstrating hand mudras with retreat guests during practice

With the rise in people practicing, there is also a rise in the amount of yoga mats purchased. A recent study found that if each of the two million people that are practicing yoga currently use only five yoga mats in their life that are not eco-friendly, are able to be re-purposed or reused, then there is the potential of ten million yoga mats ending up in landfill!

That is a staggering amount of yoga mats potentially ending up in landfill and I’m sure doesn’t sit well with eco-conscious yogis trying to lighten their footprint and negative impact on the planet.

person rolling green gym mat
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

One thing yoga teaches us is Ahimsa – non harming to all, including yourself, in actions, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, habits, beliefs and words. Ahimsa also extends to our environment and the world around us. One of the simplest ways we can be less harmful to our environment is to have motives and actions that utilise as little of our planets resources as possible and for the resources that we have already taken, to find ways to reuse, repurpose or recycle.

I still have every yoga mat I ever owned, not because I use them all, but because I cannot bare to throw them away.  It can be good to have spare yoga mats on hand for friends to borrow, to use outside, to take on holidays or to use at the beach, the question of what to do with a yoga mat that you no longer need remains. I have put this list together to help me, and hopefully you, with inspiration for what to do with your unneeded yoga mats.

What do I do with my yoga mat/s I no longer want or need?

The following three categories will hopefully help you decide what is the least harmful choice or option for all involved when deciding what to do with your yoga mat.

Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle.

 

Ideas for reusung your old yogamat (1)

REUSE

In our modern world we are bombarded with choice and new options what seems like every minute. We can get caught up in the want of things without considering if we actually need them.

Before you throw away your yoga mat or simply go and buy the newest, best advertised one of the current market, ask yourself do you really need a new one, or do you just want one?

If you just want a new one because you want a different colour, print or want the one that is popular or promoted on Instagram, take another look at the one you already have.

Does it still function in the way it was intended to? If yes, maybe it just needs a good wash? Contact the supplier that you purchased your yoga mat from and check their care instructions to see if it is possible to wash your yoga mat, either with our yoga mat cleaner suggestion or in a heavy duty washing machine.

If your old yoga mat no longer serves it purpose for you, but is still in good condition, consider donating your mat to one of the following:

  • Local school
    • Lots of schools are adding yoga and meditation to their classes now which is amazing! Donating your no longer needed mat to a local school could help make yoga even more accessible to our young people.
  • Local yoga studio
    • Maybe there is a new studio starting out in your area that are low on mats
    • For people to use that forgot their mat
    • Community classes
  • Gymnastics club or Sports Club
    • To use as padding, grip, shock absorbing when landing, outside exercises or warm ups
  • Womens shelter
    • Everyone deserves the access to yoga so donating your mat here might help a women with minimal personal belongs keep up or start her yoga practice
  • Retirement homes
    • Yoga is being more and more recognised for its health benefits and more retirement homes are offering yoga classes.

Ideas for reusung your old yogamat (2)

REPURPOSE

If reusing your yoga mat for yoga is no longer suitable, maybe the following repurposing options will be

  • Homeless shelter
    • To use as padding under bedding
  • Animal shelter
    • To give comfort and padding in rescue animals beds and crates. Yoga mats are perfect as they are easy to clean, durable and most are waterproof.
  • In your car
    • Leave in the boot to stop your shopping sliding around
    • Protect back seats from your pets feet or baby seats
    • Use as a picnic mat or when you need something waterproof and durable to sit on
    • Cut to size and put on the floor of your car to protect the floor from muddy shoes, dropped food.
  • Camping
    • Put under your bedding for extra comfort
    • Use as a door mat to your tent to keep inside clean
  • Gardening
    • Use as padding for your knees when gardening
    • Smother weeds by placing mat over garden area. The suns heat through the mat will kill weeds and prevent their seeds from sprouting. When you are ready to plant in that area, remove the mat.
    • Use as a liner under pots inside the house to protect floors
  • Pets
    • Use under their bedding for extra comfort and padding
    • Stop food and water bowls sliding buy cutting mat to size and putting under the bowl. The grip from the mat will keep bowls in place
  • Furniture/Floors
    • Use mat as padding to protect furniture when moving house, or transporting it
    • Stop beds sliding or furniture legs damaging floor by cutting yoga mat to size and sticking to bottom of feet
    • Lay down yoga mat to protect flooring from kids craft projects
    • Use as an outdoor mat to clean shoes on before entering your home
  • Home
    • Use in wet areas where floor might be slippery
    • Paint with non-toxic paint and use as a floor running in kitchen or entry way to home
    • Use in home office for extra padding for feet while seated at the computer
  • Surboards
    • Use on the roof of your car when carrying surfboards to prevent scratching the paint or padding between boards
    • Protect boards when not in use by placing underneath tail of board when stored in board rack
    • Pack around surfboard when extra padding is needed in board bag on surfing trips
  • Tool box/Trailer
    • Use in tool box or trailer to protect tools and prevent them moving around

Ideas for reusung your old yogamat

RECYCLE

The last option we have on this list is to recycle your yoga mat. Recycling your yoga mat that is no longer needed is a great option.

Everything that exists comes from our Earth and if something can be reused, repurposed or recycled then we are lessening our impact on the Earth and our need to take more from our environment.

Like many things though, not knowing how or where to recycle causes many missed opportunities to lessen our impact on our Earth. If things are not recycled properly, even recyclable products, like glass for example, they end up in land fill and back we go to take from our environment to make more.

There are some amazing companies (and I am sure many more) who are dedicated to the recycling of yoga mats that are no longer needed.

Salt and Seed Yoga is in the process of developing a program to collect and receive yoga mats, from any brand and any material, that you no longer need and reuse, repurpose or recycle them accordingly. We are dedicated to lessening our footprint on the planet and are passionate about helping others do the same. Until our program is up and running, here are some amazing companies that are doing brilliant things for the environment with programs and options for you to re-home your old yoga mat.

  • Mukti Mats
    • Recycle Your Yoga Mat is a program by Mukti Mats that you can send you no longer needed yoga mat to in NSW Australia and they will forward your yoga mat onto a charity that supports our community.
  • LovEarth
    • LovEarth has a great Donation Program Australia wide where you can send or take your yoga mat into one of their stores and they will forward it onto the correct recycling program.
  • Yoga Australia
    • Yoga Australia head office in Victoria has a Recycling Initiative that recycles your no longer needed yoga mats and props. Drop your yoga mat into their office to help lessen the ecological footprint of yoga in Australia.
  • Jade Yoga
    • Jade yoga has a 3R Program that reuses and recycles yoga mats in America. You can drop your mat into a number of studios and be confident that your yoga mat will be reused or recycled and not end up in landfill.
  • Manduka
    • Currently only available in the US, but Manduka is working to bring this great program to yogis worldwide. The LiveOn program gives yogis the option at the checkout when purchasing a new yoga mat to send back their no longer needed yoga mat of any brand to be recycled into materials that improve communities everywhere.

These are just some reusing, repurposing and recycling options that I thought you might find helpful.

If you know of any other great options, programs or companies, please comment below and I can update the list so it keeps growing with amazing options to lessen our impact on our Earth.

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