With every passing second, the planet is impacted more and more with our daily choices. 

No matter how small or big, every individual choice has a cost. However, how does one ensure that their impact on the environment is minimised? Well, the answer lies in making smarter choices. 

Little changes go a long way, so here’s a little list that can help give your life an eco-friendly makeover. Not limited to the world of fashion, but from eating habits to eco-conscious travelling, we present 5 sustainable swaps you may not have thought of!

  • Biodegradable hair ties

We love our hair ties, but why do we end up buying new packs every 3 months? 

Indian brands such as Brown Living and Kooshoo and international brands such as Terra Ties are pushing the way forward in a very niche yet extremely important market - plastic free hair accessories. These hair ties and hair clips are manufactured using long lasting natural fibres such as organic cotton and bamboo. So, in the not so slight chance they get lost… they are built to break down in the environment over time. Considering hair accessories are one of the most widely used commodities, making this swap definitely has the potential to lessen the impact on the planet by a huge amount. 

  • Alternatives to high emission foods:

Waking up to cold hard facts about my favourite breakfast food is not easy. But the extreme and harmful effects of avocado production cannot be ignored. From using copious amounts of water, to deforestation, to extensive soil degradation, the avocado supply chain has been causing serious havoc. On a similar note, meat from animals produces methane - which once released into the atmosphere can have serious altercations like the recent episodes of forest fires throughout the globe. 

But fret not, the wonders of the culinary world offer a great selection of alternatives that provide the same nourishment and even better texture! Mushy peas fused with a bit of chilli, lime and coriander make a great alternative to traditional guacamole and work even better with a bag of corn crackers. Moreover, blanched leeks or edamame bean hummus can be a great swap for your morning avo toasties. As for plant based alternatives for meat, jackfruits or carrots serve as excellent swaps for bacon, and soy chunks are great alternatives to chicken. 

Unfortunately, in order to lessen the impact of these fruits, lessening production is extremely important. However, with the popularity contests going on with regards to avocados in todays’ age, making these sustainable swaps is a critical need of the hour.

  • Sustainable Travel: Opt-out of short haul flights & choose local:

We all know that the aircraft industry contributes majorly to global carbon emissions. 

However, for short haul travel - where more optimal alternatives like trains, taxis or ferries exist, choose to ditch the airport and make these sustainable swaps instead. Infact, train-travel accounts for almost 66% less CO2 as compared to air travel and is relatively cheaper too. Additionally, while visiting a new land, opt to make the local community your biggest stakeholder. You could eat at local cafes and pump money into small businesses or choose to shop from local vendors and buy something that is personal to the locality. Plus, you’d be making friends and getting great insider knowledge! 

  • Sustainable Sanitary Products:

There are so many things wrong with traditional sanitary products. They are single use, contain plastic and require excessive amounts of energy and water to be produced. Even though they are meant to be disposable, these products end up in landfills and take years to degenerate, harming not only life on land but also oceans. Alternatively, new age products such as the menstrual cups, reusable underwear and organic pads are stars of the zero waste revolution. With comfortable designs and increased emphasis on promoting human as well as the planet’s wellbeing, these products promise durability and sustainability. A win-win!

  • A greener bathroom:

One of the worst offenders on this list is a place we all spend a lot of time in. The bathroom. Whether you already live in your sustainable fantasy, or are just getting started, your bathroom presents a treasure chest of opportunities to make sustainable swaps. From choosing reusable makeup wipes, to bamboo toothbrushes - there’s room for improvement in every corner. That’s not all, organic Q tips, sustainable loofah’s, organic bath towels and soy based candles are some more options to choose from. Additionally, you could place a small recycling bin inside your bathroom and go the extra step to make sure your empties don’t end up directly in your trashcan.

So, flex those muscles of influence, and nudge yourself, including those around you to choose better <3

 Author: Saloni Dahanukar

April 16, 2022 — Shubhi Rawat