Swap This for That: Products to Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Have you heard of the Paris Agreement? It’s one of the most important environmental agreements reached in our time and it’s being signed this Earth Day, which falls on April 22, 2016.

Rising global temperatures and global warming is a growing concern and The Paris Agreement was reached in 2015 to address these issues. In fact, at the 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, over 195 countries came to an agreement about making marked changes on home soil to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperature rise between 1.5 — 2 degrees Celsius.

You can learn more here. While signing an agreement is a good thing for the planet, it means work is required on our part to help achieve this goal. Government policy is one thing; but each of us can make a real difference in our daily habits and choices, too. By making small adjustments to our lifestyle and purchasing responsible products and services, doing our part to reduce our own carbon footprint is simpler than ever. There’s more to it than just recycling and saying ‘no’ to junk mail. In fact, many businesses are designing creative and sustainable products that can ease us into this change.

Here are a few of my favorite new finds that I’m swapping in to do my part:

Compost Inside with the Food Cycler

One of the easiest ways to start making a difference is to compost food waste. If we compost regularly, we can reduce the amount of garbage we send to landfills by up to 25%. Composting allows most food, lawn and garden waste to be broken down in a natural process and turns it into a nutrient-dense topsoil which plants, flowers, gardens and lawns love. This seems easy enough and certainly felt like the right thing to do.

When I first looked into composting, I was considering a worm composter but it seemed like a lot of work and I wasn’t sure I’d have the time and gumption to stick with it. After some research, I came across an indoor, under the sink composter called the Food Cycler, which uses industrial composting technology to bring an odourless, fast and effective compost system to the home. It reduces waste volume by 90% and takes 3 hours to do. Simply add acceptable food waste to the bin, turn it on and after 3 hours, a nutrient-dense flake is produced, which can be sprinkled on top of greenery.

I’m planting one of these right under my kitchen sink!

Party Smarter with EcoSouLife International Biodegradable Tableware

Disposable plastic is one of the biggest culprits of landfill waste, and changing our habits around these purchases is becoming easier as more sustainable options come on the market. Can you recall how many plates, cups and pieces of cutlery were tossed out without a second thought? It makes me cringe when I think about the last party I was at. That’s why I am going to party smarter and more responsibly this year by using biodegradable tableware.

EcoSouLife International produces several lines of biodegradable products, ranging from palm leaf disposable party plates (which biodegrade in 4-6 months and are harvested from fallen palm leaves), to dishwasher safe dinnerware made from rice husks. If you’re not hosting the party, consider offering the host to supply the disposables in lieu of bringing a dish.

Eco Lunchbox

The New Way to Brown Bag It with Eco Lunchbox

Taking food along used to rely heavily upon plastic wrap,
tinfoil, plastic containers, zippered plastic bags which of course, ended up in
the trash. Litterless lunches have
become a trend to help instill environmental responsibility, and these programs
are cropping up at offices and schools everywhere. I’ve even moved to using mason jars for
lunch, but they aren’t the most durable (I’ve had soup spill everywhere when a
jar cracked) and they’re heavy and noisy to cart around. For a long time, I’ve had trouble finding
appropriate containers which are environmentally friendly, durable, easy to
clean, and light.

When researching
options, I came across the beautiful and functional Eco Lunchbox line. With various container sizes made from
lightweight stainless steel, these are reusable, easy to clean, don’t retain
stains or odours and look sleek. The
stackable bento boxes, snack containers or camping trays make lunchtime simple
and environmentally friendly. As if I
wasn’t already excited enough about lunchtime!

Pet Product Overhaul with Honest Pet Products

As a cat mom of two, I have purchased my share of silly sparkly, squeaky fuzzy toys for Malee and Paislee to play with. But cats are finicky little creatures and what may look fabulous to me looks dreadful to them (“Mom, seriously?”). I want my cats to have something to chase (aside from each other), and I never know what’s going to resonate. The stuff they don’t like sits in a crate that will eventually have to be tossed (I keep holding out to see if their tastes change, but alas, no news yet).

I’m not proud of this, so in search of an alternative I came across Honest Pet Products that are designed to be durable, sustainable, safe and made of natural materials. With both dog and cat toys, this line is as cute and delightful as it is responsible. It offers several toy styles that are made to last and in the absolute worst case scenario — your pet hates the toy — you can rest assured that the toy will not be a bother to the environment. Personally, I can’t wait to get the Eco Cat Fisher into my cats’ paws!

We no longer have to choose between function and aesthetic versus environmentally conscious products. Eco-chic is here to stay; we get to have great products that are kinder to our planet, too. With just a little bit of research, I was able to find some simple product swaps to help me reduce my carbon footprint, and I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same. There are so many more fabulous ideas to draw from on the EarthDay.Org website, I strongly encourage you to check it out and get some ideas.

Happy Earth Day!