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Cutting costs and waste is a trend that’s here to stay. The good new is that there are a lot of things we use every day around our homes that, by swapping them out with environmentally-friendly alternatives, can save a lot of dollars and waste. Eco-journalist Candice Batista shares some of her favourite smart swaps for common items around the house.

WOOD PLATES

Swap plastic plates that end up in landfill and leach into the soil and water for Timber Child wooden plates, handmade in Canada from sustainable maple wood. No glues or PVC are used; it’s coated with food grade organic Hemp seed oil and local beeswax. Bonus: They come in different shapes and sizes!

DUAL PURPOSE BARS

Shampoo and conditioner bottles not only clutter up our bathrooms, but they aren’t great for the environment. These colour-safe, vegan options from Unwrapped Life are also gluten, toxin and cruelty-free! They are great for the home, your gym bag, and travelling, and they also come with reusable tins. Win!

DENTAL SILK

Dental floss is coated with plastic, it ends up in the garbage or the toilet, and it’s just not good for the planet. A better option is Dental Silk (like this one from Floss Pot) because it’s biodegradable and refillable and you can keep the little glass jar it comes in.

SAFETY RAZORS

Plastic disposable razors end up in landfill. Safety razors are a far more sustainable option. They’re made to last a lifetime, contain no plastic, and the blades have very minimal packaging. You can get them from Canadian company WELL KEPT.

UNPAPER TOWEL

A lot of our paper towel comes from old growth forests that are being cut down. The average Canadian uses about four rolls of paper towel per week, spending about $35 a month. A good swap out is the UNPAPER Towel from Tracy Brooke Creations on Etsy. They’re super easy to wash and reduce waste significantly in the home!

REUSABLE SPONGES

Disposable sponges are another thing we buy a lot of (not to mention, they are kind of gross). Here are three alternatives:

CLOTH AND BEESWAX BOWL COVERS

Get rid of plastic wrap and tin foil. These bowl covers are a perfect alternative: they’re reusable and durable, and they wash really well. A sewn in elastic that gives a tight fit around the bowl to secure it so that it doesn’t slip off.