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One of the reasons I became a sustainability copywriter is because I’m passionate about (trying) to live a more sustainable lifestyle. When I first began my own journey of making my own easy eco-friendly swaps, I found it extremely difficult to find eco-friendly and sustainable products — and good ones.

These days I use my own experience and a few critical skills I’ve picked up along the way to create great website and blog content for eco-friendly companies, helping them drive consistent, meaningful traffic (via SEO strategies) and connect them to the people looking for them. 

So as an industry professional who works with legit sustainable businesses — combined with my own personal experience — here are 5 super easy swaps you can make ASAP to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

“In a 2010 study, TerraChoice investigated the claims of 4,744 “green” products carried in stores across the U.S. and Canada, finding that more than 95 percent of these products were guilty of at least one of what they call: The Seven Sins of Greenwashing.”


We have power as a collective

The market responds to what consumers want. I firmly believe we have the power to take things into our own hands as a collective. If we start putting our money into eco-friendly products and creating sustainable lifestyles, other companies will take notice and find ways to meet our needs. 

In fact, they already have. That’s why you can go to Target and see almost every product labeled “green”, “vegan”, “made with recycled materials”, and every other generic claim possible. They’re counting on you wanting a sustainable product and not wanting to research their claims.

I’m here to tell you you don’t have to do everything at once! 

Almost every sustainable business I’ve worked with got their start slowly. First, they noticed one thing and made a change, then noticed another and made a change, until they discovered an entire market for a sustainable solution.

We’re all human and as long as you’re trying that’s a great start. You don’t need to completely overhaul your life, but rather take small steps incorporating these ideas into your routine.

Whatever you do, don’t get rid of everything you have to fit a ‘sustainable aesthetic’. 

  • The real sustainable aesthetic is using what you have until it’s unusable.
  • It’s re-wearing the same pieces of clothing until they just don’t work anymore.
  • It’s ignoring the emails and the urge to buy something just because. 
  • It really is rethinking what we know, why we buy, and how we buy.

So start small. Make a few changes and once you’re comfortable with those, do a little more. You’d be surprised at how quickly you adapt to a new situation and how small, eco-friendly changes can rapidly turn into larger ones.

These are all changes that I’ve incorporated over time to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and they’re all a part of my daily routine now. I hope they work for you and help make your own journey simpler! 

5 easy ways to be more eco-friendly

1. Replace your toothbrush with an eco-friendly one

Bamboo Toothbrush

The reason bamboo seems to be everywhere as an eco-friendly product ingredient is that it is actually a grass instead of a tree and therefore grows much faster than a traditional tree.

Additionally, bamboo can grow quite large without needing as much water or chemicals and pesticides(1). Bamboo toothbrushes are great because if you’re able to compost, everything but the bristles is compostable.

You can find bamboo toothbrushes almost anywhere now making it easier than ever to make the switch.

In terms of easy eco-friendly changes, this one might be the easiest of them all and there are a number of different options that can fit everyone’s needs.

Additional Eco-Friendly Friendly Toothbrush Alternatives

If bamboo isn’t your speed, there are other options as well!

  • Preserve is a great company taking recycled yogurt cups and making them into eco-friendly products such as toothbrushes! You can mail back your used toothbrush for continued recycling or recycle it at most local bins. It does come wrapped in plastic, but you can also pick one up from most Whole Foods to reduce extra shipping plastics.
  • Terracycle  is working hard to recycle plastics and keep them out of landfills and oceans. You might have seen their name before as they’ve partnered with all types of companies.

To be a part of the Terracycle program, you’ll need to sign up for whichever program looks most appealing to you (It’s super easy). Once you’ve been accepted you’re ready to recycle!

You can collect products from everyone and become a neighborhood recycling champion! Or, if that induces some social anxiety then just keep it to your household, you do you.

2. Update Your Toothpaste & Mouthwash To Eco-Friendly Options

Listen, if you can’t (or won’t) switch up your toothbrush, no judgment here, there are plenty of other eco-friendly changes you can implement such as switching up your toothpaste and/or mouthwash.

Toothpaste Tablets

You heard that right! A genius among us made fun little tablets that turn into toothpaste. These are starting to pop up everywhere so a Google search can help find one that’s right for you.

Toothpaste Powder

While it might look weird sitting in your bathroom cabinet in the 21st century, tooth powder is actually not a modern invention. The Ancient Egyptians dating as far back as 5,000 BC used tooth powder to keep their teeth clean(2).

It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that toothpaste started to replace tooth powder. And as concerned as we are about chemicals in our products today, the earliest forms of toothpaste contained chalk and soap.

These days, there doesn’t seem to be a winner in the toothpaste vs tooth powder discussion, just be sure to read the ingredients label and find what works best for you!

Non-plastic Toothpaste Tubes

This option might be the best way to ease into eco-friendly changes to your lifestyle if you’re not ready for powder or tablets.

  • David’s toothpaste comes in an aluminum tube with a metal tube roller to help you get the most out of your toothpaste. Their toothpaste contains natural ingredients, is EWG verified, and as mentioned, the tube is recyclable.

Eco-Friendly DIY Toothpaste

When I began doing research on eco-friendly changes I could implement in my life, I definitely thought I was going to have to switch to all homemade products, annnnd I was a little apprehensive.

Luckily, there are so many great alternatives you can buy, but if you want to try you hand at making your own toothpaste, go for it!

I don’t make my own toothpaste so I’ll send you to Pinterest. Keep in mind you may need to play with the ingredients to see what works best for you.


Something about mouthwash bottles has always bothered me, even before I started researching eco-friendly changes and focusing on a sustainable lifestyle. Maybe it was how big the bottles were or how quickly we used and replaced them, but I have always had a hard time bringing myself to buy them.

Recently I’ve started seeing eco-friendly mouthwash products and I gotta say, I’m getting excited.

There’s this great article from The Lessen that lists out their top 5 favorite zero waste mouthwashes and goes into much more detail than I do here.

  • byHumanKind — #1 on the list from The Lessen — they’ve taken mouthwash and made it into a tablet you can drop in water. For any of us who liked dropping Alka Seltzer in water as kids, now’s our time to shine and do it everyday, without the indigestion!
  • Olas — made by a surfer dentist, each bottle is packaged in a recycled whiskey bottle and formulated without harsh ingredients.

3. Update Your Floss to the Eco-Friendly 21st Century

If you’ve never gone down the rabbit hole of plastic floss – I highly recommend doing so. I never gave floss a second thought prior to making eco-friendly changes, but once I went there… there’s no coming back.

A big problem with single-use products is that many of them don’t actually get recycled or end up in the landfill. This leaves the floss, and other single use items, floating around entangling wildlife and marine life.

Of the 78 MILLION tons of plastic produced annually, 32% is left to get into our oceans.To put that into perspective, that’s like dumping one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every four minutes(3).

Don’t even get me started on single use floss picks.

The standard dental floss you get from your dentist is made of nylon coated in a wax substance. Since its job is to get in between your teeth, it’s made to be pretty sturdy. What works out well for your teeth, does not work so well for the planet.

HOWEVER, there are plenty of alternatives out there now that don’t contain harmful coatings, are eco-friendly, and still get the job done perfectly.

Ingredients you’ll want to look out for are:

  • Bamboo
  • Silk (Cruelty-Free)
  • Corn-based materials
  • Glass or Cardboard Tubes — Since traditional floss is nylon, wrapped around plastic, wrapped in plastic, you’ll of course want to be on the lookout for floss that comes in eco-friendly packaging

I’d recommend starting with this bamboo floss!

4. Easy Eco-Friendly Soap Swap

Soap is a great and easy way to make some eco-friendly changes in your home.

Fun fact about me — I’m a scent junkie. One of my favorite hobbies is smelling things and (pre-pandemic) I could usually be found in the soap and shampoo aisle smelling, well, everything.

I’m very happy to report that there are just as many fun smells when it comes to natural bar soaps, making it a really fun eco-friendly product! Additionally, you can enhance your bathroom aesthetic with a cute eco-friendly soap dish.

Finding soap is the fun part! This is where you can get creative.

  • Check out any local soap makers near you
  • Make sure to give Etsy some screen time as well.
  • Another favorite of mine is Chagrin Valley (bonus — they’re made with all natural ingredients).
  • Lastly, if this seems overwhelming, try starting with Dr. Bronner’s bar soap. It’s sold in most stores and NOT wrapped in plastic.

Look for sample packs to ease into it. If you don’t like them in the shower, put them at the bathroom sink for everyone to use and they’ll be used up super quick.

I actually bought some shampoo bars that didn’t work on my hair but I used them as shaving soap and it worked super well.

The (main) goal here is to eliminate plastic bottles that come from body wash. But a lot of body washes also contain ingredients that disrupt the natural pH of our skin causing it to feel tight and dried out.

This article from Healthline outlines what ingredients to watch out for in soap.

5. Eco-Friendly Shampoo/Conditioner Substitutes

Remember I mentioned plastic waste is being dumped into the ocean at an equivalent rate of 1 garbage truck full of plastic every 4 minutes? Well, that’s estimated to increase to 2 trucks per minute by 2030 if we don’t make any changes(3).

I hate that for us. Shampoo and conditioner is another great place to implement small eco-friendly changes into your routine and help get rid of some of that plastic waste.

Shampoo & Conditioner bars are everywhere now and there are so many different brands you can research to find one (or a few) that work best for you.

  • ZeroWasteStore has amazing ones with an abundance of scents!
  • Hibar can be found at Whole Foods
  • byHumanKind — They are an all around great company with lots of plastic free products!
  • And honestly there are so many even since I wrote this in 2020. I just bought (and am loving) shampoo/soap bars from Haipažaža Pȟežuta based in Washington.

If you’re not quite ready to ditch a bottle, here are some great bottled alternatives!

  • Seeds — Among other great things, the bottle is made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper and 100% shower friendly (I can affirm this)
  • Plaine ProductsFounded by women, their concept is zero waste by refilling the bottles. You choose what you want, the bottle (& pump) is mailed to you, order your refill when you’re getting low, keep the pump, and mail back the old (washed) bottle to be reused. Bonus points if you have a refill shop in your city.

Let Me Leave You With…

There are so many reasons to live a more sustainable lifestyle and be more eco-friendly. And there are so many products that can easily fit into your life that I hope these 5 tips inspire you to make some really easy changes.

One very important thing I want to leave you with is that we’re not perfect and despite what it feels like, no one expects you to be. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in wanting to save the planet that you want to do all the things. It can also be really easy to judge other people’s sustainable decisions. But we’re all doing the best we can.

And if you’re an organizer or a social person who loves being part of groups and committees then that’s wonderful, do it, and share the knowledge!

If you’re not, that’s okay too. Focus on you and what you can do. Know there’s a community of people out there ready to help you whenever, if ever, you want. You’ll be amazed at what small actions done consistently can do.

What matters most is that you’re taking action.

Ciao for now friends,

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5 easy swaps to be more eco-friendly