Okay, I meant two sentences each on average. But in the spirit of my New Year’s resolution – more action, less perfection – I’m doing my best to keep this short and sweet!
Most of these are products and ideas that I’ve written thousands of words about elsewhere on the blog, so consider this your miniature cheat sheet for some easy sustainability inspiration for the New Year.
So without further ado, here’s the list – 23 easy sustainability swaps for 2023:
1 & 2. Switch your plastic tubes of toothpaste and deodorant for these plastic-free toothpaste tablets and this refillable, plastic-free deodorant. (My favorite brand after testing about a dozen options for each.)
Save 10% with the code TILTEDMAP10
[Details: Toothpaste tablet review. Plastic-free deodorant review.]
3. Swap out your dishwasher tablets (which probably come in a plastic tub or packet) for these, which work just as well, but come in recyclable cardboard boxes.
Save $$ with the codes tiledmap25 (new customers only) or tiltedmap10 (if it’s not your first order).
4. Start composting your kitchen scraps, since food waste is a major contributor to carbon emissions. You can do it yourself (if you have the space and the desire), or find a local pick-up service (and consider sharing with a neighbor to split costs), or use this counter-top composter machine.
5. & 6. Upgrade your laundry supplies with these plastic-free laundry strips, and these fabric softener tablets that come in a cardboard box (the same brand as in #3).
For the strips, use TEmap10 to save 10%.
[Details: Sustainable cleaning products review.]
7. If you always get crotch holes (or any holes) in your favorite pairs of jeans, send them to this family business to have them fixed instead of buying new. (It’s not a patch; they actually reweave the fabric, so it lasts longer and seems like new. I’ve been sending my old jeans to them for almost a decade.)
This link will save you 15% (same as the one above).
8. Start considering carbon emissions when you choose flight routes and airlines. Use Kayak or Momondo, which make it easy to see and compare emissions. (It’s about more than just direct flights vs. layovers: I’ve found as much as a 63% reduction from one airline to the next for the same route.)
9. Swap your disposable plastic razors for these plastic-free ones. (The “Leaf” – for shaving legs or large areas; or the “Twig” – for faces, or other small areas where you want detailed control).
Use the code KETTI10 to save $$.
[Details: My painful adventures in sustainable shaving.]
10. Switch your plastic bottles of shampoo for these truly lovable bars, or these shampoo and conditioner concentrates in aluminum packaging.
Save 15% on the bars through this link (or the one above). Use tiltedmap10 to save 10% on the concentrates (even for repeat orders).
[Details: Shampoo bar review. Shampoo concentrate review.]
11. Switch to these unique, refillable skincare products, which give clinical-level results, while reducing plastic waste by 75% and carbon emissions by 99%.
[More: Brand review. Several other plastic-free face wash options.]
12. Replace your vitamins in plastic bottles with these multi-vitamins in a cardboard tube (totally vegan and made for vegans). Or for more formulas (gummies, probiotics, kids’ multis, and more) try this other brand – which is also free of animal products and comes in in recycled packaging.
13. Keep using hand sanitizer, but stop buying it in plastic bottles. Switch to these sturdy, reusable pump bottles – I’ve been using the same one since 2020! Jumbo refills come in aluminum.
14. Support local businesses when you travel, and if you take group trips, go with a company like Intrepid Travel that works to reduce and – only then – offset its carbon emissions.
[More: The Lazy Guide to More Sustainable Travel.]
15. Seek out more sustainable hotels using Booking.com’s “Travel Sustainable” filter.
16. Instead of ordering books from Amazon, order new books here, to share profits with local, independent bookstores. For used and new books, this site donates to literacy projects and other worthwhile causes, while keeping books out of the landfill. (Both are Certified B Corps.)
[Read More: My favorite travel books that show you the world from home.]
17. You don’t have to buy nothing all year, but think about buying less (especially less new stuff), and being more selective with your purchases. Look for used items on Facebook Marketplace, or in local thrift stores before buying new.
18. You don’t have to go 100% vegan for the environment, but think about eating less meat and dairy, and more vegetables. Try new things, and seek out meatless recipes like these.
19. Start divesting from fossil fuels by switching banks – to one that invests your money in something better. (I moved to this climate-focused bank in 2022. They’re based in Florida, and were the only option I found that could still open an account for me from another state. Other good options include Aspiration, Beneficial State Bank in Oregon, Mascoma Bank in New England, and Amalgamated Bank.)
20. If you have a period, start replacing at least some of your disposable menstrual products with these period underwear, or try a menstrual cup or disk. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but over time I’ve used these to transition to 100% reusables.
[Details: Period underwear review – brands that are more sustainable than Thinx.]
21. Switch to more climate-friendly dog food, made of crickets instead of red meat. If US pets were their own country, they’d be the world’s 5th largest meat consumer. That’s a lot of avoidable CO2 emissions. (Because just like humans, dogs don’t actually need to eat chicken and beef.)
Use the code MAP30 for 30% off.
22. Use this carbon calculator to compare different travel options (trains, planes, cars, ferries, and more) and find the greenest way to do each trip. (It won’t always be the same, depending on the distance, number of travelers, and other factors.)
[Details: The best travel carbon calculators, and what they’re each good for.]
23. Opt in to buying renewable energy. It’s easier than you might think (truly) and usually costs about the same! Just search for “switch to renewable energy in your state” to find out how. Most states have a government page explaining the process.
What other ideas do you have for really easy ways to reduce our environmental impact? Share them in the comments below, or let me know which ones you’re interesting in trying!
Charlotte Schmidt says
I do like the short articles–I’ve read so many articles on so many sites I’m ready for the short version.
I thought you noted some time ago that products like Dropps (laundry or dishwasher) and Truearth laundry sheets were using a plastic that didn’t REALLY completely dissolve, so I stopped using both. I use 7th generation dishwasher powder because I can buy it locally and it comes in a cardboard box. I use Meliora laundry products which come in round cardboard “canisters” with metal tops–and refills come in paper bags. I also use some of their cleaning products that are added to water and dissolve. They are woman owned,B Corp and when they ship things it is all plastic free. They are also very transparent about ingredients. Meliora is based in Chicago.
Have you looked at any products from ETEE. A Canadian company. My husband wants a dishwashing soap that is in a bottle, and they have a concentrate (which you add water to in your own bottle) that comes in a beeswax tube. Lots of other products too, but that is the most distinctive.
I definitely feel you on the long articles! I’m working on creating more of a balance on Tilted Map.
I went back and forth a lot on Dropps and the PLA issue (my research is described in this very very long article 😂), but I didn’t really conclusive evidence that it breaks down into plastic or causes problems in waterways. Maybe there’s something new on this on that I’ve missed, but it seemed like a bit of a red herring. However, either way, you’re right – powders in a cardboard box will always be superior to just about anything in terms of waste.
I haven’t tried Meliora or ETEE, but I’ve heard of both! I’ll have to give them both a look. Thanks for the ideas and for keeping in touch. 🙂