Going green is the new black, with these seven environmentally friendly everyday products making it easier than ever to embrace all things eco and live a more sustainable life.
Amidst the digital transformation brought on by Covid, working from home has become the new norm for many – making a well-equipped home office an important investment. Against this backdrop, a good home printer has emerged as one of the most essential environmentally friendly everyday products you can purchase.
Not sure where to start? HP’s Smart Tank 5000 series printer has positioned itself as a powerful yet planet-friendly addition to this setup. With an impressive capacity to print 6000 black and white and 6000 colour pages before needing an ink change and made from up to 45% post-consumer recycled content, this sleek and compact printer aligns with any WFH office seeking to operate with environmental values.
The HP Smart app smart app and ink management system ensures seamless printing and monitoring of ink levels, while Energy-saving Auto On/Off Technology conserves energy effortlessly. HP’s commitment to sustainability is also evident through its no-waste tank system and recyclable ink bottles, making the HP Smart Tank 5000 series an ideal choice for those seeking an economical, efficient, and environmentally responsible printing solution for their home office needs.
Bet you never imagined your favourite knickers could contribute to mother nature’s destruction? While we’re not suggesting you go commando, you can certainly make better choices when it comes to purchasing a new pair of panties to mitigate the negative environmental impacts due to the production of most mainstream underwear brands.
These include the use of non-biodegradable synthetic fibres (such as polyester) that take time to decompose and fill landfills, the addition of harmful polluting chemicals in the textiles, the presence of excessive and non-recyclable packaging, and the huge carbon footprint left behind by brands who manufacture and then transport their products long distances to reach consumers in various parts of the world (contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming in the process).
For example, you may want to consider Step One, an ethical, organic bamboo underwear brand, made in Australia. The brand offers the available styles in either thong, bikini, or full brief, with a new seamless range set to release in August. During production, the brand focuses on achieving zero water wastage. They make the products with the addition of Polyamide to enhance durability and are committed to forest-friendly practices. This makes it an excellent addition to your eco-friendly essentials.
Washable Cotton Pads
More beauty brands than ever are touting their eco credentials. These include classics like The Body Shop (which champions sustainability in all of its products and incorporates Community Fair Trade ingredients) and French chemist brand Caudalie – that falls under Sephora’s clean planet positive mission meaning it is formulated with natural ingredients and sustainability in mind. As well as more contemporary brands like Pax (Australian-made nail polish produced with 82% sustainable plant-sourced formulas) and Maria Nila – whose 100% vegan and cruelty-free products are an excellent example of environmentally friendly everyday products
But, to really commit to the cause, we recommend investing in washable cotton pads, like the ones by Votary. Made from 8% bamboo and 20% cotton, they work just as well as conventional cotton pads to apply your toner or remove your makeup, but come with the added bonus of being reusable and washable (and packaged in a very chic and eco-friendly 100% cotton bag). Alternatively, try ZERO Dry Wipes, the sustainable, chemical free creation that works by adding water to create your own wet wipe..
Given that washing your hair on the regular is generally a non-negotiable, shampoo bars offer several environmental benefits compared to traditional liquid types. Firstly, they often come with minimal packaging, reducing plastic waste. Their solid form means they contain less water, making them more energy-efficient during transportation. Additionally, they tend to last longer, leading to less frequent purchases and less overall waste. Many shampoo bars also use biodegradable and sustainably sourced ingredients, making them less harmful to aquatic life and water bodies. Furthermore, they are convenient for travel and eliminate the need for travel-sized plastic bottles. Finally, unlike some liquid shampoos, they do not contain microplastics that can be harmful to the environment.
Among our favourites are the Davines Essentials Solid Shampoo Bars. Packed in sustainable packaging and made of 100% recyclable paper, they contain actives from Slow Food Presidia farms and last up to 40 washes. The Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar is also excellent. The company hand crafts the bar with aloe vera, ensuring it is 100% natural and certified vegan friendly. Furthermore, they package it in a recyclable box. And Ethique – a regenerative beauty business, whose shampoo bars deliver a solid version of your traditional liquid option, centered around being free from plastic, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced.
Your Favourite Wine
We’d never suggest you give up your beloved bottle of bubbles! But, if you’re keen to support more sustainable sipping choices, the good news is you can imbibe, without upsetting the environment by making a few tinytweaks to your trip to the bottle-o.
For example, opt for wines with organic or biodynamic certifications to support grape cultivation without synthetic chemicals. Choose wines with sustainable farming practices and minimal winemaking intervention for a lower carbon footprint. Support local and small-scale producers to reduce transportation emissions and look for socially responsible wineries promoting fair labour practices and community development. Additionally, seek wines with recycled or alternative packaging to reduce environmental impact further.
Among the best eco-conscious brands we’ve tried are Tread Softly – which received a dedicated forest for planting native trees in the Yarra Yarra biodiversity corner in 2021. And Rewild (produced by Duxton Vineyards) – a sustainable label that has several cutting-edge initiatives underway across a broad spectrum of sustainable practices including water conservation, improving soil microbial diversity, soil carbon baselining, increasing soil carbon, being more efficient with energy and water and reducing waste to landfill.
If you enjoy a G&T or Scotch and Coke, consider using a SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker to create your own mixers. This helps fight plastic pollution by saving 22 single-use plastic bottles from waste every month, providing an eco-friendly solution for environmentally friendly everyday products
Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls offer a host of benefits that make them a more environmentally responsible choice for laundry care.
First and foremost, they contribute to reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions. By improving air circulation within the dryer, these woollen spheres effectively decrease drying time, thereby saving on electricity or gas used for drying clothes. Moreover, wool dryer balls are an excellent choice for those seeking to eliminate harmful chemicals from their laundry routine. Unlike conventional dryer sheets and fabric softeners, which often contain synthetic chemicals and fragrances that can harm both the environment and human health, wool dryer balls provide a natural and chemical-free solution for softening clothes.
Finally, the durability and reusability of wool dryer balls make them even more appealing from an environmental perspective. Customers can often reuse these balls for hundreds of drying cycles, making them a sustainable and long-lasting alternative to single-use dryer sheets. With fewer products ending up in landfills, wool dryer balls reduce waste and create a more circular economy.
Our suggestion is Nontre’s Dryer Balls. Made from 100% pure Australian Wool, they shorten drying time, reduce energy usage and eliminate residue left from chemical liquid fabric softeners.
A Recycled Handbag
Fast fashion makes it easier than ever to be a little guilty of overconsumption. And while we understand it can be tempting to purchase cheaper products, this can often lead to frequent disposal of used items, and an increased burden on landfills.
One way around this is to focus on creating a capsule wardrobe of investment pieces made by businesses that are committed to transparency, sustainability, and ethical practices in every aspect of their business.
An example that ticks all the boxes is Deadly Pony. One of NZ’s best eco accessory brands, the label is committed to creating timeless artisanally handcrafted pieces; that use high-quality, sustainably sourced materials; all while aiming to achieve zero-waste certification by 2023. They also annually release a recycled collection made with offcut fabrics, this year creating a line of bags made out of cactus leather. And while we like that their handbags are made by reworking, repurposing, and recycling materials to minimise their environmental impact, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and become more circular, we really love that they look great too!