5 Sustainable Swaps That Are Also More Beautiful

sustainable swaps
Ilona Marchetta

Sustainability & Home Editor

Aug 16, 2021

Far from leading an existence of denial and deprivation, we believe that adopting a sustainable living practice is synonymous with a rich, beautiful, and bountiful life. For those who care as much about aesthetics as they do the planet, here’s a list of products that could inspire an eco-friendly switch up:sustainable swaps

  • Say not to take-away coffee cups and yes to a stylish keep cup

Take-away coffee cups are probably the second most maligned item by anyone with a sustainable mindset, after plastic bags. Eco-warrior Sarah Wilson listed take-away coffee cups among unsustainable things that drive her nuts, and understandably so – around 2.7 million coffee cups go to landfill every day in Australia alone. And those compostable cups that many cafes have switched to aren’t really all that better – they still take years to break down.

These ceramic keep cups by Pottery for the Planet will look far more beautiful in your lovely hands instead.

sustainable swaps

Raise your hand if you have products piled in every corner of your shower * raises hand *. Create some space and do the environment a favour by swapping bottled shampoo and conditioner for plastic-free bar formulas instead. 

Bar None do excellent shampoo and conditioner formulations for all hair types that are vegan, cruelty free and colour safe. Pop your bars on a beautiful ceramic tray when not in use to bring day spa vibes to your bathroom.

  • Replace disposable cleaning products with refills in forever bottles that look good on your countertop 

It’s great that laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent and all-purpose cleaners come in recyclable packaging, but you know what is far more sustainable? Having one container for each product that you’ll keep forever.  

The concept of refills and forever packaging is fast gaining ground globally sparked by government regulation in Europe that mandates product stewardship (a ‘producer pays’ waste cost recovery system) and zero waste design. Two of our favourite refill companies are Resparkle and Zero Co; Both offer bottles in clean, minimal designs and their refill packaging is zero waste. Resparkle will send you your refills in compostable slips, while Zero Co ask you to post your refill packaging back to the company at their expense so they can be re-used. You’ll never have to step foot in a supermarket again for detergent – how beautiful is that.

sustainable swaps

  • Swap cheap, imitation and throwaway furniture with quality pieces made from sustainable materials that you’ll treasure forever  

We know, we know – there’s nothing like snagging a brand new bookshelf for less than the cost of lunch. We know! However, much like fast fashion, fast furniture is disastrous for the environment for a number of reasons; Low-cost products made with veneers and engineered wood quickly chip and rot when exposed to moisture, so before long they end up in landfill (or out on the kerb-side). Some materials also emit harmful chemicals, which is not the sort of thing you want to surround yourself with as you eat and sleep. 

Next time you go to purchase a piece of furniture, do your research on the materials and manufacturing. B Corp certified Koala offer a stylish range of furniture (like a sofa made from cork oak) designed to be sustainable, sourced with quality and ethical materials, and built to last. Koala is also partnered with WWF Australia, and h is a member of 1% for the Planet, giving back at least one percent of gross sales annually to the good of the planet, people and animals.

sustainable swaps

  1. Swap plastic pads, tampons and panty-liners for period underwear

If you’re a woman in the developed world with a regular menstruation cycle, you’re likely to spend around AUD $3,400 on period products over the course of your lifetime, and send almost 7000 plastic period-related products to landfill.

Period undies are here to stay, and if you need evidence, even traditional plastic period care companies like U by Kotex have jumped on board, announcing a partnership with Thinx for briefs that absorb up to 5 tampons, and that you can wash and wear up to 40 times.

Modibodi and Bonds are other great brands with an extensive ranges of re-usable period undies that are much prettier than having pads, tampons and pantyliners around the house.


By Ilona Marchetta

Sustainability & Home Editor

Ilona Marchetta is The Carousel's Home and Sustainability Editor. She is a change manager and journalist specialising in sustainability. Ilona is passionate about slow and mindful living, from fashion to interiors to beauty and self care.


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