Simple Swaps for 2021
2021 has begun! And while it may be off to a rocky start, we want to keep trying to make our actions planet-positive.
We've talked about simple swaps before; if you're new to Curlicue (welcome!), a simple swap is something that we use or do that we can easily swap for another item or action which will have a lesser effect on the environment. Should we all be using solar power, electric vehicles and growing our food? Yes. But can we? No.
Just to say, we aren’t affiliated with any items that we suggest - they’re products that we use and love.
At Curlicue, we believe in simple swaps that are sustainable in terms of the environment and financially.
Every action that you make towards helping the planet counts - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You matter, and so do your simple swaps.
We've rounded up some of our favourite simple swaps to help you have a planet-friendly year.
We've talked about our beloved Eco-Eggs before. Not only are they better for the planet than laundry tabs, as they don't release plastic or harmful chemicals into the water system which we later drink, but the eco-egg is plastic-free, vegan friendly and will save you money.
Laundry items can be the most expensive things on your shopping list, and for those of you with families doing multiple washes every day, that's a lot of money!
The eco-egg lasts 70 washes and costs just £11.99 for a starter kit (17p per wash) - after that, you can buy refills at £4.99 for 50 washes (10p per wash).
In comparison, the leading brands cost around 19p per wash. Based on a busy household with two washes a day, your EcoEgg could cost you £73 per year against a LiquiTab cost of £138. Saving you money AND saving the planet.
If you have a tumble dryer, why not also use the EcoEgg Dryer Eggs. These are similar to dryer balls but egg-shaped and help quicken your dryer time by up to 28%, thus using less energy and making sure your clothes get toasty faster - who doesn't love a warm towel straight out of the dryer? It's the little things in 2021…
What You Eat
If you're looking for a simple swap that you can make today, how about going meat-free? We don't mean forever, maybe just start with Meat-Free Monday and take it from there?
If you're trying Veganuary or you're a little vegan-curious, check out our blog Go Vegan for Climate Change (or Veganish).
Load it Up!
Dishwashers save relationships - we are huge believers in this. So whether it's the dishwasher, the tumble dryer or the washing machine, make sure it's fully loaded before you hit that ‘On’ switch. The power and water needed for each cycle won't change, no matter how full your machine is. So please make the most of it, don't use that machine in vain!
Clothing is a hugely contentious issue - high-quality items that last aren't always accessible and affordable, and few brands are truly eco-friendly once we examine their entire supply chain.
Fast fashion is bad for the environment, we're sorry, but it is. From the labour cost, the shipping from overseas, to the number of wears we get out of each item, fashion is incredibly wasteful. So, what can you do when you can't afford to spend thousands on one item that might just last a lifetime?
Learn to Sew - YouTube is an endless educational platform; when something breaks, don't replace it, fix it. Maybe even adapt it a little. Who knows, before long you might be making your own clothes!
Don't Buy New Clothes - Everyone has had massive clear-outs in the past twelve months, and charity shops are struggling to cope. Some councilsl even charge to clear the bags left outside their doors during the lockdowns. So please go and help them clear out their stock when they re-open! Who knows what you'll find!
Shopping Second-Hand in Lockdown - Some charity shops have set-up online or on platforms such as Depop, like Crisis. Oxfam has an online shop where you can purchase clothes. Or why not try Vinted or eBay where you can buy online without stepping foot outside.
If you're interested in learning more about Fast Fashion and its environmental impact, then we highly suggest reading Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas.
A little less plastic, please.
We have some of our favourite plastic-free swaps here but if you're looking for more ideas, try our blog 5 Simple Swaps for Plastic-Free July:
Shopping Bags - plastic bags have been charged for in the UK since 2015, but wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of them altogether? Either go on a spree and invest in some tote bags or keep your plastic bags. Are they still plastic, yes? But if you keep them and use them until they fall apart, that much better for the planet than just throwing them away after one use.
Soaps - ditch the bottles and head to soap bars. For shampoo or your body, choose soap bars that use natural materials, so you aren't sending chemicals into the water system. We love the ones from Lush.
Food - It's not easy to ditch plastic all together - with markets closed our produce options are limited, but try to buy items free from plastic when you can.
Birthdays and special occasions have a different feeling at the moment; a little tinge of sadness missing those we can’t be with. Sending gifts to those you love, has never felt more poignant. Having something to unwrap or receiving a letter or parcel in the post has become magical once more.
If you want to wrap a birthday gift in something gorgeous, why not take a simple swap away from plastic-coated wrapping paper and use our vegan, recyclable, recycled wrapping paper that is made in the UK? We’ve got gorgeous designs to choose from and more to come in 2021. Browse our shop here.
The most important thing is to try and get longevity. Reduce your intake where you can. Reuse everything where possible and recycle/upcycle whatever you can.