34 everyday eco-friendly swaps that will make a big difference

Katie Scott
·16 min read

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Shop these eco-friendly swaps this Earth Day. (Images via YETI and boscia)
Shop these eco-friendly swaps this Earth Day. (Images via YETI and boscia)

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Earth Day is on April 22 and there are so many products in our lives that we could swap for something more sustainable and green.

Being conscious of your carbon footprint is one of the main steps in reducing it. Earth Day gives people around the world the opportunity to celebrate the planet we all live on by taking part in activities like planting trees, cleaning up litter or simply enjoying nature through hiking or gardening.

In addition to recycling, eating local in-season food, turning off lights and unplugging things when you don’t need them, another way to contribute to preserving the earth is to shop naturally and consciously.

Melanie McVean, co-founder of Canadian-made natural deodorant, No Pong, gave Yahoo Lifestyle Canada a few tips when it comes to eco-fying our homes.

She says to swap out the usual plastic suspects in your bathroom. "Across the board, there are easy changes to be made to reduce the plastic in your bathroom. Use a bar of soap instead of body wash, swap out your disposable plastic razor for an electric one, and trade your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one. These eco-friendly swaps won’t just save the planet, they’ll save you money," McVean said.

ALSO SEE: Everlane's first-ever sustainable swimwear collection is here, and we put it to the test

McVean also suggests buying green products when it comes to natural beauty care products like green makeup, moisturizers, body wash and more.

“It’s especially important to consider what products are being used on sensitive areas of your body, such as eyes, lips or underarms,” McVean said. “With all the effort we put into what we eat, it makes no sense to turn around and use products filled with chemicals, parabens, and artificial colours.”

She also suggests that we do our eco research. "Not all natural products are created equal, so be sure to read the ingredients. Make sure you familiarize yourself with natural, sustainable, and renewable ingredients, and never be afraid to ask a brand about their ingredient sourcing policy."

In honour of Earth Day, we've rounded up 34 eco-friendly swaps to help ecofy your home.

Wild & Stone Bamboo Toothbrush

Wild & Stone's Bamboo Toothbrushes - Amazon, $14
Wild & Stone's Bamboo Toothbrushes - Amazon, $14

Wild & Stone's Bamboo Toothbrushes provide an eco-friendly toothbrush and alternative to using plastic.

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, meaning there is a sustainable supply of bamboo - and it’s also completely biodegradable, which means that it can be composted or recycled at the end of its life. The bristles used on their toothbrushes are also made from BPA-free nylon - which is not only vegan but is also more gentle on the teeth and gums than traditional plastic bristles.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $14

JBL Flip 5 Eco Edition Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

JBL Flip 5 Eco Edition Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Best Buy, $130
JBL Flip 5 Eco Edition Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Best Buy, $130

Swap your wireless speaker for this JBL Eco Edition speaker that delivers amazing sound quality. This speaker has a waterproof body and a built-in rechargeable battery that offers more than 12 hours of runtime on a single charge.

SHOP IT: Best Buy, $130 (originally $150)

Sproud Pea Milk

Sproud Pea Milk - Well.ca, $5
Sproud Pea Milk - Well.ca, $5

Swap dairy for some pea-milk. This alt-milk is made from yellow split peas and it's good for anyone looking to make the move from dairy milk to plant-based. It has been developed to match the taste and texture of dairy milk.

The production of yellow split peas requires minimal use of water, land and carbon. Pea cultivation also adds nutrients back into the soil, making peas one of the most sustainable sources of plant-based protein out there. Sproud's products also have a long shelf-life, which removes the need for chilled distribution and significantly reduces wastage.

SHOP IT: Well.ca, $5

Thistle and Grove Natural Teething Toys

The Henry, Natural Wooden Teether - Thistle&Grove, $18
The Henry, Natural Wooden Teether - Thistle&Grove, $18

Swap out your baby's plastic teething toys for something more eco-friendly. The Henry is a 3” teething ring made with white hard maple wood sourced in Ontario, Canada. This bunny ear teether is made with 100 per cent organic cotton flannel. You can loop off the ears and hand wash it with cool water.

SHOP IT: Etsy, $18

New Balance Impact Run Short

Impact Run Short - New Balance, $60
Impact Run Short - New Balance, $60

New Balance's lightweight Impact Run Short is designed for distance runners who want easy access to their nutrition, phone or keys because they have pockets. They also fall under the company's green leaf standard, meaning that they are made of 50 per cent or more environmentally preferred materials such as recycled or organic content.

SHOP IT: New Balance, $60

Myant 95 Face Mask

Myant 95 - Myant Inc., $29
Myant 95 - Myant Inc., $29

Swap out your face mask for the Myant 95. Not all face coverings and masks are alike, and reusable options vary widely in how effective they really are.

Myant has developed the world’s first reusable mask with 95 per cent particulate and bacterial filtration (without the use of any disposable components) - the Myant 95. It provides the highest filtration available in a reusable mask.

SHOP IT: Myant Inc., $29

WYLD Skincare’s Charcoal Konjac Exfoliating Sponge

Charcoal Konjac Sponge - Wyld Skincare, $21
Charcoal Konjac Sponge - Wyld Skincare, $21

Canadian skincare brand, WYLD, is an all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free skin and body care line that is also biodegradable and ocean and reef safe. Swap out your facial buffers for this eco-friendly sponge.

Their Charcoal Konjac Sponge is made from the konjac root and infused with antibacterial bamboo charcoal. Konjac roots easily absorb water to form the perfect sponge texture for gentle exfoliation. This natural wonder gently exfoliates and purifies skin without stripping or drying it. It’s the perfect product for normal to oily skin.

SHOP IT: WYLD Skincare, $21

Nest Thermostat

Google Nest Thermostat - Google, $180
Google Nest Thermostat - Google, $180

This helpful thermostat comes at an affordable price. Like our other thermostats, the Nest Thermostat’s energy-saving features have earned an energy starr from the EPA. It can help save people an average of 10-12 per cent on heating bills and 15 per cent on cooling bills. Plus, it offers control from anywhere via the Google Home app, and helps keep heating and cooling systems running smoothly.

SHOP IT: Google, $180

Parkland Script Plus Convertible Messenger Bag

Parkland Script Plus Convertible Messenger Bag - Staples Canada, $70
Parkland Script Plus Convertible Messenger Bag - Staples Canada, $70

Swap out your backpacks and messenger bags for Parkland backpacks. They're made of recycled water bottles in order to send kids back to school with a smaller footprint.

SHOP IT: Staples Canada, $70

Bulldog Skincare Original Glass Razor

Original Glass Razor - Amazon, $15
Original Glass Razor - Amazon, $15

The Bulldog Sensitive Glass Razor is the latest in sustainable shaving innovation. This razor is crafted with recyclability in mind and is made from 70 per cent recycled beer bottle glass so you can look and feel your best. It also includes a zinc-brushed stand and handle holder, a lube strip containing community trade Baobab for sensitive skin, as well as a Precision Trimmer.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $15

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Colour All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer - Amazon, $400
Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Colour All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer - Amazon, $400

Make working and schooling from home effortless with Epson’s ET-2760, a cartridge-free printer with supersized tanks that hold enough ink to last up to 2 years. This means less waste and fewer trips to the store for replacement cartridges.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $400

Shop's Sustainability Collection

Shop, Shopify’s mobile shopping assistant app.
Shop, Shopify’s mobile shopping assistant app.

If you're into online shopping, try using Shop's, Shopify’s mobile shopping assistant app, Sustainability Collection to help make your purchases. Shoppers can now discover and support 50 businesses committed to minimizing environmental impact or creating positive change, across homeware, health & beauty, fashion apparel and accessories, and food & beverage categories. 

The collection includes household names like KOTN, Allbirds, and Pangaia, but also some under-the-radar Canadian brands you’ve yet to discover, like Abeego, Satya and Junglesupply.

SHOP IT: Sustainability Collection

Antipodes Divine Face Oil Rosehip & Avocado Oil

Divine Face Oil Rosehip & Avocado Oil - Antipodes, $46
Divine Face Oil Rosehip & Avocado Oil - Antipodes, $46

Replenish your skin with this organic and vegan face oil for glowing skin. This face oil is certified organic by BioGro New Zealand, an internationally recognized and accredited organization that ensures formulations are free from toxic ingredients.

Antipodes is committed to repurposing, reusing and recycling, including using recyclable boxes made from 100 per cent biodegradable cardboard derived from sustainable forests as well as glass bottles, aluminum tubes and printing with 100 per cent eco ink from vegetables.

SHOP IT: Antipodes, $46

Staples Hospital Grade Disinfectant Spray & Wipe Cleaner

Sustainable Earth by Staples SE15 Hospital Grade Disinfectant Spray & Wipe Cleaner - Staples Canada, $8
Sustainable Earth by Staples SE15 Hospital Grade Disinfectant Spray & Wipe Cleaner - Staples Canada, $8

This is the perfect swap for your disinfectant spray. Sustainable Earth by Staples SE15 hospital-grade disinfectant spray and wipe cleaner is formulated to remove stains, hard water build-up, and soap scum. It's non-bleaching, no residue, no dyes and ecology certified.

SHOP IT: Staples Canada, $8

Aura Inner Beauty Get Up & Glow Bundle

Get Up & Glow Bundle - AURA Inner Beauty, $130
Get Up & Glow Bundle - AURA Inner Beauty, $130

AURA Inner Beauty's Get Up & Glow Bundle includes Radiance + Wildberry Hibiscus Collagen so you can enjoy flavourful berries while you treat your skin. AURA works with high-quality suppliers and sources ingredients from Canada whenever possible to support local manufactures and reduce its carbon footprint. 

To do its part in preventing deforestation and preserving the environment, it uses palm-free glycerin, a sustainable alternative to palm oil. As sustainability is top of mind, it sources wooden cork tops, glass bottles, and recyclable paper boxes.

SHOP IT: AURA Inner Beauty, $130

Got Bag Hip Bag

Hip Bag - GOT BAG, $49
Hip Bag - GOT BAG, $49

GOT BAG creates the world’s first backpacks made from recycled ocean plastic. Each bag is made up of 3.3 to 9.9 lbs. of plastic and contains an innovative and environmentally friendly BIO-PU coating, so the bag is 100 per cent water-resistant and comes with a long-lasting two-year warranty. GOT BAG is perfect for the eco-conscious or the traveller and is the ideal way to give back.

In an effort to reduce ocean plastic pollution at its source, GOT BAG also leads workshops and training sessions on waste separation in Indonesia, which is the world’s second-largest contributor to ocean plastic pollution.

SHOP IT: GOT BAG, $49

Designer Goods

Louis Vuitton Monogram Amazone - Lux Second Chance, $800
Louis Vuitton Monogram Amazone - Lux Second Chance, $800

Lux Second Chance offers a sustainable option for consumers to purchase coveted designer goods. This online shop is an efficient, economical way to buy pre-loved designer luxury with savings up to 80 per cent off retail.

SHOP IT: Lux Second Chance, prices vary

Bluboho Embrace Branch Stacking Ring

Embrace Branch Stacking Ring - bluboho, $398
Embrace Branch Stacking Ring - bluboho, $398

Swap out your go-to stackable rings with some from bluboho, a Canada-based, woman-owned fine jewelry company that carries ethically sourced, raw and refined jewelry pieces.

SHOP IT: Bluboho, $398

Flow Alkaline Spring Water

Flow Alkaline Spring Water - Flow Hydration, $24
Flow Alkaline Spring Water - Flow Hydration, $24

Flow Water is the highest-quality naturally alkaline spring water on the planet. Their sustainably managed artesian springs produce mineral-rich water that helps nourish your body. Flow Water comes in Original, Flavoured and Collagen-Infused.

The company is innovative with sustainable packaging, that includes a plant-based cap made from renewable sugarcane, FSC certified paperboard pack and BPA-free plastic film.

SHOP IT: Flow Hydration, 12-pack of 500ml, $24

VIVEAU

VIVEAU, mixed pack $20
VIVEAU, mixed pack $20

Swap out the juice in the refrigerator for VIVEAU, a Canadian beverage brand made from 100 per cent fresh-pressed fruit and sparkling mineral water. VIVEAU beverages offer the perfect balance of flavour and carbonation, with no added sweeteners or preservatives. VIVEAU comes in three refreshing flavours: Wild Blueberry, Apple Cider and Ripe Cherry

They source ingredients from local Canadian farmers, VIVEAU is ethically produced with detailed traceability records and made with 100 per cent recyclable packaging.

SHOP IT: VIVEAU, mixed pack $20

Mitrex Solar Roof

Solar Roof - Mitrex, prices range from $248-$543
Solar Roof - Mitrex, prices range from $248-$543

Mitrex, a Canadian manufacturing leader in solar technology, is bringing to market its roofing panels, developed to provide a cost-efficient energy solution for homes. The company’s patented building-integrated photovoltaic technology (BIPV) extends a building’s energy-generating potential, allowing the potential for every sun-touched surface to generate electricity.

The solar roof panels can be easily installed on both new and existing homes. Besides being affordable, Mitrex’s products can also seamlessly mimic the appearance of traditional asphalt and slate shingles, with various colours and patterns available.

SHOP IT: Mitrex, from $248

Boscia Papaya and Pomegranate Enzyme Exfoliating Body Cleanser

Papaya and Pomegranate Enzyme Exfoliating Body Cleanser - boscia, $49
Papaya and Pomegranate Enzyme Exfoliating Body Cleanser - boscia, $49

Swap out your body cleanser for something that is good for the environment. The packaging for this collection is recyclable with reduced packaging for a more environmentally friendly product. Comes with wildflower seed paper that can actually be planted right in your garden.

SHOP IT: Ulta, $35

Incognito Anti-Mosquito Mineral Suncream Insect Repellent SPF 30

Mini Suncream & Insect Repellent SPF30 75ml - incognito, $26
Mini Suncream & Insect Repellent SPF30 75ml - incognito, $26

The new, improved Mineral Suncream Insect Repellent SPF 30 is a special tri-action sunscreen, moisturizer, and insect repellent. With unprecedented broad spectrum SPF30 protection against both UVA and UVB rays, this non-greasy lotion helps protect the skin against both sun damage and ageing.

Packed full of natural and organic ingredients, the active ingredient is a high-grade plant-based PMD

SHOP IT: Incognito, $26

Nature’s Sunshine Collagen

Nature’s Sunshine Collagen Supplements are structured to provide shape and rigidity to counteract the natural stretching of your skin. It is non-GMO, grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine peptides - also dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo- and keto-friendly. This collagen is eco-friendly because it’s sustainably sourced.

SHOP IT: Nature's Sunshine, $54

Threads Reusable X-STATIC® Gloves

Reusable X-STATIC® Gloves - Threads, $48
Reusable X-STATIC® Gloves - Threads, $48

Swap out your disposable gloves for these as an alternative. They're made of X-STATIC silver yarn, which is 99.9 per cent silver, and kills viruses and bacteria on contact (kills 91 per cent within 10 min and 99 per cent within 2 hours). They're also touchscreen compatible so you don't have to take them off to use your devices.

SHOP IT: Threads, $48

Levi’s Wellthread

Levi’s Wellthread - Levi's, prices vary
Levi’s Wellthread - Levi's, prices vary

Swap out your denim for something more sustainable. Levi’s Wellthread is a laboratory for progress. It’s an effort to work through a set of design and manufacturing challenges in order to create a more sustainable future. For Spring/Summer 2021, progress comes in the form of exciting innovations and styles, including the introduction of 55 per cent hemp blended fabrics, new natural dye techniques, the expanded use of organically grown cotton, and the recyclability of every Wellthread garment.

SHOP IT: Levi's, prices vary

YETI

Daytrip Lunch Box, Camino Carryall 35 and Rambler 1.36 L bottle with chug cap - YETI, $99, $200, $70
Daytrip Lunch Box, Camino Carryall 35 and Rambler 1.36 L bottle with chug cap - YETI, $99, $200, $70

There are lots of ways we can be more eco-friendly by bringing reusable products into our everyday. For example: passing on plastic grocery bags and opting for a reusable tote bag, keeping a reusable water bottle nearby, or even ditching the brown bag for a reusable lunch box.

SHOP IT: YETI, prices vary

Y.O.U Underwear

Y.O.U Underwear, $26
Y.O.U Underwear, $26

Swap out your underwear drawer for this sustainable underwear. All Y.O.U Underwear’s products are fairtrade, PETA-approved vegan and made from 100 per cent GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. They work with India's leading ethical and sustainable manufacturer, which operates under SA8000 social standards to ensure its workers are treated fairly.

SHOP IT: Y.O.U Underwear, $26

No Pong

No Pong, $10
No Pong, $10

Swap out your deodorant for something more natural. No Pong all natural anti odourant recently came out with a new addition to their line-up - Fragrance Free, Vegan - made with ingredients including vitamin E, shea butter and reduced baking soda for maximum effectiveness while being gentle on skin. As with all No Pong products, it’s free of plastic, aluminum, palm oil, triclosan, parabens and nanoparticles.

Schitt's Creek actress Annie Murphy recently spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle about No Pong and said the cast of Kevin Can Fu** Himself are very lucky, "because I've found the perfect natural deodorant. And I’m not working for them, this is not an ad, but from one smelly lady to another, it's changed my life. It's called No Pong, and it's like a cream that you put on, and I have not smelled bad since getting this stuff. I swear. I swear to you… It's just such a game-changer for me."

SHOP IT: No Pong, $10

Amika The Wizard Detangling Primer

amika The Wizard Detangling Primer - Amazon, $33
amika The Wizard Detangling Primer - Amazon, $33

Just in time for Earth Day, amika is using the signature ingredient, Sea Buckthorn. It's found within all amika products, and will now be sustainably sourced, organic and fair-trade. To source its Sea Buckthorn, amika is now working with a certified-organic farm located in the Tibetan Plateau that works to promote sustainable harvesting, offer environmental protection measures and support the local economy.

The brand is also working towards minimizing virgin plastic production shifting to post-consumer recycled (PCR) bottles in 2021, have no secondary packaging unless absolutely necessary, become cruelty-free and vegan-certified.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $33

Good Juju Laundry Detergent Eco-Strips

Laundry Detergent Eco-Strips - Goodjuju, $15
Laundry Detergent Eco-Strips - Goodjuju, $15

Good Juju is an all-natural, plastic-free, zero waste beauty & home care company founded by Canadian entrepreneurs, Lisa Karandat and Alexa Monahan. Swap out your laundry detergent for these eco-strips. They are an innovative, plastic-free alternative to liquid laundry detergent that are ultra-concentrated, hypoallergenic and eco-friendly. One 30-strip packet prevents one 1-litre plastic container from entering our landfills. 

SHOP IT: Good Juju, $15

Paume Antibacterial Hand Gel

Antibacterial Hand Gel - PAUME, $16
Antibacterial Hand Gel - PAUME, $16

PAUME is a brand new, innovative, sustainably focused Canadian sanitizer brand, with all products being made and manufactured in Canada. Their travel bottle is made with 100 per cent previously recycled plastic and is meant to be refilled 5-10 times, and then recycled.

SHOP IT: PAUME, $16

Endy Mattress

Mattress - Endy, range from $675 - $950
Mattress - Endy, range from $675 - $950

The Endy mattress is the first Canadian mattress to be GREENGUARD Gold Certified. GREENGUARD Gold Certification applies exclusively to household products that meet the world's most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and phthalates - making it good for the environment and for you to get a great night’s rest.

SHOP IT: Endy, from $675

vejii Meal Delivery

vejii
vejii

Swap your weekly meal delivery services for the company, vejii. It is an online marketplace for vegan and plant-based products with Canada-wide shipping with no membership fees. Founder Kory Zelickson really wanted to create an online marketplace (imagine an online grocery store with daily features, weekly deals, and product displays) that made veganism, vegetarianism, flexitarianism and everything in between available in a one-stop destination.

The company is hoping to offer a curated selection of plant-based meat, dairy and seafood products, with an on-going commitment to making plant-based food more accessible.

SHOP IT: vejii Canada

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