Zero Waste Week: 12 of the best eco-friendly swaps you can make at home

Reduce your carbon footprint with these eco-friendly household products [Photo: Getty Images]
Reduce your carbon footprint with these eco-friendly household products [Photo: Getty Images]

It’s Zero Waste Week; an ideal time to consider whether the items we use in our homes are eco-friendly or not.

In the UK, it is estimated that five million tonnes of plastic are used every year. Nearly half of that amount is packaging.

More often than not, these items can’t be recycled and so end up in landfill, in an incinerator or polluting our oceans.

Fortunately, we’re seeing a rise in sustainable alternatives - and they’re don’t all boost sky-high price tags.

READ MORE: This is how you can get involved in Secondhand September

There are plenty of products available that are compostable, recyclable or reusable that do not harm the planet and its wildlife. For example, a bar of soap can replace your plastic liquid hand soap pump and reusable flannels are an ideal substitute for your single-use face wipes.

If you are stuck on finding the right products to do the eco-switch with, worry not.

We have compiled below the best rated eco-friendly products online that will reduce your guilt, as well as lower your carbon footprint.

READ MORE: These are the items you can’t recycle

Shop the best eco-friendly alternatives of the things you use every day

Why choose: One Amazon customer wrote: “We use quite a lot of cotton buds in our household, and I was feeling guilty about the single use plastic waste this generates, so was looking for an alternative. The Pandoo bamboo cotton buds feel like a high quality product, the bamboo stick replacing the plastic is nice and smooth, and the cotton ends are good quality and comfortable to use. Good product, would recommend as a replacement for plastic cotton buds.”

Pandoo Bamboo Cotton Buds | £9.99 | Shop now

Why choose: “Excellent soap and good lathering. Great for cleaning up after dirty jobs outside in garden. The bars seem to last for ages too, longer than the ones used in the bathrooms. Nice smell too,” said one happy Amazon shopper.

Wrights Traditional Coal Tar Soap 4 Pack | £4.04 | Shop now

Why choose: One Waitrose shopper said: “Hurrah! While I didn’t think Waitrose would sell anything duff I wasn’t sure how good this would be but on my first wash ( at 20c) all came out clean including whites. Nothing was heavily stained to start with and I hope it will be just as good for another 69 washes. An economic and ecological product.”

EcoEgg Laundry Egg 70 Washes | £9.99 | Shop now

Why choose: One If You Care shopper said: “These bags are so much better than those I've bought before from other places. They're a generous size for my kitchen food waste bin and they're so easy to tie when full.”

If You Care Compostable Small Food Waste Bags | £5.49 | Shop now

Why choose: “I love this thing. It's cut down £6 -£8 a month every month in sanitary products. It's saving the environment, no more waste tubes or pads, no plastic, lasts for years with sterilisation tablet use. Way more comfortable than tampons as it doesn't dry your body out. Far cleaner than sitting in a dirty pad. Needs changing far less often meaning I don't need to change if it's not convenient. Why this fell out of fashion I'll never understand, its cleaner, cheaper and more comfortable,” one Moon Cup customer wrote.

MoonCup Model A Menstrual Cup | £17.82 | Shop now

Why choose: One happy mother wrote: “Great for wiping messy faces. These have really cut down on our use of disposable wipes. Very soft fabric, they wash and dry well. I don’t mind that they curl up at the corners a bit as it doesn’t make them any less useful. They are thin but this hasn’t been a problem, and it means they dry really quickly so 1 pack has been plenty for us.”

Bambino Mio Reusable Wipes | £7.50 | Shop now

Why choose: One Amazon customer wrote: “To put it simply, a very good bag. They are very well made & strong, unlined, and a nice size to take quite a lot of shopping. Can be washed if necessary.”

Classic Jute Shopper Natural | £4.62 | Shop now

Truthbrush Bamboo Toothbrush | £4 | Shop now

Why choose: “I use this for cleaning. It is packaged in cardboard, as I want,” said one Ethical Superstore customer.

Clean and Natural Bicarbonate of Soda | £2.25 | Shop now

Why choose: “I just ordered 2 more of these, love them. My tips to getting the best out of them are, make sure you keep them to a useable length, my log burner is quite small. Use a varied mix of paper, magazines use the shiny stuff too much makes it difficult for it to keep burning, alternate newspapers, envelopes. I even use kitchen roll cardboard as a sizing tool to start off stuffing odd bits inside it. Also it’s best to use just 1 plus a log or coal, as too much paper ash clogs it up a bit. Happy Rolling!” said one shopper.

LogSaver Pack of 2 | £10.95 | Shop now

Why choose: One Amazon customer wrote: “I think I reached peak capsule coffee. I was fed up with the temperamental machines, the high price and all those capsules with all that packaging for each cup of coffee. I wanted the coffee grounds for the garden, less packing and, frankly, a better tasting cup of coffee. So I dusted off the old cafetière and bought a scoof. Now I get a proper whole mug of coffee; I can easily scoop out the grounds and put them straight onto the garden; added to that, a quick plunge of the scoof after adding the hot water swirls the coffee very pleasingly and helps plunge the coffee without the usual annoying resistance. And the coffee tastes better. I enjoy the ritual - my morning coffee is a satisfying experience. I won’t go back to capsules! The scoof makes my morning coffee delicious, satisfying and ethical. The roses are happy too.”

Scoof Cafetiere Accessory | £9.95 | Shop now

d2w Degradable Refuse Sacks Roll of 10 | £1.49 | Shop now

The editors at Yahoo UK are committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. At times, Yahoo UK may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Watch the latest videos from Yahoo Style UK: