6 eco-friendly swaps to make lockdown life easier

By Izi Robe , posted 16/04/20

Buy less, waste less and reduce your environmental footprint, during lockdown and beyond.


With many people panic buying, and lots of products being out of stock or hard to find, the SHRUB Coop community have shared their tried and tested zero-waste, reusable or low environmental impact products that have made life, especially during lockdown, easier. Try these in your homes to help reduce your environmental footprint and relieve the stress of running out of the essentials and going to the shops!

Soap Bars

Stay at home and wash your hands! But what should you wash your hands with at home as hand sanitiser becomes a lucrative product on the market? According to Lush’s ‘Soap Q&A’, hand sanitiser on its own is not as good as soap, as soap is both antibacterial and will dislodge viruses from your hands. On top of this they are usually packaging free so there’s no extra waste, and a 100g bar of soap should last you up to 6 weeks!

Reusable Period Products

The last thing you want right now is to find yourself out of tampons or sanitary towels and be faced with an empty shelf in the supermarket. Fear not, as there are a whole range of reusable period products on the market, from period pants, to reusable menstrual cups and cloth sanitary towels to meet everyone’s needs. These can be purchased in many supermarkets or online. Did you know that if you switched from single-use tampons to a reusable menstrual cup over just one year, you could reduce the associated carbon impacts of your period product by approximately 90%?

Shampoo Bars

A year ago I made the swap from bottled shampoo to shampoo bars to reduce my plastic consumption and it was the best decision I ever made! They leave my hair feeling just as clean as before and last up to 6 months (depending on how much hair you have), all while making your shower experience more relaxing knowing you’re doing your bit for the planet. There are lots of shampoo bars on the market to fit all budgets. They are a staple product in most zero-waste shops, so find your local, and help support small businesses while you’re at it!

Laundry Balls

Whether we’re in lockdown or not, there always seems to be a full washing basket to keep us busy! Lots of our SHRUB Coop Volunteers have already made the swap over to laundry balls, to cut down on the amount of plastic bottled detergent they have to buy. Laundry Balls use a range of different methods to clean your clothes, but mainly use pellets that attract dirt and grime. The major benefit is that they can be used for up to 70 washes before needing a refill.

Homemade Cleaning Products

Save some money and cut down on what you’re sending to landfill by building your supply of organic cleaning products. You’d be amazed at what you can do with some distilled white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice! You can find plenty of recipes online, but if you fancy having it all in one place you can purchase handy guides like ‘The Organically Clean Home’.

Reusable Toilet Paper

And finally, the biggest topic of conversation this lockdown…toilet paper! This wouldn’t be a complete list without mentioning reusable toilet paper. It won’t be for everyone, but if you have collected everything else on this list, why not give it a go? Some top tips include:

  • We only recommend using reusable toilet paper for a #1.
  • Make your toilet paper using an old t-shirt, cutting it up the same size as the sheets on the rolls we’re used to.
  • Store used sheets in a separate container in the bathroom.
  • Urine is sterile, so you can happily wash your toilet paper on the eco, 30 degrees setting.
  • Voila! Your toilet paper is ready to use again.

We hope this list gives you a starting point to help you buy less, waste less and reduce your environmental footprint, during lockdown and beyond. If you have any other recommendations for eco-friendly swaps that have made lockdown life easier, let us know in the comments.

Take care and stay safe!

Photo credit: SHRUB Coop, Marco Verch (Flickr), Wallpaper Flare.

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