The sustainable series: 7 environmentally friendly product swaps


Feature image taken from Botanical Inks extract in Mollie Makes issue 103. 

Throughout our sustainable series, we’ll be focusing on all the little ways you can help the planet and become more eco-friendly. Today, we’ve gathered 7 environmentally friendly product swaps so you can reduce your plastic usage and live a little greener.

Once you’ve completed all our sustainable swaps, pick up a copy of issue 103 and follow our Pinterest board for even more eco-ideas! Check out the other blog posts in our series:

1. Dishcloths

eco dishcloths Mollie Makes 103

@steelandstitch’s knitted dishcloth tutorial in issue 103

By knitting or crocheting your own dishcloths you’ll reduce your wastage and your yarn stash (make sure you tag us in your pictures for #molliestashchallenge). Sponge scourers and plastic brushes are really bad for the planet, taking years to biodegrade. But, by making your own dishcloths which you can fling in the wash, you’re helping cut down on plastic and single-use items.

This tutorial was made by our good friend and eco-queen, Emma Friedlander-Collins, who has her very own eco blog full of sustainable home products. Pick up a copy of issue 103 to get the tutorial and start knitting.

2. Chillys bottles

Mollie Makes subscription gift

Subscribe to Mollie Makes and get your own Chillys bottle!

Plastic water bottles are the worst, and it’s predicted that by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish. Which is why we all need to do our bit to reduce our plastic use, and the first stop is reusable water bottles! Although many water bottles are still made from plastic, their reusable nature helps cut down on single-use bottles.

If you want an even more environmentally friendly solution though, Chillys bottles go one step further. Made from BPA free aluminium, these are the ultimate companion. They come in a range of colours, patterns, and even designs by artists such as Emma Bridgewater! Better yet, when you subscribe to Mollie Makes you’ll get one as part of this month’s offer. What a win-win.

3. Wooden toothbrushes

BamBearCo 4 pack bamboo toothbrushes

Swap your plastic toothbrush for BamBearCos 4 pack of bamboo toothbrushes. Photo credit: BamBearCos

Did you know it can take over 400 years for a single toothbrush to decompose? They’re a necessity but they’re terrible for the planet which is why we love that wooden toothbrushes are now all the rage. There’s loads of different ones on the market but we love BamBearCo’s bamboo toothbrushes on Etsy. They’re made from 100% untreated biodegradable bamboo and are completely compostable. They also have a wonderful initiative which means for every four brushes sold, they plant one tree in an area suffering from deforestation in return. Your bathroom’s never been so clean or green.

4. Reusable tea bags

Handmade Homelife's fabric, reusable tea bag pattern

Handmade Homelife’s fabric, reusable tea bag pattern. Photo credit: Handmade Homelife.

Tea bags can be harmful since many high street brands are sealed with polypropylene, a type of sealing plastic which keeps the tea leaves in. Not only is this plastic harmful to the environment but it’s not exactly what you want in your morning brew.

That’s why we’re switching to reusable teabags which can be filled with local, organic tea leaves. Easily washable, these little tea bags are a nifty weekend project which you can sew yourself thanks to Handmade Homelife’s free pattern. They’d also make great gifts for any eco-loving pals.

5. Bars of soap

Moira Fullers soap trio in issue 98

Moira Fuller’s soap trio in issue 98

Back in the day, we all had bars of soap to keep us clean, but now they’ve been swapped out for plastic containers full of liquid. It’s time to switch back and start using natural soaps which make you feel fresh and smell lovely. Issue 98 includes the tutorial for Moria Fuller’s soap trio which look beautiful. There’s one marbled pattern, one ombré and one infused with lavender.

These soaps also double up as a lovely handmade present, but remember, most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. So why not use Becki Clark’s naturally dyed gift wrap tutorial? Lavender infused soap wrapped in strawberry scented fabric? We can smell spring already.

6. Beeswax wraps

Emma Freidlander-collins beeswax wrap tutorial

Make @steelandstitch’s beeswax wraps

More than 1.2 billion metres, equating to 745,000 miles, of cling film is used every year and most of it is unrecyclable. This means the wrapping of your BLT can end up in the ocean, and can be fatal to marine life. So swap your clingfilm for reusable tubs and containers or, our personal fave, beeswax wraps.

They’re all over the market but since we love the DIY approach, we’ve been using Emma Friedlander-Collins’ tutorial and making our own! Use up that fabric you’ve been squirreling away for a special make and start creating your wraps. They’re super easy and can be your first project completed for the #molliestashchallenge.

7. Natural surface cleaning

Hello Glow 5 eco surface cleaner tutorials

Hello Glow’s 5 eco surface cleaner tutorials

Last but not least is cleaning products. Many cleaning products include harsh chemicals and toxins which aren’t only damaging to the planet, but also humans, causing skin or breathing problems. Hello Glow has a whole section on their blog dedicated to homemade, natural cleaning products. They use ingredients like lemon, white vinegar and tea tree oil to keep your surfaces shiny. Check out their list of DIYs below.

Even if you make just one of our environmentally friendly product swaps, you’ll be starting on your green living journey. Share your swaps and other eco advice with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And remember to get involved with #molliestashchallenge – our fortnight-long Insta challenge where we’ll be sharing patterns and prompts, encouraging you to go eco by using up your stash instead of buying new.

Mollies stash challenge

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  • Great ideas! I didn’t know about the tea bags and love the idea of re-using them. Thank you!!

    • You’re very welcome! Glad you enjoyed the blog post x