Advice & Guides

Sustainable Swaps for an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

At Compass, child welfare is at the heart of what we do. We exist to improve the futures of hundreds of young people, supporting them to overcome trauma and lead rich and fulfilling lives. Our community of dedicated colleagues provide wrap-around support to ensure our children have safe, healthy environments within which to flourish.
What Can Be Done?

We understand that for our children to make the most of their futures, action must be taken to preserve the planet and combat climate change. As of 2021, the planet’s temperature has risen by 2.12 degrees since the late 19th century; most of this warming has occurred in the last 40 years. We recognise that the deteriorating condition of our planet’s environment directly correlates to the security of our children’s futures.

Over the past few years, Compass have been working hard to become an eco friendly family. We have been reducing our carbon footprint and promoting sustainable and fair practices across all our services. However, climate change continues to pose a significant threat to the future of our children, which is why, in 2022, we’re encouraging our community to take further action to preserve the planet for future generations.

We’ve come up with a variety of easy sustainable swaps that can be made around the home and in day-to-day life. These sustainable swaps will aid in reducing your carbon footprint, helping you to live a more eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

These small lifestyle changes help to combat climate change by reducing your pollution levels, conserving water, and preserving natural resources and ecosystems.

Change Up Your Diet

The impact that the meat and dairy industries have on the climate is substantial. A direct cause of deforestation is agricultural farming, with tropical forestland across the world being converted into cropland and pasture.

Of all milk alternatives, Oat Milk has the lowest environmental impact, producing 0.18 kilograms of carbon emissions for a 200 milliliter glass.

An interactive Q&A from UK website Carbon Brief reported that producing 1 kilogram of beef generates a shocking 60 kilograms of greenhouse emissions. Furthermore, the meat and dairy industries annually produce 7.1 gigatons of greenhouse gases.

The damage of current global dietary trends also extends to the ocean, where fishing practices have lead to pollution and decline in ocean health.

That’s why switching to a plant-based diet and reducing meat intake is the single biggest action an individual can take to reduce their impact on the environment. Even if only the most harmful half of meat and dairy production was replaced by plant-based food, this would still deliver about 2/3 of the benefits of getting rid of all meat and dairy production completely.

The future of food is plant-based, with people across the globe – including royal family member Prince Charles – choosing to adopt a greener diet in order to reduce their environmental impact. With that in mind, here are our top picks for easy, affordable and sustainable swaps to make your diet greener.
1. Swap Cows milk for Oat, soy, almond or coconut milk alternatives 2. Swap Meat for Tempeh, Tofu, Vegetarian and Vegan Meat alternatives, like pea protein. 3. Swap eggs for Chia seed egg, flax seed egg, mashed banana. 4. Swap cheese for Vegan cheese alternatives, such as cashew or macadamia. 5. Swap Yoghurt for Vegan coconut, almond, oat, soy based yoghurt alternatives.

Ditch Single-Use Plastics

According to the National Geographic, only 9% of plastic is recycled globally. If these present plastic consumption trends continue, by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tonnes of plastic in landfills.

A 2021 report from Greenpeace found that the UK is one of the top contributors of global plastic waste, generating more plastic waste per person than any other country, except the USA. Single use plastics, like cling film, are typically only used once but take hundreds of years to biodegrade in landfills.

Beeswax wrap with a bee print.

Beeswax wrap is a sustainable, reusable alternative to plastic wrap. It is breathable and allows food to stay fresh for longer, reducing food wastage.

Plastic that is not sent to be recycled, incinerated or landfilled most often ends up in the ocean, killing wildlife, or creating large polluted areas of marine debris, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Replacing everyday single use items, like nappies, toothbrushes, tampons, plastic bags, and cling film for greener alternatives can substantially reduce your waste production and is imperative for reducing your environmental impact.

A 2021 YouGov Survey revealed that 57% percent of grocery shoppers in the UK stated they didn’t mind paying more for products that were environmentally friendly. While the upfront cost of the replacements, like reusable water bottles, can sometimes be slightly more expensive, the long term investment in these products can actually prove to be more cost effective.

Our sustainable swaps for single-use plastics won’t break the environment, or the bank, and will go a long way in reducing your plastic waste production.
 1. Swap plastic bottles for reusable bottles made from stainless steel or durable plastic 2. Swap ziplock bags for Silicone sealing bags that are naturally water resistant. 3. Swap plastic straws for Metal straw alternatives that can be cleaned and reused. 4. Swap toothbrushes for Biodegradable bamboo brushes or buy from an eco-friendly company. 5. Swap Plastic wrap for Beeswax food wraps that are reusable, watertight and stylish. 6. Swap Plastic period products for Mooncups, period underwear or cardboard tampon applicators. 7. Swap Plastic Bags for Reusable fabric totes and recyclable paper bags for food.

Shop Sustainable Fashion

As clothing becomes more and more affordable, it’s difficult to resist the lure of fast fashion. However, fast fashion and cheap clothing comes with a far greater price to pay: a wealth of environmental consequences.

The fashion industry reportedly accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater globally. Recent research published in the journal ‘Nature Reviews Earth and Environment’ suggest that the fashion industry produces over 92 million tonnes of waste per year, and consumes 79 trillion litres of water throughout the production process.

It’s safe to say that, from its environmental impact to its unsustainable waste production, to its unethical working conditions, there are myriad of issues when it comes to the current fashion industry model.

Investing in higher-quality clothing items and wearing the same items for longer is a guaranteed way to combat the carbon footprint from your wardrobe. In the UK especially, continuing to actively wear the same clothing garment for just nine months longer could diminish its impact on the climate by 20-30%.

Our sustainable swaps will help you adopt a more sustainable attitude toward fashion, helping you be more mindful in your shopping and reducing your environmental impact.
1. Swap Fast Fashion for Charity stores, apps such as Depop, Vintage and Thrifted clothing 2. Swap cheap materials for Sustainable cotton and fibres, and eco-friendly packaging 3. Swap cheap-labour for Worker-friendly conditions and manufacturing processes 4. Swap Occasion Wear for Borrowed or Rented clothing for special occasions rather than buying 5. Swap Leather, Fur and Wool for Sustainable vegan alternatives like recycled rubber

Clean ‘Greener’

One of the primary concerns when it comes to household cleaning products is the detrimental impact they have on the environment. Even after passing through water treatment plants,  a number of chemical compounds from cleaning products still find their way into local waterways.

A picture of a natural cleaning sponge.

This cleaning sponge is made from the the fruit of the Luffa cylindrica, and is fully natural and compostable.

Across the UK – and the globe – waterways like rivers, lakes and ponds are polluted with tons of chemical residues from household cleaning products. These residual chemical compounds have a detrimental impact on aquatic life, triggering the widespread growth of algae that saps away oxygen in the water and reduces biodiversity.

Cleaning products that come in aerosol spray cans also release harsh chemicals into the atmosphere. Research shows that the world population uses more than 25 billion aerosol cans per year, with aerosol products that are used in

A bar of soap from the Beeswax Company

This solid washing-up soap bar from The Beeswax Wrap Company is made in the Cotswolds, and is plastic-free.

the home releasing more harmful pollution into the air than all the vehicles in the UK.

In the past, buying eco-friendly cleaning products sometimes meant sacrificing cleaning efficiency for the sake of sustainability. However, fortunately, this is no longer the case!  The recent push for more sustainable life practices has given way to a whole range of cleaning products that can fulfil your cleaning needs without damaging the environment.

Products like Bio.D Toilet Cleaner, or Tru.Earth Eco Strips are free from nasty petrochemicals and phosphates, meaning they are kinder on the environment. Swapping harsher cleaning products for more sustainable products like these will help to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals polluting your local environment and atmosphere.
 1. Swap toilet cleaner for phosphate, petrochemical and perfume free alternatives 2. Swap Laundry Detergent for powder or concentrated, liquid-less detergent strips or tabs 3. For Grease and Grime, use products with plant-based and mineral ingredients 4. For Washing Up Detergent, use refillable products that come in recyclable packaging 5. Use sponges that are biodegradable and made from plant-based cellulose 6. Swap Liquid Handwash for natural ingredient bar-soaps, dissolvable pads or reduced-plastic refillable soap pouches

At Compass, we know it takes time to build new habits. Becoming eco-friendly isn’t something that happens overnight! The hardest part of leading a sustainable lifestyle is building sustainability into your routine and learning to make more sustainable choices.

There are also various other factors that need to be considered, such as convenience or affordability, when thinking about becoming more sustainable.

However, at Compass, we believe that even the smallest changes can make a big difference. A healthy planet is essential for the future of our children. Making modest, sustainable swaps like these will go a long way in ensuring younger generations have a safe, stable world to grow up in.

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