Essential Products You Need to Kick-Start Your Sustainable Life

I recently read an article that reports that Singaporeans throw away 2,640 plastic bags EVERY 3 SECONDS, or 420,000 kg worth EVERY DAY! From plastic bags to straws, the amount of waste we generate is truly astonishing. I’ve previously written about some great eco-friendly fashion labels (read the post here!), but ever since I became aware of the glaring issue of waste in Singapore, I’ve also started looking at other products in my life that I can swap out for eco-friendly alternatives. Once I started looking, I was honestly amazed by how many there were! Read on to find discover some of my favourite products from great shops dedicated to making the switch to an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle easy and pretty while at it!

From left, Rose Gold Metal Straws, Upcycled Coconut Bowl Set and Felted Soaps from The Sustainability Project

First up is a rose gold metal straw from The Sustainability Project, a Singaporean online shop dedicated to encouraging the adoption of a low or zero waste lifestyle with their high-quality products! I know, it doesn’t sound the most impressive item to help reduce waste, but just think about how many times you’ve bought a drink only to throw away the plastic straw after the 2.5 seconds it took you to guzzle it down? Other than the sustainability aspect, it’s super pretty and always lets me feel so extra in the best way whenever I whip out my personal metal straw. Each metal straw also comes with a straw cleaner so you can clean it out after every use. I also admire how Joline, the founder, is so dedicated to a zero-waste lifestyle that she has adopted a minimal packaging policy, so even their packaging is recycled boxes from other companies that would otherwise be disposed of (like cereal boxes).

Other notable products include the upcycled coconut bowls and felted soaps. The coconut bowls, which come with a matching spoon, are carved and sanded smooth from actual discarded coconuts and make a gorgeous (highly Instagrammable!) addition to any kitchen. The hand-made felted soaps are natural soaps that have been wrapped in silk wool, which helps them last longer and acts as an exfoliator!

From left, Wooden Star Spoons from Everyday Canoe and Reusable Cotton Crotchet String Bag from Trove of Gaia

Next are a collection of upcycled wooden pieces from Everyday Canoe, a local business by wood-crafter Ng Xin Nie, who fell in love with creating art out of off-cut wood pieces and hasn’t looked back since! Xin Nie saw that these wooden scraps were good quality timber that were simply too small to make into furniture, and thus decided to collect and hand-carve them, transforming them into beautiful, timeless works of art that are guaranteed to beautify any home. We’ve featured their wooden plates and spoons here, but their collection ranges from spoons to butter knives, plates to brooches and more! I love that since each piece is hand-carved out of reclaimed wood, they are all slightly different so every single one is unique! Everyday Canoe also accepts commissions so you can see your own designs immortalised in wood. They even offer workshops, so for those keen to learn how to repurpose wood through carving, you can sign up for workshops here.

As an alternative to the far too pervasive plastic bag, here is an exquisite, reusable cotton crochet string bag from Trove of Gaia. Trove of Gaia is another Singaporean online shop that believes that caring for the environment starts with an eco-conscious lifestyle and have a great assortment of products devoted to sustainable living. This crochet string bag not only exudes fun vacation vibes but is also very light and portable so you can tote it around with ease! It’s also way sturdier than the ordinary plastic bag and much, much prettier so you can go green in style!

From left, Eve Lom Set of 3 Muslin Cloths and 100% Organic Cotton Rounds from The Body Shop

The next item is more of a recommendation for a lifestyle change. For those of us who wear makeup, I’m sure that most of us use cotton pads to help remove it at the end of the day. Since we tend to throw out each cotton pad after a single use or even use multiple pads at one go, this mound of waste can pile up really quickly. Instead of disposable cotton pads, you could use muslin cloths to wash our face instead! Muslin cloths are sturdy enough to be reusable for years, large enough remove all your makeup at one go and even provide light exfoliation! This set of three from Eve Lom is a cult favourite, but you can easily find many other similar sets online. Just remember to wash them after every use to keep them (and thus your face) clean.

If using muslin cloths aren’t your thing, I have another option for you. The Body Shop, which I’m sure everyone knows and loves as a household name dedicated to bringing natural solutions to consumers, sells wonderful 100% organic cotton rounds. These cotton rounds not only consume less water than non-organic cotton to produce, they are also better for the sensitive skin on your face since no pesticides or chemicals were used in their production! Another plus? They are double-sided for exfoliating and smoothing, and are better-made and sturdier than many other brands I’ve tried before.

I hope these recommendations help open your eyes to the multitude of eco-friendly products out there. Other than being great for our environment, I was stunned by how beautiful everything was!

Here’s to saving the earth and boosting your ‘gram!

Daphnie

Daphnie Leong

Contributing Editor

Hey I'm Daphnie! I suffer from a chronic case of RBF, but I'm actually an easily distracted nerd who once Wiki-surfed my way from researching about the Russian royal family to woolly mammoths and ended up at obscure Aztec gods. Yeah, I'm not sure how that happened either. I regularly visit art stores to cry about expensive art supplies ($13 for a 5ml tube whyyyyy) without buying anything. I write stuff for DC Creative sometimes.

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Vi Ki

Very useful article, Thank you! The straws and shopping bags especially are great recommendation. Will Consider purchasing. 🙂

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