April 2023—another Earth Month means another opportunity to reflect on how we’re treating the place we call home. This year, we’ve chosen to breakup with these 7 products and replace them with more sustainable alternatives (and ended up liking them more, anyway 👏). Whether you do it just for Earth Day (don’t forget, it’s April 22), for the whole month, or make the swaps permanent—we’re excited to give you some suggestions and ease the transition.
Tokki was founded on the idea that small steps can lead to big change. While replacing one thing on this list might not seem all that important, we can tell you (with data!) that the individual choices we make can collectively create a lasting impact. If you scan one of our QR cards, you’ll find a tab called “waste counter” where you can see how much single-use gift wrap we’ve spared from landfills since the start of Tokki (as we write this, we’re at 126,000 feet! That’s as tall as 6 Eiffel towers!).
So making the switch to reusable gift wrap will always be #1 on our list, but what else are we breaking up with this Earth Month? We’re picking a few things off this list and starting fresh for spring. Plus, we’ve listed an instant rebound for when you’re post breakup. Who knows, maybe you’re about to find the reusable product of your dreams! Let’s get into it!
1. Makeup Wipes
Trust us, we get home from a long day and love the ease of a makeup wipe as much as the next exhausted human. They’re oh so convenient! But what if we told you they were one of the biggest contributors to the world’s plastic pollution? Or what about that they’re not recyclable OR compostable—and there are still some decomposing in landfills that got there in 2003?!
We’re ripping the metaphorical band aid with this one, because we know these are a staple in so many daily routines. But don’t fear, your rebound is here! We’ve already made the swap and can attest that micellar water and reusable cotton rounds work just as well (if not better) and take close to the same amount of effort. Or try a makeup eraser cloth—which is pretty much exactly the same as makeup wipes but won’t end up in our oceans 💯
2. Helium Balloons
We love balloons. Mama Earth does not. They pose a high risk to seabirds and continue to litter our coastlines. And many balloons labeled as biodegradable simply aren’t.
While they’re beautiful and bring joy to our celebrations, there are lots of other ways to spark joy while decorating. We recommend choosing something reusable or recyclable. Think Christmas lights, reusable garlands & pom poms, paper lanterns etc. Adding some more interactive elements like bubbles and flowers can be a fun way to spice up a party too!
3. Plastic Cutlery
While we’re on the party train—nixing plastic forks and knives from your to-buy list is a great step toward sustainability! We get it, dishes are a pain. And sometimes it’s not realistic to do them for a huge amount of people. But think about how much plastic we can save if we take a little extra time to clean our metal spoons?
The use of microbeads has been steadily growing attention as we realize just how harmful they are to our marine life. The little beads look similar to fish eggs that many creatures eat—but these are much more dangerous. And many big skincare and beauty brands continue to use them and create toxic conditions. Check out this New York Times article that explains just how harmful they are, and how little we seem to be doing about it.
We won't give you an exhaustive list of every product that has microbeads, but a few things to keep an eye out for: exfoliating facial scrubs, toothpaste, and hand soap. There are microbead-free versions of every product you can think of (we particularly love doing a DIY coffee scrub if you’re missing some more intense exfoliation).
One of our favorite eco-friendly beauty/skincare brands (that’s also zero waste!) is Eco Collective. They’re based locally in Seattle and don’t use micro plastics in any of their products! They’re carbon neutral and woman-owned and operated. Much better than the big brands pumping plastics into our oceans!
Did you know that not all sunscreen is created equal? Even if they have the same UV protection, one might be made from chemicals that are detrimental to our marine life—while others are completely safe. The sunscreen that rubs off when we go for a dip can affect fish fertility, dolphin tissue, mussel defects and coral bleaching.
But some super cool brands like Pipette Mineral Sunscreen and BioClarity's SunShady are completely non-toxic and even donate a portion of sales to protecting our reefs! You can even donate to the coral reef yourself to give some extra love. This one feels like a no-brainer to us, because it will still protect your skin just the same (please stay sun smart everyone!).
They also don’t leave a white cast and can be used as a makeup primer. Run don’t walk!
6. Candles & Essential Oils
Many of you might raise your brows at this as if you’ve been in the Tokki family long enough, you know we used to make candles! And we did so as responsibly as possible, because we know how harmful some candles can be for the environment. Many candles on the market today are made with petroleum-based paraffin wax that causes greenhouse gas emissions and relies on non-renewable fossil fuels. And even scents that are 100% natural aren’t always the most environmentally friendly way to make your home smell good.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the coolest new way to candle: Notes. They use 100% natural plant-based wax, sustainably derived fragrances, and the candle can be reused—endlessly! How you might ask? You just pop out the insert at the bottom of the jar and refill with their wax pearls—then you’re ready to sit back and relax (and keep our planet a little happier!).
Regardless of how natural, you’re still breathing stuff into your lungs when you burn a candle. We love them, so we’re going to keep doing it—but if you’d like a healthier alternative, we do like the occasional simmer pot. These have been all over TikTok and for good reason! They're super easy, smell AMAZING, and can actually help your lungs filter out the bad stuff. Talk about a glow up 👏
7. Gift Wrap
Of course, we can’t leave off our least favorite single-use item: gift wrap. While we hope you’ll make many of these swaps, we’re a *little* biased in hoping this is one you choose to make. Our mission is rooted in eliminating single-use gift wrap and we hope that this Earth Month more people will join us!
Did you know that Americans use enough gift wrap to circle the earth 9 times each year? We created Tokki to try and reduce that number. With durable, endlessly reusable designs and a patented digital experience—our gift bags + qr cards are an easy swap. Plus, you’ll spend less on a Tokki than what you would for a single-use gift bag, tissue, and greeting card. All while sparing landfills from extra waste with each reuse!
So, have we convinced you to break up with any of the things on our list? We hope so! Because you have a world of awesome reusable products just waiting for you. We can’t wait to keep celebrating the earth all month long, and hope you’ll join us!
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