2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo by Malea Nguyen

Sustainable Swaps: March and April

By Rachneet Randhawa, April 17 2022—

Sustainable swaps from these last couple of months are mostly all about everyday items you simply cannot live without. March and April are the last leg of the oh-so-bitterly-cold Calgary winters and it’s also the busiest time for students as the prepare for final exams and papers. So that means being indoors-y for the most part — from baking treats and sipping hot green tea during your study sessions to frantically studying for midterms. You’re bound to find one of these hot eco-friendly products which are to your convenience. 

Tea strainer: 

Replace your single-use tea bags with a tea ball or strainer and start to use loose leaf tea. Thanks to the delectable taste of in-house blends on the market, you can also opt for loose-leaf options rather than the drab generic kind tea bags. It’s also healthier for your body in the long run. 

Paper tea bags are full of toxins, pesticides and dioxins. Unless you purchase non-GMO and organic varieties from health or organic food stores like Blush Lane, all those icky chemicals from regular store-bought big brands are no good. Some tea bags have been chlorine-bleached and contain harmful chemicals like dixon and epichlorohydrin — this is most common in processed tea bags. Once this contamination comes in contact with your piping hot boiling water over your tea bag every morning, it will, unfortunately, transform into a carcinogen. 

We don’t have any particular recommendations as nowadays this is a run-of-the-mill stainless steel product you can grab from any kitchenware store so take your pick and shop around. 

Silicone mats baking: 

Valentine’s Day has come and gone yet again and perhaps you’d baked a scrumptious batch of cookies to give whoever you’re sweet on. Or attempted anyways -— good effort! Boo or no boo, why not a romance in an eco-friendly style by grabbing a set of silicone baking mats? 

The cupcake variety is common but there’s also the flatter and rectangular type that would replace any parchment paper or even aluminum foil both of which are full of bad toxic chemicals. Check this — bleached parchment paper contains a dioxin as the wax paper is derived from a fossil fuel-based petroleum which you definitely don’t want your stomach to digest. 

The nice thing about silicone mats is that they retain their shape no matter how many times they are heated or cooled and can be used up to thousands of times. The best part is they don’t stick to your tasty baked goods unlike wax paper or foil does. Silicone is used in one of the most sustainable materials on the market right now up there with bamboo. There are a lot of varieties of silicone baking mats out there but a reliable one is the Reusable Silicone Baking Mats by Activated Eco. 

Eco Friendly portable smartphone charger: 

It feels new, even cutting edge today, that there’s an eco-friendly iPhone charger. There are a few different varieties of sustainable power banks but a good choice would be CHAMP portable charger by Nimble which is made of recycled plastics and has juice for up to three days of power and lastly energizes to 80 per cent within 30 minutes for you busy bees on the go. 

They also use an amazing ton of recycled material from aluminum to polycarbonate to recycled PET to silicone, paper and organic hemp. As campus opens up and restrictions are being lifted citywide, you’ll be more mobile as you go back to regular commuting and in-person classes, so be sure to grab this handy device. 

Bamboo hair brush: 

Why not brush your sexy lion’s mane with something good for both your head and the planet? Most generic plastic brushes cannot be recycled so the most eco-friendly option would be a fully organic, biodegradable one made of recycled materials. 

Typically, bamboo and other plant fibres are the best ingredients for a plastic-free hairbrush option. Personally, I own one of these bamboo hair brushes with bristles and boar hair and I agree that your hair comes out sleek and shiny under a few strokes. 

The only downside is the upkeep and having to clean the brush, which can be difficult depending on the length and thickness of your hair. One thing I do recommend, however, is to not buy off of Amazon, as it has a lot of cheaper knock-off varieties with subpar quality. If you’re not the hairbrush type of person, wooden combs are back in style and so not last century.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet