54 votes

Use This, Not That: Positive Swaps for the New Year

This is a bit of a sibling topic to the one about changing habits for 2020. Rather than looking at habits specifically, I want to look at "swaps" that people can make.

What's something someone could change out for a better alternative?

A swap should be recommended if it is,

  • more ethical,
  • more sustainable,
  • heathier,
  • or just overall better in an individual or collective way.

Importantly: the swap should be both feasible and sensical, and should be something that is relatively easy to do. This isn't about making huge lifestyle changes but about taking what we're already doing and making it better.

Please give your reasoning for your swap, as well as any important caveats. Mentioning specific brands/companies is fine if that's an important part of the swap. Also, swaps can be for anything so don't feel limited to consumer products. Feel free to give good food/service/app/software/store swaps as well!

See my post below for an example, if the setup I've given here is unclear!

95 comments

  1. [12]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    Use this: Dry products Not this: Pre-hydrated “cleaning” products One of the biggest positive environmental changes you can make it to stop buying “standard” cleaning products. Most cleaning...

    Use this: Dry products

    Not this: Pre-hydrated “cleaning” products

    One of the biggest positive environmental changes you can make it to stop buying “standard” cleaning products. Most cleaning products come in a single-use plastic bottle (yeah you can reuse the bottle but you still have to buy more plastic to get more cleaning product) and are 90% water. That means when they are being shipped across the country it is mostly moving lots of heavy water in plastic bottles far distances in big, inefficient trucks (though that is slightly changing as some trucks are becoming electric but it’s still not great). And this is to say nothing of the chemical waste into water that needs to be expensively filtered before it’s safe to be drank/used (and it isn’t always done). Instead!! Look for “dry” products. Lots of them work just as well or better than their counterparts. I use a dry bar shampoo and bar soap and they work incredibly well. The brand I buy is Lush, it costs about $10 a bar and they last my partner (who had hair halfway down their back) and I about 9-10 months of every 2-3 day hair washes and the body wash bar is about the same except I use that every day. We also buy our cleaning supplies from Blue Land who ship you a reusable hard plastic bottle and dissolvable capsules, just add water at home and you have 3 different cleaning supplies. Then when you need refills they send you a new capsule to dissolve in a small envelope for $2.50. Way less plastic waste, way more efficient shopping, meets the cleanliness standards of my very picky partner :)

    35 votes
    1. [3]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm resurrecting this thread to let you know that your comment was pretty transformative for me. I'd never really thought about how much plastic waste goes along with standard household...

      I'm resurrecting this thread to let you know that your comment was pretty transformative for me.

      I'd never really thought about how much plastic waste goes along with standard household necessities, and I never really thought about how strange it is that we spend money and energy to ship mostly water around, when I have plenty of water at my house that's already there. It's absurd when you think about it, but until now it was completely invisible to me. The same goes for the sheer quantity of plastic that's out there. After your comment got me thinking about it, I started seeing plastic everywhere because, well, it is! Everything comes in it! And then I just use it and throw it away!

      I've spent the past few weeks identifying swaps for a lot of standard household products that I use, looking for stuff that comes in cardboard. I've swapped out cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, soap, shampoo, conditioner, facewash, deodorant, and coffee filters. I normally use plastic utensils for convenience when hosting large groups, but I decided to get an actual guest set of cutlery that I can pull out when I have more than me and my husband at home. I used to get cheese sticks, which were all in individually wrapped plastic, for the convenience of having easy on-demand slices, but I've now found ones that come pre-cubed in a single bag -- equally convenient but with a lot less plastic.

      I'm telling you all this because I think you should know that your comment awakened something in me that goes far beyond bar shampoo. Thanks for being an inspiration for reflection and change.

      15 votes
      1. [2]
        Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        I spent a lot of time not responding to this message because I was trying to figure out how to respond to you. You honestly inspire me. I’m so thankful that you found something inspiring and...

        I spent a lot of time not responding to this message because I was trying to figure out how to respond to you. You honestly inspire me. I’m so thankful that you found something inspiring and educational in my post. I’m so happy for you. I am thankful for you and for your existence my friend.

        4 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Right back at you! You're a wonderful presence here on the site.

          Right back at you! You're a wonderful presence here on the site.

          4 votes
    2. [2]
      wundumguy
      Link Parent
      I feel like a really good PR company, combined with a robust product design team, could make a real, markable difference in the environment if they started advocating for dry products like you...

      I feel like a really good PR company, combined with a robust product design team, could make a real, markable difference in the environment if they started advocating for dry products like you suggest. I would love to see that start at Johnson and Johnson or something.

      10 votes
      1. Death
        Link Parent
        Lush has both of those things, but "more environmentally conscious product" remains a consumer niche so they're not breaking into the mainstream just yet. Add to this that selling cleaning...

        Lush has both of those things, but "more environmentally conscious product" remains a consumer niche so they're not breaking into the mainstream just yet.

        Add to this that selling cleaning products which are 90% water for insane markup is a pretty killer business model so they're likely going to have harder time competing in that area.

        5 votes
    3. smores
      Link Parent
      Thanks for this! We already use (and love) Lush products for body wash/shampoo (they also label their vegan products, which is excellent), but I’d never heard of Blue Land. Gonna order some today!

      Thanks for this! We already use (and love) Lush products for body wash/shampoo (they also label their vegan products, which is excellent), but I’d never heard of Blue Land. Gonna order some today!

      6 votes
    4. NoblePath
      Link Parent
      You can have my dr. Bronner’s when you pry jt from my cold, dead, all one! Fingers. It is very concentrated though, if not dry. The bar form is not as good as the liquid. I’m going to look in to...

      You can have my dr. Bronner’s when you pry jt from my cold, dead, all one! Fingers. It is very concentrated though, if not dry. The bar form is not as good as the liquid. I’m going to look in to that blue land thing though.

      Also note: vinegar is a very good kitchen and bath cleaning product.

      6 votes
    5. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This is great! Blueland looks awesome, though they certainly do charge a premium for the bottles (though that's easily avoidable by using your own). Aside from Blueland and Lush, do you have any...

      This is great! Blueland looks awesome, though they certainly do charge a premium for the bottles (though that's easily avoidable by using your own).

      Aside from Blueland and Lush, do you have any other brands you'd recommend (or ones to avoid)?

      5 votes
    6. azulez
      Link Parent
      I've been getting soylent bottles shipped on the regular, and have been recently thinking about just how awful that must be from a environmental footprint perspective. Maybe it's time to swap to...

      I've been getting soylent bottles shipped on the regular, and have been recently thinking about just how awful that must be from a environmental footprint perspective. Maybe it's time to swap to the dry stuff as like a baseline food supplement.

      5 votes
    7. spit-evil-olive-tips
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I've become a big fan of a company called Puracy for cleaning supplies. They make highly concentrated body wash and shampoo/conditioner. Plus laundry soap, dish soap and household cleaner. Lots of...

      I've become a big fan of a company called Puracy for cleaning supplies.

      They make highly concentrated body wash and shampoo/conditioner. Plus laundry soap, dish soap and household cleaner. Lots of their products come in large refill packs (dish soap and shampoo for example) so that you can just top off the pump bottle instead of buying a new bottle and tossing the old one.

      4 votes
    8. acdw
      Link Parent
      I just got some bar shampoo because of this comment. The first use was great, and it smells nice! Thanks :)

      I just got some bar shampoo because of this comment. The first use was great, and it smells nice! Thanks :)

      4 votes
  2. [22]
    Duke
    Link
    If you're concerned about technology even a little bit then you should consider moving towards Open Source software: Some recommended alternatives: Firefox instead of Chrome Linux Mint instead of...

    If you're concerned about technology even a little bit then you should consider moving towards Open Source software:

    Some recommended alternatives:

    • Firefox instead of Chrome
    • Linux Mint instead of Windows
    • SumatraPDF instead of Adobe
    • Fdroid instead of the Google Playstore
    • DuckDuckGo instead of Google Search

    If you are looking for anything specific or wanting to get into the philosophy of why opensource then there are tons and tons of resources available online, for example just one that I found out through a simple search https://www.findbestopensource.com/projects

    and also

    https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/shouldbefree.en.html (btw "free" software is different from "open source" software).

    And lastly, this is a great YouTube channel; it covers a lot of stuff but two of his major talking points are open source software and linux

    26 votes
    1. admicos
      Link Parent
      I want to add onto this comment my recommendation for browsers: Unless absolutely necessary, use browser engines with less market share. If you're switching from Chrome to Brave, Ungoogled...

      I want to add onto this comment my recommendation for browsers:

      Unless absolutely necessary, use browser engines with less market share.

      If you're switching from Chrome to Brave, Ungoogled Chromium, or any similar projects, while it will be
      better for you alone, for the collective future of the web, that would be a bad move.

      Why?

      Currently, Chrome's engine Blink is the most used engine in the world. And since Google is the primary
      contributor of Blink, they can change it how they see fit. And with a monstrous code base like that, in
      the event that Google starts adding harmful features, or proprietary extensions to Blink, no one can
      clean it up, and keep maintaining it.

      Even if someone does that, you have another problem: Blink is still the most widely used engine. Meaning,
      web developers will optimize their sites for Blink, use Google's (hypothetical) proprietary extensions, and
      completely lock out any other browser, making Blink, and by extension Chrome a complete monopoly.

      You might say that "Using Blink isn't using Chrome", and I disagree. In the technological standpoint, how
      many Blink forks are there that have substantial technological changes? What is the difference between,
      Brave (as an example) vs a theme for Chrome plus a couple extensions? (This is about rendering pages, not
      about the general browser features.)

      Currently, there aren't many fully featured browser engines, but if you just want your stuff to work, Firefox
      (and it's engine Gecko) is definitely the best choice so far.

      20 votes
    2. [4]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      I'm doing Firefox, out of real conviction, since FF 2.0 or so. It was a bit of a hassle when Chrome suddenly became so much faster, mostly due to better handling javascript bloat, but Firefox is...

      I'm doing Firefox, out of real conviction, since FF 2.0 or so. It was a bit of a hassle when Chrome suddenly became so much faster, mostly due to better handling javascript bloat, but Firefox is speedy again and I see no real reason not to use it, nowadays.

      I switched from Google to DuckDuckGo this year, expecting it to be a bit of a sacrifice but... it's not? Alternative search engines are good now. In some ways, I don't miss Google over-interpreting my search requests in a lowest-common-denominator/ad-friendly way, which even makes the experience vaguely superior. There's maybe some obscure, long quotes that still work better in Google but 99% of "I want to know about X" type searches work flawlessly in DuckDuckGo. I did not expect this.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        bailey
        Link Parent
        Google's over interpretation of search queries drives me wild! While DDG falls short sometimes for local results, in general it's super refreshing to have consistency in a search engine again.

        Google's over interpretation of search queries drives me wild! While DDG falls short sometimes for local results, in general it's super refreshing to have consistency in a search engine again.

        5 votes
        1. Keegan
          Link Parent
          Also for more recent news (such as in the past few hours).

          While DDG falls short sometimes for local results

          Also for more recent news (such as in the past few hours).

          2 votes
      2. PopeRigby
        Link Parent
        I felt the same way when I started using DDG. People often complain about it not being good enough, but to me, a search engine is a search engine. I don't see a big difference between most of...

        I switched from Google to DuckDuckGo this year, expecting it to be a bit of a sacrifice but... it's not?

        I felt the same way when I started using DDG. People often complain about it not being good enough, but to me, a search engine is a search engine. I don't see a big difference between most of them. I type something in, and it gives me the results.

        3 votes
    3. vord
      Link Parent
      On that note, even if you don't want to switch away from your current software for some reason... if you find yourself looking for a new software program to meet a need, always search for open...

      On that note, even if you don't want to switch away from your current software for some reason... if you find yourself looking for a new software program to meet a need, always search for open source stuff first.

      Open source software tends to cover 90%+ of use cases very well, and is generally the best option if you don't want to pay for something. Closed/paid options can be more powerful or easier to use, but they usually come at a higher price: both from a financial and a privacy perspective.

      7 votes
    4. [4]
      nsz
      Link Parent
      How's SumatraPDF for manipulating pdfs, joining/splitting documents, making a table of contents, making small edits, that kind of stuff?

      How's SumatraPDF for manipulating pdfs, joining/splitting documents, making a table of contents, making small edits, that kind of stuff?

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        The last time I checked it didn't really do any editing, not even forms. Honestly with how many free and open-source PDF readers there are for Windows I'm really disappointed that they're all so...

        The last time I checked it didn't really do any editing, not even forms.

        Honestly with how many free and open-source PDF readers there are for Windows I'm really disappointed that they're all so limited. I wish that the Evince team would start working on the Windows port as well, but I suppose there is not enough interest.

        6 votes
        1. xyquadrat
          Link Parent
          Okular from KDE does forms, and since recently is now also available on the (Windows Store)[https://www.microsoft.com/de-ch/p/okular/9n41msq1wnm8]. It isn't designed to edit documents (I...

          Okular from KDE does forms, and since recently is now also available on the (Windows Store)[https://www.microsoft.com/de-ch/p/okular/9n41msq1wnm8]. It isn't designed to edit documents (I personally like Inkscape for that), but it certainly has a few nice features that other PDF viewers don't (e.g. an option to ignore DRM restrictions).

          1 vote
      2. vivaria
        Link Parent
        How often do you use that functionality? Personally I get lazy and only ever use random online websites to do specific pdf things, but maybe those websites aren't very trustworthy either.

        How often do you use that functionality? Personally I get lazy and only ever use random online websites to do specific pdf things, but maybe those websites aren't very trustworthy either.

        2 votes
    5. Grendel
      Link Parent
      As an addendum to this: Using open source is easier now that it's ever been before. It takes very little tech knowledge to make the changes that Duke mentioned above. Installing Linux is probably...

      As an addendum to this:
      Using open source is easier now that it's ever been before. It takes very little tech knowledge to make the changes that Duke mentioned above.

      Installing Linux is probably the hardest part and even that is pretty straightforward now.

      5 votes
    6. [10]
      Wes
      Link Parent
      You recommend Firefox, but Chromium is also open-source. It makes more sense as an "open alternative" to Chrome.

      You recommend Firefox, but Chromium is also open-source. It makes more sense as an "open alternative" to Chrome.

      2 votes
      1. [9]
        spctrvl
        Link Parent
        Chromium is open source, but I'd argue switching to Firefox is preferable, since doing so fights the growing render engine monoculture that's giving Google IE6 levels of control over defacto web...

        Chromium is open source, but I'd argue switching to Firefox is preferable, since doing so fights the growing render engine monoculture that's giving Google IE6 levels of control over defacto web standards.

        More details in @admicos ' comment here:

        https://tildes.net/~talk/khy/use_this_not_that_positive_swaps_for_the_new_year#comment-4d6z

        9 votes
        1. [8]
          Wes
          Link Parent
          Firefox is great too and I'm happy to back the recommendation. Particularly with the recent "Quantum" improvements. Regarding Blink though, I don't know if the comparison to IE6 is entirely fair....

          Firefox is great too and I'm happy to back the recommendation. Particularly with the recent "Quantum" improvements.

          Regarding Blink though, I don't know if the comparison to IE6 is entirely fair. Microsoft actively fought competition while Google has enabled it by releasing so much open-source code (far and above what was required by WebKit's license). Microsoft ignored standards while Google contributes to them. Market share aside, it's a pretty different ballgame. But I think I take your point.

          5 votes
          1. [7]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            It may be a different ballgame, but it looks like they're playing the same goal. Google continuously makes updates to their products that make performance on other browsers worse, which further...

            It may be a different ballgame, but it looks like they're playing the same goal. Google continuously makes updates to their products that make performance on other browsers worse, which further incentivizes people to use Chrome. I don't know how many times I've called various companies because their website wasn't working and the first response I get is to use Chrome.

            As a side note, the Firefox Quantum update was two years ago.

            2 votes
            1. [6]
              Wes
              Link Parent
              Wow, longer ago than I'd have guessed. But the improvements have been phenomenal in that time. I have a lot of respect for the Fx team. Sorry, but I'm a little skeptical of this. Can you provide a...

              Wow, longer ago than I'd have guessed. But the improvements have been phenomenal in that time. I have a lot of respect for the Fx team.

              Google continuously makes updates to their products that make performance on other browsers worse, which further incentivizes people to use Chrome.

              Sorry, but I'm a little skeptical of this. Can you provide a source to verify?

              The only time something like this has happened that I'm aware of is Youtube's redesign using Shadow DOM v0. However I don't think it's fair to assume they did so for anti-competitive reasons. The Shadow DOM API was on a standards track, so they had every reason to believe it would be supported while it was being developed. They were planning for the future but bet on the wrong horse.

              Ultimately they served a polyfill to browsers that didn't support v0 until a new rewrite was completed. A polyfill will be inherently slower than native code.

              I'd accept that the Chrome team held on to a deprecated API to continue better-supporting Youtube during the rewrite prorcess. I believe that probably is true. But saying the Youtube team intentionally wrote slow code for Firefox seems very uncharitable. Especially as they rewrote the site again just to move away from that API.

              But I don't mean to put words in your mouth. This is just the common example I see, which seems to stem from a lack of familiarity with the issue.

              3 votes
              1. [5]
                Akir
                Link Parent
                You're not only asking for evidence that I can't provide, but also for evidence that wouldn't be able to convince you even if I could. There have been many instances of Google products not working...

                You're not only asking for evidence that I can't provide, but also for evidence that wouldn't be able to convince you even if I could.

                There have been many instances of Google products not working on alternative browsers, but I can't tell you anything about it because I'm not actively keeping track of them and they are all ephemeral - they eventually get fixed. And to be clear, I'm not just talking about slowdowns, I'm also talking about plain and simple errors, some of which prevent their services from working properly at all.

                But the very fact that they keep coming up is evidence enough to show that they are not doing proper cross-browser testing before releasing, which has always been an industry best practice.

                And honestly I think you're stretching really far to rationalize away the example you've given. It's one thing to build on experimental software, but it's another thing to actually release it to one of the world's most popular websites. This is the biggest reason why I think it's more than just not caring about other browsers. Even if that version of Shadow DOM would have become the standard, the fact was that there were no other browsers that supported it. The responsible thing to do would be to wait until support was more widespread, or at least to revert it to the old version while they were working on the new version.

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  Wes
                  Link Parent
                  I don't mean to sound dense, but why not? Any article or discussion would be fine. I think it would only take a few examples to show a pattern, and your comment emphasized that there's been many....

                  You're not only asking for evidence that I can't provide

                  I don't mean to sound dense, but why not? Any article or discussion would be fine. I think it would only take a few examples to show a pattern, and your comment emphasized that there's been many.

                  ... but also for evidence that wouldn't be able to convince you even if I could.

                  Don't think me so unreasonable. I'm on Tildes because I enjoy having more productive discussions. My ego might take a hit, but I'm okay with being proven wrong.

                  And honestly I think you're stretching really far to rationalize away the example you've given.

                  That's fair. We probably have different perspectives. As a developer I try to see it how another programmer might. Using a polyfill to support browsers before they implement a new API is a common practice, and doesn't strike me particularly malicious. I see that as a satisfying enough answer, though I recognize that not everyone will.

                  2 votes
                  1. [3]
                    Akir
                    Link Parent
                    I was trying to say why I can't provide the evidence in that second paragraph. Services are living things; they may not work one day and then they get improved and work the next day. The only...

                    I was trying to say why I can't provide the evidence in that second paragraph. Services are living things; they may not work one day and then they get improved and work the next day. The only people who would have records of these incompatibilities would be the workers at Google.

                    But out of curiosity, I did a quick google search and learned that many google services have started off only supporting Chrome, including services like Hangouts and Inbox. The most damning of these is the web version of Google Earth, which only works on Chrome today even though Google had promised to support Edge and Firefox as of 2017. This is because what they released was built on NaCl, which was never implemented in any other browser and is not an open standard.

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Wes
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      Okay, I see. I guess there's not much there I can comment on then. It sort of sounds like the regular ebb and flow of web development though. HTML5 is a living spec now. Hangouts I think was due...

                      Services are living things; they may not work one day and then they get improved and work the next day. The only people who would have records of these incompatibilities would be the workers at Google.

                      Okay, I see. I guess there's not much there I can comment on then. It sort of sounds like the regular ebb and flow of web development though. HTML5 is a living spec now.

                      I did a quick google search and learned that many google services have started off only supporting Chrome, including services like Hangouts and Inbox.

                      Hangouts I think was due to technical reasons, but Inbox should have had support from day 1. I agree with you 100% there.

                      The most damning of these is the web version of Google Earth, which only works on Chrome today even though Google had promised to support Edge and Firefox as of 2017.

                      Ah, I'd actually forgotten about that. Out of curiosity I looked up what Google had to say on the topic:

                      In WebAssembly (Wasm), the W3C web standard for bringing native code to the web, the Earth team found a solution to allow Google Earth to move across multiple browsers—something we’ve been working on for a while now. Earth first came to the Web about two years ago using Native Client (NaCl), a Chrome-only solution—at the time. It was the only way to run native code in the browser and offer the performance users expect in modern web applications. But cross-browser compatibility is not as easy as we would like, since not every browser supports new technologies the same way.

                      Using WebAssembly, we see more possibilities not just for making apps more accessible across browsers, but smoothing out the online experience, as we’ve seen with Google Earth. You can check out the Earth preview beta to see what the Earth team has achieved and read about their technical implementation here.

                      https://blog.chromium.org/2019/06/webassembly-brings-google-earth-to-more.html

                      I'll give you that they implemented a Chrome-only solution. It's very similar to the previous example of Youtube in that they were expecting - or at the very least hoping - to see wider-support.

                      I think if you're going to draw a parallel though, it's that Google's dev teams can be gung-ho to embrace new technologies before they're well-supported. In cases where that technology is not adopted, it can result in a lengthy migration to a new platform or API.

                      This is because what they released was built on NaCl, which was never implemented in any other browser and is not an open standard.

                      Quick clarification on that point. You're right that NaCl wasn't adopted by other browser vendors, but I think it's worth mentioning that NaCl was introduced as an open standard. Ultimately Mozilla and others wanted to move forward with WebAssembly instead, and Google agreed. That they deprecated NaCl in favor of wasm actually shows a willingness to support open standards, in my mind.

                      edit: typo

                      1 vote
                      1. Akir
                        Link Parent
                        Honestly, that's what's so crazy about this whole situation, and why I'm not even trying to change your mind. Google has managed to find a way to introduce plausible deniability into every move....

                        Honestly, that's what's so crazy about this whole situation, and why I'm not even trying to change your mind. Google has managed to find a way to introduce plausible deniability into every move. You can't prove that it's on purpose, but it happens just a little bit too often to be coincidence. It's like you're catching a child who doesn't clean up after themselves. They say they'll do better but they keep doing the same thing over and over again.

                        4 votes
  3. [18]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Use This: a water flosser Not That: regular floss I will never go back to regular dental floss. Not only is water flossing easier and quicker than regular flossing, but it's also more effective...

    Use This: a water flosser
    Not That: regular floss

    I will never go back to regular dental floss. Not only is water flossing easier and quicker than regular flossing, but it's also more effective because it can flush below the gum line. This is particularly important to anyone (like me) who has some bone loss there.

    A water flosser is like a warm massage for your gums. I genuinely enjoy doing it every night, and I'm someone who hated flossing regularly (and thus rarely ever did it!). Water flossing feels good, is great for you, and is a super easy habit to pick up.

    My gum health has improved so much since I started water flossing that my dental hygienist often tells me that I should be a spokesperson for the brand that I use.

    Some caveats:

    • The travel models look convenient but they're kinda useless. Get a nice plug-in model. The cost difference is negligible when you consider that you'll be using this daily for years to come.
    • Learning how to do it comfortably is a bit of a process. You have to hover face down over your sink and learn to hold your mouth open and just let the water spill out. It's weird initially but you'll get the hang of it in a week.
    • Use warm water! Using cold water is awful, especially if you have temperature sensitivity. It hurts! Warm water feels great.
    21 votes
    1. [9]
      zara
      Link Parent
      Do you have any recommendations?

      Do you have any recommendations?

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Not OP, but I use a Waterpik Aquarius Pro, and it's been great. After 2 years of daily use it's still working perfectly. Replacing the tips and cleaning/disinfecting/descaling it thoroughly every...

        Not OP, but I use a Waterpik Aquarius Pro, and it's been great. After 2 years of daily use it's still working perfectly. Replacing the tips and cleaning/disinfecting/descaling it thoroughly every few months is a must though, IMO... otherwise it can get a bit scuzzy, especially if you have hard water in your area like I do.

        p.s. A word of advice for those new to water flossing; Start on the lower pressure settings until your gums get used to it, otherwise they will bleed like crazy and be pretty sore afterwards. Eventually you will be able to set it to max without any bleeding or discomfort, but give it time and work up to it slowly.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          zara
          Link Parent
          Do you know which country this product was made in?

          Do you know which country this product was made in?

          1 vote
          1. spit-evil-olive-tips
            Link Parent
            Mine was made in China, according to the label. I got it back in 2012 but have no reason to suspect it's changed since then.

            Mine was made in China, according to the label. I got it back in 2012 but have no reason to suspect it's changed since then.

            3 votes
          2. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            It looks like the USA and Canada, according to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Pik Although that information is from 2006, and since then the company has been sold twice. and is now...

            It looks like the USA and Canada, according to Wikipedia:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Pik

            At this point Water Pik had six major facilities in the US and Canada.

            Although that information is from 2006, and since then the company has been sold twice. and is now owned by Church & Dwight (Arm & Hammer).... so who knows if that's still true about where they're manufactured. At the very least they still appear to be headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado despite the acquisitions though.

            2 votes
      2. [4]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I have an older model of this version. I don't seem to have to do as much maintenance as @cfabbro, but that's likely due to differences in our water supply. The toothbrush is great -- comparable...

        I have an older model of this version. I don't seem to have to do as much maintenance as @cfabbro, but that's likely due to differences in our water supply. The toothbrush is great -- comparable to a Sonicare -- but its battery is failing with time. I'll likely have to replace it soon.

        I'll also second his advice about working up to max power. When I first got mine, its max setting seemed nearly lethal. Now it's all I use! Not only does a softer stream help ease the adjustment, but when you first start you might accidentally hit your lip, throat, or any other soft tissue areas with the stream. At max doing this can stun or hurt, so learning how to use it consistently and get the water only where it needs to go is key. In fact, my main complaint about the travel models is that they simply don't have the power I need. Their stream is much weaker, to the point that I don't feel it's adequately doing it's job. They also have the same battery problem my toothbrush is having, so a plug-in model will have much more longevity.

        3 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          LOL... lethal indeed. When I first got mine I used it on full power, and when I spat into my sink it looked like a murder scene! :P But like you, now maximum pressure is all I ever use, and there...

          When I first got mine, its max setting seemed nearly lethal. Now it's all I use!

          LOL... lethal indeed. When I first got mine I used it on full power, and when I spat into my sink it looked like a murder scene! :P But like you, now maximum pressure is all I ever use, and there is no bleeding or soreness afterwards. And yeah, I bought a travel one too and it's way too weak. I still use it when I travel, because I'm not about to lug around the full sized one (and traditional flossing makes me gag), but it definitely doesn't do as good a job, and my teeth+gums don't feel nearly as good afterwards.

          5 votes
        2. [2]
          zara
          Link Parent
          Are the travel models still alright to take on trips?

          Are the travel models still alright to take on trips?

          1 vote
          1. kfwyre
            Link Parent
            I just finished with a trip on which I took my travel model, and it was disappointing to the point that I think I'm just going to pack my plug-in one in the future. Not only is the travel model...

            I just finished with a trip on which I took my travel model, and it was disappointing to the point that I think I'm just going to pack my plug-in one in the future.

            Not only is the travel model weaker and subject to battery deterioration over time, but the water basin is much too small, requiring multiple refills in order to use it to full effectiveness. Furthermore, it requires a very different technique to the plug-in model, since you have to hold the travel model upright otherwise the uptake for the water will hit an air pocket in the basin and won't pump the remaining water. Also, in terms of size, the travel model isn't actually that much smaller than the plug-in unit.

            I can't say that it doesn't work, and I'm sure it's what some people prefer, but for me it comes across as a weak imitation of the real thing. At this point, I think I'm going to leave room in my future suitcases for the big one.

            2 votes
    2. Diet_Coke
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Related, I recently got a Sonicare toothbrush and it is amazing. It definitely takes a little getting used to - it's even programmed to be weak the first 14 times you use it - but it cleans the...

      Related, I recently got a Sonicare toothbrush and it is amazing. It definitely takes a little getting used to - it's even programmed to be weak the first 14 times you use it - but it cleans the hell out of your teeth. I had some minor staining from drinking coffee every day, almost completely gone now. My gums feel healthier, my mouth feels cleaner, and my teeth are whiter. My only regret is not getting one years ago.

      8 votes
    3. Menio_Mercina
      Link Parent
      Aw man, wish I had known about these back when I had braces. Getting all the bits and pieces out of them was a nightmare and this looks like the perfect solution!

      Aw man, wish I had known about these back when I had braces. Getting all the bits and pieces out of them was a nightmare and this looks like the perfect solution!

      7 votes
    4. [6]
      hhh
      Link Parent
      I don't mean this in a rude way, but what's so hard/bad about regular flossing? If you don't have any appliances in your mouth it takes maybe one minute max, and it's not like you have to get up...

      I don't mean this in a rude way, but what's so hard/bad about regular flossing? If you don't have any appliances in your mouth it takes maybe one minute max, and it's not like you have to get up specifically to floss since you're already in the washroom.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I probably should have mentioned that I have a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth and crowding with my top teeth (because I didn't have my wisdom teeth removed until I was an adult). Regular...

        I probably should have mentioned that I have a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth and crowding with my top teeth (because I didn't have my wisdom teeth removed until I was an adult). Regular flossing for me meant putting a ton of pressure on the floss until it would snap between my too-close teeth, smacking into my gums with force. It was tedious and it hurt. I also used to try "sawing" the floss by moving it back and forth to try to get it in between my teeth, but this was also really uncomfortable.

        To get under my permanent retainer I have to use a special type of floss which can thread under it, and I never liked how I would end up pushing and pulling on my retainer in the process. I worried I was going to break it off.

        Regular flossing for me was something I hated doing and, as such, never really developed the habit. Water flossing, however, is hassle-free for me and has been something that I've been able to effortlessly keep up with. It's not that I think regular flossing is a bad thing to do or that people shouldn't do it, it's that water flossing for me was the far better swap.

        9 votes
        1. [4]
          vivaria
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Just noticed this now. HELLO KINDRED SPIRIT! How much do you just love the feeling of your tongue scraping across the metal wire on the inside of your teeth? Isn't it lovely? ʕノ•ᴥ•ʔノ ︵ ┻━┻ Isn't...

          Just noticed this now. HELLO KINDRED SPIRIT!

          How much do you just love the feeling of your tongue scraping across the metal wire on the inside of your teeth? Isn't it lovely? ʕノ•ᴥ•ʔノ ︵ ┻━┻

          Isn't it great when bits of food get stuck all up in there and you're poking around with your tongue and you can't for the life of you get it out?

          And floss threaders. GOSH DARN FLOSS THREADERS. No way are you getting me to put in the work to consistently use those, they're evil.

          Water flossers were a nobrainer for me too. :D

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            kfwyre
            Link Parent
            Lol, hello to you too! I hated my permanent retainer for the longest time. When I asked my dentist about the possibility of removing it, she balked and pointed out that doing so would undo...

            Lol, hello to you too!

            I hated my permanent retainer for the longest time. When I asked my dentist about the possibility of removing it, she balked and pointed out that doing so would undo thousands of dollars of work and likely create further dental issues down the line. I trust her judgment, so it's still there, bothering the tip of my tongue almost always.

            I started doing overnight oats for my lunches, and one of the additives I put into the mix is chia seeds. It's like they're magnetized or something! Every day, immediately following lunch, my tongue is constantly and subconsciously trying to dislodge all of the chia seeds that have taken up residence in the space between my retainer and the backs of my teeth. It's obnoxious, but I also can't lie, it's also kind of glorious when I finally do get rid of a stubborn one.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              vivaria
              Link Parent
              I'm glad you have a dentist you trust! I had my braces + retainer done at a children's dentist place when I was younger, but they can't see me anymore for age reasons, so I don't really have a...

              When I asked my dentist about the possibility of removing it, she balked and pointed out that doing so would undo thousands of dollars of work and likely create further dental issues down the line. I trust her judgment, so it's still there, bothering the tip of my tongue almost always.

              I'm glad you have a dentist you trust! I had my braces + retainer done at a children's dentist place when I was younger, but they can't see me anymore for age reasons, so I don't really have a go-to anymore. Case-in-point: I snapped one of the wires when eating something hard. I had my wires adjusted by a local dentist place and they f*cked it up somehow, so now I have a gap between my front teeth that wasn't there before. :(

              Not to instill skepticism or anything, I don't have the background to understand how teeth work... but I'm a bit grumpy that the thing that's supposed to be preventing further dental issues seemingly caused dental issues itself! :V

              3 votes
              1. kfwyre
                Link Parent
                That's really unfortunate. I've never snapped a wire, but I do worry about it sometimes. Even more, I worry about one of the brackets coming off. I'm very glad to have a trustworthy dentist (with...

                That's really unfortunate. I've never snapped a wire, but I do worry about it sometimes. Even more, I worry about one of the brackets coming off.

                I'm very glad to have a trustworthy dentist (with great hygienists). I stayed away from the dentist for a LONG time (well over a decade) because of some issues that occurred when I was a kid that had me afraid to go back. My current dental team accomodated my pretty severe anxiety and has actually helped me overcome much of it.

                3 votes
  4. [12]
    emdash
    Link
    I haven't consumed fizzy drinks or soda in any regular fashion for at least a decade, but if you're the sort of person who does and wants to kick the habit for health or financial reasons, I...

    I haven't consumed fizzy drinks or soda in any regular fashion for at least a decade, but if you're the sort of person who does and wants to kick the habit for health or financial reasons, I thoroughly recommend trying lemon sparkling water.

    Sure, you'll need a carbonator, and that's an investment that'll pay off as you buy less soda, but grab 2-3 lemons a week, carbonate a litre of water, and drink that with 2-4 slices—depending on your preference—of lemon in each bottle. If you're used to high impact flavourful soda it'll take a while for your palate to get used to it, but after a month, you'll be able to distinctly blind taste bottles by how many slices of lemon are in each. It's often just enough to be refreshing and appealing.

    Hell, even if you just drink orange juice or milk in excessive quantities and want to cut that out, this remains a good idea!

    20 votes
    1. [3]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I remember laughing at a friend when I was a kid because he said that non-diet soda gave him a headache. But now that I've managed to remove most refined sugar from my diet the same happens to me....

      I remember laughing at a friend when I was a kid because he said that non-diet soda gave him a headache. But now that I've managed to remove most refined sugar from my diet the same happens to me.

      In general, all of the stuff I was told about eating healthy was right and I'm glad I figured that out at 24. I don't miss the foods I used to eat.

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        ali
        Link Parent
        Do you cut out all refined sugars? I want to try to reduce my sugar intake but I have this strong craving sometimes after dinner and find it very hard. Also I love sweets but I would just prefer...

        Do you cut out all refined sugars? I want to try to reduce my sugar intake but I have this strong craving sometimes after dinner and find it very hard. Also I love sweets but I would just prefer not to

        4 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          Not all. Occasionally I still have ice cream and I oblige my parents a bit over the holidays, but in general I even reject things like Sunchips which have sugar added (why??).

          Not all. Occasionally I still have ice cream and I oblige my parents a bit over the holidays, but in general I even reject things like Sunchips which have sugar added (why??).

          4 votes
    2. [5]
      ibis
      Link Parent
      ginger beer is also relatively easy to make at home. It's less healthy than lemon water because it still has sugar in it (though I have no idea how much is left after the fermentation process). If...

      ginger beer is also relatively easy to make at home. It's less healthy than lemon water because it still has sugar in it (though I have no idea how much is left after the fermentation process).
      If you leave it in the fridge a bit longer then the linked recipe recommends, it gets a pretty good fizz

      8 votes
      1. emdash
        Link Parent
        Ooh, nice. Might make some of that just for fun, actually.

        Ooh, nice. Might make some of that just for fun, actually.

        6 votes
      2. [3]
        rogue_cricket
        Link Parent
        Maybe not the healthiest addition to the thread, but ginger beer is also the base of my favourite cocktail, the Dark and Stormy! Every recipe I can find just calls for ginger beer, lime juice, and...

        Maybe not the healthiest addition to the thread, but ginger beer is also the base of my favourite cocktail, the Dark and Stormy! Every recipe I can find just calls for ginger beer, lime juice, and a dark rum but I've always had it with muddled mint as well.

        5 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Similarly, my personal favorite cocktail is the bog standard Moscow Mule (real ginger beer + vodka + lime juice). Using dark or spiced rum instead of vodka, and adding muddled mint to it sounds...

          Similarly, my personal favorite cocktail is the bog standard Moscow Mule (real ginger beer + vodka + lime juice). Using dark or spiced rum instead of vodka, and adding muddled mint to it sounds great though, so I will have to give that a try!

          4 votes
        2. Parliament
          Link Parent
          I'm a mule fan, so I love ginger beer as well. A Kentucky mule is one of my go-to cocktails.

          I'm a mule fan, so I love ginger beer as well. A Kentucky mule is one of my go-to cocktails.

          4 votes
    3. cptcobalt
      Link Parent
      Fizzy water is the best. Even if you don't have lemons, carbonated water is delicious in a way that tap water isn't.

      Fizzy water is the best. Even if you don't have lemons, carbonated water is delicious in a way that tap water isn't.

      5 votes
    4. ali
      Link Parent
      I have also picked up the habit of drinking sparkling water this week. Before that I loved having a caffeinated iced tea daily during lunch time, the water saves me money and reduces both my sugar...

      I have also picked up the habit of drinking sparkling water this week. Before that I loved having a caffeinated iced tea daily during lunch time, the water saves me money and reduces both my sugar and caffeine intake.

      4 votes
    5. hamstergeddon
      Link Parent
      I wish this were an option for me, but I detest fizzy water. Just something about it feeling like soda in my mouth, but having very little taste to it just grosses me out. Maybe fresh fruit put...

      I wish this were an option for me, but I detest fizzy water. Just something about it feeling like soda in my mouth, but having very little taste to it just grosses me out. Maybe fresh fruit put into it would help in the flavor department, but I know I've tried several times to get into fizzy flavored water multiple times and it's just so weak-tasting.

      1 vote
  5. [2]
    Icarus
    Link
    A mental health practice that I have started this year has been to incorporate nonviolent communication styles in the way that I think. For example, instead of saying "I have to go to work today",...

    A mental health practice that I have started this year has been to incorporate nonviolent communication styles in the way that I think. For example, instead of saying "I have to go to work today", I will instead say "I want to go to work today because I want to maintain the lifestyle that I have and want to ensure a sense of security in my life." The key here is that instead of feeling helpless and not in control of my life, I am instead rephrasing things to understand why I am doing them and how they relate to my needs. No one is forcing me to do anything, I choose to do things because I want a specific outcome. Here is a decent Medium article that outlines the principles of NVC.

    https://medium.com/@eriktorenberg_/principles-underlying-nonviolent-communication-9a4f44b7cff6

    16 votes
    1. vivaria
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I like making the distinction between stimulus and cause, but this goes a lot further than most of the theory I've read in my CBT/ACT therapy books. My initial reaction is that it goes too far, to...

      I like making the distinction between stimulus and cause, but this goes a lot further than most of the theory I've read in my CBT/ACT therapy books. My initial reaction is that it goes too far, to the point where it doesn't feel as practical from a conflict resolution perspective.

      It’s not enough to blame the feeling on the person whose actions triggered the feeling. That very same action might have inspired completely different feelings in someone else — or even in me, under different circumstances!

      This wide range shows us that we control our feelings — others can’t elicit the entire range of feelings in us.

      I don't know if I agree with this conclusion of "we control our feelings, thus we should bear all responsibility for our own feelings, and none of the responsibility for others' feelings." It doesn't feel useful to say we control our feelings outright... I think we can work towards managing our feelings by slowly learning to disrupt our reactions while they're happening, but it's hard, and takes time! Some responses are really deep-seated, and changing them often requires a lot of effort.

      Similarly, we also wouldn’t take responsibility for other people’s feelings. If we came late we wouldn’t find it sufficient to say: “I’m sorry I scared you”. A much better statement is “When I see how scared you are, I feel sad because I value your safety“.

      Even if we're not taking responsibility for other people's feelings, we can still take responsibility for our own actions. We could say something like "I'm sorry that I arrived late. It's easy to feel uncomfortable when things don't go according to expectations, and my actions contributed to that." That way, we still decouple action and reaction with our language choices, but in a way that acknowledges that relationships are a two-way street.

      I think a compromise ends up being a lot more pragmatic, because it requires a lot less effort than it would if the onus was entirely on one person. It allows the actor to say "Hey, I know that you're sensitive to certain things, and I know you're trying to manage that, but I also acknowledge that that's a slow and ongoing process. So, I want to help create an environment where you don't feel like you need to do emotional work constantly." I think that's a lot more conducive to fostering bonds than what NVC (seemingly) advocates for.

      8 votes
  6. [4]
    katontheroof
    (edited )
    Link
    My partner and I are moving into a new apartment in mid-January upon my return to the US from my business trip, and these are a few swaps we are going to implement in our new home: Whiteboard...

    My partner and I are moving into a new apartment in mid-January upon my return to the US from my business trip, and these are a few swaps we are going to implement in our new home:

    • Whiteboard calendar instead of paper calendar
      We used to have a big wall calendar, but now that we have synced our google calendars, we only need a whiteboard for reminders
      Pro: saving paper
      Con: redoing the calendar every month; plastic packaging on the new whiteboard

    • Washable Male Dog Diapers instead of single-use puppy pads (because he can't always find the puppy pads anyway and our other dog doesn't have accidents around the house)
      Pro: saving paper and plastic
      Con: adjustment period; additional water usage for washing the diapers

    • Kitchen towels instead of paper towels
      We will probably still use paper towels sometimes, but I'm really hoping to cut that down to a minimum.
      Pro: saving paper; long-lasting, cost-effective
      Con: additional water usage for washing towels; cannot use kitchen towels for anything too nasty

    • Muslin produce bags instead of single-use plastic bags
      I always feel bad using plastic produce bags because they're usually used for less than an hour
      Pro: not plastic; reusable; washable
      Con: initially costly; have to remember to bring them; additional water usage for washing bags if they get dirty

    • Metal lunchboxes and tiffins instead of single-use take-out boxes
      We get take-out quite a bit, but hate the single-use paper and plastic that comes with not having to cook
      Pro: healthier because of the lack of "hot" plastic; reusable
      Con: cannot order in advance, so more time-consuming; some restaurants won't participate; more dishes to do

    • Reusable cloth and make-up remover instead of make-up remover wipes
      I wear make-up every day, so I use a huge amount of make-up remover wipes. Also, I find I get lazy about washing my face if I use a wipe, so using a reusable cloth also encourages me to finish my skin-care routine
      Pro: reusable; soft and comfortable
      Con: additional water usage for washing make-up cloths

    • Bar soaps instead of liquid soaps
      I prefer bar soaps anyway. After pointing out the plastic bottles needed to hold liquid soaps, my partner got onboard with bar soaps as well
      Pro: no packaging or paper packaging; cheaper and lasts longer
      Con: none for me - I like bar soaps :)

    Edit: forgot to write reasonings the first time around

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      vivaria
      Link Parent
      Preach! I just don't get liquid soaps!! Am I supposed to use a scrubber or something to get a lather? When using just my hands, I felt like I was wasting so much of the liquid itself. Scooping the...

      Bar soaps instead of liquid soaps

      Preach! I just don't get liquid soaps!! Am I supposed to use a scrubber or something to get a lather? When using just my hands, I felt like I was wasting so much of the liquid itself. Scooping the liquid soap into my various nooks and crannies felt so dang ineffective.

      At least with bar soaps you can use your skin/body hair as texture to get a lather going. It's a lot easier to direct a little at a time towards various places. I don't think I'll ever not be a bar soap person.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        katontheroof
        Link Parent
        When I was little and had no say in what soaps my parents bought, I was given body-wash and a loofah. The bubbles were fun, but I've since discovered bar-soaps create a better lather on a loofah...

        Am I supposed to use a scrubber or something to get a lather?

        When I was little and had no say in what soaps my parents bought, I was given body-wash and a loofah. The bubbles were fun, but I've since discovered bar-soaps create a better lather on a loofah than body-wash anyway! I don't use loofahs now either because they're made of plastic mesh and you have to constantly replace them. Instead, I drag the bar of soap over my body every time I shower and use a Korean body-exfoliating cloth every 10-15 days. I don't think I'll ever go back!

        4 votes
        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          Very tangential, but perhaps on topic as an environmentally positive swap: the original type of loofah is a dried gourd - the name comes straight from the plant! The same is true of sponges, but I...

          Very tangential, but perhaps on topic as an environmentally positive swap: the original type of loofah is a dried gourd - the name comes straight from the plant! The same is true of sponges, but I don't know the environmental impact of harvesting those, given that they grow in reefs.

          5 votes
  7. [7]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. smores
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Adding to this: For those considering this for the first time, it needn’t be an all-at-once change. Try things out when they’re appropriate and you think you’ll notice the difference least. Here’s...

      Adding to this:

      For those considering this for the first time, it needn’t be an all-at-once change. Try things out when they’re appropriate and you think you’ll notice the difference least. Here’s some examples:

      Use Earth Balance vegan products (Or whatever vegan butter alternatives you find!) instead of butter when you’re cooking or baking. For whatever reason, butter flavoring has been mastered by vegans for years, and you almost certainly won’t notice the difference.

      Use beyond meat or impossible meat when making meat sauce or chili. Especially in chili, the ground plant based meat has a great consistency and mild (but good!) meaty flavor.

      Vegan mayo is nearly identical to the kind with eggs. Especially when used as an ingredient, it swaps out seamlessly.

      Try some seitan slices on your deli sandwiches instead of deli meats. This one is probably the biggest change from the original in terms of flavor, but seitan really does just taste pretty good, even though it’s a different flavor from ham or turkey.

      Especially when baking or cooking, you can almost always swap out cow’s milk for almond, soy, or oat milk without any substantive change in flavor profile. It’s been a while since I’ve had cow’s milk straight at this point, but I also like drinking Oatly oat milk better as a stand-alone drink than cow’s milk.

      Western diets tend to default to using animal products (especially dairy and eggs) for almost all cooked and baked dishes. Sometimes those ingredients are crucial for the flavor and consistency of the dish, but often it’s just what people are used to using or what’s around, and plant based alternatives truly do work just as well! I made some latkes this past week without egg for the first time, just using flour and baking powder, and they were delicious and super easy to make. Happy to answer any questions anyone might have!

      9 votes
    2. [4]
      reese
      Link Parent
      This suggestion requires some qualifications. The sustainability of modern agriculture (where plant-based foods come from) does not look good when accounting for soil degradation. The pesticides...

      This suggestion requires some qualifications.

      The sustainability of modern agriculture (where plant-based foods come from) does not look good when accounting for soil degradation. The pesticides used in the production of our plant-based foods are extremely harmful, having decimated bee populations in recent years. On that note, we're all likely witnessing the ongoing sixth mass extinction event. From the linked study warning us about that:

      Future losses easily may amount to a further rapid defaunation of the globe and comparable losses in the diversity of plants (36), including the local (and eventually global) defaunation-driven coextinction of plants.

      Defaunation is largely caused by humans reappropriating land for their own purposes, much of which through agriculture. Harvesting technology adds insult to injury. So my point is that eating plant-based foods doesn't accomplish much in terms of sustainability.

      Ethically, eating plant-based foods isn't really saving as many animals as one might think. Agriculture causes major defaunation which is partly to blame for the extinction event I mentioned. Even if we're technically killing more plants than animals, is killing more of one superior to killing more of the other? Ultimately, what we find is that human beings have to kill other living things to survive, plant or animal. Really what we're left to decide is if we make other living things suffer while we exploit them for our survival.

      Health-wise, personally, it is probably better to prefer plants over meat for most dishes. Lean meats and seafood can be eaten more regularly in consideration of LDL. Unfortunately, in the United States, the populace has largely fallen for the advertisements saying it's okay to eat beef and pork all the time. Uh, no. Most people here need to drastically cut down their meat consumption in general and add some vegetables to their diet. And I haven't even touched upon the horrors of factory farming. Still, plant or meat, health considerations are pretty much the only ones within our sphere of control as individuals.

      I thought all of this would be important to bring up, since, as requested in the topic:

      A swap should be recommended if it is more ethical, more sustainable, heathier, or just overall better in an individual or collective way.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        ibis
        Link Parent
        Most farmed animals eat large amounts of grain. So any argument about the damage of agriculture applies x10 to meat.

        Most farmed animals eat large amounts of grain. So any argument about the damage of agriculture applies x10 to meat.

        12 votes
        1. [2]
          reese
          Link Parent
          That's a fair point. I just wanted to enumerate why plant-based foods are not a panacea. The core problem, it seems to me, is that agriculture itself is unsustainable. So, ethically, while we may...

          That's a fair point.

          I just wanted to enumerate why plant-based foods are not a panacea. The core problem, it seems to me, is that agriculture itself is unsustainable. So, ethically, while we may feel better about eating plants than animals, I'm not sure that we should feel good about eating either. Of course we can't undo agriculture, and here's a tangential this or that in keeping with the topic: rather than thinking about plants vs. meat, we start to shift our consciousness toward scrutinizing the practices used to produce all of our food.

          4 votes
          1. acdw
            Link Parent
            You're right about that, but in the meantime, cutting out animal products is better for the environment. We have to eat, even as we're figuring out how to build a better, more sustainable world....

            You're right about that, but in the meantime, cutting out animal products is better for the environment. We have to eat, even as we're figuring out how to build a better, more sustainable world. And as-is, plant-based is the more sustainable option.

            7 votes
    3. Staross
      Link Parent
      I'm trying insects but it's not the same...

      I'm trying insects but it's not the same...

  8. [13]
    umbrae
    Link
    We’ve just switched to using a coffee sock as a replacement for paper coffee filters and I gotta say, it’s not much more work and I feel good not throwing that paper away twice a day. Feels like...

    We’ve just switched to using a coffee sock as a replacement for paper coffee filters and I gotta say, it’s not much more work and I feel good not throwing that paper away twice a day. Feels like it will be a good change and to my unrefined palate the coffee tastes essentially the same.

    10 votes
    1. [11]
      cwagner
      Link Parent
      As someone who prefers the taste of french-press coffee to all other types: Have you tried those? I find them the easiest, and they have no disposable parts at all, been using the same one for...

      As someone who prefers the taste of french-press coffee to all other types: Have you tried those? I find them the easiest, and they have no disposable parts at all, been using the same one for probably 10 years now.

      10 votes
      1. [6]
        ali
        Link Parent
        Likewise: a Mika pot brews amazing strong coffee

        Likewise: a Mika pot brews amazing strong coffee

        5 votes
        1. [5]
          cwagner
          Link Parent
          The amount it produces is too small, I need my 0.75L of coffee in the morning :D

          The amount it produces is too small, I need my 0.75L of coffee in the morning :D

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. cwagner
              Link Parent
              I know, I have one. I was talking about a moka pot

              I know, I have one. I was talking about a moka pot

              1 vote
          2. [3]
            Grzmot
            Link Parent
            You monster. Sincerely, me, a tea drinker (and thus man of culture) This was ironic

            You monster.

            Sincerely,
            me, a tea drinker (and thus man of culture)
            This was ironic

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              cwagner
              Link Parent
              After that, I'll have my next cup of coffee when my wife wakes up and then I switch to tea, usually 2 real ones and then 2 more herbal infusions. I'm a cultured monster :P

              After that, I'll have my next cup of coffee when my wife wakes up and then I switch to tea, usually 2 real ones and then 2 more herbal infusions. I'm a cultured monster :P

              4 votes
              1. Grzmot
                Link Parent
                You disgust me D:

                You disgust me D:

                3 votes
      2. [4]
        umbrae
        Link Parent
        I’ve tried it; it’s a bit too strong for me generally but I may just be doing it wrong. If we decide to punt on the cotton filters again I’ll reconsider it, good option for others though!

        I’ve tried it; it’s a bit too strong for me generally but I may just be doing it wrong. If we decide to punt on the cotton filters again I’ll reconsider it, good option for others though!

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Diet_Coke
          Link Parent
          The cool thing about a French press is you can control every variable that contributes to the taste of your coffee. If it's too strong, you can try using a shorter steep time or a lighter roast....

          The cool thing about a French press is you can control every variable that contributes to the taste of your coffee. If it's too strong, you can try using a shorter steep time or a lighter roast. As an aside, most people don't know this but lighter roasts are actually stronger because caffeine gets burned as the beans roast. You can also try a coarser grind, the finer the grind, the more surface area there is and so the flavor from the beans comes out faster.

          Just to keep in mind if you ever do try it again. I think the best cup of coffee is the one in your hand right now so do what works for you.

          6 votes
          1. cwagner
            Link Parent
            Good thing I prefer the taste of dark roasts, I'm getting too much caffeine as it is :D

            lighter roasts are actually stronger because caffeine gets burned as the beans roast.

            Good thing I prefer the taste of dark roasts, I'm getting too much caffeine as it is :D

            2 votes
        2. cwagner
          Link Parent
          Ah, that does make sense. I know I don’t like my parents coffee machine as much because the coffee tastes too smooth/weak :D

          Ah, that does make sense. I know I don’t like my parents coffee machine as much because the coffee tastes too smooth/weak :D

          1 vote
    2. ibis
      Link Parent
      Other options that I can recommend: An Aeropress with a reusable filter A nanopresso A stove top percolator (yes I drink a lot of coffee lol)

      Other options that I can recommend:

      (yes I drink a lot of coffee lol)

      5 votes
  9. kfwyre
    Link
    Use This: digital library checkouts Not That: Amazon Kindle Store and Audible I don't know how applicable this information is outside of the United States, but many of the libraries in the US...

    Use This: digital library checkouts
    Not That: Amazon Kindle Store and Audible

    I don't know how applicable this information is outside of the United States, but many of the libraries in the US allow for digital checkouts of books, almost always through a platform called Overdrive and is corresponding app Libby. If you're someone who is trying to reduce your support of and dependence on Amazon, your public library is likely a great alternative to their Kindle store for ebooks and their Audible platform for audiobooks.

    If your library has digital lending setup for their patrons, then you can check out and return books from home, without ever setting foot in a branch. You might need to go in person to get a library card in the first place, but that one trip can save you hundreds of dollars spent on ebooks and an Audible subscription.

    If your local library does not offer digital lending, check the major metropolitan areas of your state. Some will issue ALL state residents library cards, even those who do not live in that particular city. If even this is not an option, note that some libraries will allow anyone to sign up for a library card for a fee. Even though it costs money, your money is going to libraries, not Amazon, and it's still cheaper than buying books directly.

    Using the Libby app, I checked out and read over 40 audiobooks this year from three different libraries that I have cards to. Audible's best plan is $9.56 per audiobook, so using libraries saved me $382.40 on audiobooks alone, and that's not counting the handful of ebook checkouts I did as well.

    For those that have a Kindle, you can still use the device to read library checkouts. Overdrive gives you the option to send the book to your Kindle, which initiates a library loan through Amazon. The book appears natively on your device, as if you'd bought it, but the only difference is that it disappears from the device after its due date.

    The only caveats I have to give are that you might find the selection is more limited and that some books you have to wait for. I mostly get around the selection issues by having multiple library cards (and thus being able to search multiple catalogs), but some of it is unavoidable simply because Amazon likes having platform exclusives (which is an attempt at vendor lock-in and all the more reason to stay away). Having to wait for books is a product of the publishers' licensing deals with libraries, which still treat ebooks like physical copies. There's not really a way around it, but I just fill up my hold list with titles and forget about them until they auto check-out to me weeks or months later. I don't always immediately get to read the book I want to, but I'll get around to it eventually, and there's plenty of other stuff to read in the interim.

    6 votes
  10. [4]
    Grzmot
    Link
    I'll throw my suggestion into the hat as well: This year I switched away from my EXTRA T H I C C leather bi-fold wallet to a Ridge Wallet. Putting aside all considerations about size and...

    I'll throw my suggestion into the hat as well:

    This year I switched away from my EXTRA T H I C C leather bi-fold wallet to a Ridge Wallet. Putting aside all considerations about size and portability (it's fucking great, I tell ya), let's get into the enviromental part:

    The Ridge Wallet itself is more durable than any bifold ever could be, cause it's metal. And the company provides replacement parts. I don't plan on ever switching away from it.

    I don't know about the production costs of metal vs. leather when it comes to the enviroment, but the fact is, this thing can't really fall apart due to heavy usage because it's not relying on seams, it's relying on screws. Which can be replaced, as can basically everything else.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      I think you underestimate the durability of leather. A quality leather wallet should last for decades. Even cheap leather usually lasts for many years before it starts falling apart. The one...

      I think you underestimate the durability of leather. A quality leather wallet should last for decades. Even cheap leather usually lasts for many years before it starts falling apart. The one leather wallet that I had fall apart was a cheap Macy's wallet that fell apart at the glue, not the stitching. You can buy wallets that have no glue and are only stitched. Replacing the stitching on leather is almost trivial. With the right tools, it should be almost as easy as replacing a screw in a metal wallet.

      If you want a wallet that is even more environmentally friendly, look into Flowfold products. Many of their products are made with recycled sailcloth. They should, theoretically, be more environmentally friendly than any newly created product. And, they are very cheap considering the quality you get.

      8 votes
      1. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        You're right of course, leather is a very durable material. However what I meant to convey (and failed at) is that metal doesn't wear down as obviously. Leather will simply wear down with time,...

        You're right of course, leather is a very durable material. However what I meant to convey (and failed at) is that metal doesn't wear down as obviously. Leather will simply wear down with time, and to some people that's the beauty of the material, but others might find it ugly and be incentivized to buy a new wallet. With my wallet, I won't have that problem because it'll always look the same, barring some major fuck up where I scratch it or something like that.

        Thanks for showing me Flowfold though, they look very interesting and you're right, straight up recycling materials is obviously going to be better than making new stuff.

        5 votes
    2. Kenny
      Link Parent
      Another angle is health. Carrying around a wallet in your back pocket can mess up alignment in your back and cause unnecessary pain. I switched from a bi- and tri-fold wallet years ago. I started...

      Another angle is health. Carrying around a wallet in your back pocket can mess up alignment in your back and cause unnecessary pain. I switched from a bi- and tri-fold wallet years ago. I started with a wallet that was a front-pocket wallet that carried a few cards and some cash. The past several years I've used this cellphone case as my wallet. I carry around one credit card and my license and that's it.

      5 votes
  11. krg
    Link
    A little late to the party, but if you're in the U.S. why not buy American-made clothing? I've shopped here before, and the quality is pretty damn good and the prices are pretty damn cheap. I...

    A little late to the party, but if you're in the U.S. why not buy American-made clothing? I've shopped here before, and the quality is pretty damn good and the prices are pretty damn cheap. I figure "ethical" because the U.S. probably has better workforce standards and guarantees than where most clothing is made, and "environmental" because (if you live in the U.S.) things aren't being shipped overseas.

    Their outerwear is pretty frickin' nice for the price, too, honestly! I imagine if you're cultivating a certain aesthetic it might not be for you...but, 🤷

    5 votes