Happy Earth Day beautiful people!
I LOVE this day, it is absolutely worth celebrating!
If this COVID-19 outbreak has shown us anything positive, it has shown us that the way we are living right now during social distancing is making a positive outcome in the environment. So often we are seeing stories popping up about animals returning to once desolated areas, clearing waters and air pollution disappearing in our country and others.
We are traveling less, consuming less, living slower and getting razor sharp focused on what is important to bring in and out of our homes.
And I think that part is GREAT!
So, in honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share some inexpensive and easy to implement sustainable swaps that we have used in our home!
From low investment in energy and finances to a little more of a learning curve, there is something for everyone here! I will post another list this week on some more swaps for the next level of sustainable living that requires a little more of an investment if you have already done these. This is a great list for beginners!
1. Swap out to metal straws! I know this is a pretty mainstream swap these days, but I am always shocked at the amount of straws that are picked up on our local beach cleanup team’s events. Reusable straws come in bamboo, silicone, glass, stainless steel, you name it! I have seen reusable drink straws, smoothie straws, tumbler straws.. I am sure you can easily find what you need for less than $15. I take them on the go in a small sewn straw zippered pouch!
2. Transition to unpaper towels! This is an easy swap as well. I use these flour sack towels from Ikea that are less than a dollar a piece. I have had them for YEARS! Not only will this save you some money by putting less paper products on your weekly grocery list, but it’s decreasing the amount of waste we are generating and we can just throw them in the wash once they are used! I have had a few questions about where to put them once they are used but not ready to go in the wash… I just put them in a wet bag underneath my kitchen sink. Low cost, low maintenance!
3. Swap out daily care items to plastic free options! This is just an example of one of our family swaps.. a bamboo toothbrush and David’s toothpaste. Not only are the ingredients in this toothpaste nontoxic to the environment when they seep into the dirt once they pass through my septic, but the tube is not plastic and staying on the Earth forever once it’s trashed! The company recycles them! With the bamboo toothbrush, I cut off the head and compost the handle. I make these swaps one at a time when I run out of each personal care item, so it took me a long time to see a major change in my products, but I researched each one and got more excited for the next as I went!
4. Ditch the one time use plastic and paper products! Stop using paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic bags at the grocery stores, makeup wipes, plastic storage and freezer bags, to go cups, bottles of water, etc. There is such a huge variety of these products available online for reasonable prices that are a onetime buy. Get glass or stainless to go containers to take snacks or meals with you when you are on the run. Use a Hydroflask as your water bottle. Reusable coffee cups are so cute these days!
5. Say bye bye to Tupperware! There are SO many benefits to this! Those Tupperware stains from spaghetti or warped bowls from overheating used to drive me crazy. For an affordable, low maintenance swap, use mason jars! They are visually appealing; they store vertically for more storage space in your fridge or freezer and are clear so you can see what is inside. They freeze well and have specific, leak free freezer lids available at Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon. They double as our drinking glasses and are one of the most versatile items in our kitchen. We also have less food waste because we use these awesome labels we found, called Label Once labels from Avery that are erasable, freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe. They last FOREVER and come with an erasable permanent marker that does not wipe off like dry erase. (I looked them up to link them below, but I do not see them anymore. They have a different brand called Jokari now that looks super similar!)
I hope these swaps make sustainable living seem less daunting for you! There are SO many easy ways we can take better care of our Earth and our health, because truly, they are one in the same. We can’t have a healthy body while living on an unhealthy Earth. We get two homes, our body, and the Earth. Let us treat them with the same caliber.
Stay well and safe,