“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”– Native American Proverb
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About a year ago I began my journey towards more green and simple living. I started researching small ways I could reduce our waste, specifically plastics, and start my family on the path towards being more kind to our planet.
In honor of Earth Day this week, I have decided to share the simple changes I have made to make my household a little more ecofriendly.
Because we have to. Somethings got to give.
We’ve all seem them, the heart wrenching photos and videos of wildlife losing the battle against our garbage. Swimming among plastic jugs, and straws, and bags. Struggling to survive because we have gotten to a point where convenience trumps everything.
We’ve all seen the pictures of once beautiful beaches, littered with evidence of human beings and the terrible people they can be.
We are destroying the planet at an alarming rate.
But what can we do? We are just one person, or one family, or one community…
Every little bit helps. Everyone can make an impact, even if it’s just a small one. If we all made a point to make small changes, imagine the ripple effect we would create.
As a busy mom who loves convenience just as much as the next person, I know it can be overwhelming to think about changing your routine and possibly giving some of that up.
But I promise you, it’s easier than you think.
I have made a list of what I believe are the easiest ways to lessen our load on mother earth. Swapping out even just a few everyday products in our homes can make a huge difference.
I can personally vouch for all but a few of these products, and I would never recommend something my family doesn’t use, love, and support.
Let’s make a pledge, to try and do our part. To try and be less crappy to the planet we call home. To take baby steps towards living a little more simply and being just a little more environmentally conscious.
Every day should be earth day.
These are by far the most well known, and probably the easiest way, to do your small part. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got like 5 of these laying around already… And if you’re like me, you also forget to bring them in the store with you half the time… But I’m working on it. To help my very forgetful self in remembering, I plan on buying ones similar to these in the near future. These are not only super cute, but they fold up and can fit in your pocket! A great way to reduce plastic bags! Which you already have an entire stockpile of under your kitchen sink, if you’re anything like me…
This was one of the first products I invested in on my journey towards greener living. I couldn’t believe how many ziplock bags I was going through. I still use them for things like portioning out meat when I buy in bulk, or freezing soups or instant pot meals. But since buying reusable ones, I have had the same box of sandwich bags for months! I use these for snacks on the road, to send to the sitters, for leftover veggies or fruit, just about anything! The silicone option is also amazing, you can boil, freeze, and even microwave in them! I’ve got only one of those, as they are a little more pricey. You will be amazed how many baggies you actually go through, because you will find yourself using these constantly.
These are the newest edition to my collection, and I’ve only used them twice so far. But I can’t wait for the farmers markets this summer, I think they will be super handy. I also plan on ordering a set similar to this because the set I originally ordered doesn’t have the cotton bags for things like rice and quinoa, which I often buy in bulk. But it’s a great way to save on plastic, I mean do we really need all of our produce in little separate baggies anyways? I wish they would just do away with them in the produce section.
These I have had for awhile now, I ordered them the day I saw that heartbreaking video of the sea turtle with the plastic straw stuck in his nose. And I use them literally every single day! For some reason I just drink more water when I can drink it through a straw? Anyone else? I also am that person, that has started to proudly bring them with when I go out and about… When I remember that is. I try to keep one in my purse but I’m still perfecting how to make sure it doesn’t get covered in left over fruit snacks and teddy graham crumbs. Ideas? I would also LOVE to invest in a few silicone ones as well, they would be super easy to travel with I think. Either one is a wonderful alternative to plastic straws!
These are another thing that my family gets almost daily use out of. In fact, there are two in use in my fridge as I type. Genius little things, seriously. I was skeptical at first of how often I would actually use them… Now I want to order another set because mine only came with one of each size and I use them so regularly! Ridiculously versatile and fit over any shape containers, not just circular! A really great alternative to plastic wrap or tinfoil!
I’m sure you’ve seen this advertised, and let me tell you, it’s worth every penny. This was another one, along with the reusable sandwich bags, that I got early on in this adventure. Another amazing alternative to plastic wrap. I use them all the time for leftover fruits or veggies. They are super nice because they fit around literally any shape, even super awkward ones:)
This is one change that my household is brand new to. As of now, I’ve got only one glass bottle that came filled with a brand of all natural cleaner I decided to try. I plan on refilling it once that cleaner is gone and would eventually like to make my own and use only glass bottles. A great way to reduce plastic and help the environment, since many traditional cleaners are filled with chemicals.
Dryer balls were my very first greener living purchase. They are what really got me thinking about how many single use throw away items I was using. They kind of kick started this whole journey. Both my husband and son have eczema and hubby is a severe asthmatic, so I needed something not only easier on their skin, but also something without a strong scent. These are seriously a life saver. I swear my clothes dry faster and feel softer since we started using them! They obviously don’t have the yummy scent of most dryer sheets, but I know plenty of people who scent theirs with essential oils. I love that they are good for hundreds of loads instead of just one:)
Swedish Dishcloths or any reusable “paper towels”
Paper towel was probably the number one single use product used in my house before this. I am ashamed to even think about how much we use to go through on a weekly basis. I still buy it, don’t get me wrong, there are just some things I can’t bring myself to clean with reusable cloths. But, I can proudly say that my usage has decreased by probably 70%. I bought a pack of 8 rolls so long ago that I couldn’t even tell you when it was, and I just pulled out the 5th roll from the pantry. That is HUGE for us. I use regular washcloths most of the time for spills, and cleaning, and such. But I also recently discovered Swedish dishcloths and they are actually pretty neat. They hold like a ridiculous amount of liquid, so no spill is too large, and once you ring them out, they are almost dry immediately. And they are not only regular washing machine safe, but you can also just toss them in your dishwasher!
This is a gadget I never even knew existed until we bought our coffee pot about 3 years ago, and I’ll never go back. Not only does it save you from the dreaded morning where you realize you are out of filters, but it saves you from contributing to the millions of coffee filters thrown away each year. Google the numbers, its astonishing in the worst way. This really is such a simple way to make a small impact.
Nick bought us a set of these for Christmas and so far, so good. I mean a toothbrush is a toothbrush right? But, at least our toothbrushes no longer end up sitting in landfills forever and ever! The handles are 100% biodegradable. You could recycle the bristles and literally toss the handles into your compost bin:) Does it get any easier than that when it comes to doing your part?
This is the first of three things on this list that I don’t personally own and use regularly. A dear friend of mine knows how passionate I have recently become about making our household more ecofriendly and sent me this link a few weeks ago. She says they are amazing and the reviews on amazon are all super great. What an easy change, just switching out your makeup remover wipes for something more sustainable. You use them, rinse them, and repeat. After a few days just toss them in the wash! I love this idea and have them in my amazon cart as I type:)
These are the second and third items on this list that I have yet to try. But as soon as we have a little bit of extra money in the budget, these are a must. I know it may be a little bit of a taboo subject, but there is nothing little about the damage tampons do to the environment. Plastic applicators are a huge problem when it comes to pollution, not to mention most tampons contain lots of nasty chemicals. Something I never even thought about until recently. I have heard nothing but positive feedback about both of these options and honestly can’t wait to give them a shot. Better for the environment and our bodies.
I’m sure you’ve heard about Grove Collaborative, it’s advertised all over social media and tons of social influencers collaborate with them. I’ve been using their site on and off for about a year now and I’ve never been disappointed with the company or any of the products they deliver. I love that their products are clean and free of harmful chemicals, and I LOVE that if I don’t feel like leaving the house to shop for them, I don’t need to. I’m normally very frugal and won’t pay for shipping if I don’t have to, but life happens and it’s nice to have this option. If you use my link, you’ll get a free 5 piece gift set with your first $25 purchase:) That’s a whole lot of products for only $25.
So, there you have it, my good deeds for the day. Hopefully you have already jumped on the bandwagon and are trying to do your small part to fix this mess we have made. But if not, I hope you found something on this list that may find its way into your home. Something that can replace its plastic counterparts and keep them out of our oceans and off of our beaches.
If you’ve got products on your list you think I should try or tips towards cleaner living, I would absolutely love to hear them! Please leave them in the comments so we can do our part together.
The Beautifully Mediocre Mama