One 2020 focus for me is to continue improving on my waste + consumption. Last year I went 9 months without extraneous shopping and it truly changed the way shop, spend, and take in products. This year I want to add to that with a garden, compost, and try to eliminate single use plastic wherever I can! I asked you all what easy swaps you’ve been able to take on and was so impressed! Sharing them here:
RE-USE, or ELIMINATE PACKAGING WASTE + SINGLE USE PLASTICS
- Reusable grocery and produce bags
- Opt for paperless billing whenever possible, opt out of credit card offers here. Put yourself on the do not call list here.
- Reusable straws + reusable smoothie straws
- Cloth napkins
- Glass tupperware and containers, dish towels over paper.
- Looking for something specific? Look for secondhand toys and clothing first!
- Bidet / hose over toilet paper
- Cloth Diapers + Menstrual Cups (I use the Diva Cup and have had it for several years, it’s the most comfortable I’ve tried. Bloody Buddy is also great and colors are awesome.
- Reuse packaging/boxes for organization, selling your own clothing + toys secondhand on apps like Poshmark.
- Shampoo and conditioner bars, bamboo handled toothbrushes, q-tips, etc.
- Reusable snack bags over ziplocs
- Avoid express delivery services, jet fuel doesn’t need to deliver your toilet paper
- Reinventing leftovers. Meal plan with waste in mind.
- Bring thermos’ and tumblers to the gas station. Save soda cups for refills. Fill water jugs in the morning and bring with you on-the-go.
- Shop in bulk / warehouse style.
Totally random one I’ll add – we order the 30 count nuggets at Chik-fil-A and a large fry. It’s SO much less packaging then ordering all my kids their own meals.
AROUND THE HOUSE
- Post-bath leave your water in the tub and use it to water your plants, hand-wash delicates, wash bigger items like your pets, oven racks, highchairs, bumbos, etc.
- You can also stash a bucket in your shower to collect water that way. Or collect rainwater out in the yard.
- Start a Garden – even a small herb garden. Meatless Mondays or Vegetarian on the weekdays
- Garden Co-ops – local in season produce made by small and big farms.
- Compost bin or pile in the yard.
- Set your heater/AC 5 degrees below when you leave. Use natural light whenever possible. Open those curtains!
- Wash clothes in cold water – 85% of energy in washer/dryers goes to heat the water. Air or line dry your clothing instead of drying. Put your sheets on your bed out of the washer (they’ll be wrinkle free and smooth as butter!)
- Recycle electronics instead of trashing them. You can search for nearby receptacles!
- Energy efficient light bulbs.
- Clean behind your fridge. The coils trap dust and require more energy to work when clogged.
- Batch errands, don’t idle your engine, carpool whenever possible.
I know it sounds counter-intuitive to buy stuff to help you have less waste but thought I’d share the products I actually use around the house to help me with this!
Reusable Straws and an extra tall 40+ oz version for your big ones — Smoothie Straws – I make a lot of smoothies at home (another way to cut down!) and sometimes you need a wide straw! These are rubbery and although the colors hurt my eyes, they work great. // Dryer Balls – these cut down on waste but also so much better for your body! No chemicals or fragrances and you can reuse them for years and years! // Reusable Ziplocs – pack for lunches, pre-prepared snacks for the fridge, leftovers. // Produce Bags – I stash them in my reusable bags and pack all my produce in them! I have all plastic tupperware and those pretty OXO ones for the pantry and started noticing my food tasting so weird! Glass containers will help you skip leaching while still being reusable. // LOVE these cloths. They don’t have that awful microfiber feeling, they have the scouring option on the flip-side so I use them in place of sponges even. Wash and dry great! // I’ve shared Re-Play before and now they have even more colors on Amazon! All recycled plastic and indestructible. Ditch paper cups/plates for something cute and green! // I LOVE the Knalla bag both in the stasher form that bags up super tiny (like Baggu but $2) and their more structured sturdy bottom version. 2-3 bags is plenty for an entire cart of groceries, it zips up, folds pretty flat and the handles are easy to transport. // Switch to biodegradable — look at all these products that you could swap out!