There are so many benefits to finding ways to reduce waste in your daily routine! Not only can we help the earth by not creating more garbage - something both bad for the environment and bad for simply finding enough space on the planet to hold it all! - but we can also help ourselves.
Going Green might bring you a bit of luck AND could help save you coins, maybe not a pot of gold but close! Here are some easy ways to make a switch!
Cloth napkins Personally, this has been the most enjoyable switch! I have a family of four and we made the switch to using cloth napkins at our meals AND terry cloth towels for cleaning. They are easy to toss in the wash and my kids love to have the job of folding them and putting them away. While we still keep paper towels around for certain types of clean up jobs, switching to cloth napkins and towels has dramatically reduced our waste!
Refillable bottled cleansers Maybe it's strange, but having beautiful glass spray bottles brings me joy and it also helps me save on cleaning supplies! Companies like Grove sell concentrated cleaning options to refill your bottles or you can find recipes online with supplies you can pick up at a local grocery store! So many typical cleaning products are mainly water, therefore you're buying a larger plastic bottle that mostly contains water! Why not get the concentrate and add your own water at home in your won refillable bottle?
Makeup removing cloths Switching from cotton balls to a stack of reuseable cloth makeup removing pads is another easy (and luxurious) switch to your daily routine. Cotton balls are damaging to the environment in their production and their inability to bio-degrade. Get something more friendly to the earth and for cozy for your face! These ones sold on Etsy even have little pockets, making it easier to hold as you cleanse!
Bar Soap Bar soaps are a fun and easy way to create less waste! Since bar soaps require less energy to create than soap and far less packaging, they are a great option. Plus, you can shop our Bright Naturals selections and use a bar soap that has many natural and earth friendly ingredients!
The Super Natural Soap in the Bright Naturals Collection is palm free, colorant free and scent free for an eco-friendly bar with a creamy, moisturizing lather. $10
Compost If you're a gardener, you may already know the value of compost. One of my biggest surprises when I started gardening was just how much rich soil I needed to grow my veggies! You can turn your own food scraps, coffee grounds, some paper products and grass clippings into a nutrient rich compost to help your garden grow. There are many methods that are worth researching to find the one that works for you! From worm bins to hot composting tumblers to a large composter in your yard. There are even plenty of sleek and small options if you don't want to get your hands too dirty.
Find a favorite reusable coffee cup It's so easy to forget, so this is one that I'm working on - and it's so simple! Bring your own coffee tumbler to the coffee shop next time you're heading out for your latte. My favorite to-go mug is one I've been using for almost 10 years! A mason jar! I prefer glass over all other coffee options because glass is easy to clean and doesn't get stained or scented over time. Add a cuppow lid and you're good to go! Plus they are easy to have multiples of and a mason jar has multiple uses! Win win win.
Pack your bags! Or put milk crates in your car for grocery pickup Dare I say the greatest technological advancement of our time is curbside grocery pickup?! Ok, maybe there's more important tech out there but as a mom of toddlers (during a pandemic), grocery pickup is my favorite thing! And an easy way to pack in your groceries without using bags is to keep totes or milk crates in your car. They hold groceries well, are sturdy and make it easy for your customer service person to load it all up!
Eat/buy local! Find local businesses for as many items as you can or visit a farmers market Whether it's soap, baked bread or fresh lettuce - buy local as much as you can! This reduces dramatically the distance the items you consume had to travel to get from the source to your home - reducing carbon emissions AND helping your neighbors economically. How much could you commit to buying local? For myself, I take inventory of all of the things I buy regularly and then find ways to make a switch to a local purveyor whenever possible. Consider signing up for subscription options like a local farms' CSA or Hand Pie Deliveries (*wink* -that's me!).
Shop Local! Both Oh Hi Handpies and Bright Day Bath and Body are vendors at Grays Harbor area markets in the spring and summer.
Eco-period care: so many variety of options to choose from including diva cup to washable pads to period underwear There are so many options for any and every variety of feminine product, reducing waste! Plus this can save you a ton of money and possibly increase your comfort level as well! This goes for baby cloth diapers too. While they are a lot of work for clean up, they are so cute and can save you hundreds of dollars a month when children are small.
Products such as menstrual cups can help reduce waste from your monthly menstrual cycle.
Just buy less stuff! This seems simple yet is so hard for so many of us. Simply reducing what you buy will likely have the largest impact of all. Fix what you have, make do without some things that aren’t truly necessities, and buy second hand. You’ll help our environment AND probably save some money.
About the Author
Britta Jackson is a writer, photographer, and artist with a lifelong love for all things DIY. She lives in Aberdeen with her husband and kids and spends her springs and summers baking pies for her business Oh Hi Handpies and tending her garden.