Eco-friendly "not harmful to the environment."
Environment "the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates."
Something I am becoming more and more conscious of lately is how our everyday decisions impact the world around us. Our carbon footprints are becoming bigger and deeper than ever before and it's a huge issue. We are polluting the beautiful world we live in way more than we realize. It's more than just recycling and asking for paper instead of plastic at the grocery store. We need to be doing more and there are some surprisingly simple ways to do so! Here are a few of the ways we've been cutting down on waste, plastic usage and decreasing our carbon footprint.
Bars of soap for hand and body wash instead of plastic bottles - This one is such a no-brainer! I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of it sooner. Hand soap and body wash are two things that most households go through quickly and what happens when you run out? You purchase another plastic bottle full of soap. Some may choose to purchase refill bags/bottles but those are still coming in plastic most of the time. My goal lately has been to eliminate any plastic that we possibly can but start with the simple things. Plastic is hazardous to our health and to our planet. Last time I was at target I grabbed a few bars of Dr. Bronner's castile soap and have been replacing all of the empty hand soap and body wash bottles with them as we run out. So all it took is one simple change and already we have avoided buying three new bottles of soap because we had bars on hand to replace them! Another great thing about this is that bars of soap last WAY longer than bottles of soap. So not only are you cutting down on plastic but you're probably saving a little money as well! You can purchase Dr. Bronner's soap at your local target, health food store or here!
Reusable Shopping & Freezer Bags - This is something I've wanted to do for a while and I'm finally doing it! Taking my own bags to the grocery store because this is one of the easiest ways to cut down on the amount of plastic usage we're participating in. These reusable shopping bags were super affordable and are so useful for even more than just groceries! We are going on a road trip next week and I know we will using them for packing shoes, snacks, and more! We are always freezing fruit for our smoothies and having these reusable freezer bags is a great way to cut down on waste and plastic as well.
Reusable Water Bottles - My husband and I are the type of people that take a bottle of water with us wherever we go and most of the cups and bottles I had been using were plastic. Not only is is not great for your body to be consuming foods and liquids out of plastic containers everyday, it was of course just more unnecessary plastic in our household. A few months ago we found Hydro Flasks at our local TJ Maxx for almost half off and we have been using them every day since! Definitely check TJ Maxx for them first but if you can't find them there you can also purchase here!
Stainless Steel Straws - This one is another super simple one! I purchased a set of super affordable stainless steel straws here and we use them to replace all of our plastic ones for smoothies, water at home, etc. I would love to start bringing them with me when we're in public as well to cut down on the amount of plastic we're using when we're out of the house. Every little bit counts!
Rags for cleaning instead of paper towels - This is a great one! When I took the time to really observe how many times I was grabbing a wad of paper towels to clean up a mess, wipe down the counter, etc. I was amazed. We were going through paper towels like crazy at our house and most of it was unnecessary. We've started using bar mop rags to clean the kitchen, bathrooms and wipe down counters instead of paper towels. We usually only use paper towels as napkins when we're eating now and I have not had to purchase them in a while! We get our bar mop rags at target! They are always super affordable.
Make your own products - I am diving into the world of DIY and have really been loving it so far! Sometimes doing it yourself is going to be the only way to make sure all of the nasty ingredients are left out. I am currently using doTERRA's On Guard Cleaner Concentrate and haven't had to purchase a bottle of multi-purpose cleaning spray in probably a little over 6 months. It works so well and I love being able to refill the same bottle every time I run out! Again, saving money and creating less waste. Send me an email through the contact tab in the menu if you're interested in getting your hands on some cleaner concentrate! We also just made our own 4 ingredient laundry detergent and we were pleasantly surprised at how well it worked and how nice it left everything feeling & smelling. Recipe coming soon after a week more of testing it out!!
Eating plant-based - This tip although it's my last in this post would be the most impactful for the environment in all aspects. Being eco-friendly is the act of choosing to do things in a way that does not harm the environment. The environment encompasses the living conditions of humans, animals, and plants. I believe (and it has been proven) that by choosing to eat plant based, we are not only saving the lives of animals and impacting our planet in such a positive way, but we are also impacting the lives of humans, the hungry, starving, homeless and sick. I am currently writing an entire blog post on this but just to break it down a little here are a few facts:
Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:
vegan/plant based: 1/6th acre
vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
meat eater: 18x as much as a vegan
Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption. How crazy is that?!
The simple truth is that we are growing more than enough food to feed this planet, but animal agriculture is such a mass-produced, fast paced industry that animals are getting over half of what is grown. Think about if everyone was eating a vegan diet. No one would have to go hungry. Eating a vegan diet is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for the world around us. I will go deeper into this in an upcoming post!
I truly hope you enjoyed this post and that it ignites some ideas on how you can make changes towards a more eco-friendly household and lifestyle. :)
Thank you for reading and for letting me share my heart with you all here in this little space!