Hi friends and welcome back! Today I really wanted to talk about ten easy ways that we can all reduce waste. If you read my post about what we did for Earth Day, you may have seen some of my tips there, but since I think it’s a really important topic at the moment, I figured I would dedicate an entire post to it!
I also want to mention that there is nothing boring or annoying about trying to do your part in helping the environment. Plastic is a huge issue in the world and making little changes at home will eventually lead to a big change for the world! All of the tips I’m about to go over are super easy and inexpensive ways you can help out. They’re also minimally invasive to what you already do and will eventually make a big difference.
Stop buying plastic water bottles
One-use plastic is a major issue in today’s world and with so many reusable options, there is no reason why you should be buying plastic water bottles. Instead, try to switch to something like this. I love my Swell water bottles and Gavin loves his Hydro Flask. You can also install a basic faucet filtration system for less than $20 so you get fresh water from the sink whenever you need it!
Switch out regular house-hold items for reusable items
If you think about it, most of our every day, house-hold products come in large plastic packaging: mouth wash, cleaning products, etc. There are so many easy ways to make these products at home by using reusable bottles and items you probably already have in your kitchen. It’ll also save you money at the same time. For mouth wash, mix 2 cups of water with 2 tsp baking soda and 3-5 drops of peppermint essential oil and voila! your very own home-made mouthwash. Baking soda and essential oils can be used to make a lot of cleaning products that are baby & pet friendly without all of the harsh chemicals!
Choose reusable coffee cups
Again, reusable cups are a game changer. So many (if not all) coffee shops will let you bring in your own reusable mug from home so you aren’t wasting plastic or paper cups (or straws!) Gavin and I love our Yeti tumbler and use it all the time for hot or cold drinks. They also make great gifts so you can spread the eco-friendly love!
Choose reusable drinking straws
I talked about these in my Earth Day post, but they’re worth a re-mention. At home, if I’m hosting people, I always offer paper straws rather than plastic. They’re so trendy at the moment and come in many fun colors. For every day use, I like to use stainless steel or glass straws. Eco-friendly straws are so inexpensive and since they’re reusable, it’ll save you money in the long-run.
Ditch your plastic tooth brush
If you’re someone that uses a basic plastic tooth brush, next time you go to get a new one, opt for an eco-friendly one. These bamboo tooth brushes are $13 for 6 of them which is the same price, if not cheaper, than the regular ones from the store and much better for the environment. The plastic used to make regular toothbrushes cannot be broken down and recycled, so by buying ones that can be broken down will eventually make a huge difference!
Use reusable bags at the grocery store
I also spoke about these in my Earth Day post, but honestly this was the easiest switch for me to make. Each year, American’s throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags, which takes about 1000 years to break down. I already use reusable grocery bags, but I bought some reusable produce bags recently and LOVE them. I am one of those people that don’t want to just put fruit and veggies in a dirty cart by themselves and always opted for the plastic bag. Now, I can use my reusable bags and not waste any plastic! Not only are they also great to bring to the Farmer’s Market or grocery stores, but since they’re $5 for a pack of 5, at a dollar a piece, its a really easy way to do your part.
Choose e-books instead of paper
This one is hard for me because I feel like there’s nothing quite like holding a paper back book in your hand. But if you opt to not buy a paper book every time you want to read and go for an e-book instead, you’ll still be making a big difference! I have a few books on my iPad and like that I can read at night because there’s a light on it that won’t keep Gavin awake.
Stop using plastic wrap or parchment paper
There are so many alternatives to plastic wrap and parchment paper these days that making this change should be a no-brainer. My personal favorites are these silicone baking mats and these beeswax wrappers.
Hang-dry your clothes or use reusable wool dryer balls
Living in California, I feel like it’s so easy to hang dry your clothes since the sun is shining about 300 days out of the year. With such warm weather, if you have the option to hang-dry, you should take it! If not, try using reusable wool dryer balls. Not only will this save money on buying dryer sheets, but it’ll help dry your clothes faster, reduce static, and can be used with essential oils to make your clothes smell fresh! Bounce dryer sheets at your local Target/Walmart cost about $9 each time you buy them, but for $10, you can get reusable dryer balls.
Use eco-friendly sanitary products
I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite subject, but there are ways to reduce waste when it comes to feminine care products such as tampons & pads. Menstrual cups have taken off and can save you so much money on expensive tampons and pads. You can also save money on cotton rounds by purchasing reusable makeup removing pads like these.
Like I said, all of these ways are so inexpensive and a great way to do your part in helping our environment. Making small changes to reduce waste will not only help your bank account, but it’ll make you feel good too. If you’d like to share any other tips with me, please leave them in the comments below!