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Lately, I’ve been concerned (and frankly disappointed) with the amount of waste I’ve been generating. Specifically, my paper towel use during this time of increased hand washing and sanitizing pretty much everything. I use paper towels to dry my hands and sanitize surfaces in the house, but I also use them when eating, to wipe up spills, to rest things on instead of the bare counter, etc. One day I thought, well if I was using that many paper towels and subsequently generating that much waste, how much waste was actually being disposed of in my neighborhood, or the country.
So I started to look for ways to minimize my overall waste and took inventory of some of the swaps I had already. You know what I realized? Not only was I saving money by purchasing things I could reuse but I was also, in my own small but impactful way, helping the environment.
Here are a few household swaps I’ve made that have saved money and happen to be better for the environment:
We all know that eliminating Starbucks completely won’t make us rich, but making coffee at home does have its benefits. Actually, I’ve found brewing my own coffee to be a pleasant part of my morning routine. But while I was saving some money by cutting back on my trips to Starbucks, I would be inconvenienced when I would forget to grab coffee filters at the store and would run out. Not to mention I was throwing away coffee filters after each pot. So I looked for a reusable option and found this reusable coffee filter and I haven’t looked back since! Just fill it with your favorite ground coffee to brew and dump the leftover grounds when you’re done or save them for a DIY body scrub!
Where do I even begin with this magical liquid? Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap is hands down the most versatile soap and now I know why they call it an 18-in-1 soap. With just a few drops and a dilution of water, this soap can be used as an all-body cleanser, dish and laundry detergent, an multi-purpose cleaner, shave cream, floor cleaner, fruit and vegetable washer, and bug deterrent for houseplants or the garden, and so much more! My favorite scent is lavender, but it also comes in almond, peppermint, unscented, citrus, eucalyptus, rose, and tea tree! Plus one 32 ounce bottle goes a loooooong way!
Switching to these cloth napkins was the inspiration for this post and really lit the fire in me to be more conscious and want to do better when it comes to reducing my waste. I started small with the paper towels I use to clean my hands and wipe my mouth when eating. I found these cloth napkins on Amazon and so far I’ve enjoyed using them and the pop of color! I’m already noticing a difference and how long it’s taking for my trash can to get full with paper towels.
I don’t know how late I am to this party but sponges that you can use around the house, for various things, that you can just throw in the laundry then reuse?! OMG! I love not having to add sponges to my shopping list, worrying about properly disposing of them or the plastic they come in. These washable sponges are made of terry cloth, have a rough side for tough spots, and come in super cute and fun colors/patterns. When they get too dirty, just throw them in the wash with the rest of your stuff. I even bought some for my boyfriend and he’s hooked!
Seriously everything on this list is a game changer, but these grocery bags change the grocery bag game for sure! They are sturdy and are basically a box with handles. So I can place them in the car without having to worry about the bags rolling around and items falling out. They also easily fit inside of shopping carts to keep your items organized and visible, AND they collapse for easy storage. Boom!
If you’ve browsed my Meal Prep highlight on Instagram for me, you’ve seen these before. I’ve been using these glass containers by Prep Naturals to portion out my meals for a few years now. Although more expensive than plastic, these glass containers are more environmentally-friendly, eliminate plastic leaching into your food and body, and maybe it’s just me but they make food look and taste better!
Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list. These are just some of my favorites but there are so many swaps you can make to lower your household costs and have a better impact on the environment.
What are some household swaps you’ve made that have really paid off for you and made the environment a little better?