5 Simple Changes You Can Make To Be More Earth Friendly
This year is flying by! Can you believe it is almost Earth Day? I think it’s great to reflect on the ways we treat the earth and our environment. While I may not be a “crunchy mom”, I am conscious of what I use in my home, the plastic I use, and where I purchase things for my home. There are simple changes you can make to be more earth friendly.
All products mentioned in this blog post are products I know and love. Some links may be affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you make a purchase through my link. All opinions are my own. I would never mention a product I don’t know, use, and love.
Our cleaning chemicals are some of the most toxic things in our homes. One of the biggest and easiest places we can change out environmental impact is by our cleaning products. It has been 3 years since I stopped buying cleaning products for my home. There are only 3 commercial cleaning products I buy, toilet cleaner because I can’t find a cost friendly alternative that works with our hard water, Tide because my husband’s clothes come home filthy and that’s all that will get them clean, and Dawn dish soap because it is the only thing that keeps suds in my hard water.
I swear by the Norwex cleaning products. I can carry 1 envirocloth wet with water, 1 window cloth, and 1 dusting mitt with me and clean my entire house top to bottom. Now, I have more than just those 3 things, I mop with water & Norwex, I use their dishcloth (serious the best I have found), and I use their laundry detergent on my delicates as well as Norwex cloths.
From my research, and I really encourage you to check into all of it, many “natural” cleaning methods actually don’t kill germs or remove bacteria very well at all. That being said, making any progress towards clearing your home of harmful chemicals is important. Let us not confuse harmful chemicals versus chemicals in general, Oxygen and water are chemicals.
I am proud to say that my daughter doesn’t know what a cleaning spray is (other than Norwex Ultra Power Plus & Water), she has never had to smell a bleach spray in the bathroom, and if she eats something off the floor because she is a toddler, I don’t have to worry about chemical residue on the floor.
Say See Ya to the Paper Towels
This is one I thought I’d struggle with. Paper towels are things we use all the time in our society, but they’re totally unnecessary unless you’re draining bacon. HAHA! To make it easier for us to think of other ways in which to wipe up spills I just flat out stopped buying them. For over 6 months I never bought a roll. The only time I missed having them on hand was when I was making bacon. It really was never a big deal.
Now I do have a roll. I buy a single roll when I run out, so they aren’t readily available. I also keep it up in the pantry, instead of on the counter. This way it isn’t something I can grab right away when there’s a spill or something that I would usually grab a paper towel for.
Utilize Your Community Recycling Program
In our area, we have experienced a few different recycling programs. A few years ago we had to drive everything to our local recycling center, but when that closed it opened up some other options. In some neighborhoods, like my parent’s neighborhood, they have a very large dumpster for the community to drop their recycling. When we lived in our old house we could go to the city to get a recycling bin that was about the size of a laundry basket that you would put out for curbside pickup. Our current neighborhood has large recycling bins to match our trash bin that you roll to the curb.
Taking part in the recycling program is simple for us, just rinsing out any cans or plastic and it all goes into the bin together. No sorting or anything too difficult.
Ditch the Straws
500 Million plastic straws are used in the US every single day! 500,000,000 straws! That number is staggering. Simply giving up your straw when you go out to eat can make a difference. Sure, you might say that your 1 straw won’t make a difference, but if you cut out all of your straws or your family’s straws for a year how many straws would you save?
We are so conditioned to drinking out of a straw at a restaurant, but if you go to most restaurants that serve alcohol you will get your drink in a glass like what they use for beer. Except, with the beer, there is no hesitation to drink your alcohol out of the glass without a straw. You also don’t hesitate to think about eating off the silverware or plates. So the excuse of it being more sanitary is moot.
You can also carry stainless steel or glass drinking straws with you, just put it in a case or bag to take home and wash.
Carpool or Make One Trip
One of the other changes we have made is to stop making unneeded trips into town. Especially now that we no longer live around the corner from the store and it’s now a 15 minute trip to get to the grocery store, we have really cut back on our trips. Now, instead of me going to the store for things we need for dinner, now I text my husband a list and he picks it up.
This works two-fold, I’m no longer taking trips for small things. We cut back on our fuel consumption which helps the environment, but it also helps our wallet. Since my husband drives past the store anyways, there’s no reason he couldn’t stop on his way home. If he is having a particularly long day or I have a long list for him, I will take advantage of the new shopping service at our local store, where I can place an order for my groceries and schedule pick up when my husband is out of work.