I try my best to live a pretty eco-friendly lifestyle. I’m not perfect at it. I am nowhere near the almost godliness of the no-waste people, but I try. And with the popularity of self-care, Mari Kondo, and our society’s latest attempts at living a slow(er) life, I think we are all yearning for simple and concrete ways that we can clean up our routines.
For me, that’s finding ways to care a bit more for our planet. The following products and tips are all great examples of easy and innovative ways to tweak your lifestyle to be a little bit more green (without having to go fully off the grid and start composting your own waste).
Not only are these bottles better for the environment, since you won’t be tossing the plastic bottle every time you run out, they are sleek and beautiful. You can buy your dish and hand soap in bulk bottles or depending on the availability in your area, find a refill station and strike-out the middleman plastic all together. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I would recommend SustainLA. They are a great refill station that pops up at different Farmers Markets. They have everything from dish soap to laundry detergent to all-purpose cleaner.
Our household made the switch to cloth napkins a few years ago and never looked back. It makes even the most mundane of meals feel heightened and sophisticated. You can buy a cute matching set or thrift an old table cloth and cut-it up to make your own.
Not to be confused with reusable tote bags, because let’s be honest, we all probably have way too many of those these days. What I am talking about, is reusable cloth and net bags that you can take to the grocery store and farmers market so you don’t have to mess around with the plastic green bags. I got a set for each member of my family for Christmas this last year. I was worried it would be a boring gift but if you put a bottle of wine in it, everyone gets on-board!
Replace your fabric sheets with reusable wool dryer balls. You can add a few drops of an essential oil as well if you want to add a fresh scent to your clothes.
We recently made the switch to these and are still getting used to remembering to use them. Some habits are hard to break, guys. But when we do remember, these little dudes are great! They work in the freezer as well which is great for us because we freeze a lot of chicken breasts. They can also withstand heat so you can use them to sous vide.
Get off of the plastic wrap wagon and use reusable beeswax food wraps for your more solid leftovers. They can be used over and over again!
We took a chance on Who Gives A Crap Bamboo Toilet paper about 6 months ago and I am never looking back. It’s made from bamboo so no trees are harmed, it’s packaging is as recyclable and low-waste as possible, and each purchase goes towards giving toilets to those in need. And some might say that most importantly of all, it feels so good! Seriously. I assumed it was going to be a little scratchy and thin and feel very much like an “eco-friendly toilet paper,” but this stuff is luxurious. I highly recommend.
Besides products, here are a few lifestyle tips I’ve recently adopted that have led to greener practices in my day to day…
Shopping at the Farmers Market
I am lucky enough to live walking distance to my weekly Farmers Market and in the last year I have really started to take advantage of that. I get more time outside, out of my car, and walking, plus I get to sample all of the fresh seasonal produce. We have gotten really into making rice bowls full of veggies and topped with an egg, so I can grab all the ingredients required for our weekly meals with one stop at the farmers market. Plus I find myself trying new produce that wouldn’t have been available to me at the grocery store. And speaking of our latest meals…
Eating less Meat and More Beans and Eggs
First, meat is expensive. Two, the practices of keeping farm animals can create a lot of stress on our environment. I am still a meat eater, but I’ve cut down to having meat in 1 meal or less a day. If everyone started having just a handful of more meatless meals, it would make a huge impact.
Buying Vintage/Thrift Clothing
Fast fashion is a rough spot for me. I love fashion but the wastefulness of some of the big fast fashion stores just kills me. In recent years, I have almost exclusively shopped at vintage and thrift stores. I also get together with a group of women and do a clothing swap every few months – a very fun and free way to get new clothes! There are still a few items that I need to buy new: socks, underwear, shoes, and workout gear, but for the most part, I really make myself go on the hunt for my new pieces.
Even small choices can add up. We can all do our part by making a few small changes. What are your go-to tricks for living a more green and eco-friendly lifestyle?
This post contains affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase through these links, I will get a teensy bit of moolah. Products are the same price as if you had gone straight to Amazon.