I often hear how busy people are and how they don't have time to do the whole 'green thing'. Nowadays, the world has changed a bit, and folks are taking time to slow down. It's a great time to re-evaluate what a post-quarantine life can be. Save the planet by making small changes in the everyday!
Here are some easy ways to cut back on waste that I incorporate into my daily life - and how I save the planet little by little:
🛍Say no to plastic bags - bring your own!
Now, this may be a bit harder for the time being. Don't be discouraged, habits take time to build and we've got time now. Whether you shop at a grocery store or order takeout, if you can, bring your own bag. Now this is a new take on BYOB!
🐢When ordering a drink, tell them you don’t need a straw. Ya know, because of the turtles.
This one still happens to me as well. I'll order a drink and forget to tell them ahead of time. Next thing you know, boom a drink and straw appear. Back to the habit building, it's one of those things where you'll need to try your best. Lucky for us eco-warriors, a lot of food and beverage establishments are catching on - and only offering straws when people ask. We love those types of joints. So when you find those eco-aware places, keep supporting them! Coming out of the quarantine life, we've got to help each other out.
💦Carry a reusable water bottle.
We all have those free water bottles from giveaways. But they keep sitting in the cabinet, unused. Why? Because they don't spark joy. A reusable water bottle is essentially an extension of you. My favorite water bottle, I bought at a favorite Natural Foods Market in NYC. It was a thermos and aluminum, with only a small plastic cap (the best I could find). Simple, sleek, black, reusable, with almost no plastic. That's my style - a true New Yorker in all black. But there are so many water bottle designs out there. Glass, recycled plastic, aluminum, etc. Find what works for your lifestyle - and personal style. Once you find your favorite water bottles, you definitely won't leave home without it!
👕Cut old t-shirts into squares and use rags to wipe surfaces, clean up messes, or wipe doggy paws.
This is one of my favorite hacks. Way back in the day I thought it was cool to buy paper towels - you know the extra absorbent kind. The 1/2 sheet, quilted, blah blah. This was pre-green. Once I started cutting up old tees, I've found myself buying one paper towel roll every 6-months. And honestly, the only reason I use paper towels is to clean up my pup's messes (which rarely happen). I've even started cutting my tees to match swiffer wipes - using those to clean instead. I'll take my vinegar / water cleaner, spray the floors, and then swiff away using the rag. It's brilliant because all you do is rinse with water and drop in the laundry. That's it. I've saved so much money by using rags instead of paper towels.
😁Use a bamboo toothbrush - like MamaP's
I know, shameless plug. But honestly, MamaP started because of the lack of quality and well-designed bamboo toothbrushes. I was just starting out my eco-journey 4 years ago and had a tough time. So many bamboo toothbrushes came wrapped in plastic, shipped in plastic envelopes with bubble wrap. I was like, "Seriously people? I'm buying bamboo to reduce plastic. This goes against my goals!" Every year 1 BILLION plastic toothbrushes are thrown away. By switching to a bamboo toothbrush you break out of the waste cycle and move into a circular waste cycle. Circular waste diverts waste away from landfills. Read more here on How A Circular Economy Can Save The Planet. The bamboo handle can be composted and nourish the soil. Easy way to save the planet.
But wait, there's more. After tons of research, I found two items that are completely life changing! When I say life changing - I really mean it.
1. Bamboo Charcoal Water Filter Sticks. These are AWESOME. Say goodbye to plastic filters and hello to crisp water and biodegradable filters. Use an old pitcher or buy glass bottles with cork plugs. Both work well!
Alternative to plastic water bottles and water filters. A plastic-free solution for better tasting tap water using sustainable bamboo never activated with chemicals.
2. Attachable bidet. Get an extra clean while saving $$ on buying tp. Super easy to install - took less than 10 minutes!
Many parts of the world use these, so it's nothing new. What I love about it is how clean it makes you feel! Pat dry with a towel (throw in laundry) and voila - you'll feel so fresh and so clean.