More and more people are being careful about how their choices effect the environment. From using natural soap, to buying reusable bags, and even practicing Meatless Mondays, there are numerous ways that you can be better to the planet. Truth be told, there are hundreds of ways for us to create a more sustainable future.
If you are someone who is looking for non-stressful ways to make your home more eco-friendly, you’ve found the right place. Of course, you don’t need to do everything on this list to have an impact, just start with one.
1. Use plastic-free solid shampoo bars and natural bar soaps
Unfortunately, commercial soap companies are still producing products that add to the ever increasing issue of single use plastics. Since shampoos and soaps are part of mostly everyone’s everyday routine, not addressing the single use plastic problem has led to an increase in plastic pollution each year. The fact that it takes the average plastic bottle up to 450 years to decompose (after only 3 weeks of typical use) should be sufficient for us to say enough is enough!
Luckily, many natural soap and solid shampoo bar brands are setting out to solve this issue. These eco-friendly alternatives use better ingredients, leaving your hair and skin healthier and happier than the commercial products can. Yes, eco-friendly soaps are indeed pricier than others, but they are made from high-quality organic ingredients making the long-term effect on your skin totally worth it.
2. Use reusable wraps to store your food
Have you heard about reusable beeswax wraps? I’ve been using them for about a year now and one thing I can say is it is the best alternative to plastic wrap I’ve found. Not only is it reusable for up to 1 year, it doesn’t add slow-to-degrade plastics into our oceans and landfills. The latest global statistics shows that we dump over 8 million tons of plastic into our oceans annually. We can do better!
Too much plastic waste harms marine life and helps to create those pesky microplastics which will ultimately find its way back into our food supply. Switching to beeswax wraps can be your small contribution toward creating a better future. All good things start in the home.
3. Recycle old clothing
Clothing is made from lots of different materials ranging from plant and animal matter to manmade fabrics. Each year we add over 26 billion pounds of clothes into landfills, over 95% of which can be recycled or reused. That’s a lot of clutter!
In addition to donating your clothing to thrift stores, an easy way to give your old clothes new life is to use them as cleaning rags. Now your favorite sweatshirt from high school can clean up your adult messes instead of taking up precious landfill space.
4. Use a natural loofah
Why use a plastic loofah when you can use the real thing? Natural loofah sponges are made from a gourd that resembles a large cucumber as it grows. Its natural exfoliating properties are perfect for gently removing old and dry skin, leaving you with a natural glow and youthful complexion. The best part about it is that they’re 100% compostable.
Be sure to store your sponge in a dry environment in between uses to keep bacteria from growing in the nooks and crannies.
5. BYOB (bring your own bag)
One of the biggest culprits in our oceans is the plastic bag, some of which can take over 20 years to decompose! An easy fix to this problem is to bring your own bag or request paper bags at the market. Many reusable bags can even be thrown over your shoulder, making for an even more convenient trip to the store.
6. Use natural cleaning products
Some people think it is impossible to clean their dishes, clothing, and surfaces without using harsh chemical products. A lot of synthetic cleaning products contains nasty chemicals like phthalates (found in fragrances- known to disrupt endocrine balance) and triclosan (found in antibacterial products- known to promote the growth of antibiotic resistance bacteria).
There are plenty of natural ways to clean like using solid dish soap or making your own vinegar and baking soda surface cleaner. Try it out, your kids and pets will thank you.
7. Use energy efficient light bulbs
We use light bulbs all day, every day. A very easy, cost-effective way to be more eco-friendly is to replace all of your light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs. In a matter of minutes, you’ll be using up to 6 times less energy than before.
Energy efficient light bulbs like LEDs and CFLs have been around for a long time, however many people are just too busy make the change. Take the time out of your day because every little eco-friendly step you take is important for the health of our planet.
8. Consult with trusted eco-friendly friends and influencers
If you’re interested in making a more serious switch to the eco-friendly lifestyle, a good way to learn more information is to simply ask someone you know or just simply follow so eco-friendly instagram accounts like ours @everydayntrls. Once you’re determined to make some changes in the world, you’ll easily spend hours reading blogs, watching videos, and talking on the phone because you’ll soon discover that there’s a whole community of people just like you!
But if you don’t have all that extra time in the day to peruse social media, don’t you fret. Being eco-friendly is about taking baby steps into a better future, so slow down and make a difference.
For more info on a more natural lifestyle, follow Butter + Lye on instagram @butterandlye where we’ll deliver tips and tricks to maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle.