May 9, 2019

10 Easy Switches To Be More Environmentally Friendly

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here. 



Here are ten easy switches one can make to be more environmentally friendly. A lot of these we have already done in our own home.

1) Plastic Bags → Reusable Cloth Bags


This is a switch I made a long time ago and have been doing for years! There are times now where I do forget, and in those cases, I opt for paper if possible. However, for the most part, I remember my bags and keep a few in the car at all times.

Some stores are even no longer providing plastic bags, like the Disney Store, so you have to remember your own bag or buy a reusable one from them.

A bonus to using your own bags is some stores, like Target, will give you a small discount (Target gives 5 cents back per bag).

2) Tampons or Disposable Menstrual Pads → Reusable Cup or Cloth Pads

I was never a fan of tampons, tried them once and they weren't for me, so I only ever used disposable pads. Awhile after having my daughter, I decided to give cloth pads a try instead. We were already cloth diapering so it wouldn't have added much to the laundry. Ever since I made the switch, I haven't gone back. I only use disposables when traveling now. You can read about my experience with cloth pads in my previous post here.

3) Disposable Diapers → Cloth Diapers


One of the big reasons we chose to cloth diaper was because it was more eco-friendly. It also saves money and the prints are adorable! You can check out my favorite cloth diaper brands in this post and find out what my must-haves to start cloth diapering are in this post.

4) Plastic Straws → Metal Straws or No Straws


This was more a recent switch for us. We don't use straws very often,  usually for smoothies or drinks at home, but decided it wouldn't hurt to have some on hand. However, now when I do happen to stop to pick up food to bring home, I don't bother to grab plastic straws as we have these at home, so we surprisingly use them a lot more than I thought! (We honestly could just not use the straws, but they are fun to use!) This is the set we got on Amazon.

5) Tissues → Handkerchiefs 

I just made this switch this year. I was hesitant at first because handkerchiefs just get so gross, but I go through so many tissues due to allergies and it's just a waste. I ended up buying a total of 24 handkerchiefs. This way I had a least 3 per day for 1 week and wouldn't have to do laundry till the end of the week. After using them for a while, I realize I could get by with 2 a day and rarely do I need the third one. The Docker ones are my favorite, which you buy on Amazon.

6) Plastic Bottles & Coffee Cups → Stainless Steel or Glass Reusable Bottle & Thermos

Instead of buying those packs of plastic water bottles, opt to buy a reusable bottle, preferably steel or glass as they biodegrade, and filling it with water at home.

If you are a coffee lover, opt to bring your own thermos. If you aren't a fan of making your own coffee at home or are on the go, many coffee shops will refill your reusable one!

7) Plastic Food Storage → Glass Food Storage Containers


We made this switch awhile back and use Pyrex, but are hoping to switch to something that has a more airtight seal, like the ones in the picture above. I wouldn't recommend the Pyrex set as the lids are bendy and easily rip/tear over time.

The one major downside to glass is that it can break, but we haven't had any issues yet. You just have to more careful when handling it.

8) Paper Towels → Washcloths or Dish Rags

We still have paper towels, but do our best to use cloth to clean up messes whenever possible. We just use washcloths, dish towels, dish clothes, etc basically whatever is lying around. Anything works really to clean up a mess and then you just wash it later.

There are "unpaper" towels you can purchase on Amazon and various sellers on Etsy make them as well, some even with snaps so you can make them into a roll if you want! These tend to be more pricey than just buying a cheap pack of washcloths, but the upside is they are designed to be the size of paper towel and you can get fun prints.

9) Toilet Paper → Cloth Wipes & Bidet/Sprayer

This is one switch I haven't made yet, but have considered and might do it eventually. We use cloth wipes for our daughter, so was thinking once she's toilet trained, we'll use those as toilet paper. I would still keep paper around for guests of course.

For poop, you'll want a bidet or sprayer. We already have a diaper sprayer to wash the poop off our baby's diapers. 

10) Contacts → Glasses or LASIK Eye Surgery

I stopped wearing contacts a long time ago, but just recently discovered that contacts are not biodegradable! Choosing to wear glasses is the better way to go, or if you really dislike glasses, LASIK eye surgery is another option.

If you must wear contacts, opt for the ones that don't need to be replaced daily. There is also a contact lens recycling program you can check out here


15 comments:

  1. Really simple switches that really help to maintain eco-friendliness.I'm glad our home is as eco-friendly since we use most of what you've listed. When everything is reusable, it also maintains a better degree of cleanliness.

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  2. I love these tips and I am committing to following these too except number 2. We're actually doing them already except #10 but we're actually considering lasik eye surgery soon. Unfortunately, it's just so expensive and insurance does not cover it.

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    1. Every little bit helps! The price of contacts adds up overtime, so the surgery may actually save you money in the long run. Otherwise there is a contact lenses recycling program you could look into.

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  3. You have 10 wonderful tips that I truly appreciate. It's been a while that I stopped using plastic container.

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  4. Those were a wonderdul suff and needs.I love that this can help is save our environment

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  5. Oh, I keep our reusable bags in each car and near the door when I go out. It helps me to remember to bring them when I go to the store.

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  6. We basically do no straws at home. So I try to avoid using them if at all possible at home. I should be using the canvas bags. But I always forget. And then I really hate watching those things. I know it's better for the environment though.

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  7. I really love all the ideas here! I have recently bought the straws and love it!

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  8. These ideas are all really awesome! And you inspired me to use the clothe bags that I have instead of just the plastic bags I usually get at the store. I also don't wear contacts, I wear glasses too!

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  9. I love all of these simple suggestions! If we each do a little it adds up!

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  10. I really need to hope on board with these. I always ask for a straw when I am eating at a restaurant so I should definitely buy a metal straw.

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  11. I have done many of these, but one step I want to take is using more eco-friendly period products. I am not sure which route I want to go, cup or cloth pads.

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  12. I love your ideas. I’m in the process of switching over to many of the products you listed. It helps so much if we each begin and make those changes one by one.

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  13. All great tips! We recently starting switching over to reusable straws and carrying an insulated water bottle and I can already tell how much plastic we're saving.

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