I started the new year wanting to make a few changes to our lifestyle at home in a way that would reduce our carbon footprint. I felt a bit overwhelmed by the wealth of information there is out there on how to do so. After reading more about sustainability and what that means for me and my family, I decided I would start small. I felt I could manage small changes and be able to stick with it. After all, small changes add up to big changes at some point, right?
It is a lot of information to take in, and therefore, in this post, I am going provide a beginner introduction into sustainability. We will take a deeper dive, later. I will be talking very high level on ways we can start to be more sustainable at home and reduce our carbon footprint. Perhaps what I am about to share is common knowledge to you, and you already implemet in your daily life–perfect! Share this with someone else!
The idea is to make small changes that you feel good about. Don’t get caught up in overhauling your entire life, but rather pick a few ideas from this list that you feel you can start to implement daily. The small changes do add up! Let’s dive in.
Here are some reusable products that I’ve implemented in the home to replace paper/ waste products:
Reusable grocery and produce bags. Did you know that one reusable grocery bag has a life span of more than 700 disposable plastic bags? We buy reusable grocery bags wherever we happen to be that sell some with cool designs (cough- Trader Joes- cough). We also bought reusable produce bags on Amazon.
Stasher bags to replace ziplock bags. These Stasher bags are bit pricier than buying a start pack of generic reusable “ziplock bags” but in reading reviews, they are lasting longer and hold up better. So, if we’re talking in terms of reducing waste and sustainability, I think they’re worth the investment.
Silicone mats to replace tin foil and baking paper. I use tin foil a lot because I just wrap it over my pans so I don’t have to wash the pans every time I cook. So, I had a hard time getting rid of tin foil, but the silicone mats work great, and they’re very easy to wash. You can stick them in the dishwasher if you’re lazy like me or hand wash and place on the drying rack.
Reusable towels for cleaning to replace paper towels. You can start by using the microfiber reusable cloths . I am guilty of ripping off a piece of paper towel to wipe off the counters far more often than using a microfiber cleaning towel. It’s habit I suppose. I have been working on changing my ways on this one!
Reusable cotton pads. I never even thought about how much waste I use when I take my makeup off with cotton pads every night. I use about three to four, so over the course of the month that’s an average of 100 cotton pads per month that are disposed of to landfills. These reusable pads are eco-friendly, washable and made of natural bamboo cotton. I purchased some recently, and love how soft and gentle they are on my face. This set comes with a pack of 20, and a cotton bag to wash them in. I simply place the used pads in the bag, and toss them through the wash.
Here are some daily habits you can start to implement that seem small but add up to a big impact on our environment:
Let’s just start with recycling… consistently. I am ashamed, but admitting I am guilty of not doing this consistently. It all comes down to convenience. So, to make it more convenient, I will be investing in a dual recycling/trash can that I can dispose of items properly in my kitchen. I will be doing another post on recycling shortly because there is a lot more to it than I realized!
Eat Less meat. Have you seen the hashtag floating around, #meatlessmondays ? Jump on board and start with just one day a week!
Eat locally sourced produce. This cuts down on carbon from vehicles having to transport goods.
Consider composting. This is a big one, that I plan to research more into, but I am a bit overwhelmed with the commitment it will be on my part, so I personally, have not started this one yet. But, it is on my goal list to do at some point.
Switch to LED lights. I was mind blown by the fact that LED lights reduce energy use by up to 85%, and they last up to 25 times longer!
Turn the water off while brushing your teeth. I am guilty of leaving the water running while brushing, and there is no rhyme or reason for it, other than it being a habit. You could be saving gallons of water per day by implementing this practice.
Turn lights off when you leave the room. This is one that my parents would hound my siblings and me on growing up. We would leave a light trail as we walked through the house. It is the simplest thing to do, yet, we often forget to do so.
As I said, I decided to make this as high level and to the point as possible while still providing you with enough information that can give you the tools you need to start implementing these habits and products into your daily life. I do plan to do a more in depth post in the future on topics such as composting and other ways to be more sustainable, so stay tune for more.
Was this helpful to you? Do you have tips to share on products or habits that you practice with your family to make your home and lifestyle more sustainable? Please share with us in the comments below!