I think the key to lasting change is finding something that works with your lifestyle. Not everybody can fit all their trash in a mason jar or buy a Tesla, but we all have the potential to make a difference for our planet. Here are 7 things to try this Earth Day:
Ditch paper towels
I still remember being at a friend’s house a few years ago and realizing paper towels were not a staple in her kitchen. I’m sure she had them around somewhere, but dish cloths and rags were her go-to clean-up products. We’ve since added a stockpile of rags and dishcloths to our household and use them for most clean-up needs.
Facial tissues. They’re rough on your face, they tear apart, and they fill up the trash. We’re dedicated handkerchief users at my house. For mild allergy sniffles I may use the same handkerchief all day, but with kid colds we toss handkerchiefs into the laundry quickly and wash them for the next day.
No, I don’t mean just for baths and showers. Use washcloths instead of baby wipes, make-up remover wipes, or cotton balls. Adding a washcloth into my nightly cleansing routine means I use less water and get my face much cleaner. It gives me a nice bit of exfoliation, too.
I HATE throwing away food scraps. I imagine all that food filling up plastic garbage bags and then hanging out in landfills for hundreds of years. We’re not always great about composting food scraps, but we’ve been trying it off and on for several years. We keep two compost piles — one for scraps that will form lovely compost for our vegetable garden, and one for organic yard waste (sticks, weeds, dog poop) that can’t be used for the garden. I’m obsessed with fancy compost machines, but you really just need space and willingness. My neighbor down the street gets amazing garden compost with a small, plain compost pile out behind her house.
Find alternative lady products
TMI tip! I’ve done it. I’ve started using period panties. I love them, y’all. So much better than buying a ton of disposables each month. I use Thinx, although I may try a pair from a different company while I wait for Thinx to work out their ethics issues. (If you want to try Thinx, you can get a coupon code with my referral link here.)
Invest in reusable coffee cups
I’m really bad at this one. When it comes to remembering my to-go mug when I leave the house, I get a failing grade. My goal is to throw my water bottle and insulated mug into my bag when I head out for the day.
Take a walk
Choose human power over car power whenever you are able. Can you walk the kids to school? Walk from one store to the other instead of driving? Or maybe you can walk around your neighborhood, picking up trash along the way. Walking doesn’t just benefit the earth — it’s great for your health, good for your mind, and a fantastic way to meet your neighbors.
What are your easy earth-saving tips? Where do you still struggle?