I have been on a mission to go green and clean in many aspects of my life. I want to share about simple things you can incorporate into your daily routine to go green and help the environment. I am going to share 5 simple and low cost options.
1. Reusable water bottle and filtration
I want to share some interesting information with you that I found from www.gogreen.org. They state: "It was approximated that 46,000 pieces of plastic trash are floating on the ocean per square mile. This plastic is killing animals, leaking chemicals and disrupting ecosystems. Moreover, sixty million plastic bottles are disposed of in one day in the Unites States alone, and eighty percent of those bottles end up overflowing landfills. Each bottle can take up to one thousand years to decompose, leaking dangerous and harmful chemicals during the process."
There is alot more negative effects than this BUT this is pretty big of an impact. So use reusable.
You will usually find me with a reusable water bottle. It is rare for me to use a plastic bottle. If I do it is because I had to purchase one out somewhere or was given it at someone else's house. For daily use around my house I stick with one of my reusable options. I prefer stainless steel because it does a great job keeping my water cold. The one pictured was given to me as a gift but I found this one from Amazon that is similar. Even if I have to leave my water bottle in the car, I still find it to remain cold when I go back to it. That is perfect for these hot summer months.
If I am around the house then I usually go for my large reusable plastic bottles. I want to have as much water as possible so I can ensure I am drinking enough and refilling less. I found this one also from Amazon that I am loving. It is 1 gallon, has reminders to keep you accountable, and comes in so many adorable colors.
If you are concerned about the quality of your water, then I would try a filtration system. We use this Brita pitcher at home so I can keep it in the fridge and always have cold water on hand. This pitcher is great because it is XL (holds 18 cups of water rather than 10). If you have the space in your fridge, this one may be the way to go! There are also filters that go right onto the faucet so you can fill your cups and bottles directly. These are nice because you can save room in your fridge . These work great to fill up ice trays so your ice is also filtered.
There is no right or wrong way to get yourself clean water. It is water works best for you and your family. The ability to keep less plastic and waste out of the landfills and out of the oceans will make a huge difference.
2. Paper or Reusable straws
Over the past few years, plastic straws are starting to make their way out of the mainstream and this is a good thing. The problem with plastic straws is that they land in the landfill or in the ocean and they stay there. The great thing is that there are alternatives that are very inexpensive and easy. Luckily, alot of the restaurants and coffee shops are starting to play a role by offering paper options or strawless cups.
We use straws around our house. I like them for the smoothies I make or for our toddler to be able to drink out of a bigger cup. I found these stainless steel straws that I am loving because they have a great little bend making drink time easier. It also comes with a cleaning brush. My one complaint about reusable straws is how difficult it is to clean without the right tool. These straws also have a nice silicone tip if you don't like the feel or taste of stainless steel as you are drinking. These are great for adults or kids.
These paper straws are great options. They are biodegradable and you get a bulk of 200 for less than $8. They come in 8 different colors so it is fun for kids to be able to pick out the color straw they want. They are a great options for parties too. We have these in our house for Aubrey and she always enjoys picking out her straw to use. I feel safe being able to toss then because I know, even if they end up in the ocean, they will safely disintegrate without causing harm to the ecosystem.
3. Reusable food storage bags
There are many negative effects of traditional ziplock bags on the environment. They can block sewers and can lead to flooding. Birds get strangled by them and sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish and it kills them.
To try to do my part, I have begun swapping out the plastic for food-grade silicone bags such as these bags. These come in various sizes and are easy to clean.
We have also been using food storage containers like these. They come in various sizes, are easy to clean in the dishwasher, and are great options for leftovers, for packing snacks for kids or for lunches, and even safe to store in the freezer.
We have both options in the house.
4. Reusable market and produce bags
This is one area I still need some help in. We have plastic bags and get some from the store mainly because we use them on our dog walks to pick up poop and for baby diapers. With that being said, I have been trying to at least cut back on the amount of plastic bags we get and use.
One way is by using reusable produce bags rather than the plastic ones at the store. We use bags like these in the produce section or at the farmer's market. I can fit all or most of my produce each trip in them. They are sturdy and can be washed. I also love that the bags are made with organic cotton so the manufacturing is also sustainable.
If you are able to forego plastic bags then great! I try to cut back and use some reusable market bags at places like Whole Foods, Aldi, and the farmer's market. Lately, I have been doing 90% of my shopping at one of these stores so I have been cutting down alot on plastic waste. These mesh market bags are not only super pretty but are also organic. They can also be used for produce but can fit your other groceries as well. I do find mesh bags to be fairly sturdy for carrying heavy items.
If you prefer more of a tote design, I found this set of 5 reusable totes. They come in super cute colors and fold up nicely so they are easy to store and transport. These natural cotton totes are also a great and neutral option. They can be used outside of the market and can be used for the everyday. A straw bag is also a popular and beautiful option. They often come in different sizes and are pretty enough to use as an everyday purse, beach bag, etc.
5. Reusable cleaning cloths
This has been a new addition to my going green lineup. Normally we use paper towels to wipe and clean our house or get the premoistened cleaning cloths. I wanted something greener so I found some microfiber cleaning cloths. The cloths I found were at my local HomeGoods and had a pack of 5 cloths for 5 different kinds of surfaces (electronics, wood, glass, electronics, stainless steel, and all purpose).
I found this set of 12 all purpose cloths that can be used all over the home. I found these cleaning cloths to clean electronics, screens, and eyeglass lenses. If you have stainless steel appliances then you need these cleaning cloths. I have noticed that since using the microfiber cloths, I have significantly cut down on the waste as well as saving money on buying paper products. Saving money and the environment is always a great thing!
If we could all do our part to help keep unnecessary waste out of our oceans and out of the landfill it can add up to something big. Even doing small things or incorporating small things more and ore will really build up. Plus, we are setting an example and the stage for our next generation to do the same.
If you are looking for one more simple way to help, I go on www.freetheocean.com everyday to help remove one piece of plastic. I get a daily email sent to me to remind me and answer a simple trivia question. There are also various products for you to help you go green that you can buy and the purchase of the products helps to support their endeavor in removing plastic waste from our waters. It is a simple, free, and even fun way to amp up your impact.