Do you guys have any eco-friendly goals? In the back of my mind when I’m cutting parchment paper, using a straw, throwing away an empty laundry detergent bottle, etc I think “there must be a less wasteful or more natural way to do this” and most of the time, there is. Here are my eco-friendly goals and their plans of action!
Over the last few years my general philosophy has shaped into a more mindful, simplistic, and natural one. I’ve tried to make slow but steady improvements to help better our lives but I’ve still got a lot more I’d like to do. As I’ve implemented different improvements, I’ve found that the more natural/eco-friendly way to do something will also save you time and/or money in the long run. Thus making life a little simpler, giving you more time to focus on what really matters. At least that’s how I look at it! This is especially true with consumable things (paper towels, straws, etc), purchasing an eco-friendly, long lasting, alternative will keep you from having to repurchase the same items over and over again, saving you time and money.
I'd like to do update posts as and when to talk about how the goals are coming along, what’s worked, what hasn’t, and any new goals that get added along the way! I’d also love to hear any ideas you guys have or have already implemented.
Tin Foil / Parchment Paper: Throw away non-stick things can be remedied with silicone baking mats like these that come in a good range of sizes. I would like to eventually get two in my baking tray size and two in a 9” round pan size as they’re the size pans we use most. You can also do the same with cupcake liners by getting silicone cupcake liners.
Paper Towels: This one is another simple exchange, you could make or buy fabric un-paper towels, or simply designate a drawer, basket, or cupboard for kitchen rags/cloths. Then simply launder them and restock your pile. I wonder what type of fabric and in which color or pattern would be best suited to hold up to wear and tear for this job. Maybe linen ones? Or maybe a simple pack of microfiber cloths?
Napkins: I’m not a huge napkin user but it would be a fun and easy project to make a set or two of everyday napkins in an easy to care for fabric.
Straws: I don’t really use straws too often, if a smoothie is really thick and cold but I need to drink it quickly I’ll use a straw but other than that I’m fine to do without them. I know there are metal straws and glass straws available on the market but I’m not sure which would be better. I think I favor the metal ones thinking they won’t break like glass ones could but I need to do a little more looking around before I make a decision. If you’ve tried either or have any thoughts to share I’d love to hear!
Kitchen Sponges: I’m not a fan of kitchen sponges, sure they’re super great and easy to use but I hate throwing them away when they wear out or are just so old. I’ve actually already addressed this by purchasing some inexpensive washcloths, or something like these, and using them instead of sponges to do the dishes and wipe up messes but I thought I’d include it in the list to share my solution. I prefer them because they last for ages, they’re what people used before sponges, and when they do eventually wear out you can promote/demote (depending on how you look at it) them to the rags pile!
Cotton Rounds: If you often use cotton balls or cotton pads/rounds you might want to check out these reusable organic cotton rounds. For me they would work perfectly for toner or what have you but if you want them for makeup removal you can get darker ones too. If you’d rather make your own you could as well, it’s totally up to you!
DIY Laundry & Dish Soap: I have wanted to make homemade laundry and dishwasher soap for ages now. I’ve found countless recipes over the last few years but I haven’t gotten around to actually making them yet. No more! Now I’m hoping to find recipes for them that are both all-natural and easy to make and store.
Clothes Line: We had a clothesline a few years ago because the place we were living had the space for it. Now I can’t wait to set up another clothesline and reap the benefits of sun drying your laundry like the sun bleaching out stains, the fresh air smell on the fabric, plus the electricity and money you save. Not to mention pinning up and taking down the clothes, which I found relaxing. I can’t wait to do it again!
Composting: Adam and I have tried composting before at our last place and loved it, until we had rats show up due to a few mistakes on our part. We can’t wait to do it again though, it feels SO nice to compost food scraps and peels rather than throw them away. If you’d like to compost but don’t want to have a compost set up or don’t have the space for it try contacting your local waste management and asking if they have any composting programs available. If they do they’ll take your compost just like how they take your recyclables or trash. There is an option to do that around us but sadly after asking about it we found out they don’t serve our exact area.
Natural Cleaning Supplies: I’ve been using natural ingredients to clean since Adam and I got married, so almost 4 years now. As such, I’ve already made the switch from regular store bought products to natural and more eco-friendly alternatives--but I would like to organize my supplies with labels that have the recipe on them as well as what it’s used for. A caddy to hold it all would be epic too. My go-to cleaning ingredients for most messes are white vinegar and baking soda, seriously they’re great! I use an all purpose cleaner made up of white vinegar, water, and tea tree oil (and sometimes lavender essential oil too) to clean the bathroom and windows/mirrors. It works so well I don’t miss the store bought cleaners at all! When I do organize and label all of my cleaning items I’d like to do a more thorough post about it.
So those are my eco-friendly and natural goals! I'm excited to tackle them and be more eco-friendly and write about the progress! I'd love to hear your thoughts! I hope you guys have a great week!